Latest Dale Hunter Items
After the Washington Capitals' 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 1, the scene inside the visiting locker room at Madison Square Garden was one of unpleasant reflection as players struggled to pinpoint why the intensity wasn't at a playoff level.
It's nice when the Washington Capitals get production from the likes of forwards Jay Beagle and Joel Ward. But in order to beat the New York Rangers, the core players — Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom — need to improve off their Game 1 performance.
Mike Green's brutal hesitation to get off the ice cost the Washington Capitals the game at Madison Square Garden in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien offered up a unique compliment about the Washington Capitals last week when he said they've adapted the "New York Rangers style" of sitting back and blocking shots. Call it paying the price, call it sacrificing, call it needing ice packs because rubber flying 100 mph hurts a little.
Joel Ward became a Game 7 overtime hero Wednesday night with his goal that sent the Washington Capitals into the second round of the playoffs. He joined his coach, Dale Hunter, in becoming the second player in franchise history to pull off that trick.
General manager George McPhee and owner Ted Leonsis were all smiles. Taking and giving congratulations in the visiting locker room at TD Garden, there was a palpable sense of relief after the Washington Capitals' 2-1 overtime victory in Game 7.
When talking about the best defensive defensemen in the NHL, players such as the New York Rangers' Dan Girardi and San Jose Sharks' Douglas Murray dominate the conversation.
This wasn't a historically close series by accident. The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins like playing on the edge, making it the first time in Stanley Cup playoffs history that all seven games were decided by one goal.
Unlike that scene in "Glengarry Glen Ross," you don't get a set of steak knives — or anything else — for finishing second in a Stanley Cup playoff series, no matter how memorable it is. All you get is the hurt that comes with knowing that you fell short, that the other team advanced and you didn't.