WASHINGTON (AP) -Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are starting their offseason much sooner than they expected after becoming the first top-seeded team to blow a 3-1 series lead against a No. 8 in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The Capitals had made clear they thought they could win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with the league's best record and most goals.
A day after being eliminated in the opening round with a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7, though, the Capitals are facing several tough questions. Are the Presidents' Trophy winners built for success in the playoffs? Are significant changes needed?
You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.
— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York