WASHINGTON DC (by way of San Diego) — Hello Mattsville and MeetTheMatts.com fans! Welcome to some non-New York-related sports opinion writing – you’re welcome, Mets fans… I’m a regular on Rugby Wrap Up, so bear with me as I venture into this new arena of the sportsdom.
With that, I want to talk hockey, specifically about a club near and dear to you New Yorkers’ hearts…
…the Washington Capitals.
To be honest, I really miss the days of John Tortorella losing his head at Adam Wilson, Ovi, Nicky Backstrom, or any player really (he was a true character). But let’s move on and talk about talk about the reason why the Washington Capitals, my Washington Capitals, are a joke.
I’ve watched year after year the pure, unadulterated regular-season glories under the tenures of former head coaches Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter (he was an amazing player don’t get me wrong), and Adam Oates. Now we are coming up on the third season under the reigns of Barry Trotz and the Caps are still pointing towards the President’s Trophy when they need to be pointed towards Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Regular-season warriors turned postseason flops…
I don’t blame this entirely on Barry Trotz. He brought in much-needed change following the mediocrity of Adam Oates, but he certainly has his faults. He changed around line combinations that were performing well when they didn’t need to be changed (RE: the Vrana-Kusnetzov-Burakovsky Second line). He also stayed with lines that were flat and ineffective, especially in the Penguins series last season.
Even with these strategic mistakes from Trotz, the Caps never seem to grasp the fact that EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS OVECHKIN come playoff time. How hard is that really to grasp? Don’t get me wrong, I am fully behind Alexander Ovechkin, I’d be excommunicated from Verizon Capital One Center if I didn’t. I just can’t stand another season watching Ovi dominate the regular season stats with assist-master Backstrom and under-the-radar star Oshie in toe. One of the beautiful aspects of hockey is the constantly changing dynamics of player combinations, and Trotzy needs to realize that he can’t rely solely on his first line before puck-drop on October 5 in Ottawa.
The Caps are projected to win the President’s Trophy once again this season, but I would much rather see the development of players like Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kusnetzov, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, and Dmitri Orlav than another pointless banner hoisted into the rafters on F & 7th NW.
The Capitals have a huge amount of talent on both offense and defense. I can only pray now that Barry Trotz finds a way to change them from regular-season warriors to postseason champions.
Feel free to chime in below and come back for someone who apparently doesn’t like Dale Hunter, Cheesy Bruin’s. For the record Ronan Nelson is a fan of Dale Hunter, a legendary Capitals player.