Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun: Caps 'were already a step behind'

Loose Pucks,Sports,Brian McNally

Think Capitals players are done talking about the new system they’re adapting under new coach Adam Oates - and/or using it as an excuse for their struggles? Just a guess here, but…yes.

“After 40 games are we gonna say the same thing again? We have to learn a new system?” center Mike Ribeiro said after the team’s latest loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, which dropped them into the basement in the Eastern Conference. “I think it’s been almost 10 games now. And I don’t think it’s the system. I think it’s the work ethic. You can work hard, but you need to work smart, too. Not just overworking.”

But former Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun, who earned the win for Pittsburgh on Sunday, tried to add a little perspective to the conversation: “It took us at least 20 games to change when [former coach] Dale [Hunter] to get kind of in grasp with the new system. And without training camp, they were already a step behind, I think, because new coach, and he’s got to evaluate all the players and you don’t really have much time for that when you have a five- or six-day training camp.”

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