There are teams in every major professional sports league who dominate the opposition in the regular season, but can’t put it all together and get over the hump when it counts. The San Jose Sharks have historically underperformed in the post season, despite annually posting one one of the top records in the league. If any powerhouse is going to be ousted in the second round, it will very likely be the Washington Capitals, who went down 3-0 in their series last night.
Although the Capitals managed to mount an early lead on the Lightning, Tampa Bay slowly climbed back, with solid play from all four lines. After tying the game at three in the latter stages of the third period, Tampa fed off the support of the home crowd and eventually got the deciding goal from Ryan Malone.
Alex Ovechkin had an above average game for the Caps, but lacked offensive support from his line mates. Nicklas Backstrom has been virtually invisible throughout the playoffs and is nowhere near fulfilling expectations set by Bruce Boudreau.
Unless the Capitals do the impossible and win the next four games, the Lightning will move on to the Eastern Conference Chmapionship amongst the NHL’s final four. Hard to believe when the team owner, general manager and head coach are all first timers.