It’s all over but the crying. With a 4 to 3 loss in Game 3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the series might not officially be over and done with, but it might as well be. The Lightning, a Florida-based hockey team for Heaven’s sake, is now beating the #1 seeded team in the East, are now totally in command of this series, 3 games to 0. None. Not a single win by the Capitals. Washington and Tampa Bay were two of the top home teams in the NHL this season, and the home ice advantage didn’t mean anything for Washington.

Wednesday night, the teams play again in Tampa, and it doesn’t matter who wins that game. Not so far as the series outcome is concerned. It might save Bruce Boudreau’s job if the Capitals can extend it to Game 5 or beyond, but the Lightning are winning this series, don’t kid yourself to believe otherwise.

I’d like to say that Bruce Boudreau should absolutely be the coach for next season. I’ve tried to defend him all year and say he’s one of the best coaches in the NHL, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he’s a great coach at the AHL level and just an above average coach in the NHL.

Shot-Less Backstrom

Last year, people wanted Semin gone. This year, who are you going to put the blame on, Nicklas Backstrom? You can’t get rid of that guy. He’s one of the top 10 forwards in the NHL who has tons of tools in his game, and you can’t get good enough value for him in a trade, and you’d be foolish not to have him under contract so long as he wants to be part of the Capitals.

He is the problem. I don’t know what is wrong with him, but he’s not pulling his weight. I can understand if he didn’t score a goal tonight, which he didn’t. I can understand if he’s on a three-game drought in scoring goals, which is true. But there’s no excuse for him to have ZERO shots on goal tonight. He’s far too important a player to have a stat sheet that looks like that.  He was on the ice a little more than Ovechkin was tonight.

Backstrom didn’t have to be the problem, though. The Capitals had a lead after 2 periods of play, and they should’ve held that lead.

Add injury to insult, Mike Green’s status is questionable due to an undisclosed injury which is speculated to be a lower body injury.

I’d like to see Matt Hendricks back in the games for the Capitals, not that it’ll make any long term difference this season, but he’s a great role player for this team, and playoff experience would be good for a guy who only had 6 games of playoff experience coming into this year.

Don’t be fooled by the hype video they show at the Verizon Center when you’re rocking the red and they’re trying to get you to believe that things aren’t over. The Lightning have the number of the Capitals. They’re the better team. They’re hustling as a whole more than the Capitals as a whole, and now the Capitals have dug themselves a hole.