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.
Given the tightness of the series, it was shocking that the Caps did not put up a fight in being eliminated. And the end unfolded in stunning fashion.
The Capitals committed five penalties during their 1-0 loss in Game 6 and never had a power play. Postseason success is rarely a tidy matter for this team, and another round of undisciplined play ensured that Sunday.
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.
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 Caps managed to right themselves and climb out of a two-goal hole, but an ill-timed penalty by Jason Chimera and breakdowns in the defensive zone proved disastrous.
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 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.
Fehr isn't the Caps' best penalty-killing forward; he's one of eight Adam Oates is able to rotate through. But his presence makes a difference short-handed.
Fans at Verizon Center leapt to their feet as soon as the whistle blew. The Washington Capitals hadn't scored a goal all afternoon, but with the Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green-led power play about to take the ice, it felt automatic.
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.
Joel Ward returned for Game 1 of the Caps' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers after missing the final nine regular-season games with a bruised left knee.
"So if we are able to retain Ribs next year, which I really hope they do, I hope it works out for both parties that you have that dangerous second-line center so you can roll over Nicky and Ribs one-two and have tough matchups for other teams to deal with."
"Every team has a star first-line centerman. Every team has a goal scorer," right wing Troy Brouwer said.