Thursday, July 29, 2010

NHL 2010 Playoffs: Capitals Eliminated by Canadiens

From True/Slant on April 29, 2010:

Ovechkin and the Capitals humiliated by the Canadiens in the first round of the NHL playoffs

Image by wfyurasko via Flickr
The reviews of the Washington Capitals’ 2010 post-season are in. They are … let’s put it this way, if the Caps post-season were a Broadway show, it would close immediately, never to be revived:

Scott Burnside at ESPN says,

"Call it heart or soul or character or whatever you want, but the Capitals don’t seem to have it. And until they find it, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be more of these shocking conclusions in the nation’s capital."

Tracee Hamilton at the Washington Post says,

"But the day before Game 7, Ovechkin skipped the optional skate. Nearly everyone else showed up. Semin was also a no-show. One might have thought he could use the practice. One might have thought his captain would tell him so. But it’s hard to lead by example when you’re not in the building. It’s a small thing, but it’s not, not in team sports."

Dan Rosen at says

"Suffice to say, Ovechkin has not had a good last two months.

He was supposed to lead his country to a medal in Vancouver, but they fell flat against Team Canada and departed Vancouver with nothing hanging around their necks but shame. Ovechkin was also caught on video shoving a cameraperson and criticized for not being forthcoming with the English media in Vancouver.

He was supposed to lead the Capitals to the first Stanley Cup in team history, or at the very least to the Stanley Cup Final. They couldn’t make it out of the first round against a team that couldn’t even win when it had to in order to make the playoffs."

Sarah Kwak at Sports Illustrated says:

"While Halak’s performance made the upset possible, it was the team around him that made it happen. Clearing pucks around the crease, skillfully blocking shots with pressure instead of blinding screens, the Canadiens offered more evidence to support the old sports adage, “Offense wins games; defense wins championships.”

That’s what Blue Jackets forwardR.J. Umbergerwas alluding to when he called the Capitals out for their go-go style, saying, “They play the wrong way. They want to be moving all the time. They float around in their zone, looking for breakaways and odd-man rushes. … A good defensive team is going to beat them (in the playoffs). If you eliminate your turnovers and keep them off the power play, they’re going to get frustrated because they’re in their zone a lot.” Umberger’s got a future in coaching — or clairvoyance."

Hockey’s best player, Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby, hasn’t spoken about it. He’s far too dignified and polite to honk his own horn by comparison to the Great Eight (irony intended). No doubt Sid is a better person than I am, so maybe he’s not enjoying the shame and ignominy of Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau & Company.

But I wonder, if somewhere deep inside Sid the Kid, far from the prying eyes of the media, and even his teammates, if he doesn’t have a tiny little envy monkey who is whispering, “Told you so. Told you Ovie is not the best player in hockey. Neener, neener, neener.”

I kinda hope he is.

Meanwhile, Boudreau and Ovie have to live with this gem on their resumes: A No. 1 seed had never blown a three-games-to-one lead to a No. 8 seed since the current playoff format was adopted in 1994. First time for everything, I guess.

Is anybody else enjoying this as much as I am?

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