Oates on three-game California trip: ‘We gotta win them all’

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Last week, it was the Toronto Maple Leafs heading out west to face the three tough California teams.

This week, it’s the Washington Capitals’ turn, with games in Anaheim tonight, Los Angeles Thursday and San Jose Saturday.

And give the standings, the Caps can’t afford a bad trip.

“We gotta win them all,” coach Adam Oates said, per CSN Washington. “I know they’re better than us in the standings, but you’ve got have the attitude you’re going to beat them. Toronto had a good trip out there and we just beat them.”

The Leafs did indeed have a good trip. They beat Anaheim and Los Angeles, losing only to San Jose. Granted, Toronto was outshot badly in all three games, but the wins were still wins.

Combined, the Ducks, Kings and Sharks are 68-23-10 at home, while Washington is 12-16-5 on the road. Which is to say, winning them all would be quite the accomplishment for Oates’ troops.

“I think we can afford to lose one,” said defenseman Karl Alzner. “Obviously, we don’t want to. We want to try to upset a couple teams. They’re in good position and maybe they’ll take us a little lightly. Hopefully, they do and we can capitalize on that.”