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.|
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?
NYR fans in the building do the countdown to the 8-minute mark and chant "Ovi sucks." Easily heard since there aren't many Caps fans left.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 14, 2013
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.
1st Star today for Rangers #25 referee Marc Joannette, even worse today than he was at MSG Wednesday. Should be ashamed, very bad
— Alan May (@MayHockeyCSN) May 12, 2013
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.|
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.|
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.|
|"See, I'm not |
|Here's a sneak peak of Ovechkin winning the Hart Trophy this summer.|
Only mea culpas to give.
You know where to find us, Ted.