The Capitals went from the best team in the NHL in December to a first-round playoff exit in August. Despite all the team's talent, Washington never looked like a real contender when the postseason began after the NHL returned to play from the coronavirus pause. That left everyone wondering why? T.J. Oshie has some answers.
From the outside looking in, one of the major problems for Washington seemed to be a complete lack of motivation. Despite the team's talent, it certainly did not get the most out of its players in a lackluster playoff performance, and that led to an embarrassing five-game defeat at the hands of the New York Islanders. Oshie confirmed those issues on Saturday in an appearance on NBC Sports Friday prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Despite keeping the same core together from 2018, that level of commitment and effort we saw in the Cup championship run has been elusive for the Caps. That was really exasperated in 2020 as seen in the playoffs, which is why Peter Laviolette is the new coach.
For a team in which motivation seems to be an issue, Laviolette seems like the type of coach who can get more out of the players, which is exactly what Washington needs.
The Caps need a jolt to the system in the last remaining years of the team's championship window. Luckily Laviolette looks like just the man to give them that.