Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And this is how it ends....for now!

Joffrey Lupol scored in OT to carry the Flyers into the Eastern Conference semi-finals, eliminating the Caps from the playoffs. It makes me sad. Sure, I could whine about the officiating--God knows I hate Koharski. But I won't. Because that would cheapen what we have accomplished this season. This group of guys, most of them still kids, really, have gone from last in the conference to the Southeast Division champions and third in the conference. We've done so much. A recap:

Washington Capitals to-do list for the season:

Sign talent in the off-season...done!
Get a new head coach that may very well be a Jack Adams nominee...done!
Get Alex Ovechkin to have a record-breaking, Richard- & Ross-trophy winning season...done!
Get 4 players their 1st NHL goals...Stecks, Laing, Backs, Schultz, done!
Get Nick Backstrom to have a stellar rookie season...done!
Get Mike Green a lead goal-scoring defenseman title...done!
Get Semin back to top form...done!
Get Brooks Laich a career-best season...done!
Get scoring help for the Alexes...see above!
Get 300+ career wins for Kolzig...done!
Acquire talent through trade...Cooke, Fedorov, Huet, yeah, I think we're good on that!

What these guys have accomplished this season has been nothing short of miraculous. Making it to the playoffs was never beyond Boudreau's dreams. It never seemed beyond the guys' dreams, either. Beating Philly would have been sweet. Making it this far may be doubly so.
I am looking forward to next season. That was the only thing that kept me from bawling after the game. The future is so bright for this team and I look forward to what deals happen this summer, the rookie camp, everything.

The only dim spot for me is that Tarik el-Bashir of the Washington Post has reported that Olaf Kolzig, the man who gave 18+ years to this team, has removed his name plate from his locker that the Verizon Center. What does this mean? I think its a clear sign that Olie's future does not lie with the Washington Capitals. Where it does lay, only Olie knows. Maybe its selfish of me, but I'd rather see him retire from active play and become front office or coaching staff than play for another team. He's always been a Cap and I would like to see him retire a Cap. Olie was the backbone, the heart, and the soul of this team for such a long time. I may be a new fan, but even I can see that. He's been through everything awful with this team, and everything good. If this really is goodbye to Olie, then I wish him the best. But I also wish him to stay here, in DC.

So here's a cheer to the boys from the District! The boys who took everything we could give them and returned it with interest. The boys who fought tooth and nail for where they got. The boys who left it all on the ice. The boys that brought real hockey back to DC and fans back to the Phone Booth. The boys in the Red, White, and Blue. The boys who will be back next year!

Let's go Caps!!!!!

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