Barry Trotz does not think the Capitals’ history of playoff struggles has created a mental hurdle for the team to overcome. “I think they’re all past that now,” Trotz said to reporters at the team’s breakdown day. “I think it’s so overworked by [the media] and everybody else that it’s actually becoming a joke to the guys.” Well, the Caps weren’t laughing after their Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In some ways, Trotz is correct. Losing to Jaroslav Halak in 2010 is not why Washington lost to Pittsburgh this year. Giving up a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers in 2015 is not why the Caps were shutout in Game 7 by the Penguins. But there does seem to be a mental hurdle the team has
Everyone knows what Ryan Getzlaf said during Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, to earn himself a $10,000 fine from the National Hockey League. Read his lips. Or, if you need a cheeky euphemism as your guide, think of a vacuum chasing a rooster.
In what should be no surprise following his performance in Game 4 on Friday night, Matt Murray will be back in the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon when they return home to face the Ottawa Senators, coach Mike Sullivan announced before the game. Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup a year ago, opened the 2017 playoffs with an injury setting the stage for Marc-Andre Fleury to regain his starting job and carry the Penguins through the first two rounds. In other lineup news for the Penguins, Sullivan also announced that forward Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel will be out of the lineup due to injury.