I’ve gone back and forth on trying to decide if the poor effort was the coaches fault or not. I tend to believe that is on the players. If winning the Stanley Cup can’t get you motivated I’m not sure why you’re here. Motivation has to come from within.
But whether that is true or not the head coach will take the blame for it. Rightly so if you ask me. If you consistently see you’re team is lackadaisical you have got to do something to fire them up. That has really been the problem with this team for the past two seasons.
When talking about the playoff exits, in both instances, a huge reason for the Caps getting knocked out is effort. Both times you saw the Hurricanes and the Islanders play and work hard. The Capitals played and worked hard at times. Way more times in the Carolina series. In the Islanders series I think you could honestly say, in the five game series the Capitals gave a good effort for maybe sixty minutes, total. That was parts of game one and the majority of game four.
How? Honestly, it’s something that leaves me speechless. I utterly don’t understand how a team that has proven to the world and even themselves that when they work hard they are possibly the best hockey team on the planet. This team rarely worked hard. Not everyone gave the minimum effort, but the vast majority did.
And this was not just a playoff issue. That’s just when the issue is at its worst. This was for at least the entire 2019-20 season. This team would consistently play maybe half a game and walk away winners most nights because of their talent.
Everyone would gawk and be in awe of the Capitals ability to come from behind and tie games when playing with an empty net. Meanwhile, my thought has been if they gave a consistent sixty minute effort they wouldn’t be behind. On top of that, great teams don’t give up leads in the playoffs. You can pick on the bad teams in the regular season.
You can pick on the New Jersey Devils when you fall behind. They are a bad team and have to be in Pittsburgh to play the Penguins the next night. The Devils are not the Islanders and the Islanders have nothing else to do but focus in on you, especially these days.
I can say in all certainty, if the Capitals just gave the required amount of effort we would not be sitting here. We saw how good they were and how they dominated New York when they gave 100% effort. That’s not to say the Caps didn’t have other issues this series, because they did. But to me, effort is the number one reason why they have had two awful postseasons in a row.