VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Capitals not ready to 'blow anything up'

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The NHL-worst Washington Capitals were handing out votes of confidence Friday, less than three weeks into a season that has so far been nothing short of a fall-flat-on-the-face embarrassment.

General manager George McPhee met with reporters for some 20 minutes at the team's facility and cited penalties and goaltending as the major culprits that have caused the Capitals to lose nine of their first 11 games.

McPhee had positive words for new coach Adam Oates and franchise player Alex Ovechkin, even though the former two-time league MVP has yet to score a 5-on-5 goal this season.

``We're disappointed with the way things have started. It's not over. Nothing that a couple of wins won't really help,'' McPhee said. ``But we're going to make good decisions. We're not going to do anything short-term. We're not going to blow anything up. We like the people here.''

The Capitals lost 5-2 to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and have yet to score four goals in a game this season. They have allowed an NHL-high 15 power play goals.

``We're playing a good game and then we start taking penalties, and we take them in bunches,'' McPhee said. ``And no system, no coach, no team can survive that.''

McPhee called the rash of penalties ``undisciplined'' and ``selfish'' and said they resulted from a ``lack of focus.'' But he didn't link those deficiencies to the leadership of Oates, a first-time NHL coach who had an abbreviated training camp because of the lockout-shortened season.

``I really like the coaches. I love what they're doing,'' McPhee said. ``I like the way that we're playing in terms of our system.''

The Capitals appeared to be set at goalie with rising stars Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth vying for playing time this season, but both have been disappointing so far.

``There is upside there with these goaltenders,'' McPhee said. ``But they can both play better and they know it. And it's time for them to play.''

As for Ovechkin, McPhee is pleased with the high-priced forward who has switched this season from left wing to right. Ovechkin has only three goals - all on the power play - and was visibly seething after the loss to the Penguins.

``I really like the way Alex has played the last four games,'' McPhee said. ``Adam is convinced that he can get him playing the way that Ovi can play, and a couple of these games are the best that we've seen him in a long time. ... He's getting a lot more chances on the right side than the left. He's a much more effective player. I like it a lot. You might disagree, but it looks a lot better to us.''

Owner Ted Leonsis also noted the struggles of the goaltending and the offense on his blog Friday and added: ``We have many challenges as an organization, and as a team.''

``I've had some real good discussions with ownership over the last couple of days,'' McPhee said. ``They're obviously not very happy. But they've been supportive. At times like this, ownership can pile on and make things worse or ownership can say, `How can we help? And what can we do to make it better?' And it's been the latter. ... And I provided some options, and they provided some real clear direction, which was great.

``So that being said, if there's something I can do to help the club out, I will. But I'm not going to do anything stupid.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Williams: In the Crease - Week 25
News: Grand Salami - March
Gibson saves 29 as Ducks blank Flames
Crosby has highlight goal, 700th assist
Schwartz scores twice, Blues beat Bruins
Rookie Keller helps Coyotes' top Sabres
GMs call for change on goalie interference
'Monster year' could land Carlson payday
Blackhawks on sidelines for playoffs
Why Buy Picks From
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
7-0 +734 L4 Days, +3,133 Overall
3-0 +490 LN, 10-2 +1,290 L4 Days
9-2 +999 L11, +2,756 This Year
6-1 +625 L7, 17-6 +1,432 Streak
10-4 +651 Picks, 9-4 +541 G-Plays
11-5 G-Plays, +2,331 This Season
30-14 L44 Picks, 23-12 L35 G-Plays
NHL Pro Hockey Expert Sports Picks - Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 3133
Bill Marzano + 2756
Matt Fargo + 2331
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 692
Gary Bart + 541
Bill Marzano + 435
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 2571
Bruce Marshall + 914
Doc's Sports + 290
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 2772
Scott Rickenbach + 1228
Kevin Rogers + 992
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 1599
Ben Burns + 1452
Scott Rickenbach + 1318
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 688
Scott Rickenbach + 628
Stephen Nover + 577
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership