The Washington Capitals season is over. For the third time they fell to a Sidney Crosby-led Pittsburgh Penguins in the postseason, losing Wednesday’s Game 7 2-0. It was a disappointing effort across the board. However, Alex Ovechkin, the team’s captain, game stuck out or lack thereof.
He skated 18:22 and his impact on the game did not go in favor of the Capitals. First, he was blanked on a point-blank shot by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the first period. Later, he failed to clear the puck out of the zone, leading to a Patric Hornqvist goal that put the game out of reach for Washington at 2-0 early in the third period.
Ovechkin’s legacy defining performance in Game 7 left a lot to be desired. There was a lot of emotions that poured out from the devastating loss. Following the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz was asked about his captain’s performance in Game 7, he didn’t say much but the answer was very telling to his thoughts.
“Emotionally right now, I don’t want to answer that question,” Trotz said per Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy. “We win and lose as a team, that’s probably my best answer right now. Emotionally, I don’t think I want to answer that question on Ovi.”
Nine playoffs runs and zero Conference Finals appearances is what will define Ovechkin’s career. The Capitals did lose as a team there is no doubt. However, the leader, the face of the franchise will always represent the success and shortcomings of an organization. And on Wednesday, Ovechkin did not bring his best game, and his team suffered from it. How everyone, including Ovechkin and the organization, recovers from this remains to be seen.