WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Washington Capitals suffered a humbling defeat Tuesday in a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, but Mike Knuble might have considered it humiliating. After the game, Knuble vented his frustrations over his team's play.
"You're thinking ahead," Knuble said. "You're thinking, 'Let's go have a great third period, let's get past this penalty and let's go have a great third' and then all a sudden you give up one with 20 seconds remaining on the power play. We just didn't recover. It befuddles you because this group can be so good and so complete and then we come out and play an incomplete game. We were outclassed in the third."
The Stars scored three goals in the third period, including the game-winning goal 24 seconds in and two within 32 seconds later in the period. Dallas scored highlight-reel goals all night, something that Knuble picked up on.
"They're not scoring ugly goals, either," Knuble said of the Stars. "They're snapping it around and backdoor play, goalie not even in the net. They make you look bad. It's like embarrassing when you're on the ice and guys are beating you. The other night, get beat one on four, just playing like a bunch of losers. You're going to lose if you play like that - you're going to lose every night in the league. Let alone talking about playoffs and all that. You'll lose every night in the league and I think we all went through that last year."
Knuble also called his teams' "commitment" into question.
"You practice it, but it just doesn't happen," he said. "It takes a commitment. We practice it in practice; we can't say we're not prepared. We know what we're doing, we talk about it, we watch film about it. And then it's just a commitment to doing it on the ice. Maybe through the first five games I felt top to bottom it was a better commitment. Of late, I don't know if we're all committed. It's sad to say and we all look bad because of the result - because we don't all commit. We look great when we're all committing; we look all like a bunch of clowns when we don't. A very average team when we're not all committed."