“This has been an ongoing thing and theme for the Caps,” Laughlin told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant & Danny.

“It’s sort of getting concerning to me,” he said, “because it’s not like it’s, ‘Oh, well, it’s two or three games and we haven’t played well.’ But when you really roll back the clock, and if you watch closely as you guys do, it’s been about a 20-game segment here and, that compared to the first 25 or 30, are totally different.”

“They are not playing Caps hockey,” he said. “They’re sloppy. They can’t seem to break out the puck cleanly. They’re struggling with defensive sort-outs in their own zone and going to the (guide), trying to do everybody’s job, instead of worrying about doing their own job. And because of that, they get thumped twice.”

“I mean this is a team that prides itself on not allowing a lot of goals against and then running up and scoring a ton, and that’s what’s made them such a great team, because they’re so good in transition,” Laughlin went on. “But now I’m not seeing that speed, guys, and it’s because they’re getting clogged down in their own zone, they’re misreading on the back-checks, they’re taking the wrong guy, and all of a sudden they’re having three-on-twos – a tic-tac-toe – some beautiful passing plays last night that are exposing the Caps.”

“The Caps have to really regroup in a hurry because this has been a long trend, and longer trends in sports are harder to break than these little, short spurts and problem areas,” he said. “They can be corrected by coaching, but right now this is a real concern to me.”

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