- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
- Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says
- Michael Bloomberg thumbs FAA ban, plots course to Israel
- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
Loverro: No identity crisis for Caps
Question of the Day
At Capitals media day, the media members wanted to know why so many young players were invited to training camp as the team approaches the 2009-10 NHL season.
“We want to give all our first-year guys and rookies an opportunity to see what playing the established guys is all about, and we want to make them understand what Washington Capitals hockey is all about,” coach Bruce Boudreau said Saturday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Then Boudreau was asked, just what is Washington Capitals hockey all about? Does this team, this organization, have an identity, and what is it?
An identity can be a tricky thing. Let’s face it: Identity is just a dressed-up word for reputation.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have an identity that dates back nearly 40 years and through three coaches. When Mike Tomlin said before his Steelers played the Tennessee Titans on Thursday that the “most violent” team would win, it could have been 1975, and he could have been talking about a team with Joe Greene and Jack Lambert.
The Buffalo Bills once had an identity of being the greatest offensive team the NFL had ever seen. Then they lost four Super Bowls, and though they had won four AFC championships to get there, their identity became that of a four-time loser.
The Washington Redskins used to have an identity of a place players went to win. Now that organization’s identity is the place players go to get paid.
The Capitals have a tricky identity. The question doesn’t seem to be whether they will win a Stanley Cup, but when. That’s easy to do when the team is brimming with young talent and is led by the greatest hockey player on earth. But it is almost as if they have already been anointed - despite not even making the Eastern Conference finals, let alone the Stanley Cup Finals.
Alex Ovechkin certainly believes it is a matter of when. When asked where he sees his team now, Ovechkin answered: “On top. On top of everybody. Right now Pittsburgh is Stanley Cup champions. They have great team. I don’t think we’re losing something. We have same guys, maybe better. It’s our team. It doesn’t matter who win last year; it matter who win next year.”
The Capitals, though, don’t want the identity of being the greatest team that never won a Stanley Cup, or else they will start getting mentioned in the same class with the Buffalo Bills, and they will get a reputation as a loser - a ridiculous, unfair reputation, but one that sticks.
Washington is a long way from that reputation. It’s all good right now. Everybody loves the Capitals. They sold out their season tickets for the first time, and they are the league’s hottest traveling road show.
But they haven’t won anything yet.
“It’s time for us,” Ovechkin said. “The organization is doing well. Guys understand if we make the playoffs… we have to move forward and keep going.”
Here was Boudreau’s answer about what Capitals hockey is all about:
“I think our identity is firmly established. I think it is an identity of never quitting, working as hard as you can with an aggressive style of in-your-face hockey. That’s us - and playing for each other. I don’t think there is another team that celebrates goals where five guys look so happy after every goal, and the group is so together. This group, other than two or three players, has been together for the last couple of years. They know what I expect, and they know what I expect. That is the identity of this team.”
About the Author
- LOVERRO: CBS Sports leaves broadcasters hanging in Redskins name debate
- LOVERRO: Who are the men behind D.C. 2024 curtain?
- LOVERRO: Ian Desmond could follow Jeter model in D.C.
- LOVERRO: Red Klotz an unquestioned winner despite 14,000 losses
- LOVERRO: As King James returns home, all is forgiven
Latest Blog Entries
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq