Mike Knuble knew exactly what he was saying and why he was saying it.
But it still sounded harsh for a team that is leading the Southeast Division with a 9-4-0 record.
Seething over the Capitals surrendering three third-period goals in Tuesday nights 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, Knuble called out his teammates, calling them a bunch of clowns and a bunch of losers.
(A full transcript is below)
Coach Bruce Boudreau was also upset at his teams play and said they will pay for it in practice on Wednesday but did not condone Knubles choice of words.
Well, I wouldnt use words quite like that. We lost a lot of battles in the third periods of the last two games. The compete level wasnt as great as wed like it to be.
The Caps are now 2-4 after starting the season with seven straight wins and Knuble addressed the teams complacency with the following comments:
I don't know if it's because it's November there's not that urgency yet. Nobody's really under the gun at all. We still feel like the season's early.
On poor defensive coverage:
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.
On being committed:
You practice it, but it just doesn't happen. 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.
Comments like these will be addressed by Boudreau, but how?
Should he reprimand Knuble by sitting him Friday night at New Jersey?
Should he put a gag order on him like the Flyers did with Ilya Bryzgalov?
Or, should he let Knubles words reverberate around the Capitals dressing room and let the players deal with it themselves?