The Washington Capitals are now 10 games into the season and they continue to fall behind the pack in the Eastern Conference standings.
They suffered another setback Tuesday night, losing 3-2 to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. The loss drops Washington’s record to 2-7-1. They are last in the East.
“I wouldn’t sacrifice the way the team is playing for a couple wins. I wouldn’t, not the wrong way,” Capitals head coach Adam Oates told Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times Monday.
“Because I think big picture you want to win tonight but you’ve got to try and think big picture and that’s what direction we’re going as a team and I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Alex Ovechkin, who has just two goals in those 10 games – although perhaps his recent increase in scoring chances is encouraging – had one assist in the loss.
Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk scored twice in a span of two minutes and 35 seconds to give Toronto a 2-0 lead in the first period.
“We’ve been talking about a couple of those things, getting in on the forecheck, making it hard on their defenseman and getting to the net,” van Riemsdyk told NHL.com. “I got some lucky bounces and I was able to put them in.”
Korbinian Holzer scored his first career NHL goal and the winner just past the midway point of the second period.
The Leafs are now 4-1 away from the Air Canada Centre.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”