The Three Futures of the Washington Capitals

It’s been ten days since the Washington Capitals’ season ended and the proverbial axe has yet to fall. As of press time, both George McPhee and Adam Oates are still gainfully employed. That has some people upset.

I get it. I’m a bit surprised the team hasn’t acted yet. And this period of uncertainty doesn’t come without consequences, among them the possible loss of pending free agent Mikhail Grabovski. That would be bad, but I’m trying to see it from the owners’ perspective.

The Caps are at a fork in the road. I can see three potential futures ahead of the team, and now Ted Leonsis has to choose one. It’s a daunting decision, one that merits careful deliberation and planning. If the Caps pick incorrectly– or fail to properly execute that decision– things could get grim and dark. Things could get grimdark.

Here are all the ways I can I see it going.

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cooke-knee

Screen by ChadGraff

There was once a straight-faced Matt Cooke for Lady Byng campaign, but he’s like the Lich from Adventure Time. You know he’s gonna do something awful; you just don’t know when.

Cut to: Monday might in Minnesota. Cookie went knee-on-knee with Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, injuring him. It was awful, the quintessence of Cooke.

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ovesby

The greatest story in the history of hockey continues. I am so excited to share this I am about to puke rainbows all over the keyboard.

Our brother from another blogger, Kyle Mace of SHOE, shared this photo from Hershey, Pennsylvania. It’s the sequel to CROCHKIN, the legendary Sidney Crosby/Alex Ovechkin Frankenstein shirsey.

Ladies and germs: presenting OVESBY!

Is everyone freaking out or is it just me?

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jaynen-rissling

Photo: WHL Images

“Where were you when it happened?” That’s what your grandchildren will ask you about the events of April 19, 2014, when the Capitals announced the trade of a 20-year-old WHL D-man for a pick that has a one-in-nine chance of having an NHL career.

Jaynen Rissling has played 273 games for the Calgary Hitmen, who were eliminated from the playoffs by the Kootenay Ice last month. Rissling now belongs to the Nashville Predators and everything has changed.

We are now living in the Post-Rissling Era. Adjust your calendars accordingly.

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Here’s John Walton Calling the Playoffs for NBC Sports

Before he became the Caps’ radio play-by-play guy, John Walton did public announcements for the Cincinnati Reds and called three Hershey Bears Calder Cup championships. He’s already had a great career, but tonight he’s be calling the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs for NBC Sports. That’s a whole ‘nother level.

If you tuned into NBCSN, you heard the dulcet tones of @WaltonCaps telling the story of the Anaheim Ducks vs the Dallas Stars.

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RMNB’s Really Bad Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

Bracket

The Stanley Cup playoffs start today, and the Washington Capitals aren’t a part of it. While that sucks, life must go on. The good news is that the quarterfinal round is the best week or two of hockey all year, and there’s a bunch of good match-ups to watch. There’s also a couple of garbage match-ups too, but what are you gonna do?

I’ve asked the RMNB crew to share their brackets, and they did, and they’re all really bad. Even mine is bad. Not as bad as theirs, but still really, really bad. Making predictions is a sucker’s game.

Come read our stupid predictions and share your own in the comments!

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Head coach Adam Oates of the Washington Capitals is. That sentence is still correct in the present tense. I’m astonished.

This is not another article listing the problems with Adam Oates, or even the problems with George McPhee. This is an article, the last in a series, describing the Capitals on a week-to-week basis using quantified analysis. If at any point the following article reads like a hitpiece against Caps coaching or management, that’s only because the math totally hates them. It’s not me, I swear.

Also, I think Dmitry Orlov is gonna be real good someday. Let’s do the numbers one more time!

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End of an Era: Bolts beat Caps 1-0 (Shootout)

Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

Whimper. The Washington Capitals put in a perfunctory effort in their final game of the 2013-14 season. Hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at home for Fan Appreciation Day, the Caps showed very little intensity in a goalless defeat.

After forty minutes, the Caps had hardly mustered just seven shots– a season lowJay Beagle was back at Alex Ovechkin‘s flank. Braden Holtby was overworked but perfect. The third line was better than everybody else. The team couldn’t reach a result in #rego or overtime, so we went to the shootout for the 21st time– a new league record.

That last paragraph could’ve applied to dozens of Caps games this season. Fitting it all happened today; just another reminder what you don’t want out of your hockey team.

To the Washington Capitals of 2013-14: I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.

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Bet: Ian Thinks Adam Oates Will Be Back Next Year

Ian and I were doing some blog biznass this morning when I learned something stunning. Ian actually believes Adam Oates will be back as head coach of the Capitals next season. This is astonishing, so we made a bet.

The Bet: Ian bets Peter that Adam Oates will be head coach of the Washington Capitals in 2014-15.

The Stakes: 77 cents, in pennies, and a $10 gift card to the burrito restaurant of the winner’s choice.

You guys are witnesses. I also want to point out that Ian is running a very cold streak in bets lately. Also also: Chipotle > Qdoba, all day, every day.

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Beagle Rabid as Caps beat Hawks 4-0

Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

The vibe was weird in Friday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals. The Caps were playing for nothing but honor, but the Hawks were jockeying for playoff position. You couldn’t tell by the tilt of the ice. The Caps played a sloppy– but productive– game led by the team’s 1C, Jay Bodenheimer Beagle.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 51st  goal of the year on the power play from the remotest bastion of the Ovi Spot. Jay Beagle took two swipes to make it 2-0. Nick Backstrom eliminated the two-goal lead with a no-angle bank shot off Antti Raanta’s buttocks. Beagle struck again before the second period was done because nothing makes sense in an absurd universe upon which all meaning is a deliberate projection.

Nothing in the third. Sorry, Jay.

Caps beat Hawks like a million to nothing.

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