Ok, yes the Capitals may have lost to the Penguins in the second round for the last two years and lost in the second round in general six times in the last seven years now. Or not having won a second-round series since the 1997-1998 season. The Capitals are certainly written off by many fans to take this series. Soley because of how the Penguins handled the Capitals in the playoffs and have beat them 9 times out of the 12 times they have met in the playoffs since the Capitals have been in existence since 1974.
Crosby vs Ovechkin… AGAIN.
Sure Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin came in during the same draft year and have been compared to each other since they came into the league in 2005 and Crosby has won three cups and Ovechkin has won zero in his 13-year career. Yes, Crosby has the advantage over Ovechkin and will always haunt him when it comes to Cup wins and success throughout their careers. But Ovechkin is still a 7-time Rocket Richard winner, one-time art ross winner, 3-time hart trophy winner, 3-time ted Lindsay winner, and beat Crosby for the Calder trophy during the 2005-2006 season. His career has been successful but no matter what Ovechkin will always be remembered for his losses to Crosby in the playoffs and zero Stanley Cups to this day. And if he does not win a cup or a series against Crosby, a lot of Ovechkin’s achievements will go unrecognized by MANY. This is not why I think they can win. For some reason when the Capitals won four straight and beat the Blue Jackets, something I did not see happening, and then Ovechkin simply said “I can’t wait” when asked about playing Crosby and the Penguins next round. Some weird feeling came over me and made me think, the Capitals are going to win this series, they are going to do this.
A GUT feeling
My real reason for making this case for the Capitals is solely based off a gut feeling. Don’t listen to my gut if you don’t want to, that’s understandable. The Capitals are flying a little bit under the radar this year, they have not been talked about as much as before. And a team that is not super talented or a powerhouse anymore. They have their key guys plus some depth guys that step in and chip in time to time. They have a Norris like defenseman right now, two other experienced defenseman and a bunch of young players who are just playing in the moment and seem to be doing just fine, one series but nothing that was alarming.
Year of the dog???
The Capitals core guys like Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Ovechkin, Holtby, Carlson are certainly tired of losing to Crosby and the Penguins. For some reason, the fact that this Capitals team is already written off by many fans and many people gives me a sense this can turn out a bit different than we think. It’s the year of the dog people, and I think this underdog, written off, defy all odds story remains true for one more playoff series. The Capitals do not match up terribly with the Penguins either. Holtby in net, their offense’s are similar, Penguins edge them there a little but not by a wide margin and the defense is about the same, if not Capitals are a little more experienced and better. Year of the dog people, this is going to happen, watch. Capitals in seven.