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WASHINGTON -- Not a single member of the current Washington Capitals roster is from Washington. In fact, Jeff Halpern remains the only player born-and-bred in the area to make the local NHL team, and hes come and gone twice in his 13 seasons in the league

Started by luyp123, 2015/08/06 09:33AM
Latest post: 2015/08/06 09:33AM, Views: 508, Posts: 1
WASHINGTON -- Not a single member of the current Washington Capitals r...
#1   2015/08/06 09:33AM
luyp123
WASHINGTON -- Not a single member of the current Washington Capitals roster is from Washington. In fact, Jeff Halpern remains the only player born-and-bred in the area to make the local NHL team, and hes come and gone twice in his 13 seasons in the league. So perhaps Jason Chimera, a native of Edmonton who has been with the Capitals only since 2009, could be forgiven for his response when asked Thursday about the collective public angst over the teams latest blown lead in the playoffs. "I dont know why people keep bringing up pasts, or people keep bringing up stuff that happened," Chimera said. "Its different teams every year. Its not like its the same individuals every year." If Chimera were a live-long Capitals fan, he would feel differently. He would bear the scars from rooting for a franchise that has lost eight -- yes, eight -- playoff series when holding a two-game lead. Nobody collapses in the post-season quite like the Capitals. 1985. 1987. 1992. 1995. 1996. 2003. 2009. 2010. All series that Washington led either 2-0 or 3-1 -- and went on to lose. All were seven-game series, except for a five-gamer in 85. Even more startling, the Capitals historically are more likely to lose than win a series after taking a 2-0 lead. Theyve won four, lost five. They are trending that way again. They were up 2-0 on the New York Rangers. Now its 2-2 headed into Fridays Game 5 in Washington. While theres room for plenty of discussion for the technical and strategic reasons for the two losses in New York, one fact remains indisputable: The doubts are inevitably growing among the paying customers, and the players have to make sure those doubts dont seep into the locker room. "We need to get some momentum back," forward Troy Brouwer said. "Theyve got a lot of it with their two wins in their building. Weve been able to get wins at home, and were relying on that and have confidence in that going into Game 5." Take away the weight of the Capitals history, and the teams plight doesnt look so dire. If they keep holding serve at home, theyll win the series. If they can take fewer penalties and be less sloppy, and if Alex Ovechkin can find more space to make an impact after getting shut out in Games 3 and 4, they should be in good shape to turn the tide. But then theres this: The Capitals are have a 10-20 all-time record in Game 5s. Thats a massive skeleton to have in the closest, but its a closet the players are trying to keep shut. "Everyone likes to make things bigger than it actually is," defenceman Karl Alzner said. "The fans like to panic a little bit sometimes, but were not panicking, and everyone will see that tomorrow." Thats not to say that emotion wont play a part from here on out. Setting aside the history, both teams say that confidence and momentum could be as important as line changes and power plays in the next few days. "Our resiliency has really shown in these past two games, and we are going to need that when we go to Washington," New York coach John Tortorella said. "They are going to surge there, and we just need to find a way to keep our heads above water and find a way to win a game." Nevertheless, if the Rangers do win Game 5, the Capitals will have to work a bit harder to keep the angst of history at bay. "Theres always momentum swings," Washington goaltender Braden Holtby said. "Its just whoever can keep the levelest head, and keep thinking about the long-term in the series, and not worry about those momentum swings, is usually the team thats going to win." Notes: Capitals RW Martin Erat is likely out for Game 5 with an upper body injury suffered in Game 4. Washington recalled RWs Joey Crabb and Tom Wilson from Hershey of the AHL. Wilson, 19, is a 2012 first-round draft pick and made his professional debut last week in the AHL playoffs. ... 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