If the Washington Capitals' first two games have proven anything, it's that they are a work in progress struggling to learn a new system under a new coach.
The shortened season makes it even more important for them to be a quick study.
Washington looks to avoid its first season-opening three-game losing streak in nearly two decades Thursday night when it faces the visiting Montreal Canadiens.
After allowing three unanswered third-period goals in a 6-3 loss at Tampa Bay in Saturday's season opener, the Capitals lost their home opener for the first time since 2000, falling 4-2 to Winnipeg on Tuesday.
The start is the Capitals' worst since they dropped their first six games to begin 1993-94.
Any losing streak is magnified in the lockout-shortened season, and a quick training camp and lack of preseason games didn't give first-time NHL coach Adam Oates much time to implement his systems.
"At this stage of the year, there's a little confidence issue," Oates said. "We're all second-g...