I hate throwing the “choker” term around, but it was hard not to do it regarding the Washington Capitals’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Young defenseman Karl Alzner didn’t dance around the shame he felt, however, saying that the team (blanked) the bed.
Such a comment brought out some amusing interpretations. The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno went standard with “expletive deleted.” Tarik El-Bashir brought out our inner giggling children by using “pooped.”
Either way, you get the idea. It wasn’t all that Alzner had to say, as Whyno shares his extended (and less amusing) statements.
“We just fell apart pretty much,” Alzner said. “It was an embarrassing, embarrassing loss.”
Alzner basically said that the Capitals played “with their tails between their legs.” Alex Ovechkin essentially said that Washington “stopped playing” after the Jets scored their first goal, according to Katie Carrera. Here’s a little more of what Ovechkin had to say, via the Associated Press.
“It’s stupid play by us,” Ovechkin said. “And we just totally stop playing after when they score first goal. And we played so different style of hockey in the third period, so they just put puck deep and get pressure and they score another one.”
Those comments bring those perpetual questions about the team’s “heart” (or perhaps their decision to play a more traditional system) into question. Yet some other reactions make you wonder if Dale Hunter is in over his head.
Greg Wyshynski passes along word from Jets coach Claude Noel that the Capitals were matching lines strictly, which took some of the natural “last change” advantage away from Washington’s home ice edge.
Brian McNally passes along a Jason Chimera quote that seems awfully damning for everyone involved, though:
Losses like these stain just about everyone involved. The Capitals are still very much in the playoff mix, but they’ll need to keep their beds clean if they want to even approach the team many expected going into this season.
Check out highlights of the game below: