The Capitals lost their last hockey game of the season. The New York Islanders advance to the second round with a gentlemen’s sweep: four games to one.
Anthony Beauvillier scored two goals for the Isles, and a couple of empty-netters made it four. The Caps scored none.
I don’t like doing bullets for the elimination game. I’ll keep this brief: Despite a few moments of energy, the Capitals got hemmed by Trotz’s Islanders. The Caps didn’t have the puck, and some of them appeared not to have their wind so they kept committing stick penalties. Josh Bailey positively clowned Norris finalist John Carlson to give Beauvillier the second goal of the game.
This series was a disaster. Game four was magical, but it was ephemeral. It was the stuff of a fun night, not of a championship push. The Caps need to make some adjustments, and it’s just about time to talk about that in earnest.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) August 21, 2020
That’s about it. I don’t have anything else to analyze. I’m not sure when will be the next time we’ll have ant Caps hockey to analyze. I’m pretty sure whenever that is, Braden Holtby won’t be on the roster.
Holtby is my favorite all-time Capitals player. I rooted for him as a rookie, earning the hard hat in his first, short NHL appearance. Ian raved about him in Hershey and his intense pre-game routines. I cheered for him as he beat out strong *cough* competition to win the number-one spot for the Caps. I tweeted when I said he hoped he’d never reach the peak of his game. I watched as he put up a .940 average over four postseasons as his skaters just couldn’t give him any goal support. I covered him attending Pride parades and being a champion for less visible fans. I wrote about his Vezina win, then his fall from grace, then the indignity of losing his starting slot, then getting it back, then gift-wrapping a conference title for his team by shutting out the world’s best offensive team in back-to-back games. I covered The Save, then him raising the Cup, and him sharing the Cup with the people, and him speaking his mind and truth to power. He’s good people.
Number 70 rules. He’ll be a legend here forever.
And his team — his old team — they’ll be back. They’ll be different, but they’ll be back. There will be some coaching change; we’ll see how much. We’ll have a lot of the core back, maybe all of them. But it’s not going to be the same. It can’t be.
Anyway, sorry for being maudlin. I promise you that we are not going anywhere. We’ll be here for the rest of these playoffs and an uncertain fall and whatever comes after that. I don’t know what that will look like, but at some point I promise this will be fun again, and it’ll make you smile, and eventually it’ll give you reason to hug a stranger.
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