I am a fan of Washington Capitals current general manager George McPhee and all he has contributed to the organization.
That being said, I’m a bigger fan of the talent Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have and feel it is time for new blood and a new attitude feeding the pipeline of talent to the club.
The no-emotion, play-it-by-the-book, buttoned-up style of McPhee, even if he was ultimately responsible for drafting some unbelievable talent, doesn’t fit with the attitude and personality of the team’s best players – and it shows every year in the playoffs.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau has come in and allowed the talented players to put the pedal down and go all out on the attack, but this team reeks of complacency and the lack of a killer instinct. Talent will win the Presidents Trophy, but heart and desire win the only trophy in the NHL that really matters…and yet again we will not have the opportunity to compete for it.
As a die-hard fan who has cared about this team since I knew what hockey was, the worst part is the fact a player who didn’t even make the playoffs called it at the end of the regular season.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward and assistant captain R.J. Umberger said:
“I don’t think any team in the West would be overmatched by them,” Umberger said. “They play the wrong way. They want to be moving all the time. They float around in their zone, looking for breakaways and odd-man rushes.
“A good defensive team is going to beat them (in the playoffs). If you eliminate your turnovers and keep them off the power play, they’re going to get frustrated because they’re in their zone a lot.”
Not only did the Caps not earn a chance to test the Western Conference, they couldn’t get past an overmatched – yet gritty, resilient and eventually victorious – Montreal Canadiens team that now lay claim as being the only #8 seed in NHL history to be down 3-1 and come back to knock off the #1 seed in the conference.
If it is so easy for a good – not great – player on a non-playoff team to dissect the Capitals weakness, something probably needs to change.
Mr. Leonsis: I know you are a good and loyal man. But please recognize the talent on this team will only be at this level for a short window of time. I hope you consider all options and do what you feel is best for the Capitals and their community.
No doubt Mr. McPhee can help a team grow, but improvement by itself does not bring in the character and attitude necessary to win the most coveted trophy in sports.
Congratulations to the Montreal Canadiens and their fans for what is yet another special achievement in a storied history.
Thank you to the Capitals for a memorable regular season and we’ll be undefeated again in a number of weeks, with another chance for the Stanley Cup in 2010-2011.
Go Caps and best of luck to the teams remaining in the race for this years title.