Tonight isn’t about winning or losing, living or dying. It’s not about a game of inches nor is about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor. It’s not about unleashing the fury while strumming a guitar.
It’s about a team who’s only historical notations are losing when it matters most. The Caps have lost Game 7′s for all eternity. We’ve lost in 4 OT’s we’ve lost by putting the puck in out own net, we’ve lost after being up 3-1 loads of times. The players have changed, the coaches have changed, and even the owner has changed, but the results are always the same. We’ve lost to hot goalies, and hot coaches. We’ve always found a way to lose.
It’s time to break the Curse O’ Lez Caps Game 7 tonight!
The Habs aren’t a great team. If we lose- they’ll probably get swept by the Penguins. What could possibly be more deflating than losing to a team that’ll likely be out of the playoffs in 10 days?
So what’s it going to take- and is it even possible? The bitter reality is I’m not sure anyone knows. The only one who can see the future may well be Abe Pollin, but he’s got a special seat in heaven and I’m sure he’s not allowed to interfere.
To understand the vast depth of the problem, one has to confront it’s history. Maybe it’s cathartic to see the destruction in the past…
Let’s revisit the Caps’ 20 playoff appearances, including 1 Stanley Cup final that resulted in a 4-0 sweep by the Detroit Red Wings:
1982-83: Lose 3-1 to the Islanders
1983-84: Beat the Flyers then lose to the Islanders in 5
1984-85: Win 2 then lose 3 to the Islanders yet again
1985-86: Finally beat the Islanders only to play the Rags and win 2 in a row but then lose a 3 game sweep
1986-87: The Islanders give up a 3-1 disadvantage only to win 3 straight with game 4 going to a 4th OT
1987-88: Beat the Flyers in 7 in OT, only to lose to the Devils in 7 IN OT!. History starts to show a pattern.
1988-89: The Caps lose in the semi’s to the Flyers in 6..
1989-90: Beat the Devils, beat the Rags. Go to the Conf finals for the first time and lose to Boston in 4
1990-91: Beat the Rags in the semis then win 1 against the Pens, then get swept in the next 4
1991-92: Taking a 3-1 lead over the Pens in the semis, the Caps get swept and lose 4-3 in OT.
1992-93: Lose to the Islanders in 6 in the semis. 3 of the losses were in OT
1993-94: Beat the Pens in 6 then lose to the Rags in 5.
1994-95: More 7 game history as the Caps take a 3-1 lead over the Pens, then lose 3 in a row
1995-96: Facing the Pens again, the Caps won 2, then got swept in 4 for another exit.
1997-98: Beat Boston, Beat Ottawa, Beat Buffalo! lose to Detroit in the finals.
1999-00: Lose to the Pens in 5 in the 1st round
2000-01: Lose to the Pens in 6 in the 1st round
2002-03: Win 2 against Tampa Bay, then lose a 4 in a row sweep to lose in 6
2007-08: Lose against the Flyers in game 7 in OT in the 1st round
2008-09: Beat the Rags in 7, then winn 2 in a row but lose to the Pens in 7
2009-10: History is being written as the Caps were up 3-1, now tied at 3-3
Well, kids, there you have it. Different teams, different coaches- even a different owner- but the results are always the same. Does it even matter if we win tonight? Or will we just get creamed by the Flyers? Or will Montreal put us out of our misery tonight themselves?
The Caps CAN win this one game, but they have to prove they want it. Last year, against the Pens in game 7, the Caps looked like they’d already gone on vacation. The same cast of characters is back again, and the same problems exist. Green is bad again, Flash is bad again, Semin still can’t score and BB can’t seem to coach in the playoffs. So, who’s showing up tonight? The 121-point Capitals or the playoff loser Caps of seasons past?
Even if we win, we still face the historical ignomy of the Caps playoffs legacy. It’s really time to break the trend.
We’ll know the results in 9 hours.