The Washington Capitals wind up a season that was disappointing in the standings, yet rich with promise for the future, this weekend with games against Montreal and Pittsburgh.
A number of Capitals were asked yesterday for their impressions of 1978-79 season. Their comments follow:
GUY CHARRON: "This team is going only one way and that's up. We've shared a lot, we've gone through hell and we've had a lot of great moments.I can promise that 19 players working together are going to bring a Stanley Cup to Washington. I just hope we're here when it comes.
"I haven't scored as much this year,but I think I've accomplished some other things. Everybody out there has done a job. While we've failed at our goal, making the playoffs, we have moved ahead. What we want now is to finish with four straight victories, to give us something to build on next year."
RYAN WALTER: "Personally, this season has been a fabulous experience for me. I learned a hell of a lot, on and off the ice, and I'm still learning.Personally, I have to be satisfied with the season. I never set goals for myself, so I didn't pass or fail.
"Teamwise, we missed our goals, because we didn't reach the playoffs. But I think the character's here, the heart's here, the ability's here for this to be a very successful franchise."
RICK GREEN: "There were a number of guys in their first year in the league and I think this has been a good learning year for everybody. As the season went on, we seemed to work better together. "As a result of the last few games,there is a good sign of good things to come next year."
ROLF EDBERG: "I think I should have scored more goals. I have finally started scoring late in the season, but it's not too late to do some good. This summer I will work on my shot and I hope to do better.
"I don't consider myself a defensive player and on my line in Sweden there was another who was supposed to be more defensive. But I've played for 10 years with the first thing I think about is keeping the other team from scoring. I guess that's why my plus-minus had been so good (club-high plus-14).
"Some things took time to get used to over here. One was the speed of the puck around the boards. I'm glad I came and I will be back next year hoping to play much better. I love you, America."
ROBERT PICARD: "For me personally I think this was a really good season-21 goals, 65 points, picked for the Challenge Cup as one of the best 25 players in the league, a plus player all year. I hope I keep going like this.
"I hope management won't make too many changes in the team. If they keep the guys around and everybody works together next year, we'll be in the playoffs."
YVONLABRE: "I think we've made some improvement in the types of players and in our goal-scoring potential. Some nights we played well defensively and the guys were coming back. More nights they didn't come back and instead of us standing up at the blue line, we had to keep backing up.
"The last two games showed that if we take care of our own end, the other end takes care of itself. I'm not satisfied with this season. I would have liked to play more and I think the team should have been more successful."
LEIF SVENSSON: "Everybody is better than I expected over here. I knew about the superstars, but I didn't realize how good the other players are. You cannot have a bad day or they jump on you every time.And I'm most impressed with the goalies. They are 50 percent better than I expected.
"I got burned a couple of times early in the season and I was too scared for a while to play my game. I like to play a little more offensively. There was a lot to get used to-the travel was the toughest-and I hope to improve more next year."
DENNIS MARUK: "As a team, we've had some bad times and good times. Since the start of the season we've had a lot of new players and it's taken time to get to know each other. We had a bad start and got so far behind that it was an uphill battle. But we've had a couple of good months and we'll start fresh next year and hope for better things.
"My big goal was the playoffs. I though we had a good chance, but with the injuries and new players it doesn't come overnight. I don't set any goals for myself, like 25 or 30 goals or 100 points or anything like that. I wanted to be in the playoffs and that will have to wait."
The Capitals play Montreal, a team they never have beaten, for the 32nd time tonight (WDCA-TV 20 at 8 p.m.) and Svensson said. "My biggest goal is to beat the Montreal Canadiens. Everybody feels the same. It's a shame it is having to take us so long a time.". . .Coach Danny Belisle, taking note of the critical signs appearing at Capital Centre, said, "I've been seeing some strange little love notes. I wish the authors would sign their names. I walk across the ice, the players play 60 minutes with their names on their backs. At least let us know who you are so we can sit down and talk.". . .The Capitals need a victory this weekend to complete their most successful season. They have 61 points. The 1976-77 Capitals recorded 62 . . .Picard's bruised left shoulder probably will keep him out of the final two games . . .He is expected to be healthy enough to join Charron, Walter, Maruk and Green on Canada's national team for the World Ice Hockey champoinships at Moscow April 14-28 . . .Players for the tournament are selected from teams that do not make the Stanley Cup playoffs. CAPTION: Picture, Capital goalie Gary Inness is upended by Perry Miller of Red Wings. Washington players have had mixed feelings about season about to end but are looking forward to next season. AP