Washington Capitals Facing All Too Familiar Obstacle


The Washington Capitals have been under-achievers for much of Alex Ovechkin‘s career.

Despite constantly finishing as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, Ovechkin and the Capitals have been casualties of early playoff exits more often then not, and have yet to reach the Conference Finals.

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This time around is on the verge of being the same old story for Washington after the team’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Islanders on Sunday.

The Capitals now face a 2-1 series deficit, and if they drop Game 4 in New York, they can pretty much kiss the series goodbye.

If you’re Washington, there hasn’t been many positives to take away from this series so far either. The Capitals have been dominated in two of the first three games, and even though Sunday’s game went into overtime, the Islanders controlled the entire game.

Were it not for Braden Holtby‘s 40 saves (yeah, he had to make 40 saves) the scoreboard would have been brutal to look at for Washington fans.

In fact, the Caps were pretty much getting dominated in Game 2 for the first period through much of the second period until they started to play like the Caps we saw for much of the second half of the season.

The Capitals managed just 25 shots on Sunday, almost 20 less than their opponent. They had four more giveaways than the Islanders and six less takeaways. Washington will have no shot in New York for Game 4 if the Caps – sans Holtby – play anywhere close to how they played on Sunday.

If the Capitals go on to lose this series, nobody in Washington should be surprised. It’ll be the same story, just a different season. And this is not to take anything away from the Islanders. Long Island has a tough team with one of the best players in the league – John Tavares.

But this is also one of the better Capital teams in recent memory with the best player in the NHL playing the best hockey of his career. This team has too much potential for another first-round playoff bounce.

Barry Trotz has to get his team back on their game immediately should they advance to face either New York or Pittsburgh. Tuesday’s Game 4 will make or break Washington’s postseason chances, a scene they’ve had to face too many times over the past few years.