Reirden: 2019 Caps have 'gelled really quickly'

Chris Lingebach
November 15, 2019 - 6:23 pm

Don't look now, but the Washington Capitals are off to a scorching start to the 2019-20 season, leading the NHL with 32 points thanks in part to their 9-1-1 road record.

Capitals coach Todd Reirden attributes their hot streak to a number of things, but believes their edge comes in how they've "gelled really quickly," he told The Sports Junkies during his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance, presented by Sheehy Auto Stores.

"It's lots of stuff. It's finding different ways to win games," Reirden said. "As every day our leadership group has done a great job of, when we go to practice, we're going with a purpose and we're trying to get better at some area of our game with some new players on our team."

"I think our team has gelled really quickly, both on the ice and off the ice," he said. "I think it can be a little bit drawn back to, I brought the guys on a trip together just in training camp, and I think that started them to build a little bit of a bond. I'll tell you what, they're playing pretty hard for one another. Every game's been, I think outside of one, has been a one-goal game and they keep competing and battling for the guy next to them, and they believe what we're doing, so we're enjoying it right now."

One Junkies host brought up his own fear of waiting for the other shoe to drop, to ask Reirden if he, too, ever allows those negative thoughts to creep into his mind.

"You know, I don't think you can really," Reirden said. "Like last year, I knew it was going to happen, because at some point we were going to hit a time where we were gonna completely run out of gas, based upon the Cup run from the year before. This year, it's been a whole different coaching project for me this year. We're just going it day by day. We don't talk about our record at all.

"We just talk about every day and trying to figure out different ways to improve and get better and win games. We enjoy winning and doing it different ways and having fun with it. That's how it's worked so far. Obviously you know you're gonna go through some tough patches, for sure. You like to go through some of those just to get better at dealing with adversity."

"We've gone through a few different injury situations," he said. "We've come back from some pretty big deficits, so through that first 20 games, even though it doesn't look like it, there was still some adversity that we beat, both there were a couple things on the ice and a couple things even off the ice, just taken care of. I'm proud of our guys through 20 and look forward to getting better."