So here’s a strange situation. The Washington Capitals have lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games, earning elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Again.
This iteration of the team, probably the strongest in franchise history, will not advance past the second round. Again.
Game Seven wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good either, but the Caps really stunk in their own zone. Matt Niskanen and Kevin Shattenkirk (among others) didn’t have an answer for an aggressive Penguins forecheck. Braden Holtby made some white-hot, high-danger saves, but not following those two defensive-zone breakdowns.
And perhaps it’s worth noting that for all the Caps offense, they once more couldn’t weave any of that straw into goals. Two goals-against isn’t the end of the world when you can score three. But the Caps could not, and so here we are.
(MAF, you bastard.)
The Pittsburgh Penguins could not be more inside the heads of the Washington Capitals. A year to the day after the Pens sent the Caps packing, they’ve done it again. Ted should charge them rent.
Uncle Ted of the night, of the season
That was it, by the way. That was the slamming shut of the two-year Cup window that general manager Brian MacLellan identified. Ovi’s gone gray, Oshie’s unaffordable, and a whole bunch of players need new contracts. We just watched the fizzling of Washington’s last best chance at a Stanley Cup.
Maybe we’ll sleep this off, get a tan, and see what the Caps have in store for us next year. Maybe the expansion draft will be kind, and maybe all those young players that have been so terrific this season will be given more opportunity next year. Maybe there’s a bit of daylight left in that window.
That’s a concern for another day. For now, we have to marinate in our own juices, the juices of DC sports misery. Let’s all wallow in the suck.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, partly because we do it together. And partly because the journey is more important than the destination. If you’re only in it for a championship, then you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.
Hey, thank you for reading RMNB this season. I’ve had a lot of fun, even though it hurt and now it’s over. But I’ll be here in the fall, rolling that rock up the hill one more time. Maybe next year. 😉
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