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Bolts/Caps Before Game 6

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

For a team that many have selected as their pre-season favourite for each of the past few years, it seems almost anticlimactic. And yet, after missing the playoffs last year and losing in the conference final in 2016, no one is taking this run for granted.

“I don’t know if we’ve really sat here and said, ‘Oh, we’re just going to rush to the Stanley Cup final,’” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “If there’s anything that’s helped this team, we’ve kind of not done that. It’s so hard to win in this league, and the parity is so tight, you just can’t look too far ahead. I know when we went in 2015, all of a sudden the regular season didn’t seem near as exciting as the playoff run, and we just couldn’t wait to get back. You just find out how hard it is to win.

“That’s our ultimate goal, to get there. But I think they haven’t put the cart before the horse. There’s still a lot of work to do in this series. I think that’s why we’ve had some success.”...

For the Capitals, it’s a much different story. Few picked them to get past the two-time defending champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, much less be two wins away from the Stanley Cup final. At the same time, it’s a bit of a shock that they are on the brink of elimination considering how this series began.

Washington appeared to be in the driver’s seat after winning the first two games on the road and taking a 2-0 lead. But after losing three straight, the ghosts of the franchise’s past playoff troubles have once again come out of the attic.

“This group seems to never do anything really easy,” said Washington head coach Barry Trotz, referencing not only the adversity that the Capitals faced in the first round when they came back and won after being down 2-0 to Columbus, but also years and years of playoff disappointment.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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