By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Around the league, the Washington Capitals are considered a star-studded team, especially with Alex Ovechkin a headliner when he comes to town. His fellow "Young Guns" - center Nicklas Backstrom, forward Alexander Semin and defenseman Mike Green - only add to that reputation.
The Washington Capitals are going to miss forwards Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley in some ways. Gordon was a key penalty-killer and faceoff man, Bradley wasn't afraid to drop the gloves and both worked hard on the fourth line.
Wednesday morning, some disparaging comments from former tough guy Matt Bradley about the Washington Capitals' playoff exit and Alexander Semin caused some controversy. Bradley questioned how playing time is divvied up in the playoffs, along with Semin's effort.
Matt Bradley spent six seasons with the Washington Capitals and was considered one of the top so-called "character" guys in the locker room. His laid-back attitude with teammates and up-front nature with members of the media made him popular behind the scenes, while his toughness on the ice ingratiated him to fans.
Since the Washington Capitals ran aground in the second round of the playoffs, their front office has had meetings with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Brooks Laich — the core Caps, in other words. The subject of the sit-downs? Leadership.
After the first day of NHL free agency, here's a look at the Washington Capitals players who are gone and the new ones signed to fill the holes:
If the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was any indication, familiarity breeds some entertaining hockey. That, and contempt, of course.
Watch the Lightning play in the neutral zone and you'll either be amazed by their structure or bored by how they're not really doing much.
The lockout has been lifted.
If you've followed the Capitals for very long, you're familiar with the sense of dread that can well up whenever a playoff game goes into overtime. This dread has been known by many names over the years — Pat LaFontaine, Petr Nedved, Martin St. Louis, Ray Ferraro. All of them have broken the Caps' hearts in OT (sometimes in quadruple OT), and there are plenty more where they came from.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers might be right that the waiting is the hardest part. But for Bruce Boudreau and the Capitals, it's a mixed bag.
As so often happens in playoff hockey, the more desperate team won Sunday. That would be John Tortorella's rough-and-tumble Rangers, who were in a 2-0 hole in the series and – at Verizon Center, at least – couldn't find the back of the net with a GPS.
Take nothing away from Michal Neuvirth, who shined in his Stanley Cup playoff debut against the Rangers in Game 1. But his Capitals teammates kept more than half of New York's shots from reaching him.
The turning point for the Washington Capitals came on Sunday, Dec. 12, when they were shut out 7-0 by the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is easily the Rangers' best player and is known for his vision - just about any shots he sees he's able to stop. "We just gotta ... get the puck to the net and get guys there and win the battles in front of the net," Caps center Marcus Johansson said. Putting traffic in front of Lundqvist is the way the Caps might be able to get to him. All-time, King Henrik is 11-6-2 against Washington.
He praised Semin's talent and said he wants the Russian winger "to be a great player for selfish reasons," because his production leads to success.
"I think we had some guys that didn't show up in playoffs, and I'll leave them unnamed. I think our locker room was maybe a little too nonchalant and guys weren't disciplined the way they should've been," Bradley said.