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Boudreau makes Capitals feel the agony of defeat

Wednesday, 11.09.2011 / 3:22 PM / NHL Insider

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Boudreau makes Capitals feel the agony of defeat
Players were down on the ice catching their breath during Wednesday's practice as coach Bruce Boudreau made them skate four sets of suicides in front of the gathered media.
What do you get after a three-goal loss on home ice? If you're the Washington Capitals, you get the wrath of Bruce Boudreau.

The coach put his players through a grueling, two-hour-long practice at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, about 13 hours after losing 5-2 to the Dallas Stars. Players were down on the ice catching their breath as Boudreau made them skate four sets of suicides in front of the gathered media.

Some of the better tweets from those covering the practice:

Chuck Gormley, CSN (@ChuckGormleyCSN)
The bag skating has begun at Kettler Capitals Complex following 5-2 loss to Dallas. Alex Ovechkin on all fours!

Katie Carrera, Washington Post (@kcarrera)
#Caps practice has been going on for 20-25 minutes at this point, some players are already looking a bit gassed.

Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Post (@TarikElBashir)
#Caps practice has been going for about 20 minutes. Suicides, followed by 11 separate one-on-one battles. Players hunched over already.

Brian McNally, Washington Examiner (@bmcnally14)
Dennis Wideman looks like he's dreaming of a beach in Caribbean. 4th round of sprints. Full length of the ice this time. Go, boys, go! #caps

It was a practice that put the one portrayed in the movie "Miracle" with Herb Brooks to shame.

“It’s not something you do off the cuff,” Boudreau said. “The initial thought is you’re so mad you want to do something and then you have to sit and say, ‘Okay, you’re mad, let’s do the right things here. What’s best for the group and everybody?’ You talk it over with the assistant coaches and we come to a decision that the initial thought is probably the thought that was going to work in this case. It’s not something that you do every day because if it’s one of those things that if you do it every day, it’s not going to work.”

After a 7-0 start, the Caps are 2-4 in their last six games. They won't play again until they visit the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Mike Knuble hopes the players get the message that their recent play is unacceptable. Knuble, who offered strong words about the team's poor effort Tuesday, addressed those comments after the practice.

"Yeah. I mean I probably could've used a little more tact or whatever," said Knuble, who admitted he was wrong to address the media before the team. "I'm not a fan of talking about my team to everybody else before I talk amongst yourselves. I probably could've used some better words, maybe. I don't know. But the fact is we're not playing well, and that was pretty evident in our practice."
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I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday