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Leonsis says Stanley Cup is "just a matter of time"

I can't find the link, but I'm almost positive that Caps owner Ted Leonsis suggested last season that a Stanley Cup was almost an inevitability. Last spring's playoff disappointment hasn't quashed that optimism, because Leonsis said much the same Wednesday.

"One year, a goal scored won't get called back," he said on ESPN 980's The Sports Fix. "It'll happen to the other team, or we'll be on the power play in overtime in the playoffs. If yo'ure there enough, good fortune will shine on you. I believe that.

"I believe that if the Caps can qualify for the playoffs, 10 or 15 years in a row, and we have a really good team that's young and has upside, that with that continuity and that knocking on the door enough, that we'll get our fair share of Stanley Cups. That's what I believe and I have to believe.

"I promised the fan base we wouldn't create a team that would get to the Finals and then not make the playoffs, or make the playoffs barely then [not] make the playoffs the next year. That we'd be generationally great and would win the Cup. Well, I think we're on our way to having a really really good team. We got younger this offseason. The players who made the team that we think are better players than we had are younger, they're our prospects in goaltending and defense. That augers so well for our future.

"At the same time, we want to win today. I do think we're positioned very very well. We've managed the cap well. We have our bedrock players signed for the most part for long-term deals....The fan base has confidence, and it's just a matter of time, I believe, until we win the Cup."

Leonsis also said his team needs to learn how to "stand up" in defining moments, that the Stanley Cup is "the hardest trophy to win in sports" and that he believes this year's team will be better than last year's.

"The NHL playoffs are very different [than the regular season]," he said. " They're officiated differently. Things that work in the regular season don't. You have to adapt. We get it. We know. Hopefully we'll do better this year."

By Dan Steinberg  | September 22, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

Curious how getting younger helps you win championships?

Such a pathetic view point...luck wins stanley cups!!

Posted by: CapsandRavens | September 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Five years ago, all this town wanted was a reason to believe. We have that now, a legitimate reason to believe we can win the Stanley Cup. We have never, ever had that before. The rest, as the man says, is just luck. If there werent luck involved, the best team would alwasy win. They don't. More often than not they don't. For every Yankee team there is an Arizona or Florida, for every New England there is a New Orleans. For every Laker team, there is the Pistons or the Spurs. It will be our time sooner rather than later.

Posted by: stork95 | September 22, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

good strategy plan, Dan. not publishing posters' comments. that'll keep them coming back

Posted by: philarmy | September 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"The NHL playoffs are very different [than the regular season]," he said. " They're officiated differently.

-------------

pls tell me he's not blaming the officiating.


""One year, a goal scored won't get called back," he said on ESPN 980's The Sports Fix. "It'll happen to the other team, or we'll be on the power play in overtime in the playoffs"

oops never mind, i guess he is. We'll go definitely go far with that mentality.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey 'CapsandRavens', there wasn't anything pathetic about that viewpoint, you REALLY don't get it. He was referring to building a Cup-competeive team for the long haul, year-in, year-out. So getting younger while still putting together a serious Cup contender is an impressive feat and is the off-season goal every year.

What's with all the negativity in these comments? I've supported the Caps religiously since October of 1974. Yes, I was there for the first game, even the first exibition game, you complainers have no clue how special a time this is in the history of this franchise.

Posted by: dabagley | September 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Playoff hockey is extremely physical and tight. Caps simply cannot play that game because they don't want to.

Fans will enjoy it for now, but they will realize that the Caps are just a mirage, just like the Eagles and Cowboys were in the recent decade.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 22, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

And I love the culture of non-accountability being propgated from the top down. /sarcasm.
It's always someone else, not themselves.

At least Shanahan holds his players accountable, which is the Redskins will be the top dog in this town for his entire stay here.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Lets get one thing straight, officiating was not the problem. A hot goalie, coaching, and certain players not willing to pay the price was the problem.

Posted by: TheSmurfs | September 22, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Cox has done two pretty crappy things lately.

Wrote a "just asking the question" column about Jose batiste and steroids.

Incorrectly pat burns HHad passed away and gave a limp apology after the fact.

Posted by: Odessasteps | September 22, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the column, Dan.

Posted by: Kdarienzo | September 22, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm fine with believing--and saying--that the Caps have built a team which they hope can contend for Stanley Cups for a decade. This franchise's future has never been as exciting.

What I'm not as thrilled about is assuming that the Caps will win "our fair share of Stanley Cups." Let's win one first before we start talking about more than one. And let's not assume that the Caps are going to win one. Let's win one first. It pained me at last year's Caps Convention when one fan asked the YOung Guns (Ovy, Backy, Green) what they would do with the Stanley Cup when they won it--and they answered.

Posted by: TheFingerman | September 22, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, the one problem with this philosophy of building for the long haul is that sometimes you do have to sacrifice a piece of the future to make sure your team is good enough one year to win it all. With injuries, luck, etc., you're not going to win every year, but some years the stars do align and you need to go for it--make the trade or the big free agent signing that puts you over the top but gives up a key propect. I'll be fine at having a team that only contends for seven or eight years but wins a cup, than one that contends for 12 and doesn't win any. The Blackhawks may not contend for the Cup this year and lost a number of their players because of the salary cap, but they still have their core players (Toews, Kane, Keith) and they will still make the playoffs this year. They also have a Stanley Cup. I think right now, I'd still rather be in their situation.

Posted by: TheFingerman | September 22, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, the one problem with this philosophy of building for the long haul is that sometimes you do have to sacrifice a piece of the future to make sure your team is good enough one year to win it all. With injuries, luck, etc., you're not going to win every year, but some years the stars do align and you need to go for it--make the trade or the big free agent signing that puts you over the top but gives up a key propect. I'll be fine at having a team that only contends for seven or eight years but wins a cup, than one that contends for 12 and doesn't win any. The Blackhawks may not contend for the Cup this year and lost a number of their players because of the salary cap, but they still have their core players (Toews, Kane, Keith) and they will still make the playoffs this year. They also have a Stanley Cup. I think right now, I'd still rather be in their situation.

Posted by: TheFingerman | September 22, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, the one problem with this philosophy of building for the long haul is that sometimes you do have to sacrifice a piece of the future to make sure your team is good enough one year to win it all. With injuries, luck, etc., you're not going to win every year, but some years the stars do align and you need to go for it--make the trade or the big free agent signing that puts you over the top but gives up a key propect. I'll be fine at having a team that only contends for seven or eight years but wins a cup, than one that contends for 12 and doesn't win any. The Blackhawks may not contend for the Cup this year and lost a number of their players because of the salary cap, but they still have their core players (Toews, Kane, Keith) and they will still make the playoffs this year. They also have a Stanley Cup. I think right now, I'd still rather be in their situation.

Posted by: TheFingerman | September 22, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

They just kind of peter out every year....last year they really were bad after the break. NO goalie really hurts!

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | September 22, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

And now there's an article in which Jim Haslett admits that he made some calls he would like to take back. That's a real coach there. Manning up and admitting you made a mistake.

A far cry from the "I don't know" comments spewing out of the Caps players' mouths.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@slurpees are cool

Ted's a nice guy, but he's clueless about playoff hockey. The playoffs are very physical. Too physical for this bunch.
They're also "tight". Flush and Semin had no room to score. This team will look great in the season, and then get bounced by another group of scrappy Canadians(probably the Pens)in the playoffs.

We also don't play team defense, which is a must in the playoffs. So instead of one and done, we'll be two and done this year. Hopefully Ted is smart enough to dump a GM of 12 years who can't put togeather a playoff worthy team. It's really not that tough to find Canadian/American hockey players who are gritty enough to win a Cup
when you have that many high draft picks. GMGM is a disaster. Our best Euro-trash game gets dumped early every year.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 23, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

if mcphee had actually done something to address our defensive weakness, i'd agree that there is reason for optimism. but from where i sit, the defense is worse now than it was last year - and less equipped to handle the pressure and physicallity of the playoffs.

BEFORE last year's playoffs, all we heard was that they had "learned" from the previous post-seasons' failure (against the penguins and flyers). what happened? they failed even more miserably. clearly, even now, they haven't learned that you need a different kind of skill-set to succeed in the playoffs.

the team is fun to watch, no doubt. but not built for the playoffs...and even less so today than we were last year.

Posted by: dingram3 | September 23, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Ted. Cotton Candy Ted. Sugar, spin, and no nutritional value. He's not changed a bit.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | September 23, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

@dingram3

Can you explain how the weak defense cost the Caps the series vs Montreal?

Posted by: SA-Town | September 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis is such a friggin' blowhard. Making the playoffs for many years in a row guarantees a Cup? He should look to the history of HIS OWN FRANCHISE! If I'm not mistaken (and I'm not), the WASHINGTON CAPITALS made the playoffs 14 straight years from the early 80's to the mid-90's. FOURTEEN STRAIGHT YEARS! And didn't win a Cup. Never came close. So much for Leonsis' nonsense. The guy is an incredibly overrated owner.

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Only sportsfannies think the ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup. The real goal is to fill seats with paying customers, period.

Posted by: tw46 | September 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I cant believe all the crap Im hearing from so-called fans now,that I havent heard before.This team is GREAT,the owner is GREAT,the GM is GREAT,the coaching staff is GREAT,and the players are GREAT.The defense played good enough to win and so did the goalie we caught a tough break and ran into the worst thing in the playoffs in hockey and thats a goalie on a hot streak.We can and will get better in the playoffs,because all we need is for all the players to step up in the playoffs and they will.

Posted by: mbarker81 | September 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Blaming losses on luck is the losers way out. The team that works the hardest will be "luckier" than the other.

Posted by: rderr27 | September 23, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe all the crap Im hearing from so-called fans now,that I havent heard before.This team is GREAT,the owner is GREAT,the GM is GREAT,the coaching staff is GREAT,and the players are GREAT.The defense played good enough to win and so did the goalie we caught a tough break and ran into the worst thing in the playoffs in hockey and thats a goalie on a hot streak.We can and will get better in the playoffs,because all we need is for all the players to step up in the playoffs and they will.

Posted by: mbarke


Keep on drinking the Kool-Aid. This team has been a repeat of Dallas Cowboys 2007 for a while now. Talented and arrogant, and the dudes at the top are a little flaky. Many Caps fans suffer from winning withdrawal, so they'll overlook any flaws just to keep that "morphine" effect going.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | September 23, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

To all the haters, to all the Debbie downers, take a freaking hike! If you think that everything Caps related sucks so badly by all means please go support another hockey club. Get out of the Verizon center, give up your seats and stop watching! Those of us that have been supporting this team for years will be happy to be rid of you!!!

Posted by: ags38 | September 24, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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