Over the weekend the Washington Capitals did two things that have avoided them the last couple seasons. First they won a playoff series for the first time since the last time they beat the Rangers in the 2009 playoffs in the first round. Second, since they have been on this 4 year playoff run this was the first series win or lose that has not gone the full 7 games. Which leaves them in a situation they are not used to and that’s waiting for their next opponent, it’s a nice feeling. However the feeling of excitement is because of all of the disappointment of seasons past. The Capitals have been considered one of the top teams in hockey, and i say considered a top team because they have yet to hoist the cup. Last season the Capitals had one of the most dominating regular seasons ever, but poor defense and running into a hot goaltender found the Caps out after one round. The year before that the Caps couldn’t get past their arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins as they rolled to a Stanley Cup Title. I think you guys get it despite all the talent the Caps have failed miserably in the postseason, they kind of remind me of the Atlanta Braves. Only difference the Braves did win it all, even if it was only once. Despite all of the past failures this year feels different, the team feels different.
One of the biggest pet peeves was the disappearing act Alexander Semin has had every year in the postseason, against every team not named the New York Rangers. He had 3 goals and 1 assist in the 5 games series but again he has a track record of playing well only against the Rangers, if he continues the Caps will be a hard out. The Caps defense has gotten better but they still display the fire power needed on nights when the goalie is off. The Rangers scored 1 goal or less in 3 of the 5 games in the series. However we also saw the Caps could still score in bunches. In Game 4 the Rangers entered the third period with a 3-0 lead, and Washington responded with a 3 goal third period and wound up winning in overtime. Last it seems like the Caps have finally found their goalie. Twenty-three year old Michael Neuvirth is staking his claim to be the goalie of the Washington Capitals for a long time. He has yet to play a full season in the NHL but he had a lot of success in the AHL. He won two Culder Cups which is the equivalent to the NHL’s Stanley Cup.
The Capitals have entered the last two postseason as the number 1 team in the east and though last year they had a better overall record this team seems better. They have already gotten further than last years team and seem built for a long playoff run. Not to sound overconfident but looking at the rest of the teams in the east the Caps can only lose if they beat themselves. Anything less of a Stanley Cup is a huge letdown and could lead to major changes next season.
Andy Snakovsky – 105.7 The Fan Staff Writer
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