After the Capitals earned their first victory, 3-2 over the Buffalo Sabres Sunday, Coach Adam Oates was subdued. The victory was his first as an NHL head coach, but Oates wasn’t overwhelmingly pleased because the Capitals didn’t play as well as he knows they can.
“I’m glad we won, for sure. I guess you want to win the right way,” Oates said Monday. “There was parts of it I was a little bit unhappy with.”
Don’t misunderstand Oates. He’s glad the Capitals ended their losing streak after four games. The team needed to build off of their solid outing against the Devils.
But what is most important to Oates at this stage is that Washington’s method is correct. He didn’t want one win to take away from the fact that there’s plenty for them to hone in this new system, beginning Tuesday night in Ottawa.
“You’re worried that [they will think] ‘We won, we’re superstars.’” Oates said. “And we played okay. It wasn’t a ‘wow‘ game. I thought we played better in New Jersey as a team.
“We needed momentum. We need everything we can get. There are a lot of positives. Don’t get me wrong. Big win for everybody. And big goal by the power play. We held the lead. We looked good in our end for the majority of the game. We only gave them 10 chances, which is a good thing. We almost 2-to-1’d them in chances – a lot of positives there. You just want to make sure the guys stay with it.”