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Caps lose Game 7, D.C. fans suffer again

This is melodramatic. If you're not into that, best avoid.

There were at least two types of people in the concourse following that thing that happened Wednesday night.

One type made a beeline for the Dunkin Donuts stand. You know, that little orange beacon of delicious caffeine and fried happiness? For reasons I'd rather not consider, the stand decided to give away every last piece of dessert in stock. Thus, some hungry types, mostly wearing red, gathered around and shoveled cookies and donuts and muffins into mouths and bags.

Then there were the people who didn't quite have the stomach for a post-loss chocolate frosted. Like Ben Hammer, for example. And me, even if I'm giving away some of my journalistic objectivity by admitting I passed on the donuts. So Ben and I stood together in the library hallway that was doubling as a sporting arena concourse and just gave sad looks at each other. Yes, I would have behaved the same way even if it was free Tim Horton's.

"That's the sound of 18,000 people vomiting," Ben said, gesturing his head back toward the emptying stands.

"Just silence, the sound of silence," said his friend Ben Birndorf, whose ears were apparently numb to the gags. "It's over. It's just done. Wake up tomorrow, and I don't know...."

I don't know either. Let's ask Jason Chimera, maybe.

"If someone came to your work and stepped on your desk or punched you in the head, that's how I feel," he said.

Or how about Bruce Boudreau?

"We all feel as low as we can possibly feel," he said.

Fans, too. You don't often see existential crises in front of the Papa John's counters, but this was the sort of crowd where people just walked around, mumbling words I could only use in this space if they were in reference to Goldman Sachs. Just walking around aimlessly and swearing. It was like a profane zombie movie.

The arm wound.

Then I stumbled upon 17-year old Mike Hicks, who looked more zombie than most. Owing, perhaps, to the fact that he had been sitting in the 100-level when a full bottle of Crown Royal floated down from the 400-level and landed on his noggin. He had a a bag of ice on his head. His dad had an ice bag on his arm and a lump easily the size of a golf ball, and he had only gotten nailed with the rebound off his son's skull.

Mike's mother - who was insisting he go to the hospital - said that this was adding insult to injury.

"Well, more injury to insult," Mike correctly pointed out. "The insult came first."

I stopped some Montreal fans to see if they could maybe sympathize. The Canadiens haven't exactly filled up the trophy case over the last 15 years, and the Expos...well, we know from the Expos.

Instead, they started lecturing me about how there wasn't enough Caps coverage in the newspaper, and how there weren't enough Caps flags flying on cars, and how the fans left early when the Caps went down two goals. Which was all true, but it didn't make me wish any less for a bowl of poutine to fling in their faces.

"The only time I knew there was a game going on was when I came to the arena,' John Psychogios said. "You guys don't deserve a championship."

So you say ha ha to these guys and you move on to the people who understand. Like the one crowd of 20-something guys shouting "Hooray for D.C. Sports!" as they left, except they didn't really mean "Hooray" like that. "Welcome to D.C. sports," one of them, named Dylan, told me. "Same thing, every year." Or the guy whose eyes rocking red laser beams of disgust.

"Write about it!" he shouted at me. "Write about it tomorrow!"

"If the Caps blow Game 7, DC vaults past Seattle for Most Depressed Sports City honors," America's most popular sports writer wrote.

"I pledge to never be optimistic about DC again," Alex Keckeisen added on Twitter, and that was the night in nine words.

D.C. sports is the Nats - coming off back-to-back 100-loss disasters - having the happiest fan base in the city. D.C. sports is the Verizon Center ushers making small talk after the game about who was working the Mystics game. D.C. sports is the most popular athlete in a halfway house, the most popular team recovering from a year-long debacle, and the most successful team losing in the first round. D.C. sports is a 17-year old kid from Brandywine, sitting in the stands, sulking over a brutal loss, and getting hit over the head with a flying bottle of Crown Royal.

And now, for my season-ending caveats:

1) Maybe the Caps could have scored their way to a Stanley Cup, but they didn't.

2) Maybe R.J. Umberger was wrong about the style they play, but I'd rather not be the one forced to make that argument just now.

3) Maybe the key for the Canadiens' in Game 4 really was to go ahead and lose. Sorry, writer.

4) Hope and optimism are stupid emotions.

5) I probably should have thought harder before I told my boss I didn't want to go to the World Cup just in case the Caps managed to make it to the Stanley Cup. In June. Because it's still April, and somehow this season is over.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 28, 2010; 11:09 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Montreal takes series win in stride


Hahahaha! Chokers once again! What an epic collapse. I guess it's time for all the Caps "fans" to jump off the bandwagon again. By the way, thanks for getting out of the way for us! Enjoy the golf course.

Go Flyers!

Posted by: phillyfan3 | April 28, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Fire BB and hire Dale Hunter. This team needs a tough guy who knows how to motivate. A guy who knows what is going on in the heads of his players. Once Varly lost BB should have bought in Theo. Also I still do not understand why BB pulled the goalie so early at the end of the game. Out coached and out matched. BB system is great in the regular season but does not work at the highest level of playoff hockey

Posted by: pkme | April 28, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Whose arm is shaking now, Caps fans? The Caps, its fans, and its media are arrogant and took the Habs for granted. Comments like the Caps would win the series in three games reflect this irrational thinking. Ovechkin's spraying of the defenseless kid only reinforces this lack of respect the team and franchise have for others. Your sense of entitlement got you this time. Best, RJ Umberger was right -- you don't play the right way. Keep making those commercials, Boudreau. Keep partying Ovechkin and Green. I hope you all enjoy golf!

Posted by: gohabsgo2010 | April 28, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg, I don't get your comment about the Habs not winning in 15 years. In ALL of its years of existence, the Caps have won a grand total of 0 Cups. Montreal has won at least two since then (86, 93). What can you say in response?

Further, many feel the Caps don't deserve a Cup. Just a few season ago, about 9k fans used to occupy the Verizon Center. Now, bandwagon fans come out of the woodwork. This despite the fact that guys like Rod Langway eat in Green Turtle without getting noticed, that a roster player can walk around in the concourse without getting noticed.

The DC hockey media leaves much to be desired. Despite having a good team, no one in the hockey world turns to anyone from DC for insightful comments or stories. Even Philly has Keith Jones; the NHL network has Larry Murphy, a guy you fans relentlessly heckled out of here.

Steinberg, win a game in the Cup finals, then you can have the standing to say anything to a Montreal Canadiens fan. Enjoy the summer.

Posted by: gohabsgo2010 | April 28, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

And one last thing - if the media had a true interest in the Caps, they would know about and report the fact that the Caps stars party more often and harder than Marion Barry. The Caps fans didn't "suffer" - they got exactly what they deserve, a performance from a team that lacks the respect of the hockey world and, worse, does not respect itself.

Posted by: gohabsgo2010 | April 28, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I love how the spraying of a defenseless kid was a rallying cry for all the Montreal fans in the series. Too funny. The Pens just won the Eastern Conference. Probably can win both series in four games combined.

Posted by: larryn703 | April 28, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis to Coach Boudreau: Brucy, you got some 'splainin to do.

Posted by: brabinger | April 29, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"The only time I knew there was a game going on was when I came to the arena,' John Psychogios said. "You guys don't deserve a championship."

Between this Psychogios fellow, the commenters here, and the seething hatred towards Habs fans from other Canadian cities, I understand now why everyone thinks these people are insufferable pricks. Because they are.

And way to squeeze in one last poutine reference Dan.

Posted by: ThisGuy | April 29, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

"5) I probably should have thought harder before I told my boss I didn't want to go to the World Cup just in case the Caps managed to make it to the Stanley Cup. In June. Because it's still April, and somehow this season is over"

The biggest loss of all. The World Cup is the biggest sports tournament in the world.

Posted by: redskinsux | April 29, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

The reactions tonight are going to be emotional, so most of them are best kept to ourselves. I know I'm keeping some of my more dramatic ideas to myself.

But people need to step back and decompress a little. Don't watch SportsCenter. Don't listen to other teams' fans for a little while.

Boudreau does not need to go, and despite the fact that he didn't wear his red cape tonight, Ovechkin is not to blame, or at least not exclusively. Green was horrific, and Semin was invisible. But as for Ovechkin, keep this in mind: he's what, 24 years old? Before he came to Washington to make a mockery of the Wizards, Michael Jordan played some basketball in Chicago (seriously — look it up) ... and he spent years as the most talented player in the league before the right pieces were put in place around him to help him win championships. He never won a thing without Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman, etc.

The real answer is the Caps ran into an insanely hot goaltender. Halak was unbelievable, and goalies playing like that can steal a series — he did.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | April 29, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

French Canadians are simply bitter about life.

If Tampa can get a cup, Anaheim can get a cup, and Carolina can get a cup -- then DC is way past "deserves a cup".

Unfortunately, we choked again - and there is no spin for that.

But rest assured, I ain't gonna take the whining of a bunch of Frenchies on this day.

DC hockey is alive and well. We will recover. We will overcome.

Posted by: CF11555 | April 29, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Caps fan as I may be, but that last picture is awesome. It goes right next to Angry Schultz fan.

Posted by: Section117 | April 29, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the horrors of jinxing. I relied on my roommates' TV for the whole year until these playoffs, since they're not into hockey and I didn't want to bug them into constantly changing the channel to watch the Caps. So I got a TV set up, thinking I'd be happily watching for two months.

Now, I'm left feeling like Dan, disbelieving that the season came to an end so soon and knowing that I can at least watch the World Cup on it. Extremely small comsolation.

Posted by: jcoral128 | April 29, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Man, at least I didn't get hit in the head with a bottle of Crown Royal!

Or worse, watch my son get hit in the head and catch the bounce to the elbow.

Man. I'm actually glad I stayed home. I've been to enough Redskins games to know how crappy it feels leaving the stadium $100 poorer, surrounded by disgusted fellow Washingtonians. I know it well, as a matter of fact. All too well.

Very very well, indeed. A few Wizards games come to mind as well. The Bullets, too.

Never been to a Nats game, though. At least I don't expect them to win.

Posted by: Thinker_ | April 29, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Great piece Dan. One of your best.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 29, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

in response to the guy who said: French Canadians are just bitter about life". Reading you great enthousiast americans in the above post, I wonder who is more bitter...

sports is no excuse for that kind of dumb racism

Posted by: e_larochelle | April 29, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

take it easy, frenchie, he didn't say anything about race.

Would it have been better if he'd said, "French Canadians, of any race, are just bitter about life."?

See, it's not really the racial aspect that offends you. I think it may be more of a nationalistic infraction, either to the French or to the Canadians.

But, Nationalism is stupid, I agree. But, it helps perpetuate the capitalist system which exploits indebted nations who have been swindled by debtor nations.

(funny, NATIONALism, CAPITALism... REDSKINS... Is there some kind of ulterior motive or conspiracy here? Seems like DC Sports teams ((BULLETS? WIZARDS?KKK?)) are named after variations on the methods of dividing the people against their own best interests)

I hate the French! They hate the US!

See? This gets us nowhere.

Posted by: Thinker_ | April 29, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

haha!!! wrong again. this gets me laughing my head off while studying for very serious final exams!

Proud to be French Canadian
Grateful for my American citizenship

I get a clear and strong identity with plenty of opportunity - best of both worlds

and I can insult twice as many people because I'm bilingual

all my sympathies to the non-racist Caps fans - this should not have happened

Posted by: e_larochelle | April 29, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

e_larochelle, there are not as many French speakers in the world as there are English speakers. No matter how much you want it to be, by speaking English and French, you do not double the number of people you can talk to.

Just like I want Mike Green to have played to his potential in just one of the last three games. Sadly, I cannot make this true either.

Posted by: ncromcr | April 29, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

This is another example as to why the Capitals are irrelevant in this town. This franchise has constantly broke the hearts of its fans in postseason play that fans became disillusioned and started not to care. How many times had they lead a series 3-1 or 2-0 only to lose those series to even far inferior teams.

Is the franchise at this stage again? I hope not. However, because of their choking baggage history, I wouldn't be surprised that it is. Believe it or not, this offseason is probably a critical time for this franchise in terms of regaining the faith of its fanbase. If that means tweaking their philosophy regarding their style of play or the roster in order to consistently go deep in the playoffs(resign Backstrom now!), then so be it.

P.S. I remember reading Ted Leonsis'comments saying that the Capitals could compete with the Redskins in regards to the sports fanbase here in D.C. Well, my Message to Ted is this: The Capitals will never EVER overtake the Redskins. Ever!!!

Posted by: WendellWashington | April 29, 2010 3:38 AM | Report abuse



No excuses! The fans AND THE OWNER talked championship before the playoffs started and that was DEAD WRONG. Suggest you wake up today, SHAVE and FINALLY address the defense corp on this team.

Posted by: caphcky | April 29, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Dan, you passed up on the World Cup? What a loser!!! Make sure not to do that when it's in Brazil in 2014, or then I'd really call you a blemish to sports journalism.

Posted by: marco812 | April 29, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

ive said this since we lost to the Pens last year and witnessed Mike Green's horrid D play...TRADE MIKE GREEN!


Posted by: Nats1924 | April 29, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

A couple of years ago we had a chance to trade Mike Green for Pronger (dman for Philly). That deal shoulda been made.

Posted by: Nats1924 | April 29, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse


you also left out: DC sports is DC United, the most successful soccer team in the history of MLS, now playing in a crumbling stadium, with a bad team, and a front office that despises their fans...

Posted by: eldiablo | April 29, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to see these Montreal fans gloat. It's just hockey and you still have to live in Canada (our 51st state). We could send the boy scouts to invade you guys. LOL

Posted by: mikepcfl | April 29, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

"... the Capitals could compete with the Redskins in regards to the sports fanbase here in D.C.... The Capitals will never EVER overtake the Redskins. Ever!!!"

This is what I just don't get with DC sports fans. I'm from NY before moving here 10 years ago and you would never ever ever see NY sports fans arguing about this silly junk about who has more fans, the KNicks or the Yankees or the Rangers etc. It's all nonsense. I don't understand why people here just don't enjoy all the sports, and if you don't like football then don't watch. But getting defensive about all this is ridiculous. Grow up people.

Posted by: JG55 | April 29, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope the fan who got hit in the head sues the team and the arena. I can't bring a plastic water bottle in so Ted can make $5 on water, but some clown gets in with a full bottle of Crown Royal???? That's gotta be worth big bucks.

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | April 29, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Unlike many others here, I sympathize with you Capitals fans. Philadelphians should not gloat over this, however many of the negative comments made on this site about the Phillies invasion of the Nats home opener fosters this reaction from outsiders.
You reap what you sow. Everything seems to even out and you have to take the good with bad. The Caps will be back next year better than ever. Now Philadelphians can listen to Bruins fans bad mouth them as their series begins.

Posted by: phillies2008 | April 29, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Cops are attempting to find the guy with the bad scotch and bring him up on attempted murder charges. Loser.

Posted by: TheDubb | April 29, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

The loss doesn't sicken me as much as these Wrigleyville-like partygoers that show up for the party and complain about how bad the Caps are when they lose.

Way to turn on this team you loved 2 weeks ago!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | April 29, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

we win in the end because the canadiens are still, well, canadian...

Posted by: funkey | April 29, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@DCtoDallas: Ovi has his Pippen in Backstrom. 2nd and 4th in scoring, if that's not a compliment of a player what is?

Posted by: stop_it | April 29, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what is like to be a cubs fan ; but it can't be much worse than being a caps fan. I'm really depressed.

Posted by: ginnyandrick | April 29, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Cap fans be proud as your team has made history!!! 21 times in the history of the NHL has a team been up 3 games to 1, in best of 7 series, only to lose. Four of those 21 were the Capitals!!!! The GREAT 8, imagine that is one game short of what Ovie will play this year!!!

Posted by: mesz28 | April 29, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Just read some reaction over DC's loss to the Habs. Yes, we won, mostly because of Halak's fantastic performance. I don't see why some bloggers need to comment negatively about the fan's origins (references to poutine, french canadians being whiners...).
If you look at our team, most players are either Americans or Europeans with a very small proportion of Canadians.
Anyway, it's just a game. Lightenup , go out and play, and by the way, poutine does not taste that bad!
Good luck net year, it was a very exciting series.

Posted by: duquebec | April 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

HA HA! DC fans can now occupy the empty blue seats in Nats Park. What a choke! Thanks for the easy 2nd round! Enjoy the summer! GO FLYERS!!

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 29, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Relax. It's only a game. Serenity now! Serenity now!

Posted by: boyn4884 | April 29, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I know it's heartbroken playoff loss as we all have such a high expectations, but if you are a REAL FAN and understand hockey DO NOT PANIC. We have a great team and for me they are the best team now in the league. It is unfortunate that we put the team values based on the seven games and trying to forget grueling 82 games season. If I were Leonsis, I wouldn't do anything with the team except may be few minor tuning, such as putting Alzner and Carlson permanently on the team roster and may be let Theodore go. We have such a depth and I believe there are seasons to come and have our parade on the Penn street. Go Caps!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: IPESIN1 | April 29, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I know it's Heart broken play off loss as we all have such a high expectations, but if you are REAL FAN and understand hockey DO NOT PANIC. We have a great team and for me they are the best team now in the league. It is unfortunate that we put the team values based on the seven games and trying to forget grueling 82 games season. If I were Leonsis, I wouldn't do anything with the team except may be few minor tuning, such as putting Alzner and Carlson permanently on the team roster and may be let Theodore go. We have such a depth and I believe there are seasons to come and have our parade on the Penn street. Go Caps!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: IPESIN1 | April 29, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

This team gave the DC area a thrilling season- which when compared to the Wizards and Nationals and DC United makes them the stellar group. No they didn't go on to win the Stanley Cup and for all we know when the Canadiens meet Philly they will get wiped off the face of the map- but the guys were playing HARD. Look at all of the shots taken- look at the hits. Could they have been better? Yes. Did they really give it their best- I think so. You can all Monday morning quaterback, but they played their hearts out. Don't be a fair-weather fan. Sometimes you can screw the pooch and sometimes the pooch can't be screwed.

Posted by: poppysue85 | April 29, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

This is gonna feel even worse after the Pens sweep the Canadiens- you know it's gonna happen.

Posted by: dwolfe1519 | April 29, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Alex Ovechcan't

Posted by: Chia_Pet | April 29, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Hit in the head with a full bottle of Crown Royal. Why in the world would someone waste a perfectly good bottle like that?

Posted by: fishndude | April 29, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Green is a disgrace. Semin has no heart. Boudreau was completely outcoached and outclassed by Martin. The lack of power play success and the complete lack of team defense falls all on the coach. You can't just plug guys like Walker in a Game 7 and expect success, the point of having sandpaper guys is to wear a team down over a series. Sorry Caps fans, but your weak link is the coach. Looks like the Pens win the East again...

Posted by: GoPens | April 29, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it - our fans suck. I have been a lifelong Capitals fan, having played growing through minor league hockey in Canada, so I know the game and I know this team. All through the years, I've ardently stuck by the Caps - from the playoff letdowns to the Penguins to the dreadful years post 1998 cup run.

But what I saw at the Verizon Center via TV was a bunch of bandwagon hopping typical DC sports fans who couldn't muster the energy to cheer beyond that lame "Let's go Caps!" cheer. Just lame.

When Ovie saluted the fans, I laughed because I couldn't understand who he was saluting? The 18,000 fans who probably walked into free tickets and bought a jersey on site because it was suddenly the popular thing to do in DC?

Take the year to learn a thing or two about the game and about your team and then come back next year.

Posted by: 9ajg4 | April 29, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

''It's funny to see these Montreal fans gloat. It's just hockey and you still have to live in Canada (our 51st state). We could send the boy scouts to invade you guys. LOL''

I guess emotions can make one say stupid things like this. I was hoping for a great series and regardless of the outcome and before the start of the last game, I was very happy with the show both teams displayed. Now if anyone believes in karma, I think we just got a good exemple. Anyway, I really hope there is not an inquisition in Washington. The team is awesome.

/poutine for everyone!!

Posted by: Gravy101 | April 29, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"the most popular team recovering from a year-long debacle"


Posted by: WorstSeat | April 29, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It pains me to say this, but that little runt Crosby is the best player in the league. He knows how to lead and how to win. Ovi is certainly as talented, but he'll never be as good until he makes those around him better like Crosby does, especially when it counts.

Get rid of that phat phrog, Boudreau...

Posted by: quiglee | April 29, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"No they didn't go on to win the Stanley Cup"


Umm...They didn't just not win the Stanley Cup. They didn't even get out of the first round, and they blew a 3-1 series lead in a #1 vs. #8 matchup.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have been and still am a lifelong Capitals fan. Losing like this is painful and depressing. This really sucks. We had a great team this year, but for some reason the players didn't play and sacrifice as a team as much as Montreal did. The best thing the Capitals and their coaches can do is to learn from this. Learn why Montreal really beat us. Learn from other great teams like the Detroit Red Wings and (I hate to say it Pittsburgh). Get better on the penalty kill, make our Defense as good as our Offense was. Montreal won, not only because of Halak, but their players Blocked 30 to 40 shots EVERY GAME THEY WON. If we blocked just 10 more shots a game they probably wouldn't have scored a couple of their goals. Make our Power Play lethal even in pressure situations. Move the puck and take quicker snap shots and wrist shots instead of winding up a slapshot that gets blocked. Get behind their defensemen and open up passing lanes to the net. Watch how Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Vancouver have been successful in the playoffs and learn from this. We love the Caps, do what you need to bring D.C. the Stanley Cup next year!!!

Posted by: WiseConservtv | April 29, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

It's only hockey...get over it people

Futbol, girls lacrosse, bocce and tailgates are more important before hockey in the DC area.

Posted by: boricuabopper | April 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse


"It pains me to say this, but that little runt Crosby is the best player in the league."

That "little runt" is 5'11", 190lbs, and a world-class athlete.

Posted by: _iceman_2 | April 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I missed the Free Donuts???
I didn't think it was possible to angrier.

Posted by: G20FdaCowboys | April 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"The crowd came to life at the outset of the third, standing and hollering in a sustained ovation that was not even prompted by the Jumbotron or the team's marketing department. Authentic hope, finally."

Caps fans are the biggest joke. They are the 2nd biggest bunch of band wagon fans behind the Patriots fans.

All you people go the games because you think it is the cool place to be. It's not. You people know nothing about hockey or sports for that matter. You people are tools. Keep up your crying.

Posted by: mthomas2 | April 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I gave Green a pass after his poor playoff showing last year. Sorry, but he was awful again in postseason and killed the team. Get rid of him now while there is huge value. When he's not scoring goals, he's a liability.

Posted by: Rex91 | April 29, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I love how everyone prefaces their comment with "I'm a life-long caps fan."

There certainly is a bandwagoning effect going on here (not unlike the sudden influx of Phillies fans), but that's natural when you suddenly have a team that can contend. Back in the 80s, the caps had a great, charismatic team like this one, and had a strong following. Unfortunately, when they moved from USAir to MCI, the team and the following went downhill (save for that one run to the finals), and didn't seem to recover until recently.

Posted by: rtramonte5500 | April 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I find it insufferable that these other non-Capitals fans and some Capitals fans who are out to blame someone on the team for them feeling unfulfilled and failures.

To the non-Capitals fans: It's very amusing that you hide behind your posts online and would not, in a million years, voice your opinions directly and in person, to a Capitals fans. Any individual with half a brain (with the exception of the Canadiens fans and Pens fans who are prancing around like they accomplished something in their lives with their hockey teams' victories) would know they'd get a fistful of knuckles if they actually voiced their opinions in person.

To the Capitals fans who're deciding that anybody and everybody from the players to the owner should be shredded up and used as manure: A little shocked. I would think you had something else going in your lives that even the disappointment of the Capitals losing last night and every night they ever lost, would be seen in the context of the bigger picture - it's just a game. Sure, you feel like someone kicked you in the family jewels but it's only .05% of the crumminess the Capitals are feeling. Lay off of them. You might as well become a Pens fan. Or even worse, you could become a Canadien.

Thanks for the victories this year, Capitals! We'll see you guys in October! C-A-P-S, Caps, Caps, Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Btw: French Canadiens. You guys aren't really French. The French are actually laughing at you guys. Posers.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

LOSERS!!! Always have been, always will be. Thanks again for NOTHING Capitals.

Posted by: DCFanatic | April 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals will never EVER overtake the Redskins. Ever!!!

Posted by: WendellWashington | April 29, 2010 3:38 AM

Yeah, the Caps traditional rivals...the 'Skins. Huh?

What if local fans actually root for both local teams? Or, horror of horrors, all of them?

What a horrible ending to a horrible series. Ah, the joys of being a Caps fan!

Posted by: CDRHoek | April 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Caps will be the Phoenix Suns of the NHL for the next 10 years, exciting, high scoring team with regular season success that will never win in the playoffs because their style of play...

Posted by: jeffbo_80 | April 29, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals will never EVER overtake the Redskins. Ever!!!

Posted by: WendellWashington | April 29, 2010 3:38 AM

Yeah, the Caps' traditional rivals...the 'Skins. Huh?

What if local fans actually root for both local teams? Or, horror of horrors, all of them?

What a horrible ending to a horrible series. And that last little jab of cruel, fleeting hope in the minute and a half after they finally scored...ah, the joys of being a Caps fan!

Posted by: CDRHoek | April 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse


you're right about the fan base having gone downhill since moving from the beloved concrete bunker Cap Centre. The fans now are a bunch of front-running yuppie p***ies who know nothing about hockey. But that pretty much describes Washington fans of any sport. I have been fan since 1974 when I played hockey as a kid. I was actually a Habs fan from 1971 before the the Caps came into existence.

Posted by: quiglee | April 29, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey, LeftCoast, I'm a Pens fan and I do voice my opinions at Verizon and have done so since USAir. No one ever says anything to me in my 1985 Lemieux gamer because the percentage of real hockey fans are so low. Give me a fist full of knuckles next Pens-Caps game at Verizon, I'll be the guy with the aluminum foil Stanley Cup. I hear Modell's is opening early today to accomodate the influx of returned Ovechkin jerseys. Hope you bandwagoners kept the tags!

Posted by: GoPens | April 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Steinz- It's our birthright as native Washingtonians to watch the Caps and their monumetal, epic playoff collapses. Of course, this one was by far the most 'monumentalist' and most 'epic-ist' choke job of all.

Posted by: 4-12 | April 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Stanley Cup or no, how could you turn down a trip to the World Cup?!

Posted by: EYoung77 | April 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Wow! You have a 1985 Lemieux Jersey?! You are a hockey god! I bow down to thee. And I guess because no one says anything to you at a hockey game when you are wearing the opposing teams jersey (a 1985 Lemieux jersey at that, holy cow!) that they are all bandwagoners! Yup, makes perfect sense!

Posted by: miked1974 | April 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I actually get disappointed when no one talks trash to me at a Caps game wearing a Pens jersey. Could be that you're choking on something, maybe some chicken tenders, maybe a President's trophy, I couldn't tell.

Posted by: GoPens | April 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

3 Keys to Post Season failure
- We we're out coached, Boudreau didn't seem to make any adjustments for the last 3 games of the series.

-Halak probably played the best hockey of his life.

- Some sports clichés still stand true. OFFENSE WINS GAMES, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Mike Green is the most overrated player in the NHL and a sorry excuse for a defenseman. How a lousy defenseman is a Norris trophy nominee is beyond my comprehension. Green's dumb penalty in the offensive zone and weak defense in our own end cost us the game. I wish Boudreau could get over his Mike Green man-crush and see him for the terrible defenseman he his.

Posted by: jusspin | April 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Let's get straight to the point. Puckguru TOLD YOU THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. Furthermore, he told you WHY. The Caps are a bunch of woosps WITH NO HEART. NO GUTS! NO COURAGE! simply put, they're a team of "Pretty boys" with a misguided sense of entitlement.
Get rid of Flash. Ditto Poti, Sarge "Nasty," and by all means, Mike Green. then, realize that Neauvirth, NOT Varlamov, is their best goalie. and, finally, get a REAL COACH; one who understands strategies and matchups. Basically, BB tells them, "Alright, go out there and play." There's a reason why he coached in the minors for umteen years. HE'S A JOKE!!
Swallow this hard. Puckguru has been spot - on since DAY # 1. He didn't earn the title simply because he's tall DARK, and extremely handsome. Which he most certainly is. He earned the nickname because he knows what he's talking about!!!!!

Posted by: Puckguru | April 29, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I was really looking forward to the Caps fans chant "Crosby Sucks". Kinda like OV Chokes. Seriously, we Pens fans will really miss you the rest of the way. The Great 8 seed had the best keeper in the playoffs.

Posted by: pensfan57 | April 29, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow, gopens has a LEMIEUX jersey. You're clearly a huge fan of the sublties of the game there buddy.

Caps will be back next year. This sucks, but hope is not lost.

Posted by: WrongDog | April 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

A Pens fan, not living in Pittsburgh??? That's a first!

Posted by: Witter | April 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey, my folks moved out in the 70's, not my fault. Let's not get hung up on my awesome jersey here. The point is your fans are awful and the Caps will do the same thing next year unless they get rid of Boudreau. There's a reason DC has never sold out a season until now.

Posted by: GoPens | April 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Team Canada left Mike Green off the olympic hockey team....

That should tell you something about what people that know hockey think about him.

Posted by: jeffbo_80 | April 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Let the Habs enjoy the next 2 days thinking that they can beat the Pens. It's going to be awesome when it all comes down crashing fast and they'll realize their team got a hot goalie who got extremely lucky but their team really sucks in real life and they have no real talent or future. Ditto with the Flyers fans, let them hope and talk trash because they'll be hitting the golf course in a couple of weeks. As bad as this loss is, we lost an important battle but we'll rise again; with players like Alzner and Carlson and Neuvy, and yes, Ovi and Backstrom we still got a bright future ahead of us. This was a hard but necessary lesson and let's hope that needed changes are made so that we do not repeat history.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | April 29, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse


You are exactly right about Team Canada's assessment of the wretched Mike Green. But begs the question as to how he is a finalist for the Norris. I realize that true defensemen are more difficult to quantify, plus/minus doesn't necessarily tell you anything either. They have to be evaluated by watching and understanding the game. Unfortunately that gives a nod to guys who can score but don't know how to play defense because know-nothings only look at offensive stats....

Posted by: quiglee | April 29, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Good Call jeffbo, I agree with team Canada 100%, Mike Green is a bum. I've been screaming it for three seasons. All these #52 jersey wearing fools that clearly know nothing about Hockey don't understand. I guess they think since he was in the penalty box it's not his fault, right?

I can only guess what he does for Boudreau behind closed doors. When Green is having a bad game, Boudreau's solution is give him more ice time. He's like a city worker, the worse job you do, the more funding you get.

Posted by: jusspin | April 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

my soul hurts...

Posted by: adidamas | April 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Not that I like the Pens but they are going to blow up the Habs. Habs continue to get 15 shots a game and allow 45-50 against them they aren't going to survive the next 1 1/2 weeks. Difference is that the Pens will do what is needed to score where the Caps absolutely bombed.

Posted by: jdove80 | April 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

10 years ago something like this would have made me angry. Now it's just eh, the Caps, chokers again.. What else is new? Different players, different coach, different year.... SAME TEAM!

Posted by: john65001 | April 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps played well, but they just did not play the "playoff style" where heart comes before talent.

If it weren't for Halak, they couldn't have kept a lead the whole game so easily..

You guys have a good team and it will be good for many years to come, don't be too depressed !

Let's hope the Caps lost to the next Stanly Cup winners!

Posted by: myhaa | April 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I told a Chigago friend back in January that I saw the Caps making a good run at the Cup this year but that I didn't feel that they could win it yet. I didn't see the same commitment to 5 man defense as was evident on offense. I certainly did not expect the playoff run to end so early.........until: Dan Steinberg and Mike Wise, I like your work. Read it regularly. However, the next time you guys sit down to talk about an upcoming playoff series and how you expect the Caps to fare, do it after the Caps clinch, not at 3-1. Otherwise, have this conversation in private and don't post it. I'm not superstitious, but if I were Jaques Martin, I'd have run your video on an endless loop in my locker room. Since game 5, the Habs played like a fired up team not getting their due respect.

I still see a bright future for this team. As much as this series collapse hurts, it can be something to build on. Not going to blame any individual players or the coaching do with what you have. I believe George McPhee knows what it takes to win in the playoffs and I expect to see a more balanced team in October. Looking forward to it.

Posted by: prestoj | April 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

So depressing......

Posted by: lavar609 | April 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I love it!

The "little" Cappies lose(choke again).

The "great" Crosby is 100 times better than Ovechkin.

Posted by: stephenwhelton | April 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

So did Leonsis take down the Message Board again?

Sad sad day. I am at a loss for words.

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I bet Scotty Bowman never wore a lavender shirt with mulberry tie when coaching a Game 7.

Posted by: devilsadvocate2 | April 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Up here in Canada (where people actually understand hockey) we've been using the term "Choke-itals" for Washington's performance in every playoff. Hockey is a team game, even Crosby couldn't lead a team to victory if the others weren't playing up to their playoff potential. Hockey players should be hard-working', humble, and happy to get paid for playing the best sport in the world. My fav team (the Habs) can find a way to win against the Penguins, and anyone else. After all, they beat the Mighty Washington Capitals.

Wanna win? Perhaps the entire organization should play around with different systems during the next season, learn to adjust on the fly, and don't focus on the President's Cup. Finish in the top 8, then turn it on for the post-season.

Go Habs! Forever!

Posted by: DenzilMcBain | April 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Don't bother responding. I'm only here once to put in my two-cents, not get involved in a debate or some name-calling.

Well, I'm off to find an online Pittsburgh paper to register with.

Posted by: DenzilMcBain | April 29, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

French Canadians are just hateful people. Too bad they won.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Poutine is a cholesterol-laden heart attack pill. Great line, Mike. And how is Green a finalist for the Norris? The folks that picked the Canadian Olympic team knew something-- this is the second year in row he has disappeared in a Game Seven.

Posted by: shogun_5 | April 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse


How about I meet you somewhere in DC and knock you head off? You can bring your boyfriend too.

Been to Caps games before but never had anyone trash talk me.

I love watching the Crapitals choke!

Posted by: mthomas2 | April 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Vent city today. Especially enjoy the fans of other teams who come to gloat. Their teams may be good, bad or mediocre, but I'm always impressed by the classlessness of their anonymous fans.

Posted by: capsfan77 | April 29, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

To those all-knowing, super duper hockey geniuses that claim to know more about hockey than you: get over yourselves. Maybe you'd prefer we have some sort of hockey rules test to get into the Verizon Center?Or how about we accept fans of all knowledge levels and just enjoy the freakin game?

Posted by: overkill23 | April 29, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

The only thing surprising about this outcome is that it wasn't the Penguins beating the Capitals in a meaningful game. Despite losing at home in game seven last year after being up 2-0, somehow Capital fans thought that the outcome would be different this year. Face it, you're the Cleveland Browns of hockey. I used to leave after class at Pitt in the early to mid 90's to drive the 4 hours to Landover to watch the Pens-Caps play because it was easier to get a ticket than driving 5 minutes to the Igloo. Not only could we easily get tickets, we could practically move up to the ice every game. True Capitals fans by and large are few in number, and who could blame them? You have the second best player on Earth, but he's one dimenional and as we've seen, even when surrounded by a lot of talent, doesn't have the ability to lead his team to victory or adapt his game to the situation. Crosby is the best all around player on the planet, period, and for accomplishing 3 times as much as Ovechkin, is humble, doesn't call out opposing players, doesn't try to cripple opposing players, doesn't punch female fans, and isn't so stupid as to call out the opposing goaltender for being scared after the Capitals were lucky to be tied 1-1 in this series. Fun to watch? Yes. One dimensional? Yes. Humble? No. Classy? No. Winner? No. That's #8 in a nutshell. I'm only upset that Crosby didn't have another shot of showing Ovechkin face-to-face this year.

Posted by: weldon_sean | April 29, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

if the Caps truly have character they will learn from this and be stronger. Very few Presidents trophy winners go on to win the cup. and stop the French Canadian bashing. French and English speaking Canadians play hockey with fortitude and humility, and that is representative of them as a people. SHow some respect!

Posted by: Rpal | April 29, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

As a Canucks fan living in DC area, I understand how you feel about your team blowing a 3-1 series lead to lose it. The Canucks had a 3-1 series lead only to lose it to Minnesota Wild. They were favored to win the cup in 2003. Your team is different than my team in 2003 because Canucks was in decline and your Caps superstars will learn from this and retain their skills. A few roster adjustments and they are ready to win within next few years. Stay loyal to your team and you will see the glory years ahead. I'm looking forward to Canucks playoff run this year and I am hoping that they will win the cup this year.

This Caps team remind me of the young Detroit Red Wings who was supposed to win the Cup for four years before they finally won it all in 1997.

Posted by: coolboarder | April 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

A guy walks into a bar and orders an "Ovechkin."

The bartender, never hearing of such a drink, asked the parton, "What's in it?"

The patron responds, "A White Russian with no cup."


Posted by: mjc3 | May 3, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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