Thursday, May 05, 2011

History was made...just not the kind Caps fans wanted

Instead, the Caps made history with a new level of epic failure in the playoffs as the first number one seed swept in the first or second round of the playoffs since 1994.  Wow, that's some achievement.

The Tampa Bay Lightning out coached, out played and out hustled the Caps.  There is not enough heart, effort or desire in that Caps locker room to win a championship.  I feel like a broken record, but I'll say it again anyway.  It takes way more than talent to win a Stanley Cup and neither the Caps players nor their coaching staff seem to get it.

Reading GMGM's quotes that he doesn't see major changes being made to his team and organization means that the Caps will continue to go nowhere.  Thanks for pouring gasoline on any hope a Caps fan might have for a winning future George.  Because the results won't be any different with the players and coaching staff as is.

And, the injury excuse, also in his comments, is just that.  An excuse.  Pittsburgh took Tampa to seven games without Sydney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke (suspension not injury).  Tampa kicked the snot out of the Caps in four games without forward Simon Gagne, a 40 point contributor during the regular season and a point per game performer in their series against Pittsburgh.  They also lost Pavel Kubina, one of their top defense men.

So, there you have it Caps fans.  Another epically disappointing season.  Boy, does it suck to be a Washington sports fan.  Oh, wait, I said that last year, too....because nothing ever changes.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Another line change mistake results in another Caps failure

Who lost this game?  The coach.  Successful professional hockey teams don't take a too many men on the ice penalty in the playoffs. Last night, that was the difference.  If Mike Knuble's goal had counted on the power play in the first period, the score would have been tied in the third, even after Tampa's two goals in under a minute.  But, no, another stupid change cost the Caps another goal. Lackluster efforts from too many players aren't helping either, but these momentum swinging mistakes are killing them.

Being a Caps hockey fan truly fits the definition of insanity.

Teams rarely come back from being down 0-3 in the playoffs so whatever hope I had is gone now.

Let's go Caps!

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Monday, May 02, 2011

Line Change Mistakes = Coaching Failure

Not that there aren't many other reasons the Caps are failing in the playoffs, once again, but line change mistakes are killing them in this series.  It led to the overtime goal that put the Caps down in their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning 0-2 last night.  Atrocious line changes during Friday's game contributed to that first game loss, too.  The coach doesn't get all the blame for this failure as the players play a role in making effective line changes, but he is the bench manager. Scott Hannan, however, made the line change mistake that led to the overtime goal on Friday.  But, this is "hockey for dummies" stuff and why the Caps can't get this right is beyond me.

Other reasons why the Caps still stink in the playoffs...

The Caps power play.  It's been ineffective for over a year now and that the coaches can't fix it means this could be a short series.  The Caps can't set anything up, they continue to disregard the effectiveness of putting big bodies in front of the net and they get cute, far too often, passing when they should shoot more.

Alex Ovechkin on the point during the power play.  It doesn't work and I'm tired of watching the puck go over Ovie's stick back into the neutral zone when he's on the point.  Why the coaches continue to try something that hasn't worked in over a year is maddening.

The disappearance of Nicklas Backstrom.  Where in the world did your game go Backie?  I don't know if he's struggling with the new way the Caps play, but, prior to this year, he's been one of the more consistent star offensive players.  It's so unusual to watch a consistent player's production go down the toilet.  It's a head scratcher.

The defensive pairing of Jeff Schultz with Mike Green.  Schultz ended the night minus-2 and Green was minus-1.  No other player on the team was worse in defensive play than these two.  Schultz was on the ice for all three Tampa goals and Green for two.  Seeing them together drives me insane because they're a huge liability together.  Schultz is struggling to keep up with the speedy Tampa players and looked horrible all night and in Friday's game.  I miss Dennis Wideman because he would be a huge help to the Caps with Tampa's speedy players and the power play.  Plus, the coaches could break up this awful pairing.

Tampa's coaching staff is out coaching the Caps, which is eerily reminiscent of the series against Montreal last year.

I have little faith that the Caps can win this series if these problems persist, but I also hope they prove me wrong.

Let's go Caps!

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