Disappointment is probably an understatement. The Washington Capitals were defeated in Game 7 by the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 last night. As we noted yesterday, all they needed to do was win and some changes could have been the right adjustments. Obviously both were easier said than done.
This was the President's Cup winning team for the 2009-2010 NHL season. They had one of the highest scorers, and one of the 2 top stars of the league in Alex Ovechkin. May predicted the Stanley Cup would finally come to Washington, and those who didn't at least expected them to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Yet they lose to the 8 seed in the East, after leading the series 3-1. In quick order, here are the few things that faltered the Capitals in the playoffs.
- Alex Semin never scored. He had lead all NHL players in the playoffs in shots on goal, but failed to nail one in in four games.
- The stars never came out to shine. Sure, Ovechkin scored some. Niklas Backstrom had a couple of good games. But Mike Green was lackluster. Semin as mentioned above was a total no show in the goal department.
- Bad offense and bad defense. Semyon Varlamov minded the net better than the win-loss numbers show. But with little goal support in the losing games and a defense that couldn't seem to stop the Habs from advancing on Varlamov, it just wasn't enough.
It seems the only good coming out of this was that we know there is a great future with John Carlson. We do know this much. When the analysts break it down and ask if it was an epic Capitals loss or a great Canadiens win in the series, the former shines bright over the latter. Coach Bruce Boudreau will have to see why his team faltered when it mattered the most. Somehow, you get the feeling changes in lineups and matchups may not have solved it all. It may be that intangible thing that is missing. Somehow the magic just wasn't there.