Minnesota Wild reporter Michael Russo had some pretty critical words for the Washington Capitals on his latest episode of The Russo Hockey Show podcast released last week. The Athletic reporter straight up called out the Caps for using the NHL's Return to Play as a glorified summer vacation.
“Yeah, well, I mean the stories from inside the bubble about the Caps basically turning it into a vacation, having pool parties and things like that, you pretty much knew that they had no interest in being there,” Russo said when discussing the New York Islanders' easy series win over the Caps.
While we can't verify Russo's claims, it would certainly make sense. After all, the Capitals looked completely disinterested during the Round Robin Series and in their first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Isles. There was little to no pushback from the Caps and, as a result, head coach Todd Reirden lost his job. He was dismissed from his head coaching job just hours after bowing out of the playoffs and then hired as an assistant coach by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks reports that a "source close to the Capitals" has dismissed Russo's claims.
Check it out:
A source close to the Capitals, who asked not to be identified, said of Russo’s comment, “it’s BS.” The source explained that the team’s problems were hockey related and not due to how they spent their time in the bubble. “People used to make up stories like these about Ovi all the time. When in doubt, make up a disparaging story about Ovi for clicks.”
For what it's worth... these guys don't exactly look like they're focused on winning the Stanley Cup: