John Walton, Alan May on the Caps’ collapse against Dallas


(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

If there were any doubts that Tuesday night’s 5-0 loss to the Stars was a galvanizing moment for the Caps’ community, observe the comments made by some of the team’s most consistent media voices.

Some of these voices — the Comcast SportsNet analysts, the play-by-play radio voice, the team site bloggers — might occasionally lean toward sympathy for the home team. But during and after that loss, everyone had had enough.

John Walton

Here was the team’s radio voice, after Washington gave up two goals in less than a minute halfway through the game to fall behind by three.

“The Capitals are lethargic with a capital L,” Walton said. “It’s 3-0 Dallas with 10:10 to go in the second, and this team is going backwards….To review, Dustin Jeffrey picks up his first goal of the season, after Ray Whitney, at 42 years of age, came in on a 2-on-none breakaway. This is a terrible effort by the Washington Capitals. Terrible. They have to be better than this, and they just flat-out are not. There is no sugar coating that.”

Alan May and Craig Laughlin

The former players and longtime Comcast SportsNet analysts both seemed similarly fed up during the CSN post-game show.

“This is, I think, one of the worst nights since I’ve been covering the team,” May said. “It’s one of the harshest moments in the Caps’ history since I’ve been on television here. It’s a devastating loss at this time of the year.”

“Now it’s soul-searching time,” Laughlin added. “This was not the effort that you’d expect from this hockey team.”

RMNB’s Peter Hassett

In an extremely lengthy, detailed, and evidence-fueled state-of-the-union, Hassett declared that change was needed.

“The Capitals are not going to improve with Adam Oates at the wheel,” he wrote. “He’s not the full extent of the team’s problems, and management absolutely is accountable for failures both in coaching and in construction, but I find it impossible to imagine a Cup-contending Caps team with Oates at the helm. The Capitals have to fire Adam Oates.”

J.P. from Japers Rink

One of the team’s longest-serving and most prominent online voices created a bracket of 64 things that have submarined this season. His conclusion:

“But ultimately…these are the Caps,” he wrote. “That’s the number one seed in this region and in the tourney. They’ve been doing ‘fail’ since before most of you were born, and probably will be for a while yet. Maybe not ‘because they’re the Caps,’ but because we just rattled off 64 mostly serious reasons this season has gone sideways and could probably come up with a 32-item NIT tournament if we were pressed on it. That’s a lot that needs to change, and most of it won’t be easy – the time for tweaking has passed.”

Karl Alzner

Ok, he isn’t exactly a media voice. But he made his regular appearance with Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington on 106.7 The Fan, and it was grim.

“I don’t know,” he said, when asked what happened Tuesday night. “We fell apart. We got too high risk. We fell asleep at times. And they exploited all of our mistakes that we made. We may have set the record for odd-man rushes against last game. It was pretty bad. They snuck guys behind us, we weren’t paying attention. At the end of the game it felt a lot like that game against the Rangers, game 7, when we lost [5-0] or whatever it was. It was a bad effort by us, and a terrible feeling after the game.”

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

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Dan Steinberg · April 3, 2014

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