Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 3:56 PM ET, 12/27/2010

Despite Winter Classic buildup, Caps focused on Montreal

By Katie Carrera

Before the game on Saturday that has created a swirl of attention around the Capitals, Penguins and the NHL, Washington will first face its nemesis from last spring in the Montreal Canadiens. While several players noted a certain desire to avenge the Capitals' early playoff exit, there was a greater sense of staying on the course of continual improvement the team has been on since snapping its eight-game losing streak.

"It's important to stay focused and make sure we take care of business and take care of the right things," Nicklas Backstrom said. "When it gets like day before the Winter Classic, that's something you have to think about then. You can't really have thoughts about that right now."

Montreal enters the contest leading the Northeast Division with 42 points, despite having lost six of its past eight contests. The Capitals, meanwhile, are re-establishing their confidence and swagger, collecting points in four straight contests and winning three in that span.

Things weren't perfect in Washington's 3-2 win over Carolina Sunday night, but by playing a simple game of working to get pucks deep and keeping opponents away from the front of their net, the Capitals were able to come out on top. The players and Coach Bruce Boudreau want a more concise game this week, without the two-day holiday break, to keep the momentum going.

"We got away with some stuff [against Carolina]," Boudreau said. "We were trying to do the right things. We made mistakes but we got away with them. We want to eliminate that. We want to make sure the way we play, [that] everybody that's on the ice knows exactly what's going to happen and there's no questions beforehand. It takes time to practice this."

There's a certain sense of urgency for the Capitals after the losing streak to maximize points and take advantage of any chance to move up in the standings -- even if they are ironing out kinks at the same time.

Washington will play only four games in the next 12 days. It's a stretch that can help the Capitals recover from some bumps and bruises while working on the details of their play, but it also presents an opportunity for the teams they're jockeying with in the Southeast Division to take a lead.

"We're building as a group. We've kind of got a lull in the schedule, if we ever do have one, now's the time when we taper back in games played and it gives other teams a chance to catch up," Matt Hendricks said. "We need to keep winning games. We need to try to stay on top as a group, and I think that's the focus. We're not looking so much at particular games or rivalries. Obviously tomorrow's a big game; we want to beat these guys, but we're looking more at the big picture -- staying on top -- and we need two points any chance we have."

Speaking of the Winter Classic, though, we'll have an update on the weather scenarios and options after a conference call with league officials a little later this afternoon.

By Katie Carrera  | December 27, 2010; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Matt Hendricks, Montreal Canadiens  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Boyd Gordon out with infection, Jeff Schultz still hoping for a Winter Classic return
Next: Winter Classic ice crew bracing for rain

Comments

OMG! First on two threads in a row!

It's what was prophesied by Nostradamus:

"He will come into the Earth and shall be the first poster on two consecutive threads. ROAAARRRRR!"

(with apologies to the late Sam Kinison)

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

No way the Winter Classic happens. Pittsburgh is a mess of a town, and nothing right happens in that place. Thats why half the population has moved to DC.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town:

Ouch!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

...and next week's headline will read:

"Scientists Discover Conlusive Proof: Pittsburgh Penguins Responsible For Climate Change"

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40

Congrats on the mighty two 1st's in a rows! As you were typing did you do the horn coming out of your forehead?

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"When it gets like day before the Winter Classic, that's something you have to think about then. You can't really have thoughts about that right now."

From what I am hearing they might not play it at all this weekend because of the weather.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 27, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

rmcazz

IMHO better to postpone than play indoors.

HBO might be able to milk a couple more episodes out of the delay as well. For those who haven't seen the series I would suggest finding other means to watch it (Google search is your friend). Very well done, balanced behind the scenes look at hockey at the professional level. It makes me want to beat my parents for not getting skates on me at an earlier age! ;)

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Uhm, let's play it this weekend. I sorta' will be flying in from LA to watch that thing. Can't possibly expect to come back or stick around. I sorta' have a job here, unlike much of Pittsburgh. Ouch. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | December 27, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

( http://www.topfashion-girl.com /
( http://www.topfashion-girl.com /
accept paypal!free shipping!
j0rdan sh0es........ 28 dollar
c0ach p-u-r-s-e...... 25 dollar
c00gi cl0thes........ 20 dollar
U.G.G B00ts.......... 39 dollar
new era hats...........8 d0llar


(( http://www.topfashion-girl.com /
( http://www.topfashion-girl.com /

Posted by: sdgashasdg | December 27, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

welcome to ( http://www.topfashion-girl.com )
accept paypal!free shipping!
j0rdan sh0es........ 28 dollar
c0ach p-u-r-s-e...... 25 dollar
c00gi cl0thes........ 20 dollar
U.G.G B00ts.......... 39 dollar
new era hats...........8 d0llar

http://www.topfashion-girl.com

http://www.topfashion-girl.com

Posted by: sdgashasdg | December 28, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company