'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
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.
Ribeiro was second on the Caps in points (13 goals and 36 assists for 49) behind only Hart Trophy candidate Alex Ovechkin. Ribeiro was the Caps' first-half MVP, taking the load off Nicklas Backstrom and other stars who weren't producing early.
Who knew Mike Ribeiro's overtime goal on Friday would be the Caps' last of the season and that 72 hours they'd be sitting in their locker room wondering what happened.
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.
If 19-year-old rookie Tom Wilson wasn't wide-eyed during his 6:24 of uneventful ice time, he was afterward. He's unbeaten as a Cap, as Washington posted a 2-1 victory in overtime on Mike Ribeiro's first goal of the series
He hadn't scored for the Washington Capitals since April 18 and he hadn't scored in the playoffs since April 27, 2008. Still, the playmaking No. 2 center didn't let shifts that went by without production shake him.
Martin Erat won't be in the Washington Capitals' lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Friday night against the New York Rangers after suffering an apparent left wrist or forearm injury in Game 4.
The Rangers wondered where their offense was through two games, when they came up empty on seven power plays. New York scored one power-play goal in six chances in Game 3 and another just as a Caps penalty expired.
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.
Mike Green’s eighth career overtime goal and first overtime playoff winner earned Washington a 2-0 series lead and kept its home ice advantage ahead of Game 3 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. The Capitals were in this position two seasons ago and went on to beat the Rangers four games to one in the quarterfinals.
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.
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.
Forget the scoreboard-watching, forget the math. It's very simple for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.
Mike Ribeiro scored and Braden Hotlby stopped 35 shots for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals (24-18-2).
There is more to the Capitals' win streak than the play of those expected to play at such a high level. Steve Oleksy's play on defense, Jack Hillen's solid defense as well as his scoring surge, Jason Chimera showing he still has "it" – pretty much the entire roster is playing at a high level.
"He's a coach who likes to communicate and not scream," center Mike Ribeiro said. "Nowadays, players are looking for more of a players coach: a coach that can talk to you and be normal and respect you, and I think Oates did that with everyone."
Ribeiro, who made $5 million this past season, said Wednesday he wants a four- or five-year deal.