The Tampa Bay Lightning were unable to reach yet another Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night in what was a total Game 7 disaster for the Bolts, and a major statement for the Washington Capitals.
The Lightning faced off against the Capitals in the seventh and final game of the Eastern Conference Final and from the very first minute of the game the Caps took control of the situation. After the first minute had just barely run out on the game clock Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin fired a rocket home into the net of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and, the Capitals never looked back, marching their way to a dominant 4-0 victory.
The sad thing about the Capitals' triumph in the first rounds of the postseason is that Ovechkin has been the subject of much criticism during his career for consistently "choking" in the playoffs, a narrative that does not appear to be based in reality.
Of course, Ovechkin and the Capitals failed several times in the playoffs, but most times, the star player himself cannot be blamed for the outcome. The Caps were more than often beaten by better teams, while Ovi's production never fell short.
One former National Hockey League player wanted to point out the massive injustice that Ovechkin seems a victim of. According to former left winger Patrick O'Sullivan, there may be some xenophobia behind it and he explained his view on Twitter while pointing out the lack of offense of another star player, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.
To prove his point, O'Sullivan revealed that Stamkos was in his sixth Game 7 in his postseason career, however, the Bolts captain has never recorded a goal, an assist or a point in these do or die games. He has only recorded nine shots on goal in these six games.
Yet no one has ever even mentioned that Stamkos, a Canadian star player, is a choke artist when it really matters.
"People have wanted to knock Ovechkin for his team’s past playoff struggles but he’s always shown up in big games," said former left winger Patrick O'Sullivan. "Stamkos has played in 6 GAME SEVENS. He has ZERO points and only 9 shots on net. His team is 3-3 in those games. Doesn’t fit the narrative to talk about him I guess?"
What is your take on Ovechkin's reputation? Let's see how he responds in the Stanley Cup final...