It's pack-up-the-gear day for the Washington Capitals, as players debrief the media after their epic collapse in the first round against the Montreal Canadiens. Capitals star Alex Ovechkin addressed reporters Friday morning and here are some of the highlights:
On losing to Montreal, the No. 8 seed, in the first round, Ovechkin praised goalie Jaroslav Halak's effort and said his team may have taken victory for granted:
"When you get the lead 3-1, you think, OK, maybe they're going to give up and maybe we're going to win the easy game and get ready for the next round. And it's pretty hard to do so."
On what has to change next postseason for the Capitals:
"You get experience again when you're losing. Probably, we just have to show more character in the locker room and on the ice. Don't put all the pressure on yourself."
On criticism of his effort by fans and media, despite five goals and five assists in the series:
"It's fair. It was my fault when we need to score goals. I have the chance to score goals and I don't score goals. Sometimes you just have to take the moment in your hand.
"It's pretty hard when you see how we fight, how we played. We had a chance and we didn't score. If you have a chance to score goals and you don't score, you just feel ... Jesus ... like, 'OK, next time you're going to score.' The pressure goes to your mind. It's pretty hard."
On fans booing the Capitals off the ice, mixed with cheers, and other fans who were critical:
"What fans boo us, it's right decision. What fans cheer us and say good job, it's right decision. I think the fans are the most important thing in our organization and they want to win."
Finally, on losing in Game 7 vs. losing to Canada in the Winter Olympics:
"It was probably the same feelings. But after the Olympics, you know you have a chance to win the Cup. But still, it was a hard time. It's always hard to lose. But when you lose and you know it's done, and you can't change time back, it's always hard for me to wait until the next opportunity."
Hoping to hear some wit and wisdom from the much-maligned Mike Green later.