The Washington Times - December 28, 2011, 01:00PM

Self-criticism from Washington Capitals players has sharpened over the past week or so as marked improvement hasn’t shown itself in the form of results. More criticism came Wednesday from owner Ted Leonsis.

“Time is a wasting for us,” he wrote in a blog post. “Every point matters from here on out as we are stuck on 36 points.”

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It’s getting late awful early around here for the Caps, but recent history shows that being out of a playoff spot around the holidays is likely a harbinger of an early summer. Last year, the Buffalo Sabres were the only team out of the top eight in its conference at Christmas to make the playoffs.

Sabres players seemed to learn their lesson.

“We’ve got to start getting points. We know based on last year and previous years the way it goes, the way it is down the stretch,” forward Brad Boyes said. “For us now, it’s going to be real important to get points and get points against Eastern Conference teams.”

Leonsis brushed off the excuse of the first game after Christmas break being a let-down and said the Caps need to build confidence winning on the road.

But the next game is at home Wednesday night against the East-leading New York Rangers.

“Wish us luck – we may need it,” Leonsis wrote.