You could tell by the looks on people’s faces after the game that we knew we didn’t give our best game in Game 1. I think everybody knew that they could have played a little bit better. New York really came on strong and it was an intense game, and we did not match their intensity.
I know for me it just almost felt like it was a regular season game. We didn’t have that sense of urgency we had against Boston in the first series. It felt like the whole game, we were chasing the puck and just couldn’t get anything really going. It felt like we just couldn’t get that momentum shift that we needed.
Everybody knew it was an important game, but that was just the way it happened. It’s just something you have to acknowledge and make sure you go out and play your best game in Game 2.
It started [Sunday] with a good practice. We had a high-tempo practice, and it was good to have a day where you can go out and skate and forget about that game and work on little stuff for the next game. We worked hard [Sunday] but we were keeping it light and having fun out there. I think it’ll help for Game 2 to have a day to skate, get on the ice and do some things to get ready.
I’ve said I’m not a big city guy, so wouldn’t you know it, I went to Central Park [Sunday] afternoon. Hendy bought me lunch because I beat him in a drill during practice. He and Wardo and I had a bet to see who could score in a drill. Wardo and I scored and Hendy didn’t so he owed me lunch, and you know I collected on that because if it’s free, it’s for me.
Then I just walked around Central Park for a couple hours and sat on different benches and just relaxed. I just tried to get out of the city. Even though the park is right in the middle of it, you don’t feel like you’re in the city. I just killed some time there and walked around.
I’ll be going out for dinner with some of the guys [Sunday] night. We’re going to an Italian spot Wardo knows. He says it’s “The Sopranos” mixed with “The Godfather,” so it should be a good spot. Some of the guys went to the Yankees game [Sunday] so we might play some crib later once they get back.
We have our own hotel rooms in New York, and I’m not used to that but it’s nice. I think maybe they only have single rooms at the hotel. I have no clue though, that’s just my guess. Usually I have a roommate and usually it’s Mathieu Perreault. When we got here I asked him what room we’re in and he said, “I think we’re in different rooms,” and I was like “what?!” But we are, so we’re all on our own schedules and it’s kind of nice. I usually wake up early and now I don’t have to worry about putting the TV on too loud in the mornings.
We lost Game 1, so now we have to get the split. If we can go back to Verizon Center 1-1, you’d obviously rather have that than go down 0-2. [Monday] is a huge game and we know we have to be better. I expect that we will be.
More on the Capitals:
— Holtby’s Game 1 peformance puts Caps in bad spot
— Graphic: Track every Caps shot in the postseason
— Semin demoted to fourth line in practice
— Game 1: Caps surrender upper hand to Rangers, 3-1
— The mistakes that led to Kreider’s goal in Game 1
— Jenkins: Game 1 turns quickly for Washington
— Chris Kreider is the toast of New York