This loss hurts. I thought we had the pieces in place to win the Cup. We didn’t make enough plays at critical times. Congratulations to the Penguins – they overcame adversity and made more plays when it counted most.
I feel awful – almost numb, yet frustrated. I know many of our fans – locally and around the world – feel the same way. Sports teams impact the psyche of a city, and I feel terrible that we have let you down.
Our fans are incredible, and they certainly make Verizon Center a special place. It’s red. It’s loud. It’s respectful. It’s fun. They demonstrate such affection for our team and players and are extremely supportive of what we are attempting to accomplish on and off the ice. Thank you. We feel your love, and we share your pain.
We have witnessed some incredible individual and team accomplishments, and I try not to lose sight of the incredible performances we witnessed between October and early April. But the playoffs, while incredibly exciting, have been heartbreaking. We have been a good team for a number of years, but everyone knows we ultimately are judged on our playoff performance, and anything less than a Cup is a disappointment. I’m sorry we didn’t deliver on our top goal.
We have tried many things – some obvious and others discrete – to make ourselves a better playoff team. We will do our best to dissect and critically examine why we weren’t able to advance further. Then we will focus on how to improve.
Our team definitely will look different next year due to expiring contracts and salary cap limits. At this point I don’t know what the team makeup will be, but our goal is to retain and acquire players who will help us to advance in the playoffs and win a championship in 2018.
Hockey is such an incredible sport, and we all know there is a razor-thin difference between winning and losing, but that’s what makes sports – especially hockey – so compelling. At season’s end, one team and one fan base feels a sense of enormous accomplishment and pride. We will continue to evaluate and make adjustments with the goal of bringing that euphoric feeling to Caps fans.
It’s painful when the season comes to an abrupt end. Earning a Cup remains our No. 1 goal.