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The Southeast Division can refer to the following: - Source: Wikipedia
Perhaps the early struggles and late run to the playoffs should have been predictable for a rookie head coach, especially given the lockout and shortened training camp. In looking back at his first season running a team, Adam Oates might take all summer to hone his craft for next year and beyond.
Scoring 23 goals in 23 games, he was the reason the Caps' season turned around. But totaling just a goal and an assist in seven games against the New York Rangers made him the focal point of yet another early playoff exit.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin knows full well that his playoff failures are adding up.
Holtby proceeded to stop all 29 shots he faced the rest of the game, and the Capitals’ offense matched that production in Washington’s 3-1 win. It was a promising start to Holtby’s second career playoff appearance and an extension of how well he played during the Capitals’ late-season run to the Southeast Division championship.
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.
After a victory late in the regular season that included two goals by Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom was asked if it felt like the "good old days" when the franchise cornerstones powered a high-scoring team. "It depends how it is in the playoffs," he said. "And we weren't that successful in the playoffs in the past."
Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane are as good as hockey players get. Their teammates are pretty good, too.
"Obviously, we have a little bit of history with them," right wing Eric Fehr said. "We've played them a number of times. It's going to be a man's series, no question. They've got a lot of big guys, and they like to play physical. It's a good challenge for us."
Scoring his 11th and 12th goals of the season, the defenseman reminded everyone of his value to the Washington Capitals in Saturday night's 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins.
Holtby will start the regular-season finale against the Boston Bruins as he and the Caps get into playoff pattern.
All Thursday night Washington Capitals players exchanged words and shoves with Ottawa Senators agitator Chris Neil, who got under their skin during a 2-1 overtime loss to the Senators.
In 205 days, three of the area's four teams in the major professional sports leagues won division titles. It's a start. Let's be clear on something, though: It is hardly a finish.
Spirits were high and the mood was loose, but coach Adam Oates ran his team through a full practice. It's business as usual as he and the Caps figure out how to approach this time before the playoffs begin.
It's Washington's sixth straight playoff appearance and fifth division championship in that time. It's also something that would have been difficult to envision at several points earlier this season. The Caps started 2-8-1 and were at the bottom of the NHL standings.
At 2-8-1 on Feb. 8 there was reason for doubt, same thing March 20 after a devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that put the Caps nine points back of the Winnipeg Jets. But one man didn't lose faith in the Caps: the rookie head coach whose positivity in the lean times so often ran opposite the trend of losing.