Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sometimes the Wheels Just Fall Off the Bus...

As I was trying to surmise what to even say about last night's stunning defeat, a co-worker phrased it this way: "Sometimes the wheels fall off the bus." Unfortunately for our beloved Capitals, their wheels malfunctioned at the most inopportune time. And to make the sting even worse for HM personally, I have relatives in the Burgh who all of the suddenly become "real" hockey fans during the playoffs and feel the need to rub salt in the wounds. But no matter, because I love my team and the Capitals organization and we have so much to be proud of!

There are no excuses that can be made for the Caps' performance and no one expected that outcome, especially considering how close the series was. The Penguins simply fought harder and did not make mistakes and the men in red did not play their game. The Pens had more shots on goal, no penalties (although that should raise a question mark) and their defense was on the mark. Marc-Andre Fleury made the saves he had to make, including the save of the game on an Alex Ovechkin breakaway attempt.

So unfortunately, our boys will be packing it up for the summer and our rivals will move forward. But as Caps' fans, it has been quite a ride and for that a huge HM fist bump to each and every player who made this season so remarkable! It has been a joy to watch this team this year, through both the wins and the losses. Gabby and the coaching staff have much to be proud of and an organization full of young and talented players who will be taking us deep into spring hockey for years to come. Of course, that includes Simeon Varlamov, who will most certainly help bring the Cup to D.C.
Though Varly had a bad critical outing last night, he was one of the big reasons this club made it Game 7 and he is going to be a goalie for the ages in the seasons to come! HM has decided that I will be sporting a Varlamov jersey when October comes around for sure.

Alex Ovechkin is sure to pick up more hardware during the NHL Awards next month and he will also be here as our marquee player, resident funny guy and room leader for the foreseeable future. Sure, the roster will change this summer and we'll say goodbye to some of the boys. Hopefully, they'll acquire some big defense men and more grinders like my faves Steckel, Laich and Bradley. The Caps and their faithful may be down right now, but this team will long be a force to be reckoned with. Their following and the buzz surrounding this team has helped make D.C. an official "hockey town" and the Phone Booth has been as loud as any Original Six venue in the NHL. Kudos to Ted Leonsis and Caps ownership, along with the team's marketing and PR folks for creating such an amazing environment in which to celebrate this team and the game we all love!

So Hockey Mom is going to take a short breather to recuperate from my emotional hangover and relax a bit. I'll still be here as I follow the rest of the playoffs, the Cup Finals and of course any Capitals happenings taking place over the summer.

In the meantime, thanks to all of the terrific Caps fans as well for rocking the red with pride and for all the great memories during this unforgettable season!

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