Written by Andy Dunk
Twitter- @kjackmansports, facebook.com/jackmansports
After another superb regular season, the Washington Capitals again find themselves heading home early. The Lightning brought their brooms out yesterday and swept the Capitals away eliminating them in four games. The image of Alexander Ovechkin’s frustration after another disappointing playoff run will be one that Capitals’ fans will not easily forget. Being down three to nothing, the Capitals came up empty trailing the entire game. This early exit comes just one year after the Capitals blew a three to one series lead against Montreal last year.
Two years, two number one seeds, and two early exits, the Capitals have been an utter disappointment.
So whose to blame?
When failures happen, many jump right to the top. Many will blame Coach Bruce Boudreau. He was able to coach the Capitals to an incredible regular season record but they looked out of sync throughout the series. The Capitals defense was weak throughout the second round. They gave up 16 goals in four games and did not get the goaltending or defense needed to win in the postseason. Sean Bergenhelm Vincent Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis each had big series for the Lightning on offense. While Tampa is a talented team, the Capitals were the favorites in this series.
While maybe unfair, a lot of blame is being put on Alexander Ovechkin. While he tallied ten points in the playoffs and was a physical presence, many question now whether he is a winner. In sports, performance is not judged by regular season feats but rather postseason success. In basketball this year, had Lebron James won MVP and led the Heat to the first seed only to lose early in the playoffs, it would have been a disappointing year. This is how Capitals fans have felt each of the last two seasons and many put the blame on their leader and captain.
After a subpar Olympics with Russia in terms of wins and yet another postseason loss, whether Alexander Ovechkin can be a winner is still yet to be determined.