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First Response

Note: This post was written in complete and total anger.  It very well might be nothing more than the babbling of a mad man.  After I’ve cooled off, I’ll post a more levelheaded review.

I don’t know why I let myself buy into this.  For 90% of the season, I firmly believed this team was not a Stanley Cup team.  When they made the move for Erat (don’t get me started on that again), I said it made no sense for a non-contender team to make that move.  And yet, here I am.  Sitting in complete disgust after they laid a massive egg against the Rangers in Game 7.  Disgust at the product I just saw on the ice and that I was dumb enough to buy it.

You know, hats off to Lundqvist.  He was absolutely amazing in this series.  That being said, the Caps certainly made it easy for him tonight.  Instead of simply shooting the puck and crashing for rebounds, the Caps somehow were still over passing.  I still can’t believe I watched the first line (Backstrom, Ovechkin, Johansson) pass the puck four times just to let STEVEN OLEKSY shoot the puck.  How does anybody see that as an acceptable hockey play?  They say Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and expecting different results.  Yeah, that fits this team.

And when is anybody going to call Ovechkin on his little faceoff plays?  It has long become normal that any offensive zone faceoff from the right wing side will see Ovechkin line up behind Backstrom, looking for a one timer off the faceoff.  This happens about 4-5 times a game, and nets about 2-3 goals over the course of a season.  The problem, as was the case multiple times in this series, is that when Ovechkin doesn’t score, he tends to shoot wide.  This naturally leads to a loss of possession and the other team coming back.  You might as well mark it up as a faceoff los.  You can’t expect to find success by missing the net.

But I don’t want to come off as overly harsh on Ovi.  He played his tail off tonight from the start.  His linemates? Not so much.  Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom have been absolutely invisible this series.  We can all go back to Game 3 where they were part of a couple odd man rushes, only to pass up the shot for a non-existent pass.  While we’re on Game 3, I’d be remiss not to mention the dreadful final powerplay (really a 6-on-5) that saw the Caps not fire off a single shot.

And so here I sit watching my team shake hands and give the final salute to the fans.  After a game they could’ve won.  After a game, they probably should’ve won.  But you know, they just weren’t contenders.

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stibbens's avatar

Seem cogent to me.  It’s as if the franchise is just another market to slake the appetite for hockey in the metro Washington area and to make a lot of money. Aspirations to hockey greatness are not in the Capitals organization’s DNA, so it seems.  Within the organization there is no real commitment necessary to be a contender, particularly at the top.  That is where begins and ends, at the end of the day.

Posted by stibbens on 05/13/13 at 11:47 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Within the organization there is no real commitment necessary to be a contender, particularly at the top.  That is where begins and ends, at the end of the day.

This!  From an outsider’s perspective, I feel Leonsis makes excuses for the team at times (via his blog) and that sends a very bad message- perhaps not excusing losses, but behavior and the like.  He certainly seems to care a lot, but he’s just not really pushing the right buttons.  It’s like a new, internet generation Jerry Jones (or even Dan Snyder) in the sense that he’s probably an obstacle to his own success by virtue of being too involved in the process.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/14/13 at 01:27 AM ET

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About F Street Faithful

Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate.  This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals.  The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.

In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at  York College of Pennsylvania.  I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland. 

You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at overtheboard@gmail.com.