On Sunday, the Washington Capitals got arguably their worst performance of the season. And Lars Eller didn’t hold back as he reflected on what went wrong in the 6-3 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
When asked about the first period, which saw Tampa go up by four and Darcy Kuemper pulled for the first time, Eller ripped the team’s effort.
“It was the worst 20 minutes I’ve seen us play this year. We were horseshit, flat out,” Eller said of the effort. “We got to bring a whole different attitude, effort, battle, mentality… they just ran right over us. I think it just starts with the effort and attitude and mentality, and it just wasn’t there. We were way too casual, I thought maybe we thought we were better than we were. We need to humble ourselves.”
Eller, along with Conor Sheary and Garnet Hathaway, got Washington on the board in the second half of the game. However, No. 20 wasn’t pleased at all with that opening frame that set the tone for the loss.
READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways From Washington Capitals’ Worst Showing Of Year, Brutal Loss To Tampa Bay Lightning
“We have to be very aware of that, where we find ourselves in the standings right now. And our mentality, our play, our attitude out there has got to reflect that we are fighting for our lives. And today we were casual, almost a little bit arrogant. It was tough to watch, tough to be a part of.” Eller said, adding, “It was disappointing. It’s not what I think our true identity is, but today was. We can’t let that happen aain.”
The Capitals will regroup with a Monday practice before heading to Sunrise for a Tuesday tilt with the Florida Panthers. It will be the first time that D.C. will face the Panthers since falling to them in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.