Leonsis on the Caps’ late-season surge

Ted Leonsis’s conversation with Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier during Wednesday night’s Wizards finale was almost exclusively about the NBA club, but there was a bit of Caps chatter. And since that team is still playing and still in the news, here’s how that conversation went.

“How about your Capitals?” Buckhantz asked. “I mean, I don’t want to jinx anything, but it doesn’t seem like anybody can beat them lately.”

(Note: Good work, Buck.)

“We’re on a good run, but there’s five games left, 10 standings points,” Leonsis said, 24 hours before the Caps lost in Ottawa. “We’ve got to keep playing. And you’d like to qualify for the playoffs, and then you’d like to go into the playoffs with some momentum.”

Buckhantz then asked how Leonsis can explain the dramatic turnaround for his hockey club.

“Well, I think it’s our coach and the system he’s put in place, and the players [are] starting to feel more and more comfortable with it,” the owner said. “It’s like any sport: your best players have to be your best players. And all of a sudden Alex Ovechkin is having an MVP-caliber-like year. He’s leading the league in goals, top five in points. Nick Backstrom is second or third in the league in assists, Mike Green is second for all defensemen with goals

“And so the right guys are playing [well], and it’s brought the whole team up with them,” he finished. “I wish we were a little bit healthier, we’re still missing a bunch of guys, but hopefully we can make the playoffs and some of those guys can come back and contribute in crunch time.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Sarah Kogod · April 19, 2013

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