2009-2010 Washington Capitals: Rest in Peace

Alex Ovechkin Skates with his head down as the Canadiens Upset the League's Best Team in the Playoffs (Photo by Nick Wass)

The Montreal Canadiens have made fools of us all, worshippers of a false idol, suckers swindled by snake oil salesmen.  Jaroslav Halak and his Habs bested the Washington Capitals in these conference quarterfinals, and we now stare down the long, lonely hallway of the offseason.

Anger, despair, confusion; I know you’re feeling one of these.  I am, too.

But let’s– just for a moment– try to fill the night with humility.  The Montreal Canadiens are a wickedly savvy team, and they slayed the dragon tonight.  Congratulations to the opponent.

And let us feel gratitude, too.  Despite what you think of the last seven games (and you’re not alone), we must stand in admiration of the Capitals’ effort this season.  They did the impossible so often, an average game became an aberration.  For every high five and every chest bump, the human contact we direly miss tonight,  we thank them.

So go shave, my friends.  We’ll talk again soon.

  • FedFed

    My mood for the summer:
    http://bit.ly/9U0Y4F
    I prefer to remember happy Capitals.
    One Russian TV host says at the end of every his show: “And our tomorrow will be better than our today is”. I’m sure, our tomorrow is better

  • Peter Hassett

    Thanks, Fedor. I love your attitude, and I hope everyone can follow your example.

  • BobbyG

    I’m so messed up right now I posted the following on the wrong thread. Please forgive my lapse because I’m not myself right now.

    I’ll try really hard to hold that image in my mind FedFed. Thanks for trying to cheer us up. Right now I’m hurting so bad I feel like I’ve been gutted and my heart has been ripped out. This will be a long sad night but I’m hoping that tomorrow when the sun comes up I’ll be able to hold my chin and head up and find the courage to face the new day.

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  • R17a

    In me – emptiness … =(

  • http://capsfuryunleashed.blogspot.com Shaun

    I’ve never felt this awful about a loss before. This was our year.

  • Peter Hassett

    Shaun, I feel ya bud. I guess this demonstrates that no team _deserves_ victory. It’s all has to be fought for, and the Caps just didn’t have that fight in the last week and a half.

    It’ll happen.

  • JT

    Always have been and always will be CAPS fan. Fantastic season. Be proud DC and CAPS fans the world over.

  • Ross

    They gave us a great season… no regrets

  • Dominic

    I feel so empty. So cold. Great season. Its fitting we lose to a canadian team considering how we play against them. I’ll dry my tears soon- but now is the time for grieving.

  • JMU2012

    Onto baseball. The Russian Machine Never Breaks, and my love for sports never ends.

  • capsfanforlife

    this season was really the first season i began to avidly follow the caps. last season i confess i was a bandwagon fan – i essentially only noticed them when they got to the playoffs. but enough of that – this season was honestly the best time i’ve ever had watching any professional sport. i will always remember skipping hanging out with my friends on a friday or saturday night just to chill in my basement and watch the caps on csnwashington. even though i am on the verge of tears right now, if i could go back in time, i wouldn’t change a damn thing. i love the capitals, i really feel like they’re my family. they have awesome fans and they’re a truly awesome team – and not just ov and the other “stars.” they’re all really like one family – they have their off days, but they’re really cool, talented, and funny guys.
    one of my fondest memories of all time was in the midst of Snowmaggedon this year (it was also Superbowl Sunday, but I didn’t care), I had no power and I was sitting in my house with my iPhone, listening to a Pittsburgh radio station and yelling up a storm in my freezing house when I heard that the Caps had won, continuing their historic win streak. I love the Caps. There is nothing to be ashamed of, this was truly an awesome season.

  • Peter

    Hell yeah, @capsfanforlife. That blizzard game was incredible, and I know what you mean. The fan community is as great as the team, and it’s been a privilege for us to get to know and share the experience with so many fun, wild-eyed people.

  • http://twitter.com/LynnLynnLynn_ Bobbielynn

    Thank you Fedor. Reading that, and seeing the picture really did lift my mood. Of course we’re all down and out right now, and tomorrow will be better, but we won’t be healed until October. No matter what, this season has been amazing. Best team in the league, hands down. Next season, the team will just be better. As seasons go by, this team will become the best there has ever been.
    Now, I don’t know about you all, but I’m going to continue to cheer on the Jr. Caps, down in the AHL, and hope they can go as far as possible, while waiting for next NHL season to begin.

  • Brandon

    A few points from the other Oland:
    1. Theodore’s got to go.
    2. Carlson’s got to shoulder a lot of the blame for that horrible second goal and not Varlamov.
    3. Penguins fans have been insufferable tonight. Heck, I give Montreal a 50-50 shot at beating them.

  • http://www.threewireguy.wordpress.com Threewireguy

    So I’ve been stewing over this for a while and I think I figured out why this loss bother me so much. All season long my favorite team has been flying in the face of hockey pundits who said they never had a chance to win playing the style that they do, at least not a cup. Guys who have never won a cup themselves seemed to take great joy in pointing out what’s wrong with my favorite team. Even the league officials seemed to have a problem with the Caps style of play (or at least our team captain). It seems like no one outside of DC wants to see our team be successful. No trophy earned in the regular season seemed to matter, and the more successful the Caps were, the more they seemed to want them to fail.

    All I wanted was for all those guys to have to eat a Stanley Cup full of crow and instead they’re going to be crowing about this all off-season long. And all next year they’ll be downplaying every accomplishment, quenching every fire of fandom as well as they can. For what? So that we can have more boring hockey? So that players will simply hand the puck to the referee a la Barry Sanders after scoring a goal?

    I say to hell with that. I don’t just like the Caps because they are my hometown franchise. I like them because they play the most exciting style of hockey I’ve ever seen. I like them because most of the time they play like men possessed. I like them because they usually leave it all on the ice. They make me like hockey more, period. If that’s not going to win us a cup, well, I think I honestly can live with that. If watching Ovie do his thing, watching Mike Green go coast to coast, watching Varly and JT spike my WTF meter, cheering for players that give and give and give to their fans, pull out their teeth on the bench to keep playing, take pucks to the face and still look good, and score, score, score all season long is not going to win us a cup I think it’s a fair trade for the privilege of not having to watch some grind it out, boring, yawn-inducing, “classic” hockey that makes Don Cherry happy.

    Think of it this way: in order to beat the Caps, the Habs had to be absolutely miraculous. How many times do you get to see a goalie make 53 saves? I wasn’t happy with the result, but that was some amazing hockey. To win tonight their defenders had to block, what, 41 shots? That’s ridiculous, guys had to have been flying all over the ice. That is the kind of hockey I want to see. The Caps make every game they are in the kind of game I want to see more of. That’s why I’m a fan. So I’m going to check in on YouTube every now and then, watch replays of The Goal a few times, keep an eye on the Nats and look forward to another season brought to me by the most electric team in hockey.

    Until next season, I still LOVE this team.

  • СашкаСемин

    Самый хуёвый спортивный год в истории. На ЧМ по футболу не попали, олимпиаду просрали, и вот теперь это. Я в шоке =(

  • Rachel

    One day we will look back at this and… well, I don’t know… but at least it wasn’t Pittsburgh? :-/ This is making for a long, sad Thursday at work.

  • Peter

    @Threewireguy,

    Bravo. I agree completely with everything you said. Hell yeah to that.

    @Brandon,

    If you’re reasoning for dumping Theo is the strength in the depth chart behind him, okay. Any other reason would be painfully stupid as he led the Caps to a historic winter, he was the only goalie not to be injured, he pulled out multiple 40+ save games, and he didn’t bitch when he was benched. Ovechkin is great, but the Caps’ system relies on the goaltender a lot; Theo was the leader when needed.

    Varly did great in the pinch, but BB didn’t keep his word to Theo, and that should not go unsaid.

    So I’ll let you qualify that remark now.

  • Rick

    Some songs to add to your mixtape…
    “Dear Mr. Fantasy
    Play us a tune
    some thing
    to make us feel hap-py”
    (cant recall the artist)

    and of course, the Caps playoff theme:
    “Fell on Black Days” by Soundgarden

    Oh well… it was fun while it lasted.

  • Kevin M.

    Threewire – all so well said.

    I remember watching the Snowvechkin game at home, after I’d just driven through treacherous roads to Verizon Center so my wife and her best friend could watch in person. The high that day brought felt like it would never end, from the Pens shocked at a comeback to the taste of free wings for dinner (thanks for the ticket stub, honey!). We felt like a 20,000+ strong family that day, and every game day we all cheered, worried and bitched together over Twitter. Hell, I even shaved my beard and moustache for #beardpact, and I’d not been clean shaven in over 20 years.

    And you know what? I’d do it all again.

    Thanks, RMNB team for the laughs, the 140-character chats and for being good sports all season.

  • J.P.

    Yeah, it was a fantastic season for the Caps, but all Summer long I’m gonna be remembering Mike Green driving that Truckload of Suck into the Verizon Center and spilling it all over the faithful with that stupid, stupid, stupid, bone-head penalty… Norris trophy candidate my ass.

  • mcawful

    What? No “we still love you” post?!

    I will always love the Washington Capitals (no doubt we all do). Some awesome things have come out of this year. Ovie leading the Caps to the President’s Trophy, for one, a HELL of a season for Backstrom (and I don’t care what anyone says – this season/series elevated him to league-wide “superstar” status. Getting booed in Montreal?! Fucking awesome!). Brooks Laich came out of the woodwork for me in the last little while. And in the dying minutes of last night’s game, Ovie’s desperate, “fuck it, Russian Machine do it himself” performance WAS hockey.

    Didn’t end the way I would have liked, but it was a hell of a ride. Red Jesus will come back next year, and he’ll be madder and more dangerous than ever. Take that to the bank, comrades.

  • http://singingfromthecrease.wordpress.com Mia

    THANKS so much for looking at the Capitals regular season the same way I did in my blog. So many Capitals fans have sent me awful nastygrams because I wrote that I was happy about winning the President’s Cup and all the other goodies we got this season. I was starting to feel lonely and depressed reading all of the absolutely negative stuff out there. Yeah, I may have to wait until I’m so old I can throw up my dentures in celebration – but the Capitals will win the Cup one day dammit. Rock On Guys!!

  • Rockin’ The Red in VA

    Without defeat, you cannot enjoy victory!

    Rest up boys, we’ll see you again in the fall!

    C-A-P-S, Caps! Caps! Caps!

  • BobbyG

    @Threewireguy: Thank you so much for articulating what I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around today. Two days after feeling so sick and miserable about how this season ended, I woke up this morning to a brand new day determined not to let my open wound fester.

    What I realized, and what your post reinforced, is that I still love the Caps and Ovie to death. I will not

  • BobbyG

    Oops… continued from above.

    allow the gloaters and naysayers to dampen my enthusiasm for the Caps and how they play hockey. It will be a long wait, much longer than I would have liked, but I look forward to seeing them again when the next season starts.

    I have not lost my resolve or devotion. For now and forever, it’s GO CAPS!!! and GO OVIE!!!