Eulogy: Remembering the 2016-17 Washington Capitals

(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we’re bound to lose some friends along the journey. We’ve asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers and fans who hated them the most. Here is Puck Daddy Eulogy All-Star Chemmy from the Toronto Maple Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets, fondly recalling the 2016-17 Washington Capitals.)

(Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don’t take it so seriously.)

By Chemmy

Every morning people wake up and go about their morning routines on the way to work. Some of those people get hit by a bus, others see their Tesla autopilot them right under a truck, and some electrocute themselves thanks to counterfeit Keurig refill failures.

What we’re trying to say is that there are lots of ways to end up as the focus of an unexpected eulogy.

On the other side of the coin, the Washington Capitals began a second-round playoff series, which meant we started writing this last week.

The Penguins and Capitals have played ten head-to-head playoff series with the following results:

As Meatloaf sang “[one] out of [ten]” ain’t bad.

Nothing wrong with playing ten series against a team and being way under the Mendoza line.

Capitals fans can at least tell Sens fans what it’s like to beat their rivals once.

The Penguins who played without their starting goalie, top defenseman, and dressed players no one besides Carter Rowney’s mom have ever heard of before still won because Washington has only made it past the second round twice in their history regardless of who they’ve played.


Here’s Ted Leonsis chirping somebody in box seats because the team he owns is beating their opponents.

This is a pretty wonderful thing, because if the score were reversed and those fans made fun of the fact that the Penguins have speed bagged the Capitals pretty much forever, they definitely would not be immediately removed from the arena.

Hope Ted got satisfaction from those jabs, and we also hope he had to rename his yacht during Game 7 and didn’t see his team give up halfway through.

In between management and the players you have the coaching staff.

Barry Trotz has never been afraid to stick his neck out for his players and guys like Nicklas Backstrom repay him by never ever falling asleep in his meetings.

Barry Trotz’s teams have never been the juggernaut that he himself resembles.

Barry Trotz never really gets the credit that he deserves for his coaching prowess. A good coach looks back at what has worked in the past and tried to adapt it to new circumstances. That’s how you end up with Ovie and Niskanen standing in for David Steckel in the role of gooning Sidney Crosby and pretending it was a hockey play.

With Crosby out surely the Capitals would be able to beat Pittsburgh and finally exorcise their demons. (Editor’s note: the writer was renaming his yacht during that game.)

You can tell Trotz does some solid work behind the bench because his former team has not done anything of note after he left. Sure they made the playoffs the year after firing him, won a series the year after that, and are in the conference finals this season. But that steady improvement after firing their only coach in team history is likely just a coincidence.

A lot is being made about Alex Ovechkin’s injury and his production in the playoffs. Ovechkin joined the league in 2005, winning the Calder with his explosive dynamic style. This year, his 33 goals (more than half of which came on the power play) and 69 pts. would likely slot him in between Matthews and Laine for 2nd in the Calder race.

Sorry Zack.

I’m legally barred from summarizing Timecube in a public place after “the incident” but I think it’s pretty clear that Nazem Kadri’s hit in round one somehow caused Ovechkin’s leg to become bad and injured sometime before the season started. This resulted in the poor counting stats and is a good and reasonable excuse.

Good ol’ Canadian boy* Braden Holtby may be on his way to a second Vezina Trophy but he had the kind of post-season that makes you realize a lake house isn’t going to occupy itself.

(* N.B.: this superlative was written by @mlse. The rest of the Yahoo! Sports (R)(TM) Staff, including but not limited to Sean Leahy and Greg Wy(shnshsn?)ski all think Canadians are bad.)

Kevin Shattenkirk and TJ Oshie were supposed to be the answers to the team’s shortcomings but it turns out that there are no shootouts in the playoffs for Oshie and Shattenkirk hates money.

Hold on, someone threw a brick through my window.

Uh, of course, Kevin Shattenkirk only loves money more than only his hometown New York Rangers.

In the defense of GM(any letter here)M you have to hand it to the visionary that sees an underachieving team and thinks that former St. Louis Blues are the answer to getting over the hump.

Nobody wants to know what happened immediately after this picture of TJ Oshie was taken.

As players are being called out it’s worth looking at Justin Williams. Mr. Game Seven. At home, series tied at 3, Justin Williams in their locker room, the Caps finally did it. Justin Williams’ Game 7 stats were so bad that he’s hiding the game sheet in Donald Trump’s tax returns. Williams’ Game 7 performance looked like he was on the 2016-17 LA Kings.

You have to congratulate Washington on their effort. This eulogy can’t be all bad, although we did try. For all of the things that didn’t go right for Washington in the second round you have to congratulate them for never beating the team that drafted first overall eleven months ago by more than a single goal or needing 5 overtimes to beat the hockey equivalent of a team of puppies.

Paragraphs of tortured cheap jokes aside though there’s no such thing as a curse. The Capitals aren’t cursed, they’re not jinxed, and they haven’t been unlucky for the past twelve years. In Washington’s case their only curse is that in the postseason, they’ve never been better than second best and unlike the Ottawa Senators, things have never lined up to give them a free pass for it.

Cubs fans aren’t using it anymore, maybe it’s time for Capitals fans to own “there’s always next year.”

By @felixpotvin with a little help from @mlse. All of the good jokes are @felixpotvin’s, all criticism should be directed to @wyshynski.


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