So the Caps lost to the Rangers last night in game 7 of the second round of the playoffs, and there's a lot of whinging out there, a lot of namecalling, a lot of superiority from people who've never donned ice skates, who've never even paid money to see this team play. Let's review some facts.
The Washington Capitals were the seventh seed in the East Conference bracket. They beat the two seed in seven games, and they took the one seed to seven games. 13 of the 14 games they played were one-goal games.
The Caps were missing a star defenseman, Mike Green, for a third of the season, and their best all-around player, Nick Backstrom, for over half of the season. Backstrom and Green represent something like 20 percent of the Caps' salary structure (together, they are like 8 or 9 percent of the Caps' team). Webtards who ignore these key facts should die, painfully.
The Caps fired their coach in mid-season and hired as coach a retired player who had enjoyed success in one of Canada's minor leagues. He implemented a new and defensive approach to the game that recovered the season and was, more than any other factor, responsible for the Caps' playoff run.
The Caps did not guarantee themselves a playoff place until the penultimate game of the season.
The Caps spent a lot of money on a well-regarded goaltender in the offseason. We haven't seen him in uniform since sometime in March, when he was skating off the ice after one period, having reinjured his aging and ridiculously overpriced vagina.
The Caps' young goaltender (whose vagina is a much better value), who was going to be the man after the team traded another young goaltender last season, was also hurt for much of March and part of the playoffs.
The Caps went through their last four or five regular-season games, and 14 games of the playoffs, with a rookie goaltender, Braden Holtby, who had fewer than 10 games of previous NHL experience. As I said, 13 of the 14 games were one-goal games. He bested a probable Hall-of-Fame goaltender (Tim Thomas will absolutely make the Hall of Fame of Famous Tea Party Fuckwits, and is probably an even-money chance for the hockey HoF), and nearly bested a goaltender who is a finalist for (and should win) the Vezina Trophy (season's best goalie). Holtby's play was brilliant. He gave up two late goals in what was essentially the keystone game (game 5) when the Caps took a double-minor penalty with under two minutes left in the game. I read one comment suggesting that the entire series loss was Holtby's fault. The person who wrote it should die, painfully.
By the way, Braden Holtby's fiancee gave birth to their first child on Thursday, two days before game 7.
The player who committed the double minor is a forward named Joel Ward. He is black, which is of course a little unusual in hockey. The penalty was unintentional, accidental, but still a legitimate double-minor penalty. Ward scored the game-winning goal in game 7 of the opening series against the Bruins. Certain elements of the Boston fan base flooded social media with racial abuse after that win; some, according to news stories, suffered pretty severe personal consequences as a result. Some Webtards are now blaming the series loss on Joel Ward. Those commenters should die, painfully.
It goes on. If you think the Caps choked, you're really too fucking mean and stupid to live. If you have anything to say to this team (as a whole, and to the 26 guys who played in at least one playoff game) other than "Thank You," just shut the fuck up, then die. Painfully. Preferably on teevee so I can watch and tell you what a lousy job you're doing of it.
And to any Cap who might trip over this: Thanks. Please come back, although if you're Mike Knuble or Roman Hamrlik, I respectfully request that you consider retirement (but thanks for all the fish, Mr. Knuble, you worked out pretty damn well for a former Flyer, and nicely recovered, Mr. Hamrlik); and if you're Dennis Wideman, I don't like you very much and I think you turn the puck over way too fucking much for someone who makes money to play hockey, but thank you very kindly anyway, and congrats on your All-Star selection. Oh yeah, and if you're Tomas Vokoun, please stop reading now. Gone yet? Good. Go steal someone else's money. I'd say fuck you, but since your fitness issues and outright theft of a nontrivial portion of our salary cap allowed us to experience the glory that is Braden Holtby, the best part of politeness and valor demands that I thank you as well.
Let's Go Caps.