This almost looks like 2016 all over again. The Caps are cruising in the Metro (as they usually do in the regular season) and everyone’s beginning to predict them to finally get over the hump and win their first Stanley Cup (lololololol). I mean, you have to give them some credit for going for it, though. They know they’re window is closing on winning a Cup in the Ovechkin era so they went out and picked up a high-end rental in Kevin Shattenkirk this year at the trade deadline. But, man, do they just fucking blow in the playoffs. The Capitals could win the President’s Cup Trophy every year for all I care. But as my dad used to always tell me growing up, there are few givens in life: death, taxes, and the Washington Capitals losing in the second round of the playoffs (okay, maybe he didn’t tell me that last one). That type of cruelty almost makes me feel bad for Caps fans. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have your favorite team rip your heart right out of your chest year after year. Seems pretty damn awful if you ask me.
And per usual, the Capitals appear to be going down the same vicious cycle this season as they did last year at this time. With the President’s Trophy almost in sight, the Caps are beginning to let their foot off the gas pedal at just the wrong time. They dropped their third straight game in regulation last night to the Kings in a 4-2 defeat. On the other hand, the Penguins (like most teams that actually know how to win a Cup) are cruising at just the right time. They’ve gone on to win their past five straight games while guys like Kris Letang, Trevor Daley, Olli Maata, Matt Cullen, Patric Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin, and Bryan Rust have either been injured or have gotten injured during that span. The Pens are currently getting it done with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both having MVP-type seasons along with their enormous depth. It also doesn’t hurt to have guys like Justin Schultz playing out of his mind. Schultz has stepped up and been an absolute stud this year for the Pens’ injury riddled defense. He currently sits fifth among all defensemen in the NHL with 46 points. Just a mind-blowing stat considering Edmonton basically gifted him to the Penguins in return for a refrigerator last season before the trade deadline.
It’s also pretty much inevitable that we’ll see these two teams face off again this year during the second round of the playoffs. Although, this time we might very well see the Pens with the much coveted home ice advantage.
When the Pens can stomp teams with a lineup like below, it’s going to be absolutely frightening for other teams to play them as they begin to get healthier.
Finally, I wanted to make it a point to end this blog with some positivity for ailing Caps fans right now. If there’s one good thing they can take away from the impending reality of another early postseason exit, at least they won’t have to update these shirts anytime soon! 😂😂😂