Roughly 10 minutes after the Capitals wrapped up their 4-3 win over the Coyotes on Monday night, players were talking about perspective. John Carlson called the mood “sarcastic” in the sense that while they were happy to end the winning streak, there was nothing to be too overwhelmed by — it was, after all, only one game.
“It’s one game,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday. “We’ve got a lot of games left. If we get too excited about one win then we’re in trouble. We’ve got to be consistently good all the time if we want to be a good team. Anybody can do anything once. We’ve got to see how we come out and play tomorrow.”
The message remained that while the victory was a positive step, the Capitals need to find their rhythm again and rattle off a string of successful games, not yo-yo between emotional highs and lows with rotating wins and losses.
“You’re one bad game away from being one in your last six or something,” Mike Knuble said Monday night. “It’s not a good way to look at it but you’ve got a loss against Winnipeg, in Winnipeg, fresh on your minds and a chance to at least even that season series. It does a lot of things to lighten the room, make the game fun again, not work, more fun.”
The work the Capitals spoke of still centers around the defensive positioning and coverage, with a focus on sticking to the plans that have been laid out for them and worked on in practice.
“There are areas we’re still lacking and sometimes we improvise a little bit too much on the ice,” Karl Alzner said. “Obviously things happen fast and you’ve got to make a read out there, but there’s some simple plays, faceoff plays, where we know what we’re supposed to be doing and everybody’s counting on you to make that play and if you don’t it throws things off and they score goals.
“Other than that [the win is] just a step in the right direction, but it’s not our eighth win or anything in a row,” Alzner said. “We need to start stringing some together.”