#1 A third straight First Round exit
The number one disappointment of the 2021 season was the Caps first round series against the Boston Bruins. After winning in overtime thanks to a goal from Nic Dowd, the Capitals dropped the next four games including two beyond regulations. One of those overtime games went to double overtime. The other overtime game came in Game 2 which shifted the momentum of the series towards the Bruins.
This isn’t on Peter Laviolette. He still has another year or two to right the ship. But you’ve got to wonder what would’ve happened if the Caps decided to pay their Cup winning coach fair market value or above before Barry Trotz walked out the door. Speaking of Trotz, he took his New York Islanders not only past the first round but to the third round for the second consecutive season. They also won the first round the very first year the bad streak began for the Caps in 2019 when they fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.
Now the Caps are in the midst of an offseason with a ton of questions. We are just weeks away from getting some of those questions answered. Whatever they do, the goal is to get back to the Stanley Cup and the only way they can do that is if they can exorcise their first round demons.