By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The young drop coverage to avoid higher premiums
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.
Joel Ward, Game 5 and the New York Rangers. That combination, before Friday night, was synonymous with missed opportunity and disappointment for the Washington Capitals. This year’s script was different, though. Friday night’s had a happy ending. As Ward glided toward his teammates to celebrate the Caps’ 2-1 overtime victory at Verizon Center, he was redeemed.
Alex Ovechkin can't get away from New York Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi. No matter if it's at Verizon Center or Madison Square Garden, the Washington Capitals captain will have to deal with being the focal point for the rest of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Replays showed Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson made mistakes on the play that led to Derek Stepan's goal at the 13:35 mark of the third period Monday night.
The power play did yield a goal by Alex Ovechkin that tied the score in the second period, but it was a gritty penalty kill that turned things around and gave the Caps the series lead over the Rangers.
A couple of weeks ago, Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy had a fresh set of stitches in his lower lip. They're gone now. Taking their place are a couple of scrapes that will probably be followed by a bruise on his right cheek. That's what happens when you take a puck to the face from close range.
Karlsson needed slightly more than two months after the gruesome mid-February injury to return, and the reigning Norris Trophy-winning defenseman was in the Senators' lineup Thursday at the Washington Capitals.
Even though injury has limited Erat to seven games in a Caps uniform, his arrival meant everything within a locker room of an Eastern Conference contender.
John Carlson had a cousin run in the Boston Marathon a year ago, and the Washington Capitals defenseman recalled his aunt and uncle going to watch the race. The Natick, Mass., native still has friends and family there and called Monday's bombings "terrible."
On Tuesday night he missed his 34th game of the year, and there's no telling when the 29-year-old forward will return. It might not be this season.
Seven of Brouwer's 16 goals through 41 games have come on the power play. Most of those the 27-year-old right wing fired home from the right faceoff circle.
Green scored the game-winning goal Saturday for the second straight game. It was also the 16th of his NHL career.
Back from another groin injury, Mike Green isn't worried about limitations, and the firepower that made him a star has seemingly returned.
George McPhee is either a genius who has been able to oversell or a schlub who got taken in a moment of delusion and mad desire to finally see his team make a real, live run at the Stanley Cup. We may know the answer in a couple of weeks. We may not know for a few years.
When the Washington Capitals raised four straight Southeast Division champions banners to the rafters of Verizon Center, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Alexander Semin led the charge. Semin is gone to the Carolina Hurricanes, and the rest of the 'Young Guns' are a little older now but still dangerous when they're on like they were Tuesday night.
"Of course we want to score goals and help the team," Johansson said. "There's no doubt about that, but I think we're creating chances and we're getting our chances to score, but we just can't seem [to get] the puck in the net. Sometimes it's like that, and I think if we keep playing the way we are, maybe a little better, we can score a lot of goals."