Could the Washington Capitals’ Crumble Be One of Sports’ Biggest Chokes?

April 29th, 2010 by Stephen Dupej Leave a reply »
When the Stanley Cup Playoffs began a few weeks ago, I wrote that the Washington Capitals, the best team during the NHL regular season, would quickly breeze past their opponents, the Montreal Canadiens.

Going into Game Five, it seemed that way, as Washington built up a 3-1 series lead over the Canadiens.

But goalie Jaroslav Halak and the rest of the Habs had other ideas.

Halak turned away 131 of 134 shots the Capitals blasted at him during Games Five, Six, and Seven of the series. The Habs roared back to dispose the Capitals 4-3. The Capitals have now become the first No. 1-seeded team in NHL history to blow a 3-1 series lead to the No. 8 seed. 

"It's a terrible feeling right now," said Alex Ovechkin after the game.

That's understandable. But I have one question for Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals: Is "terrible" even a strong enough word?

After winning the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's best team during the regular season, and having a 3-1 series lead going into Game Five, and blasting an incredible 134 shots against Halak and only allowing 65 again ...

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