Here are some tweets from 2018.
It was April 16. The Caps just lost a heartbreaker to the Columbus Blue Jackets, going down 0-2 in the series. This was what was in our menchies. Names have been changed to protect the sillies.
The Caps won their next four games. Then they won the Cup.
That was a different situation than now. The Caps really did play those first two games against Columbus well, and that is not the case in 2020. But there’s still a parallel, and there’s still a lesson.
First, it’s too tidy to individualize a team’s problems. It’s that JFK quote about success having a hundred fathers, but Todd Reirden is a loser who loses. I might be paraphrasing somewhat. There, for sure, are problems with Washington’s system in all three zones during even strength, and that’s on Reirden. But tactical mistakes like turnovers and flubbed passes can’t be explained by systems alone. If defenders are getting walked on the regular, that’s not a coverage problem, that’s might be a conditioning problem.
And that’s my second and final part. Boy, it sure does seem like everything sucks right now. But all that seeming is so strong because we’re feeling it in the wake of a couple powerful bummer losses. If Holtby had made an extra miracle save, or if Ovechkin could have hit that open net, or if Hagelin had any talent for scoring whatsofreakingever, we could just as easily be За здоровье-ing a win we’d just call “imperfect” or “unlikely”.
Don’t get me wrong: this team needs to get its act together in a powerful way. I’m just saying the distance from sucking to winning might not be as far as it seems.
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