By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Because the Washington Capitals were done before the final horn in Game 7 Monday night, those watching had some extra time to contemplate general manager George McPhee's work this offseason. But after the Caps became the only NHL team to make the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the past six years and not reach at least the conference finals, don't expect much to look different when they open the 2013-14 season.
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.
The Capitals' reputation as a team that can't get it done in the playoffs is well-established. Here's a look at how each playoff exit happened, with some help from ex-coach Bruce Boudreau.
Now years and thousands of miles removed from his own glory days with the Washington Capitals, all Bruce Boudreau can do sometimes is prepare and hope. He has Anaheim in the playoffs in just his second year behind the bench, but he knows a regular-season turnaround like he authored in Washington isn't enough.
Adam Oates coaches the Capitals, which means he coaches Alex Ovechkin. So of course he's going to be "very biased" when discussing the Most Valuable Player candidacy of the man who has put the Caps on his back like a big ol' piano and carried the team to the cusp of the NHL playoffs.
Having lost four in a row, Anaheim's players weren't feeling great, right wing Teemu Selanne said. But their coach knew full well that one victory could turn things around.
The Anaheim Ducks lost that winning feeling. Losers of four in a row since beating the Chicago Blackhawks, another game against the team right above them in the Western Conference might be just what they need to break out of this slump.T
When Capitals coach Adam Oates played with the Boston Bruins, he watched defenseman Ray Bourque work his way to legendary status, and now he's transferring some knowledge over to Mike Green.
Most of these Washington Capitals players aren't used to needing to climb the standings to get into playoff contention.
Ovechkin still enjoys scoring goals, but he's no longer the kid at Christmas he used to be. The goals don't come quite as easily anymore, at least not often enough to drown out the wave of criticism around him.
When the Washington Capitals are on, they're a thing of beauty to watch.
There was a reason why when Adam Oates learned the NHL lockout was ending, he and his coaching staff sprinted to the Washington Capitals’ offices to get ready for the season. Time was short and the to-do list was long. That was on full display in the Capitals’ 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday to open the season.
When the Washington Capitals' season ended in 2010 with a stunning first-round loss to the Montreal Canadiens, general manager George McPhee faced the question. After Bruce Boudreau's run-and-gun Caps dominated the NHL for most of the regular season, it was all over in seven games. No Stanley Cup, no nothing. If the best team in franchise history can't win it all, how soon until the "window of opportunity" closes on Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals?
If there's one thing we're reminded of in sports, over and over again, it's that the direction of franchises can change in an eye blink. It happened fast for the Nats and Caps; will the same be true for the Redskins?
The Washington Capitals handed defenseman Mike Green a three-year, $18.25 million contract in hopes that he can recapture his past brilliance.
"It was Varly's rookie year and he played a lot of games in succession. I thought maybe after Game 4 he was looking week, but I didn't pull him," Boudreau said. "If I'd have pulled him after Game 4 and put Theo in, I think we would have at least had a rested Varly for 6 and 7 because Game 7 he was horrible, Game 6 was a [5-4 overtime win]. Again, he looked weak."