Some of the Washington Capitals will look back at their playoff run and say they knocked off the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and fell one goal short against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Not Karl Alzner. The 23-year-old defenseman sees the Capitals' 2011-12 season as one half-empty.
"I'm going to view it as an underachieved season, in my opinion," Alzner said after the New York Rangers ended the Capitals' season with a 2-1 win in Game 7 Saturday night in Madison Square Garden. "I know a lot of people don't feel the same way. We probably had our worst game in Game 7. We'll probably view it as a failure because we didn't do what we thought we should do."
The Capitals were outshot 31-23, outhit 33-27 and outshot-blocked 19-15 in their Game 7 loss. They also lost 54 percent of the faceoffs.
Much of the focus over the next few days will fall on Alex Ovechkin, who recorded just two shots, delivered four hits and was knocked off the puck on Michael Del Zotto's game-winning goal.
But the bigger question facing the Caps is the future of head coach Dale Hunter, who reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Capitals when he replaced Bruce Boudreau on Nov. 28.
Several players said they'd like to see Hunter return for a full season behind the bench, but he is part-owner of the OHL London Knights and might need to be convinced to return.