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Is It Fair To Call The Washington Capitals Chokers?

from Neil Greenberg of Capitals Insider,

In fact, it is because this team wins so much that it has fostered what I like to call a Culture of Perennial Disappointment: failing to advance past the second round since its dark-horse run in the 1998 Stanley Cup playoffs.

So, we should be able to agree this organization is made up of winners. However, is it also made up of chokers?

You know, calling the Caps “Choking Dogs” used to be funny. But it isn’t any more. Because it has been happening for 12 years. In nine of their past 12 playoffs the Capitals have either frittered away a substantial playoff lead or lost to a team they finished above in the regular season.

That was Tony Kornheiser’s Washington Post column from 1996, after Washington won the first two games against Pittsburgh before dropping the next four, leading to a first-round exit — a trend that plagues this organization with the term “chokers.” But it is a moniker that, sadly, has been earned.

The Capitals have the worst postseason record in games in which the team can win the series with a victory (minimum 10 games played in those situations):


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



The Capitals have a habit of playing dumb, gutless, timid hockey in the post season and, for that matter, even against good teams in general whether the contests take place during the regular season or the playoffs. And favorite whipping boy Alex Ovechkin doesn’t deserve all—or even most of—the blame, in my opinion. Where the hell did Mike Green, Troy Brouwer Niklas Backstrom and Mike Ribeiro vanish to?? Where did Bakstrom—you know, the player who scored 33 goals three years ago—disappear to?? And please don’t give me that “Well, he’s a great assist man” shit. YES, he IS. But the season that he scored 33 goals (2009) he still found time to dish out 68 assists—which strongly suggests that he has the talent to do BOTH… As a matter of fact, ever since 2009, his goal totals have gone down each year from 33 to 18 to 14 to 8 in this past strike-shortened season. Like Alex, he doesn’t always move his feet and he often looks lazy, but because he’s a nice, mild-mannered type he doesn’t catch much grief for his lack of productivity in the goal scoring department.

I’ve said all along that the Capitals lack two-way players—you know: the kind the Pittsburgh Penguin roster is FILLED with. And I lay this flaw at the feet of their stupid-assed GM Mike McPhee who—as a former player for the Rangers and Devils—ought to know better. Then again, this is the same genius who thought his Caps would “WIN RIGHT NOW” by trading a talented, skilled 21 year old forward (Phillip Forsberg) to the predators in exchange for a 31 year-old retread who hadn’t scored 20 goals in his most recent three campaigns (Martin Erat). But once again the gutless invertebrates in Washington’s media pool fail to give that fact the attention it deserves..

The bottom line is that the Capitals are NEVER going to win a Cup the way they’re currently constituted, and McPhee will see to it that this club continues to fall short when it counts most by making mystifyingly dumb personnel moves year after year until the owner grows a pair and makes McPhee his next pink slip victim…


Santa Monica

Posted by cashmagnet on 05/21/13 at 12:20 PM ET

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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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