Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/23/12 at 11:29 PM ET
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Different teams melt down in different ways. Columbus, long a lonely outpost in the National Hockey League, simply dug its way into an obscurity so deep that the only way out has been to put its finest shovels on the auction block. Montreal has descended into an operatic wreck, in one and sometimes two languages. Tampa Bay has practically vanished into the Florida air, Steven Stamkos notwithstanding.
And then there is Washington, which is imploding like modern American governance, filled with rancor and idiocy and sulking. The Capitals were the best team in the NHL’s Eastern Conference last season; the year before that they won the President’s Trophy with the best record in the league; the year before that they came within a game of toppling the eventual Stanley Cup champions from Pittsburgh.
And today the Capitals are imploding like an old Vegas casino. Their best player is concussed, and more, their best player is not Alexander Ovechkin, who is also struggling with a lower-body injury. The coach they hired out of junior to replace the coach they fired has benched players for their plus-minus, or for taking penalties, and gotten the goaltender’s agent to fire back at him over criticism of the goalie. Oh, and the coach they fired has his Anaheim Ducks on a fine little 15-3-4 run. Not bad.
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