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2017 NHL Playoffs: Here We Go Again For The Washington Capitals?

Down 2-1 to Toronto, is it panic time yet for Caps fans?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Washington Capitals are struggling in the NHL playoffs.

In their latest escapades, the Caps, winners of Game 1 in the first round, dropped Games 2 and 3 in overtime. (All three games have gone to overtime, in fact.) The Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to make it a 3-1 series lead on Wednesday on home ice.

A Long, Sad History

The Washington Capitals have had the services of one Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin since 2005. With this future Hall of Famer in tow, the Caps have made the playoffs nine times. In seven of them, the Caps were the division champion. Finally, they have won the President’s Trophy three times.

Washington has precisely zero Stanley Cups on the ol’ proverbial shelf. In fact, the Ovechkin-led Capitals have never made a conference final. He has never been to the third round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs with this team. That could still change in 2017, but this edition of the Washington Capitals wouldn’t be the first time they disappointed in the spring.

Washington Capitals Panic Time?

The logical answer is no, not yet. Washington still potentially has two games at home, where they rarely lose. Also, with 23 regular-season road wins, it’s not inconceivable that they can beat Toronto at the ACC.

Then the doubt starts creeping in, and it’s got foundation. Even if the Caps get out of this round, they’re struggling with the weakest Eastern Conference team. Not only that, but they’re going to overtime repeatedly. Assuming Pittsburgh finishes off the Blue Jackets in short order, the Penguins would be an incredibly difficult next series for either team.

Every series and game are different, but trouble dismissing the Maple Leafs may mean concern down the road for the Washington Capitals. It’ll be up to them to shake off the skepticism and play like the elite team they think they are.

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