NHL Week in Review (May 8-14)

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The second round of the playoffs is over and the final four teams are a bit surprising to many with some of the top teams in the league no longer around.

The defending champions were eliminated in the first round while the California teams were reduced to one early.

The second round saw some more surprises when the top team in the league was taken out by a team that looked like they weren’t even going to make the playoffs at the start of the season.

The Washington Capitals were the President’s Trophy winners this year and often that is the kiss of death for teams.

They looked different though as the Caps were a complete team that had the best goalie in the league and a deep offence.

For the first time in Alexander Ovechkin’s career, the Caps had more players to score and didn’t have to rely solely on him.

That was a big deal as a constant debate had been going on and will continue to go one regarding Ovechkin and his biggest rival, Sidney Crosby.

Both players were selected first overall only a year apart and since they were selected many have debated which player is the best in the world.

Many give it to Crosby but others believe Ovechkin is a more complete player that can get physical, something lacking in Crosby’s game, and scoring.

A big argument for Crosby is that fact that only four years after joining the Penguins Crosby captained his team to the Stanley Cup.

Ovechkin has yet to do that and every year it seems like the Capitals put up great numbers in the regular season and then blow it in the playoffs.

No matter how much talent is on the team it never seems to be enough to get Ovechkin a Stanley Cup.

He will always be considered one of the best in the league and is a future hall of famer as the top Russian scorer ever.

Still there is constantly a fight between just numbers and that ability to win championships.

In every sport, an athlete’s legacy is often tied to their ability to win and win big games.

Without championships, there tends to be a spot on the legacy of that player and for Ovechkin that has been the case.

He scores at a pace that is rarely seen but often in the playoffs, teams take him out and there is nobody left to help the Caps put up points.

It seemed to be changing this year when the Capitals began the season and found new scoring.

T.J. Oshie and Yevgeni Kuznetsov were complimenting Ovechkin rather than relying on him.

Meanwhile, Braden Holtby has had the season of his life and is the likely Vezina Trophy winner this year.

Everything was going right for the Caps this year and for Ovechkin, it seemed like he might finally get his chance at a Stanley Cup.

Then the Caps ran into the Pittsburgh Penguins who have long been a thorn in the side of Washington.

The Penguins went into the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league and they continued that into their second round series.hockey-sidebar

The Pens took the win in six games and the chances for a Stanley Cup were lost to Ovechkin and the Capitals.

The loss was the latest in the disappointing ends to Washington’s seasons and for Ovechkin, it seemed to be a turning point.

Nobody’s career lasts forever and for Ovechkin, the situation he was in this year may never happen again.

Next year the Capitals will stay relatively intact and he might have another chance but after that things will not be the same.

It seemed to be the best chance that Ovechkin had to take the championship that he wants so badly.

With time running out Ovechkin’s legacy is on the line and this year he came up short again.

Without a championship, Ovechkin might go down as one of the greatest players in NHL history to never win the Stanley Cup.

As Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals think about what could have been four teams are left with a chance to take home the ultimate prize.

There is the hot hand in Pittsburgh and last year’s Eastern Conference champions in Tampa Bay.

On the other side are two teams that have been much the same as Washington in the Sharks and Blues.

Two teams that are great but can never get it done in the playoffs.

They all look to continue a great postseason and be crowned the new champions giving some long-suffering fans a chance to celebrate.

Overtime
(Extra Thoughts on this week in hockey)

Bishop Down
The Eastern Conference Finals got off to an interesting start as the Lighting took a game 1 win but may have lost their starting goalie as Ben Bishop was carried off of the ice with a leg injury although x-rays were apparently negative

Staying in L.A.
Darryl Sutter may not be necessarily a player’s coach but he has brought a lot of success to Los Angele s and despite his early exit in the last two years, the Kings know they have been better with him giving him a multi-year contract

Coyotes Drama
Arizona never seems to be out of the news for long as reports have surfaced again stating that the Coyotes are determined to find a new place to play for the 2017 season as their continued issues with the City of Glendale has left them searching for a new home

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