George McPhee is here for the long haul. (AP)
Another season has come and gone with similar results for the Washington Capitals, to the point where what was going to happen eventually was very predictable. After an awful start, the Capitals rode a tremendous stretch of play by Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Braden Holtby to the postseason, only to be knocked out in the first round once more, this time by the New York Rangers. They lost another game seven on home ice, the sixth consecutive season that they have fallen out of the playoffs before the Conference Finals and the fourth time in those six seasons they’ve lost in the first round.
It was more of the same.
The message on Wednesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex? Not much is going to change.
“I thought it was a really good season,” General Manager George McPhee said, dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit. “We improved in a lot of ways. Our coaching staff was terrific. We had a slow start but really played well down the stretch and played well in the playoffs. It didn’t go our way.”
No, it didn’t go the Capitals’ way. It has yet to go Washington’s way in the Alex Ovechkin era, or frankly ever, in the postseason. The Capitals have only made the Stanley Cup Final once, in 1998, when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in four games. Since then, they haven’t even come close, especially disconcerting given the talent that they have had over the last six or seven years.
Despite these rather alarming facts, the club, at both the player and management level, doesn’t see any reason to change their approach in terms of player personnel.
“But these guys, I’d go to war with these guys,” McPhee continued. “These are good players. Where do you get another Ovechkin? Nick Backstrom is a heck of a player. Mike Green is a heck of a player. Carlson is on his way up. We’ve got a lot of good young players, and we’ll keep going to war with them.”no comments