when Bruce Boudreau took over as the coach of the Washington Capitals in Dec. 2007, things couldn’t get much worse. the team was sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference, and well on their way to missing the playoffs, for a fourth straight season. the Caps ended up winning the division on the last day, before getting knocked out by the Flyers in seven games in the first round. Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award, and things were starting to look up.
the Caps won 50 games for just the second time in franchise history, and their second straight division title in 2008-09. they fell behind the Rangers, 2-0, in their first round series, but came back to win in seven. they were knocked out in the second round by the Penguins in seven games.
2009-10 was looking to be the season, the Caps would finally win a Stanley Cup. they set a team record for wins (54), points (121), and won their first Presidents Trophy (for best regular season record) they had a 3-1 lead in their first round series against Montreal, and in typical Caps fashion, they lost the next three games. truly, the biggest collapse in playoff history.
I had zero expectations heading into this season. the Caps were no longer the flashy run-and-gun offensive juggernaut of previous seasons. they were more defensive-minded, and the results were mixed. they caught fire toward the end of the season, winning their fourth consecutive division title, and grabbing the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, for the second straight year.
after dispatching of the Rangers in five games, they were swept out by division rivals, Tampa Bay. after watching all four games, the Caps were outcoached and outplayed. oh sure, the Caps may have won a period here or there, but the better team won the series.
GM George McPhee brought in Jason Arnott, so that they would have that guy who has veteran leadership, and knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. the Caps have the talent to win a Cup, but ultimately, it comes down to the coaches to prepare this team.
whether they want to blame it on an unlucky bounce, a perceived bad call by the referees, whatever, deep down, they know the effort simply wasn’t there. outside of Ovechkin, none of the big guns showed up in this series. the good teams will get those bounces. u throw the puck at the net, good things will happen. I’d be more concerned about my team’s ability to properly execute a line change at key moments of a game, than whether or not a puck was deliberately kicked into the net.
someone once called Bruce Boudreau the best to ever play minor league hockey. I guess u could draw parallels between that statement, in saying the Caps are one of the best regular season teams in NHL history. at the end of the day, neither one of those statements amounts to jack shit! this is a team that hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs, since their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 (two series wins in that time)
the DC area has such a losing culture, when it comes to it’s professional sports teams. I’m sure there are fans who are satisfied with the way the season ended. NOT ME! I’m sure there are fans who still think Bruce Boudreau is capable of winning a Stanley Cup. NOT ME!
fuck it, they should hire Mike Keenan…