Last night, the Washington Capitals fell in yet another Game 7 travesty, 5-0 to the New York Rangers.
Lets set aside my enormous dislike for the Rangers and virtually all New York related-sports. Lets not talk about my boycott of all hockey this year. That’s right: I didn’t watch a single full game of NHL this season. I was totally outraged by the lockout, something I figured they had finally gotten right with the season lockout in 2004-05.
Lets talk about the Washington Capitals.
This team has some decent talent but for some unknown reason can’t get past the second round of the playoffs. Not only have they lost, when they have won series, they take no less than seven games to do so. They’ve lost to better teams, to worse teams. They’ve lost in sudden death; they’ve been blown out. They’ve lost to eventual Cup-winners; they’ve lost to teams eliminated in the next round.
How does a team end up failing so often in big moments? I don’t know. Fans get into the general manager, the coach. The general manager doesn’t shoot the puck and he doesn’t make saves. They have changed coaches; twice since they started making the playoffs regularly. One of their core players, Alex Semin, departed. No change.
I’ve often wondered what makes a team repeatedly fail in big moments. I can’t say the will to win isn’t there. It’s possibly the fear of failure. Players don’t want to make a mistake so they don’t play very well.
Alex Ovechkin says “nobody remembers losers.” Wrong. People remember losers who continue to lose.