April 28, 2010, 11:41 pm
By Joe Beninati
As I write this I must admit that I am in a state of shock. Even though the Capitals only gave us a glimpse of their powerful selves in this series, I remained convinced that they would break through at the opportune moment and advance in these playoffs by the skin of their teeth. With a great deal of sadness, a record setting season has come to an end far too soon.
There will be much hand wringing and soul searching done in the next few weeks and months until the puck is dropped again in Washington.
This will sting the entire organization. The expectations were so high, and to fall so far in the first round has to feel like the worst set back in franchise history. The Canadiens deserve a great deal of credit for their stunning comeback. They probably won't receive enough credit because most people will want to blame the home team for its collapse.
That blame is deserved. The highest scoring offensive team in the NHL mustered a measly three goals in the final three games of the series. Jaroslav Halak was brilliant and should be recognized as a playoff hero now in Montreal, where they've had their share of postseason success.
Defensemen Hal Gill and Josh Gorges were exceptional, and Mike Cammalleri delivered key goals and big point totals at the opportune times. But for Washington's lethal power play to go dormant for an entire series, it's hard to make excuses.
I fully expected the Caps' top offensive talents--Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Alex Semin and Mike Green--to click before it was too late. Unfortunately it left all of us, and those four players, feeling let down.
I thank all of you for watching us so passionately on CSN this year. Whenever someone stops me at an airport or inside a mall or at the grocery store, and wants to talk about the Caps, you managed to flatter all of us associated with Comcast SportsNet's coverage of the Washington Capitals. I wish this disappointment never happened, and I hope you will keep the faith. This empty feeling will last for a long while, but there will be brighter days ahead.