Washington. So close yet so far.
The Presidents Trophy winners were eliminated from the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs by Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
The Penguins have now eliminated the Capitals from the post season eight times in their 41-year history, going on to win the Stanley Cup in three of those years just to pour a little extra salt on the wound.
Caps fans could be forgiven for feeling like they are cursed this morning. Ralph Russo of the Associated Press even went as far as suggesting they were the most ‘tormented’ fan base in the NHL.
Despite another heart breaking loss on Tuesday, they are not.
That ‘honour’ belongs to Columbus.
TSN writer and The Hockey PDOcast co-host Travis Yost joins me on the latest One Puck Short Podcast to mull over the Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones trade and the work Blue Jackets’ General Manager Jarmo Kekäläinen has to do moving forward.
We also try to make sense of why Los Angeles would want to acquire Vincent Lecavalier and discuss the Florida Panthers season so far.
After weeks of speculation, Columbus finally parted company with Ryan Johansen, acquiring 21-year old Seth Jones from Nashville in a rare one-for-one swap.
Jones is a fine acquisition, but in parting with their number one centre – and best player – it’s hard not to feel like the Blue Jackets are drawing a line under the 2015/2016 season and looking toward next year already.
The Columbus Blue Jackets woes also come under the microscope, as the club struggles with its cap crunch and the ongoing Ryan Johansen saga.
The Metropolitan Division houses elite stars, awards candidates and has no shortage of goal scorers – but can it produce a Stanley Cup champion?
Whether you consider it adorable or laughable; news that New Jersey still had designs on a play-off berth spread across social media last week, as the club rebuffed talk of trading veterans like Jaromir Jagr.
At the time the Devils had 25 games still to play, but sat 12 points shy of 8th, and their stance was largely met with derision as a result – especially as they were coming off the back of a 4-game skid.
Despite reversing that trend and picking up four straight victories, the Devils still find themselves trailing Boston by 8 points; and with a deep draft this summer, and trade deadline day looming, at least half-a-dozen clubs currently face the same decision as New Jersey – at what point do you throw in the towel?
With a quarter of the new NHL season gone, fans and pundits are starting to develop a clearer picture of where all 30 teams are heading this year.
For some, things are far rosier than pre-season predictions may have suggested. For others, the image of Connor McDavid appears ever closer on the horizon.
At this pivotal point of the season, One Puck Short looks at eight of the biggest questions in the NHL today: