Posts Tagged ‘Washington Capitals’

Washington Capitals: The most futile playoff team in the history of American sports?

May 9, 2012

The Washington Capitals have made the playoffs 23 times in 29 seasons. That’s the good news. Now here’s the bad news:

The Caps are the most underachieving, unlucky team in the history of North American sports. Name a team that has failed to live up to its seeding in the playoffs more often than the Caps. You can’t.

The Caps are like Sisyphus, who in Greek mythology, according to Wikipedia, was a “king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.”

Caps fans are like Charlie Brown, about to kick the football, when Lucy pulls it away — time and time again. (Will Charlie Brown ever get the little red haired girl)?

If you arrived in town yesterday, you can say that the Caps aren’t the Chicago Cubs (no titles in more than 100 years) or the New York Rangers (no championships for the half century before 1994), but that misses the point. First, the Rangers did win a Stanley Cup before their drought. Second, no sports franchise has failed more often in relation to how long the team has been around. No team has more often lost as the higher seed (at least 10 times), lost more two-game series leads (seven), lost more three or four overtime playoff games (four) or lost more Game 7s (seven) than the Caps.

Now Washington is finding new ways to lose. With 6.6 seconds left in Monday’s Game 5 against the New York Rangers in the second round of the NHL playoffs, the Caps allowed the Rangers to tie the game and send it into overtime. Then just a minute-and-a-half into the extra period, Marc Staal got one past the Caps’ Braden Holtby.

The steady Joel Ward for some reason decided to hit a home run with Carl Hagelin’s head with 21.3 seconds left, earning a high-sticking penalty. Then the normally reliable Holtby did an “I’m rubber, you’re glue, everything bounces off of me, and then you score” routine.

Two games earlier, Washington fell in triple overtime to the Rangers, the fourth time in their history that the Caps have lost a three or four-overtime game.

Looking back at their history, the Caps have won a lot of regular season games, but only twice in 37 seasons have they clearly overachieved during the playoffs, in 1990 when they made it to the conference finals, and in 1998, advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

25 Greatest Washington Capitals, from Langway and Bondra to Ovechkin and Backstrom

May 5, 2012

Who is the greatest Washington Capital of all-time, Rod Langway or Alex Ovechkin? Where did the young guns of Ovie, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Alexander Semin come in on the top 25 list, if at all?  If the Caps continue their playoff run in 2012, it will enhance Ovie’s legacy. The two-time MVP’s play has slipped the past two years, but he’s still one of the NHL’s most dangerous goal scorers. Without further ado, here are the links to the Top 25 Caps of all-time, based on one writer’s opinion: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1140809-washington-capitals-25-best-players-in-team-history-from-langway-to-ovechkin and http://www.examiner.com/article/25-best-washington-capitals-from-langway-and-bondra-to-ovechkin-and-backstrom.

Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin need more veterans to compete for Stanley Cup

May 6, 2011

For the fourth time in four years, the Washington Capitals did not live up to their seeding in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Alexander Ovechkin had 10 points in nine games, but he has been hampered by an injury all year.  The Caps’ best players are all forwards: Ovie, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin.  But one of the problems with the Caps is that they are too young.  They need players who know how to win.  A look at the Stanley Cup champions from each of the past 10 seasons shows that all of those teams have multiple players over 30 who are either stars or major contributors.

The Caps have Mike Knuble, 38, and Jason Arnott, 36, but both have been banged up and Arnott only arrived in late February at the trade deadline.  It’s time for the Caps to make some changes and trade Semin or defenseman Mike Green for some veterans.  Owner Ted Leonsis’ extreme youth movement has led to good regular seasons, but the Caps have come up short in the postseason.  To read my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau’s wacky commercials: ‘I’ll need a big cup holder’

May 6, 2011

It was another early playoff exit for the Washington Capitals.  So what else is new.  It has been happening for 30 years now.  Will it happen for another 30 years?  Anyway, at least the Caps made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs before being swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning.  There is some good news.  Coach Bruce Boudreau won’t be fired, and his wacky commercials for Mercedes-Benz will continue.  To read my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Ovie leads Caps to 2-1 OT win over Islanders with game-winner

March 3, 2011

Alexander Ovechkin scored with 3:05 left in overtime to lead the Caps over the New York Islanders 2-1 Tuesday in D.C.  It was a spectacular end to end goal.  Brooks Laich tied the game up with less than a minute to go in regulation.

A couple of observations – the Caps narrowly avoided their 10th shutout of the year.  Last season they only had one.  Do teams that win the Stanley Cup get shut out 10 or more times in a year?  I don’t think so.

Second, Ovie only has 25 goals.  He had 50 last year.  This is like Michael Jordan scoring 28 a game one year and then 18 the next – a huge drop off.

Finally, the Caps got bood against the Isles.  A good sign as the fans are not just accepting being pretty good.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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Caps-Penguins Winter Classic Preview

January 1, 2011

The Winter Classic outdoor hockey game between Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins has been postponed from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday because of rain.

More than 60,000 fans are expected to attend the NHL’s fourth annual Winter Classic at Heinz Field. Rain is expected to taper off in Pittsburgh during the early part of the game, which will be telecast nationally on NBC. Temperatures at game time are expected to be in the low 40s.

The Penguins have the best record in the NHL, while the Caps have won four of five games after an uncharacteristic eight-game losing streak.  Despite the losing streak, the Caps are still tied for first place in the Southeast Division with 48 points.

Ovechkin has two MVP trophies to one for Crosby, but Sid the Kid won a Stanley Cup championship in 2009 and an Olympic goal medal while playing for Canada last February.

Washington won the President’s Trophy for the best record in the league last season, which was highlighted by a 14-game winning streak.  However, the Caps’ season came to a crashing halt with a shocking upset in the first round of the playoffs to eighth-seeded Montreal.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Kovalev leads Ottawa Senators past Washington Capitals, 5-4 in overtime

April 1, 2010

Alexei Kovalev scored a power play goal with 19 seconds left in overtime to lead the Ottawa Senators past the Washington Capitals, 5-4 tonight at Verizon Center.

Nicklas Backstrom was called for tripping Kovalev and was sent to the penalty box with 33 seconds left in overtime.

For the rest of the article see http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Headlines-Examiner.

Vancouver Winter Olympics: Swedish hockey team

February 23, 2010

Here’s a photo I took of the of the Swedish hockey team after their 2-0 victory last week over Germany at the Olympics in Vancouver.

Team Sweden after its 2-0 hockey victory over Germany at the Olympics in Vancouver. #19 is Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals.

Photo brought to you by www.mikeneedsakidney.com.

Washington Capitals’ 14-game winning streak snapped by Montreal Canadiens, 6-5

February 10, 2010

The Washington Capitals’ team record 14-game winning streak was snapped by the Montreal Canadiens tonight 6-5 in overtime.

Brooks Laich had a hat trick and tied the game at 5 for Washington with just 19 seconds left in regulation when he redirected a shot by Mike Knuble.

But Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec, who scored two goals, fired the game-winner past Jose Theodore with 7.5 seconds left in overtime.

For the rest of the article, see http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Headlines-Examiner.

Ovechkin’s Super Sunday: Hat trick leads Washington Caps over Pittsburgh Penguins for 14th straight

February 10, 2010

A game featuring the two best players in the NHL and pitting the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins against the red hot Washington Capitals lived up to its billing as the Caps beat the Pens 5-4 in overtime to extend their winning streak to 14.

Alexander Ovechkin’s hat trick outdid Sidney Crosby’s two goals as the Caps overcame a 4-1 deficit in a nationally televised game today at Verizon Center.

Mike Knuble capped the amazing comeback with the game-winner in overtime on a power play goal after Ovechkin’s shot clanged off the post.

For the rest of the article, see http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Headlines-Examiner.