Mike Knuble is one of the more mild-mannered members of the Washington Capitals, but after Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that put them in a 3-0 hole in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series, he was less than pleased.
"They're uncanny when they want to get a goal. It's like they just snap their fingers or hit a button. They just dial it up. You can see it's like they're flipping a switch, you know? It's like when they're down, then it's just like they know they're going to score. I don't what it is. It leaves you flabbergasted. You don't know what to say about it. It's like they're snapping their fingers. I don't know what it is."
Knuble is referring to the two goals that the Lightning scored 24 seconds apart in the third period to take the lead for good. He might also be referring to the absurd amount of lucky bounces that the Lightning have had throughout the series, which plays into their "underdog" mentality. It might also better a matter of the Caps being unlucky; despite scoring in the second period, Knuble had a goal taken away from him in the first period when the Caps had too many men on the ice.
"You're frustrated because you're giving them chances. You keep letting them come back, letting them come back. You're not going to win doing that."
The Caps blew a 2-1 and 3-2 lead Tuesday and they blew a 2-1 lead in Game 1 as well, so Knuble has a point. As the elder statesman of the Capitals and one of two Caps with his name on the Stanley Cup, it is about time that Knuble stood up and called out his play and the play of his teammates. He said that the Caps could not worry about Tuesday's game and instead needed to prepare for Wednesday's Game 4. A one-day turnaround might be good for the Caps, but if they lose Wednesday, they'll have a few months to look back.