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Morning Reading List: The End of the Road


(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)


After six close, down-to-the-wire style games, the last thing anyone expected was a lopsided result in Game 7, but that's precisely what the capacity crowd in Verizon Center received. The Penguins shocked the Capitals and those rocking the red with a decisive 6-2 blowout.

From Mike Wise: "Ovechkin was a supernova in this series, but Sid the Kid was better."

Here are the highlights from yesterday's game.

From Tom Boswell: The story of how quick the end came. Because really, in the end the Capitals "waited seven games for eight seconds."

Although it wasn't the ending anyone expected for rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov, the Capitals had nothing but praise for their 21-year-old teammate, who, after all, was a very large reason why they made it to a Game 7 in the second round.

For what was such a riveting series, it seemed like an anticlimactic ending as the Penguins simply squeezed the remaining life out of Washington's season.

A terrific story of how the Capitals united a dying fan and his family.

The Penguins had the added benefit of their best defenseman returning to the lineup as Sergei Gonchar, who admitted he wasn't 100 percent, took part in Game 7, recording an assist and playing over 15 minutes.

ESPN's Scott Burnside talks about the powerful lesson the Penguins and their captain Sidney Crosby taught the Capitals and star Alex Ovechkin in the convincing 6-2 victory.

The View from Pittsburgh
Sidney Crosby never played in a Game 7, dating back to his days in junior hockey. But in his first foray in the winner-take-all pressure cooker, Crosby was more than up to the task.

Regardless of how many times everyone said history didn't matter in this series, the Penguins continued to write additional chapters on the tradition that has been eliminating the Capitals from the postseason.

A surprising ending or not, a lot of Game 7 came down to the goaltenders. And with one critical save against Ovechkin to preserve the momentum, Marc-Andre Fleury answered his critics.

By Katie Carrera  |  May 14, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mike Wise: How to Frame the Season?
Next: Video: After Defeat, Caps Fans Still Proud

Comments

next season, i have faith

Posted by: trunkenmath | May 14, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

It was a great regular season. And we made it further this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 14, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

1st of all Sidney Crosby didn't teach the CAPS anything!

2nd of all, it wasn't all the Varley's fault. If some people would come to his defense on Varly's right, It would have been a lot closer a game. While Fleury did make some fantastic moves, I can't blame the Goalie for every point.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | May 14, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Grats Caps!! I had a great time going to all the games this season and post. Can't wait til next year. But, it is time for a vacation from Verizon Ctr and time to save up some money for next year's playoff run. :)
Maybe by then we'll have some better D to support our great new goalie and so our O doesn't have to exhaust themselves playing D.

CHEERS to my Caps!! Bruins or Canes, beat down those guins!!

Posted by: CapsKH | May 14, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mike Wise you are an idiot. Sid the Kid wasn't better, his team was. I hate when people comment on sports they no nothing about. Great season Caps! Saying next year means a lot more with the team we have. Go Canes, represent the SouthEast!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 14, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Caps for their season and making it to the second round of the playoffs. Of course I would have like to see the progress further, but that will have to wait until next year. :)

I disagree with Mike Wise's assesment of the situation. I think Ovechkin and Crosby played equally well.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | May 14, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Great series! Here's hoping that this does evolve into our true rivalry. Lay off Sid, he's a gamer all the time (just like AO). I wish Backstrom were a Pen, that guy is/will be a beast. It is great to see the two best players in hockey within driving distance of each other.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

MIKE WISE - ugh!!! The greatest thing to come from this loss is no more Mike Wise writing and video blogging about hockey. Amen.

Posted by: schrute | May 14, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

This team still needs a Pronger type d-man (or maybe two) to match-up with the top lines in the East. Alzner is the future, but some veteran leadership on the blueline would really help Green and Alzner continue to develop.

Posted by: brihobbs | May 14, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to The Capitals for a great season. It wasn't the ending we all wanted but we took another step close to the holy grail.

For those of you who are dogging out the writers give it a rest. Who died and made you an expert on all things hockey? If you can't say something positive then STFU!

Training camp opens in about four months, probably with some new faces competing for jobs.

This ending was a tough pill to swallow, but what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger.

Rock the Red!

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 14, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm an admitted hockey newbie (I was a fan in the 90's, but then lost interest after the lockout) so I'll preface my comment with that disclaimer.

One thing I feel like I noticed with regards to our defensemen was that they gave waaay too much respect to the Pens when they decided to carry the puck across the blue line (as opposed to when they decided to dump it in). I know the problems with clearing the front of the net, working the boards, protecting Varlamov, etc. But on top of that, it just seemed to me that the Caps defense was scared and tentative when taking on the skilled players of the Pens.

When you watched Ovie, Semin, and Backstrom carry the puck in the offensive zone, it was almost as if they didn't have room to breathe. They were being hounded from the second they crossed the blue line to the moment they rid themselves of the puck. The Pens? Not so much. It reeked, to my hockey-virgin eyes, of the Caps not wanting to be 'embarrassed' by their skilled players - particularly Crosby and Malkin.

I don't care what sport you play, that's a universal motif with regards to defending. And to me, I hate it. Take the guy on fearlessly and aggressively, and if he beats you with a spectacular move or goal, so be it. But you have to force him to earn it. Too many times I felt like the Crosby and Malkin were afforded too much space to operate when entering the zone, and they were able to either carry the puck deep and/or lay it off to trailers with little to no resistance (and I'm not speaking about odd-man rushes).

Anyway, that's my .02. I could be horribly wrong, but it was incredibly frustrating to watch at time.

Posted by: psps23 | May 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

No one wants to acknowledge the obvious.. The Curse of Scott Stevens.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | May 14, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Mikey likes it...... Sid the kid that is. Come on Mike the only thing Crysby could ever teach us is how to whine like a child. Every time someone touches him he marches right over to the refs. Reminds me of elementary school...and so does your writing. LETS GO CAPS !!!

Posted by: RedRocker | May 14, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The curse of Scott Stevens! Yes that was a dark day for this franchise.

But haven't we had our greatest success since he left? Didn't we go to the finals post SS?

It would be nice if we could get a SS type Dman. And I think that GMGM will be looking for that type of player before we go to camp in the fall.

That's what makes the future so exciting. We are very very close. We have most of the pieces already in place. And hopefully we will get the final pieces in the near future.

Again, Capitals thanks for a great season!

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 14, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is a punk and is now on the Crysby bandwagan what a dhead he is.
One question I have how can Crosby play acting get Laich 4 mins yes is was a high stick but no blood just a lot of acting and 4 mins in the box.

Posted by: CalleJo | May 14, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Everybody knew from the start, if this series is called evenly, the caps sweep it in 4. So no surprise in every game the Caps deal with an almost 2-1 disparity in penalties.

Clearly fixed, as all major sports are. The NHL won't rest until they have chosen one Crosby hoist the Cup for previous chosen one Lemieux.

Everyone else be damned, they don't care, it's all about Canada and their chosen Canadian boys.

Posted by: soloman5000 | May 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@ Mike Wise:

Sid the Kid was not better. The Caps defense continued to just let him stand in close and do whatever he wanted within 10 feet of our net. Ovechkin has to create nearly everything he got. Sid was just picking up garbage in a very uninhibited fashion.

Stop perpetuating the idea that Sid was better. He had a much better and more passionate supporting cast as well. Malkin was better than Semin, Gonchar and Letang were significantly better than Green and whoever else you want to pair with in the Caps D Corps.

The Capitals' weaknesses we knew about going into the playoffs in their defensive zone were glaring in this series - not clearing the crease, not clearing the zone, and just plain slow afoot pursuing pucks in our end. End of story.

Posted by: cwiseman | May 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Crosby scores a goal to make it 6-1. No celebration, no show, just a skate and fist bump from team mates. If Ovie scores a sixth goal, he d-bags it up and gloats. That's the difference between the two players. Well, that and one's playing hockey next week.
It's funny how this whiny "crysby" and "cindy and the girls" just keep beating teams. I am glad the Penguins don't lose to girls!!!!
Maybe the Head Coach of a professional hockey team ought not jump around like Larry, Moe, and Curly after a game 6 win.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe the refs was the sole reason for our loss but they sure did not call a even game in 7. GMGM needs to address our D but we have all known that for the past 5 years since we had Kiwi and Doig I just hope gets it done this summer.

Do you think he will look to resign Jonny and trade Jose?

Posted by: CalleJo | May 14, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Please quit whinning! It's over and arguably the better team won. Look at the stats, if Varlamov doesn't stand on his ear we could have been swept. And as much as I hate to say this Crosby was great. Yes he is a whinner, but the squeaky wheel get the grease. If one of our Dmen had kept a body on Crosby maybe he wouldn't have been so successful.

It sucks to lose, but it's a game and in every competition you have a winner and losers. Does anybody think we won't get another shot at these guys down the road. We will see them again, and what comes around goes around.

Go Caps!

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 14, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Larry v. Magic; Magic v. Michael; Lebron v. Kobe... how about Mike Bossy v. Wayne Gretzky for some inspiration?

1983 Finals:
Islanders 2, Oilers 0
Islanders 6, Oilers 3
Islanders 5, Oilers 1
Islanders 4, Oilders 2

1984 Finals
Oilers 1, Islanders 0
Islanders 6, Oilers 1
Oilers 7, Islanders 2
Oilers 7, Islanders 2
Oilders 5, Islanders 2

When the Band of Brothers gets over the Penguins, they will never look back. Until then, we have to stand with pride, class, humility, and respect. Let's treat the Penguins and their fans as we want to be treated when the tables are turned. It's up to us, over the next few days, weeks, and months to earn the respect of the NHL and hockey fans, prove to them that Washington is a hockey town. When we are viewed as a hockey town, things will be different... I promise.

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 14, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

@Matt
Amen to that!

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 14, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Who invited Mike Wise?

I haven't enjoyed reading his articles or posts since the story on Brash. Not reading him anymore.

Caps Forever!

Posted by: RedRocker1 | May 14, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Matt23185: Great post!!! Very classy of the fans cheering the team at the end. They did have a great season. Washington already is a hockey town.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is a complete and total moron who is not qualified to write about hockey. Reading his cliche filled crap is painful. OV averaged two points a game and his physical presence dwarfed Crosby's. The Pens won because the Pens were the better team, not because Crosby outplayed OV.

Posted by: captainoverman | May 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Matt23185- great statement.

Respect the penguins and just get off Crosby, he is a great player and deal with it. I am a CAPS fan, but respect the play of a good team which the penguins are. The caps are built for a decade at least and will get there, a few pieces will change I am sure this off season and we will be right in the mix next season.

thank you CAPS for a great season.

Posted by: CelticFCbhoys | May 14, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

What bites is that the Caps will never get a chance to play the Pens for all the marbles. The best we can possibly hope for is the conference championship. Oh well, I quarantee we will be back next year with a bigger and badder team!

Go Caps!

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mike Wise you are an idiot. Sid the Kid wasn't better, his team was. I hate when people comment on sports they no nothing about. Great season Caps! Saying next year means a lot more with the team we have. Go Canes, represent the SouthEast!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | May 14, 2009 7:07 AM
=====================================

My thoughts exactly. I'll say it again, it's easy to hang out in front of the net as Sid-the-cherry-picker-Crosby does and let your team do all the work so you can score the goals. Ovie is the better all-around player and don't you forget it! I'm sick the Caps lost this way but it was a fantastic season and I already can't wait for next season. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | May 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

What I always wonder about is all the people that trash the players and writers in these comment sections and forums, would they say it to those players and writers faces or are they hiding behind the anonymity of their login?

Posted by: CelticFCbhoys | May 14, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Obviously disappointed in the Game 7 effort and result which leads me to what arguably is the WORSE MOMENT in CAPS history - the loss of Scott Stevens.

As a fan since the Mike Palmateer days I often wonder what would have happened if the Abe Pollin matched the Blues offer sheet on Stevens? Hate to say it but that decision left us with what? 5 1st round picks (only 2 that made an impact: Gonchar, Witt) And 20 years of playoff misery.

AP despite all you've done for this franchise, I can't forgive the management for letting Stevens go. Ironically, we ended up spending the money anyways on Kevin Hatcher (how many cups does he have?).

Posted by: ddolan1 | May 14, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Amy S1 - If it's so easy to do what Crosby does, why doesn't everyone do it?

Crosby complains more than he should and is not much of a physical player, but he is one of the best players in the game. And last night yes, he was better than Ovie.

The Caps gave us a GREAT regular season and an exciting playoffs, even though they played well below their abilities in the majority of the games. I do believe that the officiating was terrible, but our defensive play was worse. Great teams don't let the refs beat them; but we're not yet a great team.

Thanks for a fun season Caps!

Posted by: jason2smith | May 14, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least I have baseball to take me to next hockey season. No redskins for me this year. Suck it Danny Boy!

Posted by: jwash4472 | May 14, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@ CelticFCbhoys:

Yes. That's the short answer. I dislike Mike Wise, I dislike Crosby. I would tell them to their faces. I'm not one to mince my words and you always know how I am feeling, that goes for WaPo writers and athletes alike. "Celebrity" does not intimidate me, everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time.

Although I have to wonder if Mike Wise just relishes the fact that everyone hates him and that was the motivation for his article. It's possible.

Final comment: I am, and will continue to be, very proud to be a Caps fan. It was a great season, overall. Can't wait to be rocking the red in 414 again in just a few short months!

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | May 14, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'll say it again, it's easy to hang out in front of the net as Sid-the-cherry-picker-Crosby does and let your team do all the work so you can score the goals. Ovie is the better all-around player and don't you forget it! I'm sick the Caps lost this way but it was a fantastic season and I already can't wait for next season. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | May 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

In the end, it's the responsibility of someone to put a body on him and move him out of there. No one was willing to do so, so why shouldn't Crosby just stand there and cherry-pick. In the end, the things that hurt the Caps in Games 3-6 killed them last night: failure to clear the puck out of their own end, constantly turning over the puck in their own end, failure to put a body on Crosby and move him out from the front of the goal, the virtual non-existence of Mike Green and Varmarlov's inability to stop high shots glove-side.

Posted by: virtueandvice | May 14, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Crosby scores a goal to make it 6-1. No celebration, no show, just a skate and fist bump from team mates. If Ovie scores a sixth goal, he d-bags it up and gloats. That's the difference between the two players. Well, that and one's playing hockey next week.
It's funny how this whiny "crysby" and "cindy and the girls" just keep beating teams. I am glad the Penguins don't lose to girls!!!!
Maybe the Head Coach of a professional hockey team ought not jump around like Larry, Moe, and Curly after a game 6 win.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

this is humorous. another pens fan winning w/ class. did you notice ovie after he scored his meaningless goal? did he "d-bag it up" no. fortunately it appears both sidney and ovie have more class than you.

but good for the pens. they were the better team and it showed. i thought gill and scuderri did a great job on the caps top line all series. they are going to be tough to handle in the years to come...oh wait, they are both UFA's this year? the pens wont be able to resign them due to cap issues??? oh my, that is a shame. so who's going to play d next year? who's going to step up and play for the other 7 NHL UFA's on the pens roster???hmmm...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 14, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, great coverage here. I enjoyed the periodic blog updates throughout the workday, and I will miss having the pulse of a hockey series on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour basis. Best hockey coverage I've ever seen.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | May 14, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@ Mike WIse:

If you are trying to get a rise out of Caps Fans you have succeeded. You will never live down your words that "Sid was better." Neither was "better." Both played exceptional. Both deserve accolades. If this was some desperate attempt to boost attention to yourself I am ashamed to have you as a writer in this fine city covering such a great organization. Serve the readers...not your own ego. Good luck ever getting a player interview again. Your finished with the Caps and with my ever defending your articles as I have done in the past.

Posted by: eyechip | May 14, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm still reeling from the loss last night but I'm confused, where've all of you people been? What would compel you to decide yesterday/this morning to suddenly post and share your opinion on the team now? As for the Penguins fans posting here, there's no class in that. Sure, you have the right to post here but one of you allegedly called Ovi and Boudreau for "gloating" on a win. No class there for those comments. You guys are tools. I'll applaud the Penguins' team for their game. Giving credit though to their Princess and the tools who got away with illegal moves on the ice, hardly possible.

We'll be back next year for sure. Great season, Capitals! Thanks for making us proud!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

After reading "Boudreau revealed after the game that several of his key players had been playing through SERIOUS injuries, specifically acknowledging defenseman Mike Green and Ovechkin" AND "It's also believed that Alexander Semin played through an injury that might have sidelined him in the regular season, while Tom Poti said he suffered a broken foot in Game 1 of this series", I am even more disappointed. While I understand that the players themselvs want to continue to play in the playoffs, even though injured, it is a selfish decision & one that could potentially be career-ending. What I don't understand is why Boudreau would allow them to continue to play, game after game, particularly when their lack of performance & mistakes became a liability to the team. In Hershey RS, Giroux had 60 goals (97 pts.), Aucoin 25 goals (96 pts.), Bourque 21 goals (73 pts.). Sloan played two games in this series, had 1 assist (tying goal), no penalties & no goals scored against. Alzner was called up but never used. Beagle played minimal minutes but showed as much energy & desire to win as Laich. We will never know how this series might have turned out differently if the coach had made some different choices. Based on the above, I really believe any of the healthy Hershey players mentioned above would have ultimately made the difference & the Caps would have won this series against Pitts. Obviously Boudreau knew there were SERIOUS injuries -- he made the wrong call.

Posted by: gogetem | May 14, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

One more thing ... Boudreau revealing that key players were seriously injured AFTER losing the series really makes his coaching decisions looks bad ... not to mention his trying to justify or make excuses for the loss.

Posted by: gogetem | May 14, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@ psps23: Fantastic insight! I have noticed the same problems and have to say that the Pens successfully implemented a trap style that just caught the caps tentative and flat footed. That was the difference.

As far as the Caps season, there is lots to be proud of - another 50 goal season for ovechkin, breakout season for laich and more disciplined hockey during the regular season when they were on.

The playoffs certainly need work. Seven game series' are gonna just wear this team out, and they have to show up ready to play from Game 1 of the ECQF. I witnessed three games in the rangers series and two of the last one (including Game 7), and the first two games of the Rangers series were downright lousy because the Caps were still in their inconsistent late season mood and hadn't turned the switch on yet. It was nice when they did, and made for an exciting series, but we all know the Caps are better than that.

I would say Burnside's article was spot on. As much as we all don't like Crosby's lack of physical fortitude and big mouth, the guy is a great skater and a great leader, and the Pens played playoff hockey for seven games, trapping the Caps and sucking the life out of them. The Caps were taken to school, without a doubt. The question is: will they do their homework over the summer and next season so they can come back with just as much discipline and determination? The system that Boudreau has developed is a solid one, but in order for it to work, the Caps have to work as a team and need to stop the rampant individualism from the younger stars, especially Semin and Green.

That's it from me. What a season! Still proud of this team and will be back next year.

Posted by: fronesis1016 | May 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1: "they are going to be tough to handle in the years to come...oh wait, they are both UFA's this year? the pens wont be able to resign them due to cap issues??? oh my, that is a shame. so who's going to play d next year? who's going to step up and play for the other 7 NHL UFA's on the pens roster???hmmm..."

That's funny... everyone was saying that at the end of last year also. But when you have the best player in hockey (who makes everyone around him better, not just himself), it doesn't matter. Sid can carry a team.
And if you read my posts I thought the series was great and both teams were great, I didn't post negative until reading the other "name-calling" posts.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I am curious to know whether the Capitals will send Varlamov to Hershey for the remainder of the Calder Cup. Any word on this?

The Capitals sure could have used a player in the mold of Scott Stevens or Rod Langway. The Penguins owned the area around the crease.

Imagine if OV incorporates an ability to score around the goal crease to his game...70, 80 or dare say 90? goals. If you look at the shot charts, Crosby was shooting from in front, OV at the dots.

Posted by: bill_in_damascus | May 14, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

penscapsNOTarvalry

How about understanding that many of the posts are an attempt at closure after an abrupt end to the season. This is a Caps site so it is fair game for fans to vent frustration today. If Caps fans go to a Pens site and state anything, then please feel free to let them have it but I don't think it is necessary for you to express any opinons today. Most posters have stated the Pens deserved to win, played better etc. What else could you want or expect??

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | May 14, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@fatboy08

You've got to be kidding me. The '98 finals was the MOST OBVIOUS example of The Curse of Scott Stevens.

Do you have a better explanation for Tikkanen missing that wide open net with the puck on his stick? If so I'd love to hear it.

Meanwhile, Scott Stevens was going to four finals, and winning three. All because the Caps were too cheap to match a FOUR YEAR, FIVE MILLION DOLLAR DEAL!!!

Not only is The Curse real, it is deserved. Those three Cups should be ours, and they would have been if they hadn't let Stevens go for compensatory draft picks. Which the Caps turned into these players: Trevor Halverson, Sergei Gonchar, Brendan Witt, Nolan Baumgartner and Miika Elomo. Gonchar and Witt have had nice careers, most of them not with the Caps.. and there are ZERO cups for any of them.

That's how you start a Curse.

The only way to break it, as evidenced by how the Red Sox broke their curse, is perfection. PERFECTION!

The Caps will have to be MONUMENTALLY better than every other team they face in the playoffs. As we saw this year, they will get NO breaks. Pucks will bounce in off defensemen in overtime, not once but twice. Penalties will not be called against the opposition.

The only cure is perfection and right now this team is not perfect.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | May 14, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

To you guys who are calling Wise an "idiot" and/or a "moron": First, show a little class. Second, grow up. What are you, eight-year-olds? Learn that just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean he's a moron. Geeze.

Posted by: chrisd3 | May 14, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@chrisd3: Pot calling the kettle black. Your statement was as immature as the ones you're looking down your nose at. Tool.

There was a comment about calling up the Hershey guys for our Cup run but I think you're overlooking the fact that they have their own Cup run to deal with. The Capitals man'd up despite their injuries and I highly doubt Boudreau is heartless enough to make the men do something they didn't want to do and weren't capable of it.

Boudreau did an admirable job. Our men did a great job. As the day wears on, the easier it is to appreciate the incredible season they had. Makes me appreciate my first season of Capitals hockey fandom.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 14, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the Caps made huge steps forward this year, but that doesn't take the sting out of last night. We can dissect all the elements throughout the summer, as well as make predictions about roster moves, I'd just hope that everybody remembers the thrill ride that we had, not the thud at the end.
For now, however, the let down feeling trumps the accomplishments of the season and the hope for the future. It's been what, fifteen hours since the season concluded?
Anybody else ready for opening night?

Posted by: dshibs | May 14, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

*Raises hands regarding dshibs question about opening night*

Sadly, you won't see too many Capitals fans in LA who want to hug out last night's game loss. =( Wish I were in DC right now....

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 14, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Crosby scores a goal to make it 6-1. No celebration, no show, just a skate and fist bump from team mates. If Ovie scores a sixth goal, he d-bags it up and gloats. That's the difference between the two players. Well, that and one's playing hockey next week.
It's funny how this whiny "crysby" and "cindy and the girls" just keep beating teams. I am glad the Penguins don't lose to girls!!!!
Maybe the Head Coach of a professional hockey team ought not jump around like Larry, Moe, and Curly after a game 6 win.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

You are a tool of the highest order. Ovie scored to make it 5-1, and he barely reacted at all because he knew it was almost meaningless. I hope Crosby enjoyed standing in front of the net in this series because Chara is going to make it his business that that not happen in the conference finals.

Posted by: cao091402 | May 14, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

C'mon now, you know damn well you can't touch crosby in the crease, he'll just drop to the ice, the whistle will blow and you'll be short handed on every shift -- it's the nature of the game right now, certain players are going to get celebrity calls while other players get sticks slammed into their throats with no calls -- Caps simply have to understand that and adjust -- the NHL is not even trying to be subtle about it anymore -- the Caps are not going to get the benefit of the calls when they play the pens, they just aren't -- so they have to be smarter, tougher and more determined -- they have to give up the pond hockey wide open mentality and be a nasty, grind it out, step on your neck team when they play the pens .. they're capable -- they just needed to experience it first hand to see for themselves ... they'll get there -- it's just a matter of time

Great season Caps, tons of thrills and excitement -- I'm totally in the tank for these guys just LOVE watching them play -- and I miss them already... great job by the fans at the game yesterday -- well done -- can't wait for next season to start.

Posted by: Terpsrule | May 14, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise,

I liked your Federov piece after Game 7 vs. NYR, but you really shouldn't be covering hockey. "Sid was better" is what little kids that don't know anything about hockey say at the playground. That's the McNews thing to write. I think you're better than that, but this was USA Today level... weak and unsubstantial. Nice taste to leave Caps fans with during the offseason.

Posted by: paulfromsilverspring | May 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Props to Matt23185! Well said and definitely the right attitude.

Posted by: paulfromsilverspring | May 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, thank you and the Washington Post for some fabulous coverage this season, the best of any newspaper or website that I've seen of any hockey team in North America. First rate, first class.

Thanks for posting the video of the Caps fans reactions, which were sad but hopeful, thankful and very respectful. Contrast that with the smarmy, classless, arrogant postings on the lead story. That pretty sums up both cities, franchises and fan bases.

Look forward to even better coverage (and much better defense) next year, and of course your coverage of the maneuverings during the offseason. Caps have some interesting choices to make.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | May 14, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

As disappointed as I am at the way we went out last night, we had a great season and I enjoyed watching the Caps kick butt. Next year we'll be a little older and a little wiser and I think that will help us get even farther. Can't wait for next season!

LETS GO CAPS!!

Posted by: sammyliz01 | May 14, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It was a great year - and yes, would like some more buy in on the coaching from the players - they can't play pond hockey out there. Otoh, they have fun and that's fun to watch. I hope the coaches can work with them - show them what works but don't remove the joy from the game. Get Semin to buy in, he could have an MVP year himself.

@nealon - re: Scott Stevens
The Caps were cheap - perhaps - but Pollin was losing big wads on the team already. The real reason they let him go was the limousine incident. I think it was considered better for all concerned that he get out of town...he won 3 cups and stayed out of trouble...

Posted by: WritingLight | May 14, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

This has been such a great season and post-season with lots of great plays, hard work, breakout performances, and hard lessons to build from. I love this Caps team being built. Go Caps!!!!

On a different note, could someone please explain, seriously, why there were no penalties called on Pitt? I was stunned when I heard that the Caps had no powerplays. Yes, puck posession and the Caps lackluster play would reduce the powerplay chances - but reduce them to 0?!? I listen to the game on the radio so I have no visuals to go on until news recaps.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 14, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Was there a Alex Semen siting in this series? I guess there was "nothing special" with his performance!

Posted by: marsid | May 14, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is a complete and total moron who is not qualified to write about hockey. Reading his cliche filled crap is painful. OV averaged two points a game and his physical presence dwarfed Crosby's. The Pens won because the Pens were the better team, not because Crosby outplayed OV.

Posted by: captainoverman | May 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse


he's not a moron, he's just hockey-illiterate. Nothing groundbreaking here. Every writer comes out of the woodwork to do a piece on hockey when the Caps are doing well in the playoffs. Its par for the course

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 14, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I’ve been lucky enough to see three game 7’s in person in the last year. Try this out for lemonade out of a lemon….

Last year, Game 7 against the Flyers. We lost in overtime after a bad penalty. That game was a dagger. Straight to the heart/kill you dead dagger. We were so high……..and then suddenly so very low. And the most vivid memory ----the take-away visual----was beer bottles being thrown by a few idiots onto the ice, endangering the Caps as well as the Flyers and the refs. Not pleasant.

Game 7 last month against the Rangers. Federov’s goal with 5 minutes left was maybe the greatest sports moment I’ve ever seen in person. The noise was unreal. Two take-away visuals: the look on the guy's face that sits across from us is as ingrained in my mind as the vision of that puck hitting the back of the net.

Last night. After sitting in stunned silence….to be able to stand and cheer and shout “let’s go Caps” for the final two minutes was actually nice. We were saluting the team for a great season. Great memories. Great entertainment. Sure the game sucked but the run to get there was awesome. And since everybody loses but one team in the end, I’d really almost rather go out like that than go out like we did last year. I guess there was a sense of closure last night that I didn’t have last year. Does that make sense? And the take-away visual was looking around the barn at all those people standing and cheering a team that just lost really bad.

And……I know in my little RED heart that sometime in the near future the season is going to end with an even stronger feeling of joy than I had during game 7 against the Rangers. And the visual will be a bunch of our guys falling over themselves carrying the Cup.

Posted by: hawkeye56 | May 14, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Terpsrule: You mean celebrity calls like the legal charging Homovechkin performs every game. At least if he starts charging his own guys the Caps may want to stop it, but that's OK. And tell Green feel free to TRY and move Crosby from the crease... or maybe he can just blame his stick.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@Terpsrule: You mean celebrity calls like the legal charging Homovechkin performs every game. At least if he starts charging his own guys the Caps may want to stop it, but that's OK. And tell Green feel free to TRY and move Crosby from the crease... or maybe he can just blame his stick.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | May 14, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

LOL at comparing a legal check to a viscous slam to the throat of a goalie with a stick -- seriously, that's pathetic - and everyone knows you can't touch crosby without him dropping to the ice like a stone to draw a penalty -- that what he does -- but hey, it works for him so just accept it and embrace it ...

Posted by: Terpsrule | May 14, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think it was the best playoff round 2 in years. However and I know most people will not agree with me that Washington's weekness is that they are a one-man team....how many times did you see OV going to the net with noe around for him to dish a pass to? Not one man makes a team and in the end I feel that is why the Pens got the better of the Caps.
GO PENS!!!!!!!!

Posted by: VAPenguins | May 14, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is not a moron.

He just writes like one.

The analyses of what went wrong have started. And because no one really understands, all sorts of conjecture is out there: the Caps weren't disciplined enough; Ovie is too reckless and immature (vs. Crosby, who's wise beyond his years); we couldn't handle the stress; we;re too emotional (because Ovie is too emotional).

So I'll add my two cents worth. When Pittsburgh scored those two back-to-back goals in the middle of the first period, we got scared. And when we got scared, we started thinking too much about what we were doing. And we forgot our game. The Penguins are a good team. But they're not that good. They're certainly not better than we are. They didn't win last night - we lost.

We have to get over thinking they're better, before we start believing it.

And as for Sid the Kid being better than Ovie, they are totally different kinds of players. They're both good. But who would you rather watch?

I thought so.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | May 14, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

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