The Washington Times - June 13, 2009, 02:25PM

   The Stanley Cup championship victory by the Pittsburgh Penguins is leaving Capitals fans conflicted.
    First, and perhaps, foremost, is the hatred Capitals fans have for the Penguins. It seems to take precedence over everything else, and the Alex Ovechkin-Sidney Crosby rivalry has fanned the flames even more.
    But the fact is that the Capitals lost to the eventual Stanley Cup winners, which has to validate the Capitals success this year even more.
    It is also frustrating, because the Capitals had the Penguins down 3-1 in their series. If the Capitals had won, they would have likely gotten through Carolina, and it would have been Washington battling Detroit for the Stanley Cup.
    One fan suggested to me, though, that the drive the Penguins would be a far more driven and committed team next season if they had lost the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals, rather than winning the championship
    But also, there is that flicker of fantasy that it could have been the Capitals skating around the ice, hosting the Stanley Cup Friday night.



    I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM Washington on Monday, June 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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