Yesterday was a somber day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as the boys cleaned out their lockers to head home after a season cut way too short. Ovi, Nick Backstrom and most of the other guys spoke about their disappointing Round 1 performance and Capitals Insider has some closing comments from some of the other fellas. There was also a lot of buzz amongst both fans and hockey media insiders on Twitter, as Mike Green did not speak to the media at all. Green has been in the media spotlight all season and as difficult as it may have been to speak about the loss and his second straight not-so-stellar playoff showing, I think it comes with the territory.
Some of the other tibits that were revealed during yesterday's bummer of a breakdown day (Hockey Mom almost had a breakdown of her own when I realized I would no longer be watching my team this season) included gruesome details on Tom Poti's eye injury and General Manager George McPhee's assurance that Gabby will be the team's bench boss for some time to come. So the boys are off for a long summer with plenty of time to digest the pain resulting from such an abrupt end to what had been an incredible season.
To make matters worse (or to rub salt in the fresh and raw wound), the Pittsburgh Penguins made haste of the guy the Caps couldn't manage to pierce last night, running Jaroslav Halak out of the crease after he gave up 5 of 20 shots. The reigning Stanley Cup champions' 5-2 victory came at high price however, as they lost one of the league's best defensive forwards, Jordan Staal, to a tendon injury. The Canadiens also suffered a major blow to their roster as their star defense man Andrei Markov was injured on a brutal hit from guess who? Yep, you guessed it - the Picasso of cheap shots, Pens' agitator Matt Cooke. In this case, the hit was actually ruled as clean.
And though I swore I couldn't bear to watch hockey this weekend, it didn't take too long before I caved and caught the last two periods of the Flyers/Bruins contest. Today's Disney feel good moment of the day came from Boston's Marc Savard, who scored the game winning overtime goal after returning to the game for the first time in close to two months! One of the last times many hockey fans saw this dapper young man, he was being wheeled off the ice with a severe concussion - again, thanks to Matt Cooke.
Of course I'll most likely be tuning in tonight as well to catch my other favorite twins, the Sedins, in the Canucks' opening game with the rival Blackhawks. The Canucks also feature the feisty Ryan Kesler, who was outstanding as a member of Team USA this winter. But man does it stink having to jump on another team's bandwagon, even though we already have Henrik and Daniel Sedin jerseys mixed in among all the Capitals fangear.