Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Washington Capitals: A Short Tale of Two Eras

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

-- Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"

Today's scribble has to do with history, a tale of two eras in Capitals history to be more precise.  Caps fans might not know this, but with the end of the 2013 season, the second of two 15-year eras came to a close.  They look a lot like one another...

The Age of Poile (1982-1983 through 1996-1997):
  • 15 seasons
  • 3 coaches
  • 1,180 regular season games
  • Win-loss-T/OTL record of 594-454-132
  • 4,180 goals scored for, 3,719 goals scored against (per game: 3.54 - 3.15)
  • 14 playoff appearances
  • 8 first round playoff exits
  • 5 second round playoff exits
  • 1 conference final
  • Playoff win-loss record (games): 52-64
  • Playoff win-loss record (series): 7-14
  • Playoff Game 7 Record: 1-4

The Age of McPhee (1997-1998 through 2012-2013):
  • 15 seasons
  • 6 coaches
  • 1,196 regular season games
  • Win-loss-T/OTL record of 575-458-163
  • 3,416 goals scored, 3,396 goals against (per game: 2.86 - 2.84)
  • 10 playoff appearances
  • 6 first round exits
  • 3 second round exits
  • 1 Stanley Cup final
  • Playoff win-loss record (games): 41-48 (correction: 44-52)
  • Playoff win-loss record (series): 6-10
  • Playoff Game 7 Record: 2-5

Thirty years of same.  It almost feels less like the era in which Dickens wrote, or even this one, and more like the Cretaceous period.  It makes one long for an asteroid to make an appearance.

(information obtained from, Washington Capitals 2012-2013 Media Guide)


foolsrushand.hannityin said...

In essence it's an ever-repeating loop of mediocrity. And we, as fans, are expected to "look on the bright side". Poile was actually more successful in some respects because the previous owner refused to keep his best players (Scott Stevens?).

It's time to send Ted & the players a message -

Play every minute of every game.

Play EVERY game in the playoffs as if it's game 1.

You must check and play defense or you sit.

The CAPS are your no. 1 priority.

If you can't comply get out.

Kirk said...

As long as there are fannies in the seats at Verizon Center during the regular season, owner Ted Leonsis has had little if any motivation to construct a team built for the playoffs. For too long the Caps--and their diehard fans--have been satisfied with Southeast Division Championship banners hanging from the rafters.

Beginning next season, however, the Caps will no longer be able to coast into the playoffs by playing an inordinate number of games against teams that barely qualify as NHL franchises. With this most recent early playoff exit and stiffer regulation season games looming, will Leonsis finally smell the coffee to make the changes necessary--from the front office to the players themselves--to shed the cloak of mediocrity once and for all?

"Wait until next year" has never had such a ring of truth and urgency as it does now.