With the Washington Capitals 2018-19 season over, there are a lot of opinions about the team, but we here at TXHT look to our good friend John Chick who wrote an amazing Post Mortem to this season.
John, the floor is yours good sir…
Here’s my post-mortem, for what it’s worth:
1. Despite the sudden crowning of Barry Trotz as hockey’s version of Bill Belichick, he was one game away from being fired last year as the Caps coach. Reirden’s Caps won their division, so if it’s time to fire Reirden, then John Cooper in Tampa should’ve already been fired, along with Vegas’ coach. I loved Trotz, but let’s do a little deeper analysis than “Fire the Coach”, which seems to be the social media norm.
2. For whatever reason, the Caps forgot how to win in the playoffs, choosing the ‘fancy’ goals over the dirty goals. Carolina had 3 players funneling to the net on every shot. The Caps usually chose not to shoot, and when they did, they rarely had more than one player anywhere near the net.
3. The Caps also reverted to the old form of having the stars perform well enough to win, and the rest of the team serving as spectators. They won the Cup last year specifically because all four lines contributed, so opponents couldn’t just concern themselves with shutting down the first line.
4. Losing Kempny was big. What I liked about him most is that he wouldn’t hesitate to shoot, so while he wasn’t at the same level as Nate Schmidt, he was equivalent. Nick Jensen doesn’t shoot, so we essentially have one defenseman who can (or more importantly)/will shoot. Having a big shot like Carlson isn’t even necessary – just put it on net.
5. The slingshot – doesn’t work. They also used to place Oshie or someone else right in the slot on the PP which gave it another wrinkle and made the defense lay off Ovie. No idea why they tried to fix something that wasn’t broken.
6. And finally – The Caps are the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions – something I thought I’d never live to see. They get a pass from me for getting bounced in the first round by what turned out to be a good team.
John is a good friend of Michael, Aryan, and Chris.
Make sure to follow TXHT’s extensive Playoffs coverage on our 2019 NHL Playoffs page.