Washington Eliminated - Nothing Has Changed
I know this is a Pittsburgh Penguins website, but when your rival drops a 3-1 series lead to an 8 seed, you find it hard to bite your tongue.
People said R.J. Umberger was foolish to proclaim that a good defensive team would end Washington’s playoff lives.
Well R.J. was right.
The Washington Capitals allowed themselves to be frustrated by a hot goaltender and failed to play with the trademark tenacity that is the hallmark of a Stanley Cup champion.
I said during my playoff preview that the one area where the Montreal Canadiens had a clear-cut advantage was behind the bench. Jacques Martin can go toe to toe with any coach in the NHL and get his team playing the way it needs to play to ensure victory.
Bruce Boudreau couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag.
The Canadiens, time after time, weathered the storm, made smart plays with the puck, and disallowed the Capitals the opportunity to enter into the slot and fire the puck in prime scoring areas.
Martin had his forwards systematically generating turnovers and his defense did a great job of boxing out the Capitals forwards.
Alex Ovechkin’s attitude may have had a hand in burying the team, as he went out of his way to poke fun at Jaroslav Halak after comeback victory. Ovechkin jested that Halak was shaking scared after giving up a goal to the Washington forward.
I didn’t see Halak shaking tonight.
Boudreau refuses to make the necessary changes that would enable his team to compete. The Capitals allow second chances, they are not tough enough, and they consistently basket-hang up ice searching for breakout opportunities.
Bruce Boudreau is, simply put, an enabler. He allows this entire wide-open offense culture in Washington to be perpetuated throughout the room and the Metro area.
That’s the same culture that saw Ted Leonsis proclaim that his team had arrived all the way back in February.
The regular season means nothing.
Individual trophies mean nothing.
At the end of the day, there is one piece of hardware that makes a difference. You have to invest quite a bit to get it.
The Capitals didn’t invest enough.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the highest remaining seed in the Eastern Conference.