Washington was eliminated last night. The Capitals won’t win the Stanley Cup two years in a row.
Since the NHL adopted a salary cap in 2005, only one team has won two straight Stanley Cups: The Penguins in 2016 and ’17.
In fact, since the cap's inception, only three teams have made the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive seasons. Two of them are the Penguins: ’08 and ’09, then ’16 and ’17.
It’s extremely difficult to sustain success in a capped league that employs four layers of playoffs, and the Penguins have done it better than any NHL franchise since the cap came into play.
My advice to Penguins fans: When the occasional setback comes the team’s way, don’t whine like entitled brats.
The Penguins have justified your faith far more often than not. They have made the playoffs each of the past 13 seasons. They are the NHL’s most accomplished franchise over that span.
So when the Penguins lose a playoff series, don’t hysterically call for firings, trades, releases and executions. Think how they feel in St. Louis: 51 seasons, zero Cups. The Blues entered the NHL in 1967, same as the Pens.
It is a shame the Penguins didn’t at least win their first-round series. If they had, we could properly make fun of Washington, Tampa Bay, Nashville, etc.
There are lots of terrific things about Carolina beating Washington in Game 7, advancing via Brock McGinn’s goal in the second overtime.
But the best may be that McGinn was Tom Wilson’s man. That thug was standing right there when McGinn scored, and Alex Ovechkin was looking over both their shoulders.
The runner-up: Ex-Penguin Jordan Staal had the tying goal last night and the winning goal in Game 6. When Staal is healthy, he’s still money.