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?
He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.
— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft