Hours after enduring what he considered one of the most grueling practices of his NHL career, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin addressed on Wednesday his teams two-game losing streak and Mike Knubles biting comments after Tuesday nights 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
On Wednesdays practice run by Bruce Boudreau:
It was hard. Its Bruce's decision, and we have to do it.
On if the 90-minute practice, which included four sets of suicide drills, was necessary:
I think he just wanted to try to give us a wake-up call because the last couple games we didnt play hard and we didnt battle. So I think its a wake-up call.
On whether it was the hardest practice of his career:
Probably. For me personally, its hard, but it is what it is. If we didnt play hard and Bruce thinks its going to help, well see.
On how the Capitals are playing:
We try to do our best, but sometimes this happens. We played great against Carolina, but against the New York Islanders we stopped playing after the first period and again against Dallas. We cant let it continue.
On whether its time for a team meeting:
I dont think its that kind of moment right now that we have to have a meeting as a group. We only lost two games. It not like four or five games we didnt play hard. I dont think this is the kind of moment for us to talk to each other. We all understand how we have to play. If we want to win games, we have to play how we played against Carolina and how we played at the start of the year.
On what needs to change:
We all understand what we have to do. Sometimes we just stay too long on the ice and you dont have energy to play more intensely in the defensive zone. Bruce tells us what we have to do, and we just have to do it if we want to have success.
On Knuble's saying the Caps played like a bunch of clowns:
Everybody wants to say what they have to say. If I want to say were playing like clowns, Im going to say it. I think we were playing like clowns last night because we didnt have any effort. We played only a couple minutes well.
On whether Knubles comments may serve as motivation:
Its not a problem. I think somebody was mad. I think motivation is with us. Its not just about words. If fans say something like were clowns or a group of idiots, its not going to be motivation for us. The motivation is were losing right now.