(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Following the Capitals’ 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night, the players who spoke to reporters weren’t looking to make excuses nor to identify a single play or part of the game that went awry. They spoke out against their team’s work ethic and after a 1-4-0 start are concerned that Washington must get the situation under control.

Troy Brouwer, who has yet to score a goal this season, was notably frustrated and didn’t hold back on his critiques.

“It’s looking at yourself and wanting to win. It’s about wanting to work hard, wanting to help your teammates out, wanting to win,” Brouwer said. “That’s all it comes down to. Our talent level’s there, our effort’s not.

“It’s concentration, it’s work ethic, it’s focus, it’s a lot of things,” Brouwer added. “It starts in practice and it continues over into warmups, we shoot high on our goalie sometimes when we shouldn’t be and then we’re sloppy during the game and then we wonder why we are sloppy and can’t make the breakout passes. We’ve got to be better, all around.”

Eric Fehr, the lone goal scorer against Colorado, also said they need to “work harder”. But what, specifically, does he want to see improvement on?

“Just got to want the puck a little bit more I think. We’re losing puck battles we’re not strong on the puck and we’re not supporting each other that well,” Fehr said. “We’re leaving guys on their own in the zone and looking for everyone to make great passes across the ice when we’ve got to get over there and help them and make better plays with it.”

Said Jason Chimera: “You’ve got to be one of those teams no one likes to play right from Ovi on down, that you get ‘Holy smokes’ these guys are working their butts off.’ We’ve got to start right there. If that happens no one’s going to stop us we’ve got too good a team.”