It's another early exit for the Washington Capitals, as they couldn't muster enough offense or defend against a very potent Lightning offense, but it sounds like the blueline was far more beat up than originally believed.
A 5-3 win for the Lightning on Wednesday night was the final straw for the Capitals, a team that changed its overall philosophy in play in order to be a better playoff team, but that philosophy was likely for the teams that were not coached by Guy Boucher.
The Game Four players of note for the Lightning were Martin St. Louis, Steve Downie, Teddy Purcell and Dwayne Roloson, all picking up 2 points in the win, in various ways.
Well, the Capitals were pretty big favourites to go a long way in the Eastern Conference, according to the selection sheet, as they outpicked the Bolts 83% to 54%, which adds up to 189 selections now struck from the pool. Alex Ovechkin was the most popular Capitals player with 48 picks and for good reason too, as he was the highest scoring player on the team in the pool, finishing up with 11 points. Disappointing playoff runs from Nicklas Backstrom (2 points) and Mike Knuble (5 points) could be pointed to as a couple of good reasons why the Caps didn't make it much further in the playoffs.
Going into the Conference Finals, teams will only be able to carry 12 players into the third round. This will be a round where carrying the maximum amount of players is still likely, despite some early eliminations, so it will be interesting to see who gets this far with 12 players. Leading the way with one series down, Jack_Bit_Gary, Tony the Tiger and All She Wrote have 20 players left on their team, while Mad Dog Moroz has 19 players left.
In the two other games on Wednesday night, the two possibilities of getting teams behind the 8-ball came through, as both the Bruins and the Sharks are now up 3-0 in their respective series. The Bruins beat the Flyers 5-1 in Boston, thanks in large part to a big game from David Krejci, who finished with 4 points in the pool. In Detroit, the Red Wings were not able to keep pace with the Sharks, dropping a 4-3 decision in overtime, thanks in large part to a non-pool player, Devin Setoguchi, who would have had 4 points in the pool, if he was better in the regular season and was picked for the sheet.
Both Game Fours will go on Friday night.
Marc-Andre Bergereon scored for the Bolts to sweep the Capitals, David Krejci scored the winner for the Bruins to put the Flyers behind the 8-ball and Devin Setoguchi wins it for the Sharks in overtime.