When Mistakes Become Habits

A mistake is a misunderstanding, a misconception proceeding from insufficient knowledge.  Yet, when a mistake is repeated, it is no longer a mistake. Instead, it becomes a habit, something that becomes a regular tendency.

The Washington Capitals were making mistakes, but after yet another disappointing performance Tuesday in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, those same mistakes have now become second-nature.

Turnovers at the blue line; ill-advised pinching; porous defense. Lamenting over the same mistakes – if they can be called that at this point – has become tiresome not only to those who follow the Caps closely, but also to the Caps themselves.

“They seem to be the death of us every night,” Troy Brouwer said, adding that “LIMIT TURNOVERS” is written on the whiteboard where the Caps list their keys to games, advice they are apparently not heeding.

The aforementioned problems are far from the only ones. Washington has relied on average goaltending lately (minus a few exceptions) and considering the team’s recent offensive struggles (the Caps scored three goals Tuesday, which equaled the number of goals that they had scored in their previous three games combined), anything less than stellar is detrimental. All of these problems are the ingredients of a lethal combination that could ultimately kill Washington’s postseason aspirations.

“Those are the plays that cost you playoff series, don’t let you get into the playoffs,” Dennis Wideman – one of Tuesday’s biggest offenders – said.

Correcting mistakes is not particularly difficult, but breaking habits is hard to do. The problem with habits is that one always seems to revert back to them while attempting to correct them. Unfortunately for Washington, with 16 games left, it simply does not have the luxury of time.

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Filed under Capitals, NHL, Opinion

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