Watching the end of the third period of the Olympic gold-medal game really pushed home a maxim that the Caps have almost always failed to live up to. That maxim is, "Throw it at the net, and good things happen."
I understand why that doesn't happen with the current composition of the team: they just have so many highly skilled players, that they want to score the pretty goal. And make no mistake, "throw it at the net..." does not lead to pretty goals. It leads to goals like the US scored with twenty-four seconds left. And it's true that the current team is not having problems scoring goals, in general.
But those ugly goals count just as much, and it gives a fall-back plan for when the pretty goal plan fails. I wonder if that points to why the Caps have had so little post-season success in their history. The first time they made it to the Conference Finals was a product of them living that maxim for a year. Especially in the playoffs, when John Druce caught fire after learning from Dino Ciccarelli how to screen the goalie.
Anyway, I just have to ask about that. I'm not sure what it is, but it's sure frustrating to watch. Some of it is certainly bad luck/officiating. Losing game seven to the Flyers two years ago falls into that category (seriously, could you have even imagined running over a goalie like that without getting called for a penalty?). Last year, though, was just lack of mental energy.
Lack of coaching? Lack of leadership from the stars? I don't know what it was, but they just looked like they expected to win just for showing up. Ah well, enough griping.
Kudos to the Olympic team for one hell of a try to unseat Canada. I wonder how many years off of Canadian's life expectancies were cut by that one goal.