Capitals general manager George McPhee had plenty more to say on Friday after a midseason state-of-the-team address to local media. One intriguing storyline: Recent meetings with ownership, Ted Leonsis and Dick Patrick, provided some clarity, according to McPhee, who was light on specifics.

“Had some real good discussions with ownership over the last couple of days. They’re obviously not very happy. But they’ve been supportive,” McPhee said. “At times like this ownership can pile on and make things worse. Or ownership can say ‘How can we help and what we can do to make it better?’ And it’s been the latter. It’s been ‘How can we help, what can we do to make it better?’ And I provided some options and they provided some real fair direction, which was great.”

Asked about external pressure to make moves to help his 2-8-1 team. McPhee was frank. He hears the criticism, but can’t afford to listen to it. There’s an entire staff in place to make hockey judgments and he believes their overall track record is a good one – solid draft picks, an NHL team that has made the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs three of the last four years and five straight appearances in the postseason overall. But none of that will be enough to quiet critics and the terrible start has provided ample ammunition that the organization is not on the right track.

“The opinions that matter are the coaching staff and our pro scouts and ownership. We’re all on the same page,” McPhee said. “We’re disappointed with the way things have started. It’s not over.”

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