Alex Ovechkin thinks the Washington Capitals were tired.
Tired after losing seven consecutive games and tired in the middle of another long slog after winning the Stanley Cup last season. By the time they got back on the ice Thursday for their first practice after the All-Star break and league-mandated bye week, the Russian superstar captain saw something completely different.
“Maybe it was too much hockey,” Ovechkin said Thursday. “Today I look at the guys and I can see everybody is missing the hockey and everybody flying, everybody laughing, everybody don’t think about what happened a week ago or how many games we lose in a row.”
The seven straight losses are the Capitals’ most since the 2013-14 season that led to the firing of general manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates. Even though they never lost more than three consecutive games last year before lifting the Cup for the first time in franchise history, the Capitals hope their woeful ways are a thing of the past and will help them on the way to a repeat bid.