After yet another listless loss, this time 5-1 to a Buffalo Sabres squad that was missing nine of its regulars, questions about what could possibly be next for the Capitals are front and center once again.
Victories against Phoenix and Winnipeg to snap a four-game losing streak may have offered hope that the Capitals were turning a corner, but as losses pile up it’s apparent there likely isn’t a quick fix. Whether Washington will be given the chance to get back on track remains to be determined, but the likelihood of changes to the lineup or the coaching staff seems to be increasing with each subpar outing.
Earlier this week, Coach Bruce Boudreau acknowledged that he’s aware of the speculation about his job security when he said he doesn’t mind Thanksgiving day — the anniversary of his promotion to Washington in 2007 — passing quietly.
Of all his postgame comments, the following seemed to give the most insight into the 56-year-old coach’s thoughts after the Capitals suffered a second loss in 48 hours and dropped to 3-7-1 in the last 11 games.
“Sometimes we’re not mentally strong,” Boudreau said. “This group has got to learn how to be mentally strong, it hasn’t had a lot of adversity in the last four years unless it was in the playoffs — the regular season it seems like it was a walk in the park. We’ve reached, for 15 games now, some adversity and some guys are having a tough time with it.”
Boudreau was then asked where that wherewithal comes from, if it’s taught or inherent.
“It’s got to come from within, I’ve got to believe,” he said. “I’m hoping that’s got to come from within because if I’ve got to teach them how to be tough, then I don’t know quite how to do that.”