The Washington Capitals lost their must-win game, ending their season with a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, losing the series 4-1.
If this ever seemed close, that was just a mirage.
Conor Sheary and Lars Eller tried, but only the former’s goal counted thanks to Evgeny Kuznetsov’s interference. Instead, the stupid soft goal that Ilya Samsonov allowed Patrice Bergeron was the game- and series-winner for Boston.
It should be said now that Boston was the better team. There were moments when that wasn’t the case — regulation of Game Two, but nearly everything else was a treatise on the many flaws of the 2021 Washington Capitals.
The Caps are older and slower. They’re broadly injured and playing through it stubbornly. They hit more, but they hit unwisely. Their zone-entry tactics are in shambles, serving to frustrate the team. Their top-six forwards were vastly outscored by their grinders. The relief to the relief goalie carried one game for 80 minutes and then blew it. He was not up to the job tonight.
So for the third consecutive year, the Capitals have been ousted in the first round of the playoffs. For the second consecutive year, the Capitals’ appearance in the playoffs has been nominal and mortifying. This team got pulverized, just as Todd Reirden’s did in the bubble last year.
So much is about to change. We don’t even know what yet. Alex Ovechkin? He needs a contract. There’s no guarantee he’ll get one in a world this uncertain. The Caps need to decide what they want to do with the troubled Evgeny Kuznetsov, as well as their unreliable goalies.
They need to overhaul their power play for damn sure.
And it’s important to note right now that the quality of the Washington Capitals as an on-ice entertainment product has never been lower during the Ovechkin era. Even Hunter hockey, even the Oates year and a half were not as tedious as this season was.
Farewell, weird year. You sucked.
Navy blue suit with a very stripey red and white tie pic.twitter.com/K7vt2fQwp0
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) May 23, 2021
So, uh, anyway, let’s move on. Let’s figure out a bandwagon to hop on. Let’s throw a party this summer. It’s just a game. Why do we heff to be mad?
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