Wednesday, 10 May 2017

This Seems Familiar

They say that one should win with class. That one shouldn't flaunt victory in front of fallen opponents. That one should act like one has been there before. If these clich├ęs are a little much for you, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals ended tonight's series just as they have nine out of ten series before: handshakes after Pittsburgh eliminated Washington.

I'm not here to dance on the grave of the Capitals. This is going to be a tough off-season for them as changes will be made whether they want them to happen or not. That's life in the salary cap era, and this team might have been the last true contending squad that would have made players such as Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby champions together. The harsh reality will set in as the Capitals begin to clean out their lockers and issue season-ending interviews in the coming days.

The Penguins will now hold home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Final over the Ottawa Senators, and that series is scheduled to begin on Saturday night. It will be a different series for the Penguins as they will face a true trap team for the first time in a while. While they will try to utilize their speed, Ottawa's 1-3-1 trap will be formidable as the Rangers and Bruins both found in their series.

The President's Trophy-winning team once again fails to win the Stanley Cup. Washington's sorrows against the Penguins continues. Justin Williams - Mr. Game Seven as he's called - suffers his first loss in a Game Seven in his career, falling to 7-1 and being kept off the scoresheet for the first time in a Game Seven in his career. If there was ever a curse, this one that Washington deals with every spring seems to affect even the most accomplished of players when that red jersey is pulled on.

There will be changes in DeeCee this summer. How deep and how far those changes will go is up to management and ownership, but there will be a number of different faces with the Capitals next season if they face these Penguins again.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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