Today sucks. Our cosmically bad-luck Washington Capitals are losing to the Penguins again in the playoffs. Despite out-shooting (35-21) and out-attempting (83-41) the Penguins by wide margins, the Capitals fell in regulation 3-2 after Nick Bonino scored on a late third period breakaway.
But here’s where I flip the script and say something that I’ve never said before: losing may have proved to be the best thing this Capitals team could have done.
Before this season, the Capitals have played the Penguins nine times in the playoffs. They’ve lost eight of those series (11 percent winning percentage) and the Penguins have gone on to win the Stanley Cup four of those years.
But then there’s this fun fact. The Capitals had previously won Game One against the Penguins eight of nine times. Sure, the one year they lost Game One (2000), the seventh seeded Penguins defeated the second seeded Capitals in five games, but that’s not important. The point is something weird historically is already afoot in this series.
The Caps-Pens postseason script usually goes like this: the Capitals take a commanding, early-series lead against the Penguins and then choke at the very end.
But is it possible for the Capitals to choke in a series they’re immediately trailing in? The answer is no, you guys, and that might be setting the stage for a different result this year.
Here are a few more facts that might make you slightly more optimistic.
— WinnersView (@AskWinnersView) April 28, 2017
Jay Beagle said it best this morning.
Caps Jay Beagle: “We woke up. The sun is shining. It’s one game.”
— Chris Gordon (@Chris_Gordon) April 28, 2017
It’s only one game — one game the team has typically won. But maybe this year is actually different.
Thanks to NBC 4 meteorologist and Frederick County native Amelia Draper for inspiring me to write this story.
Headline photo: Patrick Smith
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