When the Boston Bruins beat Vancouver last season in the Stanley Cup FInal, some Canucks fans reacted with riotous acts.
The Boston Bruins and the owner of the Washington Capitals are scolding hockey fans who let loose with a burst of racist comments directed at Joel Ward after the black Canadian player scored an overtime goal that won their playoff series for the Caps late Wednesday.
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.
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.
The Capitals will open the playoffs Thursday at the Boston Bruins, but are now being picked by most pundits to bow out in the first round — unfamiliar territory for a team used to home-ice advantage. But it's not something players are shying from.
It's games like Tuesday night's that make you wonder whether the Washington Capitals might be suffering from some mysterious malady.
Nene has been called a top-10 center in the NBA by several league analysts. If healthy, he could be a major piece of the rebuild the Washington Wizards began last year when they drafted point guard John Wall and ended the run of the former "Big Three" of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.
Ted Leonsis, ever the romantic, has been trying to paint the Sistine Chapel. He doesn't just want the Washington Capitals to be successful in the business sense, he wants them to be a club that contends for the Stanley Cup year after year — and is always part of the hockey conversation. Can't fault a guy for that. What Caps fan, after nearly four decades of Cup-lessness, doesn't yearn for the same thing?
Like a teacher with a classroom full of young students, Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman does what he can, given the challenges of a post-lockout season. The instruction, Wittman believes, is getting through to his charges. But then they promptly go out and flunk the test.