The Washington Capitals had made the playoffs each of the past years since 2007 and missed it for the first time since then last year. Making the playoffs is one thing, but actually having something to show for your efforts is another. Teams can make the playoffs year in and year out but if they can’t win in the playoffs, whats really the point? The ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup and nothing less should be considered a failure.
For the Capitals, they made it, but were missing a piece to get them over that barrier and get to the Stanley Cup Finals. For Brooks Laich, he believes that missing the playoffs for the first time in 6 years was the best thing for the Washington Capitals organization. With the misstep, the longtime GM of 17 years, George McPhee was let go and former player coach Adam Oates also saw his pink slip, not to mention just about every other coach on the staff.
“My honest opinion is not making the playoffs last year might have been the greatest day going forward for our organization, because I really think it made us all take a look in the mirror and at our failures and why we are failing,” Laich told NHL.com. “If we would have made the playoffs and lost in the first or second round it would have been the same old story, but you wouldn’t have had that hard, brutally honest look at yourselves to realize why you are failing.”
Laich makes a good point, when your winning but just not to the point of championship winning, you may tell yourself, your one player away or that you need to play harder next time, or even base your loss on an excuse like an injury or something. Losing will put a lot of things into perspective and make you take a step back and re-evaluate everything that is going on and what changes need to be made to get you where you want to go. Winning can be a type of blinder at times.
Sometimes you need to fall, get up and start over to make a change.