Carl Hagelin: Caps need to start getting 'pissed off'

Chris Lingebach
March 06, 2020 - 7:02 pm
Carl Hagelin: Caps need to start getting 'pissed off'

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Getting "pissed off" is the key for the Capitals to break out of this seemingly unshakable prolonged funk, Carl Hagelin says.

"I think we need to get pissed off some games," Hagelin said during his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance presented by F.H. Furr. "I feel like we can play well for seven or eight shifts, then we have one bad shift."

In that vein, Tom Wilson – who hadn't fought since December – dropped the gloves twice in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Flyers, once against center Nate Thompson in the first period, and then again against defenseman Robert Hagg as the second period was winding down.

"It seems like we have one bad shift and all of a sudden we kind of dig ourselves a hole in terms of not competing the way we can, not being quick on pucks," Hagelin said. "During that time when things aren't going well offensively, we gotta be better defensively. We gotta be quicker to pucks, like I said, win battles."

"Right now I feel like every game we give up one or two goals that are preventable, you know goals that I feel like the other teams don't have to work that hard for," he added. "And that comes down to your competitiveness and your battle level in that certain time of the game. We need to be ready to battle hard for 60 minutes. There's no easy games in this league, especially not now going forward."

Hagelin was asked if there's a sense of urgency inside the Capitals locker room, whether it's dawned on players that it's now or never.

"It should have," he said. "Like you said, 16 games left or so. We're a little off. We're not far off; we're a little off."

"Moving forward, we need to play our best games to win hockey games here," he said. "We need all the points we can get. We can't start talking about that we have Pittsburgh coming up or other Metro games coming up. We've got to think about the game we have tonight playing the Rangers."

"I think it's important that we're not getting too far ahead thinking things are gonna be okay," said Hagelin, a two-time Stanley Cup champion. "It's got to start tonight and we're gonna have to play well. That's the bottom line. Everyone knows it in there and it's time tonight to show some character."

The Capitals would go on to fall to the Rangers 6-5 in overtime. Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scored five goals, including the OT game-winner.