3 Reasons The Capitals Lost In The First Round

Why the Caps got swept
New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Three
New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Three / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Charlie Lindgren, Washington Capitals
Charlie Lindgren, Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Lindgren Got Outplayed

I don't think it's unfair at all to say if it wasn't for Charlie Lindgren this team wouldn't make the playoffs. If you're asking the question of who the most important player on the Capitals was this season if your answer is anyone other than Lindgren you're wrong. Dylan Strome played well. Ovechkin had a dynamite back half of the season. Without Lindgren though, this team is sunk, and sunk early.

For the Capitals to stand a chance in this series they needed one of the best goalies in the NHL this season to play very well and likely steal a game or two. He didn't really do either. He obviously didn't steal a game. He played fine. But, fine isn't great.

He was the second best goaltender in this series and for the Caps to stand a chance that couldn't happen. Just look at some stats and we can see it was actually Igor Shesterkin that had to face more of the threatening shots.

According to Natural Stat Trick the Capitals had over 58% of the high danger attempts in the series. They also had over 57% of the scoring chances. Both of those numbers being while at 5v5.

In this series Shesterkin had to face 31 high danger shots. He saved 26 of them, meaning he had a save percentage of .839%. Lindgren on the other hand faced 24 high danger shots, saved 18 of them, and had a save percentage of .750%

Is it Lindgren's fault that the Capitals lost this series? No, that would be way too harsh. Is it even a shame to say he got outplayed by Shesterkin? No way. Shesterkin has proven for several years now he is one of the best goalies in the NHL.

For the Capitals to win this series, or even win a couple of games in this series they needed Lindgren to be amazing. He wasn't. He was fine. And we've seen how the Capitals do when Lindgren is just fine. They're not fine.