Crumbling Capitals remain calm


Coach Adam Oates and the Capitals have lost 13 of their past 17 games. (Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Even as the Capitals stumbled through a six-game losing streak that has sent them plummeting down the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference standings, there were no stirring locker room speeches.

A two-week winless drought and a stretch of 13 losses in 17 games would seem like the opportune time for a rousing rallying cry ripped from the pages of a Hollywood script.

Yet such a dramatic call to action, according to the Capitals, has no basis in reality.

“I don’t believe it works. I don’t,” said coach Adam Oates, who has taken an even-keeled approach throughout his tenure. “[It] never worked for me. You can yell, but if you don’t fix the mistakes, the mistakes will still occur. You might scare someone, but it still occurs. The bottom line is you’ve got to be professional.”

As the Capitals prepare for a pivotal five-game road trip that begins Friday night against the Devils, they hope that quietly channeling their frustration will lift them out of their doldrums.

“Bottom line is we need points,” forward Troy Brouwer said. “It doesn’t matter how we get them, who we play — we need points. We’re on the outside of the playoffs looking in right now, not where we want to be by any means. Guys are pissed off in here as a result of it.”

In the aftermath of a 2-0 loss to the Senators on Tuesday, defenseman Karl Alzner described the Capitals as “dead” after they allowed Ottawa’s first goal.

The Capitals know words can only do so much to revive them.

“Well done is better than well said,” forward Brooks Laich said earlier this week. “If you want to talk about it, go show it on the ice. … We have to prove it to our teammates, prove it to yourself, the organization. We have to be better as players.”

Adam Vingan is an NHL.com Washington correspondent, the Capitals beat reporter for Express, and writes Capital Games for NBC Washington.
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