Perhaps the early struggles and late run to the playoffs should have been predictable for a rookie head coach, especially given the lockout and shortened training camp. In looking back at his first season running a team, Adam Oates might take all summer to hone his craft for next year and beyond.
Ovechkin was held scoreless for the final five games against the Rangers and said he had some "bruises" but nothing that affected his performance.
The Caps spent much of the past couple of weeks making officials part of the story of the series. Maybe that was the problem.
That the Rangers may be a smidge better is not arguable. Five-oh better? No way. That a tight series became a laugher in the finale can be, in part, blamed on the Caps' ugly playoff past. There's not an elephant in that room. There's a herd of them in there and it is not an easy thing to clear out.
Scoring 23 goals in 23 games, he was the reason the Caps' season turned around. But totaling just a goal and an assist in seven games against the New York Rangers made him the focal point of yet another early playoff exit.
Given the tightness of the series, it was shocking that the Caps did not put up a fight in being eliminated. And the end unfolded in stunning fashion.
Going into Monday night's deciding Game 7, Nash had just one assist amid plenty of speculation that he's playing through injury.
The Capitals committed five penalties during their 1-0 loss in Game 6 and never had a power play. Postseason success is rarely a tidy matter for this team, and another round of undisciplined play ensured that Sunday.
Against a team with a more functional power play, Washington would already be done. The Rangers are 2-for-26 with the man advantage (including 0-for-3 when up five-on-three) through six games.