FANDOM December 3, 2008

What a crappy performance and effort by the Washington capitals last night. They dropped their first decision at home in the Verizon Center, but the problem was not the loss, the problem was the effort put forth. It was non-existent until the final 3 minutes, when it was already too late. HC Bruce Boudreau was not happy either.

“It the least energy we’ve had all year,” said Boudreau, whose team suffered its first regulation defeat at home this season (9-1-1). “We didn’t play very good. We didn’t play with a lot of life. It’s what I said in the room today: It’s not me coming into the room and yelling at you. You guys should start yelling at each other, because there were some guys who definitely weren’t playing well tonight.”

Listening to it on XM was painful enough, I guess the only thing positive from the game was it was a TV blackout and we fans did not have to suffer watching it.

The lack of effort is also surprising, given all the Caps injuries, that the younger players would want to make an impact while here, especially in front of the Sea of Red. Not so. Where is the leadership among the players? What players should step up? Ovechkin? Fedorov? Clark? Who? Fact is, losing is part of the game, in all sports, but a total dud, total lack of effort is unacceptable at the professional level and the Capitals themselves, not Boudreau, but the Caps skaters, need to fix it.

Boudreau did not bite his tongue either. He levied criticism where it belong, on defense and at Jose Theodore.

“I thought the first goal was gettable,” Boudreau said. “But [Theodore] was like the rest of the team. The biggest problem is when your goalie is like the rest of the team, he stands out like a sore thumb.”

Washington got an early power play goal from Nicklas Backstrom. That was it until late in the third period, down 4-1, the Capitals realized they were playing hockey. The Caps scored twice, one by Victor Kozlov (4) and a power play tally by Tomas Fleischmann. It was Fleischmann’s 10th of the season. The Caps gave up a the 5th goal, ending the hope of a late surge to tie it, with just one minute left in the game. Caps fell to the Panther 5-3. They remain in first place with a 13-9-2 record, 29 points. The second place Carolina Hurricanes are 3 points out and did not pay last night.

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