After their fall to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and to the bottom of the NHL standings Tuesday night, irritation was palpable in the Capitals' locker room. The Caps are tired of repeating the same lines about playing hard after a loss, and frustrated about losing in similar fashion night in and night out.
"It seems like every game we have one or two human error goals -not ones that we should let in- and every time we do it seems to be killing us," said Karl Alzner after the 3-2 loss. "I'm very frustrated. I still feel like we play good hockey and it's never good enough to win and it's about time we get over that hump."
Tuesday's 'human error goal' was the result of miscommunication between defenseman Tom Poti and goalie Michal Neuvirth behind the net. Each hesitating to allow the other to play the puck, the Leafs' plucky James Van Riemsdyk scooped up the unguarded puck and deposited it easily into the Caps' open net. It was just one more addition in a long list of breakdowns that have cost the Capitals dearly.
"It seems like the last couple games we give up three or four chances and they get three or four goals," said Poti. "We gotta find a way to stop that."
"I think we all like what we're doing out there," said Alzner. "I think if you ask a lot teams it's not super easy to play against us but we allow easy ones. That's where you start trying our patience when you keep letting in soft ones like that."
And though their patience has been tested, the Caps haven't abandoned hope.
"It's tough but no one's gonna help us. It's all on us right now," said Neuvirth "It's a difficult situation but I still believe that we're gonna win a couple games and get on a roll."
"We gotta keep pushing," Poti said. "We're not going to give up in here."