- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2001

The Washington Capitals, with a record of 4-4-0, have been piling up some noteworthy statistics. Only half of them are positive.
In their four victories, the Caps have scored 17 goals and allowed six. In their four losses, the Caps have scored six goals and allowed 18. See a pattern developing?
In their four victories, the Caps have killed all 18 penalties. In their four losses, they have allowed the opposition to score an average of two power play goals a game.
"Today we just worked on our defensive zone coverage and defensive principles, eliminating mistakes whether it be turnovers or missed assignments in the defensive zone," said coach Ron Wilson yesterday after a longer than normal practice, which followed a 30-minute closed-door meeting. Practice was also stopped on more than one occasion while the coach either lectured the players or walked through what he was trying to demonstrate.
"[The mistakes] are killing us, not all the time but especially on those nights when we play the second of back-to-back games. We're not giving ourselves a chance to win, to be in the game. You owe it to yourself to give yourself a chance."
Washington gets to put Wilson's teaching to work immediately as it continues its second extended road swing of the young season tonight at the Tampa Bay Lightning and tomorrow night against Florida in Sunrise, Fla. The trip concludes Friday night in Atlanta.
The Caps practiced with just 20 players. Sitting out was right wing Jaromir Jagr, who "was just resting what he had before," according to the coach. "He tweaked his leg the other day in the game and missed a couple shifts but he's fine."
Also missing practice was defenseman Calle Johansson, who has been trying to operate in a battered condition since being hammered into the boards against Boston Oct. 8. The team refuses to detail Johansson's injuries but he has missed two games already, which is highly unusual. Wilson said Johansson would be in the lineup tonight.
Notes Brian Sutherby, the 19-year-old rookie who was centering the fourth line, has been returned to his junior team in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Sutherby, who had no points in seven games and was minus-3, was getting only about seven minutes of ice time a night, not anywhere near the amount of playing time he needs to advance his development. He cannot be recalled until his junior team's season is complete. Right wing Joe Sacco has been filling in as center of the line; the Caps said no call-ups were anticipated. … Steve Konowalchuk, who underwent shoulder surgery last week and will be out for 3-4 months, made a surprise visit to Piney Orchard yesterday. The left wing will now miss out at a possible spot on the U.S. Olympic team, especially hurtful because the Games are being played in his hometown, Salt Lake City. He said he had no option on the timing of the surgery to repair a dislocation; it was now or take a chance on missing the playoffs. The last time he did that, the Caps went to the finals.

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