Yet again. (Photo credit: USA Today)
Alex Ovechkin sat on the bench, glaring down at the ice with his head between his hands. He looked defeated, because he was. His sixth visit to the Stanley Cup Playoffs was about to end in another disappointing loss, after another year failing to meet expectations.
After the game, Ovi stood in front the white board at the far end of the Capitals locker room and went off.
I am not saying there was a phone call from [the NHL], but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings; you know, the lockout, escrow, the league needs to make profit.
Ovi then backtracked a little, going from blaming the refs to the entire Washington Capitals roster, including himself.
It’s very frustrating. That’s the whole point; you have to win the games and try to win the Cup.
We have a great coaching staff, good group of guys who support each other. It doesn’t matter what happen, we not yelling at each other, nobody was pointing finger like it’s your fault we lose the game. It’s everybody’s fault. All guys are at fault. My fault, Backie’s, Ribs’s — everybody. It’s not about one person or two persons, it’s about the team. We don’t get team success in game seven and game six. It’s blame on us.
My SovSport colleague Dmitry Shumin asked Ovi to describe what happened in one word. Ovi: “[We] sh*t ourselves.” #caps
— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) May 14, 2013
Then there was Nick Backstrom. He spoke in a soft tone, not able to bring himself to stand up. Like Ovechkin, he’s been through this many times before. NBC Washington’s Adam Vingan asked him what he’d lessoned he learned from the series. Nicky was blunt.
Learn how to play in the playoffs, same thing as previous years. We came back in the regular season and playoffs came — not good enough. I can only talk for myself and my effort — not good enough. No excuses, just a bad effort. … It’s like deja vu. It happened before. It’s a bad feeling right now.