As the media gathered outside the locker room of the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, they were met with closed doors and a lengthy wait. After a devastating 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of their second round series, clearly there were things that needed to be said, points that needed to be made behind closed doors.
The Caps gathered for a players-only meeting following the loss on Saturday. When the doors finally opened and the players did finally speak to reporters, clearly the emotions were raw and lips were sealed.
“None of your business,” Matt Niskanen said when asked what the message in the locker room was after the game.
“That stay between us,” Alex Ovechkin said.
Some of the players were a bit more forthcoming, but details were still scarce. T.J. Oshie revealed that the overall message was “Things that people need to say and things that some people need to hear.”
“We were very together with what we said,” Oshie continued. “I don’t really need to go into details, but sometimes in our games and I’m sure in other sports as well, sometimes you need to hear from your teammates more than you need to hear from your coach.”
As the team was coming off the ice, Barry Trotz said that leaders on the team approached him about letting them speak to the team themselves.
“I think that's great,” Trotz said. “That's great leadership. That's ownership when your players are in the room talking about stuff because that's galvanizing. I think that's a huge step for us.”
The results will need to be seen soon, however, as the Caps are quickly running out of time with which to battle back in this series.
Washington jumped out to a strong start on Saturday, but was unable to capitalize in a scoreless first period. Things derailed after the opening frame as Pittsburgh took a 3-1 lead in the second and finished the Caps off with a strong third period to win the game 6-2.
Now the Caps face a daunting task of having to battle back from a 2-0 series deficit against their archrivals and defending Stanley Cup champions with the next two games in Pittsburgh. They will need to win both of those games to have a realistic chance of coming back in the series.
“No one in here needs a lesson about how to go home early,” Oshie said. “We’ve done that. It’s well known, the fans know it, so we need to man up here and go into Game 3, change our attitude and have some fun while we do it.”
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