The Washington Capitals complete collapse in game seven was a story of injury and fatigue. The Capitals insist that injuries were not the reason for the series break down with the Penguins. But now that the reports become more clear on who was hurt and how many were hurt. It raises more questions.
Based on several reports, as many as seven Capitals were playing with injuries. Included in that list are Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Mike Green, Tom Poti, and John Erskine, to name a few. If they are not going to use injuries as an excuse, than why play those players when they were clearly not effective against a high powered offense like the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Green, who did not score a goal in this series, has been less than stellar since his run-in with the boards in game five in the Rangers series. But his ice time increased since his injury and his ineffectiveness. When the Caps have been the deepest they have been in years, especially in defense, why not give Karl Alzner a look. Or play Tyler Sloan who had two good games against these Penguins. Sloan sat out the last three games for injured John Erskine.
I can understand why Ovechkin has to be in the line up, and to some extent Semin. But for seven players to limp through the a series against a very good team is almost selfish. Which makes sense the way the Caps were playing through the 2 and a half periods, they were disconnected, not feeding off of one another and passes were less than crisp.
The Penguins took full advantage of a team that was struggling just to show up to the rink. Why was there not a decision to bring up more players from Hershey to replace injured souls? When a hockey player is hurting, they don't do the right things for the full 60 minutes. They cut corners to save energy, they misread plays, lose focus and get routed in an all important game seven.
If you have a two game series lead and blow the next three games, why not use your depth?
The Capitals took today off and will address the media tomorrow, hopefully to answer that and many more questions.