Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Poor Ted and Alex; Caps eliminated by Rangers in embarrassing fashion, 5-0

By Finesse (follow me on Twiter)

Ted, I know you're crushed right now. You had dreams of hoisting the Stanley Cup and taking a picture with it to use as the background of your Twiter page.  You had dreams of collecting mea culpas from around the league like they were stamps.  You had dreams of linking to every negative article ever written about your team in one giant post titled, "I was right, you were wrong."  Oh well, not this year.

There is a way to feel better about last night's spirit-crushing 5-0 loss to the Rangers, Ted.  It's very classy to say I am sorry and I was wrong. Saying "I apologize - I was wrong" can be very cathartic.

Sound like familiar advice?

Ted, we promise you'll feel great if you apologize to us.
Let's euthanize the 2013 Caps humanely after the jump...

In 2011 and 2012 we bid farewell to the Caps with the headline, "The Caps have arrived where they always do," in homage to owner Ted Leonsis's then-and-still infamous blog post declaring that the Caps had "arrived" because they were in first place in February of 2010.  (The link to the post isn't working, but you remember it).  We're skipping that headline this year because how can you keep arriving at Crushing Disappointment when you're there so frequently?

Ted Leonsis didn't play in Game 7, but his fingerprints were all over it.  He has created a culture of victimhood within the Caps, and hoooooooo boy can they play the victim.

After not getting any powerplays in a 1-0 loss in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden, the entire organization was apoplectic.  Braden Holtby flipped out about Mike Green's crosscheck to a guy's face by referencing a supposed slew foot moments earlier.  Broadcaster Alan May embarrassed himself even more than if I shared a link of his career stats when he came close to crying after the game.

And then the whopper this morning, as captain and highest-paid-player-in-the-league Alex Ovechkin dropped this bomb in the postgame:

This is the captain of the team implying that the league is fixed because his team can't score a goal at even strength.  Where's the rule that you NEED powerplays to score goals? (Wait, maybe Ovechkin does. Sorry).  It turns out that the Caps had lost Game 7 before it was even played.

And here's visual confirmation that they lost.
Ovechkin lashing out is emblematic of the entitlement and pettiness that runs throughout this organization because of Ted Leonsis.  You aren't "given" power plays.  You earn them, and the Caps didn't do a good enough job of earning them. And rather than address that problem, the Caps portray it as not their problem at all! It's because the league is against them, you see!

All of this starts with Leonsis and his "no excuses, but" mentality. When pundits dismiss the team's playoff chances because they're 2-8, it's because there's something wrong with the pundits, not with the Caps.  And when the team pulls together and makes the playoffs, he passive aggressively calls for mea culpas from fans and bloggers.  Think about how ridiculous this is: the guy who charges you hundreds of dollars for tickets is telling you how good it will feel if you fess up and tell him that he was right all along.

And when the Caps have no powerplays in Game 6, he writes, "Too many penalties against, no power plays for - that is the story of the game."

Poor Ovi's dad.
Wrong, Ted.  The story is that you didn't score in the 50 minutes you had at even-strength.  The story is that your organization is mentally soft.  The story is that your team feels it should be given power plays, rather than earn goals regardless of whether or not they're on the power play.  The story is that the supposed renaissance of the Caps turned out to be the mirage that many of us expected, nothing more than a brief hot streak buoyed by weak competition and, of course, a lot of power play goals.

And speaking of power play goals, the dominant story line of the last month of the NHL season was the supposed revival of Alex Ovechkin.  We basically buried him in mid-March; then he immediately went on an all-time great streak, putting up huge numbers while propelling the Caps to first place in a rancid division.  He vaulted to the top of many MVP ballots and the thinking was now that he was paired with a seemingly competent coach, he might enjoy some playoff success.


Ovechkin won more regular season hardware but this season is a giant step back for his legacy.  If he's "back" to being a great player, then the same question still dogs him: why can't he succeed in the playoffs?  If he's "back" to being a great player, then what happened the previous two years?  Did he just mail those seasons in?  Are we supposed to forget about his all-time great statistical decline because of a couple hat-tricks against the Florida Panthers?

Or maybe he's not back and the pundits were right all along.  After all, he didn't even do the very thing he's best at -- score a meaningless goal when down 5-0 at home in a Game 7.

The defining image of the Caps season is not going to be Ovi's Rocket Richard trophy, or his possible Hart Trophy (what a hilarious ceremony that will be).  It's going to be this GIF.

I want to give credit to whoever made this.
It was not Ovechkin's fault that the Rangers scored on this play in Game 4 and he probably couldn't have broken up the scoring chance.  He could have tried, though.  Instead, he checked out.  The Caps' blog Russian Machine Never Breaks called it a "bad visual" (you think?) and reacted the way racists react when they do something racist: they mention the name of the one black guy they know.  Or in Ovechkin's case, make a GIF of him blocking one shot.

"See, I'm not racist lazy! I fell over to "block" a shot once!"
The Caps don't have a talent problem, they have a culture problem.  Until they stop geting offended by every slight, stop going crazy about everything Mike Milbury says, stop defending Ovechkin when there's no defense for it, stop blaming their failure to score a single goal in two games on the officials, stop trying to coax out apologies from bloggers and sportswriters, and stop reacting to tweets from reporters, this will keep happening.  Because when the going gets tough, the Caps get going.  Home.

Here's a sneak peak of Ovechkin winning the Hart Trophy this summer.
Ted basically lathered himself with bottles of his own musk when the Caps made the playoffs (something 53% of teams do every year) and a few Caps blogs, for reasons wholly unknown, felt compelled to apologize for predicting that the Caps would miss the playoffs after they started 2-8.  But after another crushing defeat in the playoffs, after blowing another 2-0 series lead, after getting nothing from their captain, there are no more mea culpas left for Ted to collect.

Only mea culpas to give.

You know where to find us, Ted.


  1. You should submit this to Puck Daddy for the Caps Eulogy...

    1. PD already let arguably their worst writer handle it.

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