Another early exit from the playoffs and the Washington Capitals are out of answers.
When asked to evaluate the performance of captain Alex Ovechkin after the 2-0 Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, head coach Barry Trotz struggled to come through with a legitimate response.
"I think 'you win or lose as a team' is probably my best answer right now," he said, per Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports. "Emotionally, I don't think I want to answer that question right now."
The Capitals fought back from down 3-1 to even the series but still ended up losing to the Penguins in the second round for the second year in a row.
Washington has won the Presidents' Trophy two years in a row with the best record in the NHL. The squad has nine playoff appearances in 10 seasons, yet still hasn't advanced beyond the conference semifinal since Ovechkin joined the team in 2005-06.
While the Russian remains one of the top overall players in the league with 11 All-Star appearances and three Hart Trophies, he simply cannot help lead his team to a deep run in the postseason.
Ovechkin finished with two goals and three assists in the seven-game series but had zero points in Game 7 and finished minus-two in 18 minutes on the ice.