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Caps claim first Presidents' Trophy

Southeast Division? Check.

Eastern Conference? Check.

Presidents' Trophy? Check.

The Caps clinched their first No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs -- and home ice through the Stanley Cup finals -- thanks to the Sharks' 5-4 OT loss in Colorado tonight.

Now, there's only one thing left for Alex Ovechkin and Co. to win.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 4, 2010; 10:34 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps complete regular-season trifecta

Comments

Go Caps!

Posted by: glb8p | April 4, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!!!

Posted by: vm114 | April 4, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Woot!!

Posted by: dezlboy1 | April 4, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Caps! Now let's finish the season strong!

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 4, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I sorta wish they had won the trophy with a win of their own...but either way it's a great first for the franchise.

Posted by: ilovesteckel | April 4, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Capitals. Congratulations to the players, Coach Boudreau and his staff, Mr. Leonsis, GMGM and the entire organization. A big day in Washington Capitals history.

Posted by: rhollebon | April 4, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

won the division.
won the conference
won the presidents' trophy

one last thing to win...

Posted by: snappytommy1 | April 4, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody else think SJ would seize momentum after the Avs failed to even get a decent shot on the 4-on-3?

And did you see Blake's viciously board Mueller with just a couple of minutes left in regulation? They didn't even call a penalty.

If Ovechkin's hit on Campbell was suspension-worthy, so was that one. They can still suspend players even if the refs miss a call so I hope the league shows some consistency in this case.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 4, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't see it being any different this way than if they had gotten it with a win. They played themselves into first, and they have gotten their prize. Now, let's finish the teams in the last few games and see what new franchise mark we can set! All four games are against playoff caliber teams, so this will be a good test.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 4, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sonyask | April 4, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 36 years for this one~ The cup is in Wshington this year !

Posted by: bmartin230 | April 4, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv
I know what you mean--the Caps earned it with the 51 wins they had already posted. It just would have been an awesome scene to have clinched it with a victory at Verizon tomorrow.

Posted by: ilovesteckel | April 4, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

won the division.
won the conference
won the presidents' trophy

Two things left to win Prince of Wales Trophy and the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 4, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

ilovesteckel - I absolutely agree, but now we get to cheer on the President's Trophy winners tomorrow night. Got a ticket for my sister to go with me - I picked a great game for it!

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 4, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess that since history is taken into account, Blake may avoid suspension. He should at least get a fine. Mueller was having a great game, too. That probably motivated the Avs a little after giving up the 2 goal lead.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 4, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Caps. It's been a long time coming. I'm a proud proud fan!!

Posted by: cbs75 | April 4, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

i saw the hit, and it sorta reminded me of the ovechkin on campbell hit. mueller, like campbell, was in a bad position and got pushed from behind, and he seemed to lose an edge. i'm shocked that ov got a game misconduct and blake got nothing. but we'll see suspension-wise.

it's interesting that the Caps clinched the division, conference, and league by other teams losing.

better to focus on the new hardware coming our way and the road still ahead!!

Posted by: washcaps | April 4, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@tmac: I'm a Caps fan in Colorado, so I root for the Avs in the Western Conference. And I'd have to say that the Blake hit wasn't a penalty at all, and shouldn't warrant a suspension. He clearly came from the side, and I'm not sure why Mueller fell the way he did. Still glad he got the couple of goals though. Go Caps!

Posted by: glb8p | April 4, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Standing OVation when the Caps hit the ice tomorrow? I would say so!

Posted by: dezlboy1 | April 4, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Why do people seem "sad" or "upset" that the Caps didn't clinch with a win? Its not like they aren't gonna win again before 11 April or that they somehow backed into it. Geez.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | April 4, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Washington Capitals!

I think this is a great accomplishment.

In my mind, anyone can win or lose any given playoff series. As everyone by now knows, a mediocre team with a hot goalie can ride a wave all the way to the Cup. But it takes a truly great team to emerge at the top after 82 games.

Not many people will remember this team winning the Presidents' Trophy years later, whether or not they go on to win the Cup. I know this. You don't have to tell me. But I will remember it as long as I live.

The playoffs are interesting in and of themselves. But, to me, so is the regular season--it's interesting in and of itself. To me, it's not all about just being one of the top 16 teams and who gets extra home games in up to four postseason serieses. To me, it's primarily about the Presidents' Trophy, in and of itself.

The notion that is implicit in all the "but it doesn't matter if we don't win the Cup" type comments is basically that I'm allegedly not allowed to view the Presidents' Trophy as if it is significant. But I don't care even if everyone claims to disagree or claims that it is invalid for me to regard it with significance.

I am saddened that the NHL no longer bestows upon the #1 regular season team the moniker "NHL League Champions" (see, e.g., http://www.classicauctions.net/Default.aspx?tabid=263&auctionid=23&lotid=4), but I still do.

I've been rooting for the Capitals since I was a little kid, since 1976, and I am happy that this day has finally come.

Now, I'd ALSO like to see a Stanley Cup. But not winning it would by no means mean that this season was a waste. This is a great accomplishment, and I'm proud of the entire organization, from Mr. Leonsis on down. Congratulations!

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 4, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: youaresquishy | April 4, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Sydney Crosby has never won the President's trophy, so make sure you score that one, Micahel Wilbon...

GO CAPS, and for those of us who stuck it out through 05-06 and 06-07, we can go to sleep with an especially big smile... :-)

Hopefully bigger things to come though...

Posted by: rademaar | April 4, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@glb8p

I respect your opinion and thought the same thing initially but Blake's arm went directly into the back of Mueller. I thought it was a clear cut boarding even though it was likely unintentional on Blake's part. He was trying to hipcheck him but he caught him from behind.

I'll post a vid as soon as I find one so we can all take a look at it.

Maybe I was wrong but it certainly looked like he ended up getting him from behind.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 4, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

This is fabulous, but I think it's better the Caps have achieved these interim goals passively: it keeps the celebration focused on the ultimate goal. Perhaps not experiencing that feeling of achievement by doing so with a win of their own will keep their feet on the gas even more in anticipation of finally celebrating all of these achievements.

Posted by: Steakum | April 4, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to Pink Floyd, "another brick in the wall"...on to Lord Stanley's Cup, boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: NorthFork1 | April 4, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I second that last post. They were going to clinch it. I am actually glad to be able to welcome them tomorrow night as the #1 team in hockey.

Let's play like it now.

Posted by: Rainier1 | April 4, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Good job. It's crazy looking at the standings this season and seeing that Washington has scored 60 more goals than anyone else in the east. That's pretty amazing. Now they really need to get their focus back and hope Theo and Varly don't fall apart. I think a first round matchup with the Rangers would be good for them. After last season I doubt they'd take them very lightly. Against Boston, Philly, Montreal or Atlanta it wouldn't surprise me if they came out pretty sluggish thinking they were going to have an easy round.

Posted by: Stu_c | April 4, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

@ youaresquishy

I hear what you're saying but the President's Trophy WITHOUT the big prize really doesn't mean much... no team ever starts out the season saying we wanna win the President's Trophy... it's a goal but not the goal.

yes, it is an accomplishment especially since this is a first for this franchise but for this to be a really special season, they have to win the Cup along with all these other awards.

Speaking as a racing fan, the Caps not winning the Cup this year would be like leading every lap of a race except the last one.

Posted by: joek443 | April 4, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I personally don't think the Caps will come out sluggish at all in the playoffs. I believe their captain when he says they have to win series in less than 7 games. I believe him when he says that the only accomplishment that really matters is the Stanley Cup. I believe they will come out determined to win from the opening faceoff to the fourth win of each series, because I think the Caps captain will demonstrate the leadership to make them ready and keep them ready.

I know that sounds homeristic, but I truly believe the next week and a half is spent getting ready for to step up each rung in the ladder starting with the first game on the 15th.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 4, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

WOOOOOOOOT!

Now, time for Caps to get their act together! The way they've been playing will not bring the Cup to DC. LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!

Posted by: elicea | April 4, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Anton Gustafsson with 2 assists and a +2 rating in his first game with the Bears.

I know that expectations aren't great for him but my father was a huge fan of his father so I'm hoping that he turns things around and earns a Caps sweater at some point.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 4, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Almost 90 min passed since Caps won trophy. And, the Caps Website is not updated...... (whatever, eh?)

Posted by: dezlboy1 | April 4, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Caps, a great accomplishment!

BUT... the season is only just about to begin. The Beard-a-thon starts in a little over a week :-D

Posted by: sargeantmofo | April 4, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice. Presidents' Trophy. Check. Now the Playoff theme: I believe!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | April 4, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Tough to figure out what the President's Trophy means these days. Four of the last ten winners won the Stanley Cup, four lost in the first or second round.

Posted by: McBride33 | April 5, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Donovan F. McNabb to the Skins... I'm afraid that story will just bury the Caps story tomorrow

Posted by: joek443 | April 5, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Well done!
Now it will be so right, if Pensburgers will be beaten by Caps for the 4th time in regulation :-)
Definitely will be worth to remember.

Posted by: Michael01a | April 5, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

So, three items on the Caps To Do list are now checked off.

Remaining Items:

4) Win Round 1 of Playoffs

5) Win Round 2 of Playoffs

6) Win Round 3 of Playoffs

7) Win Round 4 of Playoffs (and bring home the Cup)

Okay guys, onto Step 4.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 5, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@McBride33

The odds are about 33% that the President's Trophy winner will win the Stanley Cup. But 33% is better odds than what any other finish would merit.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 5, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Nice game by AnGus. Hope it all works out for him. I remember his father as well.

(Seems like a lot of the Caps of the 80's have kids that are nearly the age of my younger child.) Angus is a year older.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 5, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: dfe1 | April 5, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I was wrong but it certainly looked like he ended up getting him from behind.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 4, 2010 11:02 PM |

Yep, bad play by Blake there.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 5, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm only 33 years old but as a lifelong Caps fan so far - my hats off to this team for an outstanding accomplishment. Yes there is a bigger prize out there left to win.

However, the hard work to put this team in a position to make a run for the Cup is to be acknowledged. From Ted Leonsis and GMGM all the way down the organization - a big congratulations to everyone.

Another check mark on the To DO list. Time to finish strong and begin the work on what hopes to be a magical postseason run.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 5, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, but I don't think you have to hit someone from behind to get a boarding penalty. As we all know, Ovie hit Campbell from the side.

Posted by: pierre58 | April 5, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, but I don't think you have to hit someone from behind to get a boarding penalty. As we all know, Ovie hit Campbell from the side.

Posted by: pierre58 | April 5, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Even though I missed some much needed sleep last night to finish watching the Avs beat the Sharks it was worth it. We Caps fans are truly getting spoiled. The Caps have been struggling of late, but that it relative to what we expect from the Caps. Some say the Caps backed into the Conference's 1st seed, and now other's imply they have backed into the President's trophy. Here's a fun fact Caps fans. Even though the Caps have been playing rough by their standards they have the 2nd best record in the last 10 games. The only team that has earned more points in the standings in the last 10 games is Detroit, and they have earned 16. The Caps have earned 15.

The surging Rangers? They have earned 2 less points than our struggling Caps.

I slept good last night knowing the Caps have locked home ice for as long as they are in the playoffs. Hopefully that ends with Lord Stanley's Cup being picked up by Ovechkin.

The players may not care but this week I have my fingers crossed that:

- first and foremost suffer no injuries
- Ovi locks up the Art Ross
- Ovi locks up the Rocket Richard
- Backs finishes with more points than Crosby
- Green backs his 20th goal
- the PP finishes #1
- the PK sort outs its issues
- Theo and Varly have strong weeks to head into the playoffs with confidence

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 5, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Woo hoo! LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 5, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Caps!

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 5, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Now let's avoid what happened to San Jose last year and win us a Cup.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | April 5, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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