Alex Ovechkin confirmed Friday that he was playing with knee and hamstring injuries during the playoffs and that he will miss the world championships as a result. With Ovechkin’s postseason legacy already marred in many eyes before this Game 7, the Caps were eliminated on a night Ovi and his perennially promising, albeit disappointing, bunch could not lace a single shot into the net.
“We’re not in this position moving on if he doesn’t play the way he did”, said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. “We try to do our best”. That’s the consolation usually offered to fans of losing teams.
Should the Caps pursue re-signing Shattenkirk or Oshie?
This was it. This was the chance.
“For us, our structure right now is more important than ever”. It was all starting to come together for these Capitals in this series. Oshie said after Game 7 that you wonder how much disappointment you have to put yourself through to get the job done.
Alex Ovechkin just isn’t the difference maker he once was, and continues to take on a diminished role. He became the scapegoat when there should have been a long line ahead of him.
The series will now be settled in a decisive Game 7 in Washington on Wednesday. He didn’t have that normal burst. The Penguins held Washington to just six shots on goal in the final 20 minutes alone. It was like this too often in this series. “Until tonight. I think tonight, just, we didn’t find a way to play our best game”. “Normally, he’s like an assassin”.
Indeed, Ovechkin might have compiled more than his share of goal-scoring titles and MVP awards, but his team has never made it past this stage. They’re riding high off the victory from Wednesday night, and will need to keep up the pace in the series opener Saturday night against the well-rested Senators. “He was nearly surprised by it”.
Pittsburgh will, however, have its work cut out for it in its conference final matchup with the Ottawa Senators. Their defense corps, led by Shea Theodore (two goals, five assists) and Cam Fowler (one goal, four assists) is able get the puck out of their zone quickly and join the rush. Standing in the Senators’ way of a second trip to the Cup Finals is defending champion Pittsburgh and superstar Sidney Crosby. “I think it’s to that point, and for his sake – not for the Washington Capitals” sake – for his sake.
Crosby has done it time and time again.
Led by Karlsson’s 13, Ottawa has 28 points from their defensemen, while the Penguins have 24, led by Justin Schultz’ 8.
The Capitals fell to 3-7 in the Ovechkin era in Game 7.
Coach Barry Trotz said the window hasn’t closed on the Capitals after three consecutive second-round exits. He opted not to say anything that might come out wrong.
“No one’s picking us again, for sure, but at the end of the day though you still have to win four games and it’s hard to do”, said forward Clarke MacArthur. Anderson’s save percentage of.914 is adequate, but needs to be better against a sharpshooting Penguins team. “I think I got the feeling that it’s a topic that he doesn’t want to talk about right now, and it’s a topic maybe he can’t talk about right now”.
This series might have hinted at what the answer might ultimately be in Washington.
And at this point, it’s well worth talking about what this loss means, when a loaded Capitals team with a hall of famer like Ovechkin, in his prime, can’t get very far in the postseason. Evgeny Kuznetsov is a budding star.
Drake Caggiula got credit for Edmonton’s goal, and Talbot made 28 saves.
He and Holtby will return in the fall, as will key cogs Nicklas Backstrom and Matt Niskanen.
One of the NDP wins was by nine votes over the Liberals in Courtenay-Comox, and if that riding switches following a recount and the addition of the absentee ballots, then the shift of power in parliament does as well. He’s going to have to re-evaluate how he looks at preparing to play.