Washington Capitals: Players Preventing the Caps from Lord Stanley

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Washington Capitals: Players Preventing the Caps from Lord Stanley
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Aside from the lockout, there has been much more in recent years to disappoint Capitals fans.

Two years in a row (2010 and 2011) the Capitals finished first in the Eastern Conference and even had the best record in the NHL in 2010.

As we know, the number one seed basically means nothing once you reach the playoffs. In fact, lately the away team has been winning most of the playoff games.

The Capitals have gotten its fans hopes up and just threw all that hope down the well with disappointing playoff performances when it mattered most.

In 2010, the Capitals took a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Montreal Canadians. They would go on to lose the next three games and suffer a long, dreadful offseason.

Then in 2011, they returned to the playoffs with the same regular season success. They knocked off the New York Rangers in the first round, only to be swept by the Tampa bay Lightning in round two.

In 2012, Washington defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games after a less than stellar regular season. Once they reached the second round, they were sent away to book tee times after losing to the New York Rangers in seven games. 

Why does this keep happening? What is the reason for no success when it matters most?

In my opinion, not enough players on the team with Stanley Cup experience. You need the nitty, gritty players who have been there and know what it takes to get through a hard fought playoff series. They only have one guy on the team who has been to the Stanley Cup, and that's Troy Brouwer. They need more.

Aside from adding experienced players to the team, the Capitals need to get rid of a few guys that are holding them back. They already released Alexander Semin, who could have been one of the best players in the NHL if he'd lived up to his potential. Now lets take a look at two guys who are becoming a burden to the Washington Capitals in crunch-time.

Mike Green, Defenseman

It seems like decades ago that Mike Green scored 31 goals in a season. Oh, wait. That was back in 2009.

Green has had great success in the regular season, it's a pattern for Capitals players. Fan are sick of watching the regular season success dissolve in the playoffs. Green has played a big part in that.

In three seasons of playoff games with the Capitals, Green has only tallied three goals and 10 assists in 29 games. Not to mention, he is practically just an offensive-defenseman. He has pretty much become a liability on the defensive side of the ice.

Jeff Schultz, Defenseman

Schultz can barely even skate anymore. It's frustrating when his lack-luster effort shows on the ice. He doesn't deserve to be wearing a Capitals sweater if he isn't going to put in the effort.

Sure, I won't discredit his plus-50 rating back in 2010, but how is that in 2011-12 it dropped to minus-2?

That surely says something about him. He brings nothing to the table offensively, and, like Green, is becoming a liability on defense. Schultz has to go if Washington is going to have any success when the season does actually start up.

Only time will tell how the lockout has affected Washington's players, but if history is going to repeat itself like it has year after year, the Capitals need to make a few changes to get to the promise land.

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