For Caps, Playoff Loss to Islanders Is Worst In Years

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Posted August 20, 2020

Alex Ovechkin continues to be one of the few bright spots for the Caps, both in playoff wins and losses. (Caps Outsider)

There’s one thing about the Capitals and the playoffs that is almost guaranteed: Excitement. Even in their most heartbreaking, gutrenching losses, it often comes down to a fluky bounce, multiple overtimes, 7 games, and must-see drama.

This season, despite finishing in first place in their division yet again (their fifth in a row), the Caps went 2-5-1 the playoffs, and the first three of those games served as practice for the games that actually mattered.

In many ways, the 4 games to 1 Round One loss to the Islanders was the worst of the Alex Ovechkin era, save for two periods in Game 4, when Ovechkin willed the Caps to victory.

Being upset in the playoffs is nothing new for the Caps, as they’ve exited prematurely (to lower-ranked teams) multiple times in the last 12 years. There were differences before, though, as those series, all but twice, went seven games. The Caps sometimes even outplayed their opponents in those games, only to lose because of a stellar goaltending. The Caps have been swept only once in this era, nine years ago to the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the second round when the Caps tried a new defensive-style midseason which clearly wasn’t working.

The decisive loss will make it easier to make choices for the future. It was hard for general managers to shake things up too much when the Caps were winning Presidents’ Trophies, or falling in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins. But this season, with its absolutely pathetic ending for the Caps, changes will be inevitable.

See you next season. Go Caps.

Season GP W L OL PTS Finish Playoffs Coaches
2019-20 69 41 20 8 90 1st of 8 Lost First Round 4-1 to N.Y. Islanders
Reirden
2018-19 82 48 26 8 104 1st of 8 Lost First Round 4-3 to Carolina
Reirden
2017-18 82 49 26 7 105 1st of 8 Won Stanley Cup Final 4-1 over Vegas Trotz
2016-17 82 55 19 8 118 1st of 8 Lost Second Round 4-3 to Pittsburgh Trotz
2015-16 82 56 18 8 120 1st of 8 Lost Second Round 4-2 to Pittsburgh Trotz
2014-15 82 45 26 11 101 2nd of 8 Lost Second Round 4-3 to N.Y. Rangers
Trotz
2013-14 82 38 30 14 90 5th of 8 Missed Playoffs
Oates
2012-13 48 27 18 3 57 1st of 5 Lost First Round 4-3 to N.Y. Rangers Oates
2011-12 82 42 32 8 92 2nd of 5 Lost Second Round 4-3 to N.Y. Rangers
Boudreau 12-9-1, Hunter 30-23-7
2010-11 82 48 23 11 107 1st of 5 Lost Second Round 4-0 to Tampa Bay
Boudreau
2009-10 82 54 15 13 121 1st of 5 Lost Conference First Round 4-3 to Montreal
Boudreau
2008-09 82 50 24 8 108 1st of 5 Lost Second Round 4-3 to Pittsburgh
Boudreau
2007-08 82 43 31 8 94 1st of 5 Lost First Round 4-3 to Philadelphia
Hanlon 6-14-1, Boudreau 37-17-7