Looking back, it makes sense why the Capitals chose to move on from Jason Chimera. At 37 years old, he was going to be worth much more to someone else than he was to the Caps.
But there was an element to Chimera the Caps were not able to find this season: Levity.
There was one interview that struck Jill Sorenson more than any other from the Capitals' breakdown day and it was Kevin Shattenkirk talking about how fortunate the Capitals were to be a contender every year, even if they don't win it. See the video above for more from Sorenson and the balancing act the Caps face between pressure and joy.
Let's face it, being a contender for so long comes with a lot of pressure to win it all. That pressure seemed to get to the Caps in Game 7 against Pittsburgh when a Washington team that had dominated the last two games to force a Game 7 laid an egg. Is the locker room missing that person who can laugh in the face of pressure and take the edge off?
There's also something else to consider: Most NHL teams would happily trade places with the Caps for the last nine seasons this team has enjoyed. Have the fans and players lost sight of how important it is just to be considered a contender for the Stanley Cup every year?
Where do you stand? Is this era of Capitals hockey something we should all enjoy or is it all meaningless without the Cup? Tell us what you think!
We asked for your thoughts and you delivered!
I'm sick of being let down. Sure it's great to win the President's Trophy so often but c'mon. 2 be THIS good & get freight trained every yr?— Dave Schumpert (@pro_ski_bum) May 19, 2017
Meaningless cuz talent w/out ❤️ "nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent… Persistence & determination alone are omnipotent"— David Rizzo (@DatMacDaddyDJ) May 19, 2017
Should enjoy it for God's sakes. Exceptional skill - Exceptional players, coaches, records etc. be thankful we have this caliber team here!— Hattrk3 (@Hattrk3) May 19, 2017
The Caps have always been offensively challenged until this Era. Yeah, there's been disappointments, lots...but they've been fun to follow.— Julius Carstea (@jxc450) May 18, 2017
The difference from underachieving & overachieving is immense. To have so much talent wasted is painful. To be a Cinderella is endearing.— DCterp (@Terpingtonian) May 18, 2017
Let's keep the conversation going!