The Washington Capitals have not gotten past the second round of the playoffs during Nicklas Backstrom’s 11-year career in the NHL.
Clearly, all that postseason losing has humbled the Swedish center. When speaking to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan recently about this year’s playoff run, Backstrom sounded more like a jaded fan.
“If you look at our playoff records and how we’ve been, it can’t get any worse,” Backstrom said to Khurshudyan.
Backstrom’s not wrong.
After winning the President’s Trophy during the 2009-10 season, the Capitals lost in the first round to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens. During the past two seasons, despite being the best team in the league both years, the Capitals have lost to the Penguins in the second round and watched as Pittsburgh won consecutive Stanley Cups. The Capitals are an abysmal 1-9 all-time against the Penguins in playoff series.
Despite winning a third-consecutive Metropolitan Division title this season, the Capitals scuffled defensively and were plagued by poor underlying play, lowering expectations for this year’s playoff run.
“I think we understand who we are,” Ovechkin said on Tuesday. “We know exactly what we have to do to have success, how we have to play to be better and get a win.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 10, 2018
Now the question is: Can the Caps do it this year?
S/T to @Jupton80.
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