There is an old French proverb that goes, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”, which translates into the term, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
One thing that never changes is the Pittsburgh Penguins beating the Washington Capitals in the post-season.
Much like the cherry blossoms that bloom in spring, and the seasons changing, one thing that can always be counted on is Pittsburgh having Washington’s number, when it matters the most. Thanks to their 2-0 road win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the defending champion Penguins improved to 9-1 all-time—and 3-0 in the much-ballyhooed Sidney Crosby-Alex Ovechkin “rivalry”.
No offense, it’s not much of a rivalry, when one side has simply dominated the other the way Crosby and the Penguins franchise has just dominated Ovechkin and the Capitals. To add more salt to our nation’s capital sports woes is that the Washington Wizards dropped Game 5 in their playoff series vs. the hated Boston Celtics, 123-101.
While the Nationals salvaged what was left of the DMV—that’s the District, Maryland and Virginia for those who are not from the area—Pittsburgh ending another President’s Cup season for the Capitals is insult to injury, it’s the fact that it was at the hands of their worst enemy, and a player that they can’t seem to beat.
Those 55 wins and 118 regular-season points, couldn’t save them from the inevitable—another post-season choke.
But this was the choke of chokes by the master choke artists. This latest Cap post-season shibacle in on par with the 2009-10, 121-point squad that would get humiliated on their own home ice by Les Habitants, and lose to a younger Sid a year earlier in a 6-2 Penguins Game 7 win.
There is no excuse for having a team led by a future Hall-of-Famer in Ovechkin not making it past the second round, and even make it to the East Finals, once!
Twelve times since 1998.
That’s not bad, that’s not a curse. THAT is the definition of choke. C-H-O-K-E.
Look it up! Google it. Chances are you’d find a picture of the Capitals logo and Ovechkin by it on Wikipedia
In all honesty, it may be time for the Capitals to move Ovechkin and a package of picks and money to another team and go in another direction, while Washington has some talent in place already, come playoff time Ovi—and the Capitals—disappear faster than David Copperfield at a Las Vegas show.
The Capitals do have talent in the form of T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Braden Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom, putting in together in the postseason is proving trickier than the Beltway during rush hour. Depending on what Washington would get in return for Ovechkin, they could either rebuild—or reload—with new personnel and hope to beat their arch-nemesis from the Steel City.
What makes this even more tragic is that Washington had everything going for them, home ice, a concussed Crosby, no Kris Letang and one-time Stanley Cup hero Marc-Andre Fleury back in net along with momentum from winning the last two games to force a Game 7.
How Washington failed to take advantage of such good fortune should gall even the most die-hard Caps fan.
While Pittsburgh is preparing to face a pesky Ottawa Senators team, there is no tomorrow for the Capitals, as their season would once again have a bitter and familiar ending. Some things never change.