Capitals swept by Lightning: The Breakdown with Tarik El-Bashir and Dan Steinberg

May 05, 2011

Sports reporter Tarik El-Bashir and Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog took your questions on the Washington Capitals as they prepare for their second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Welcome to the fourth -- and final -- episode of the Capitals postseason video chat. We're here are Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where the coach, GM and some players were/will talk to the media.

We'll talk abiout that, as well as what went wrong in the sweep by the Lightning. And we'll allow you to vent your frustration and  try to figure out what's next for this team.

Topic 1: Many readers and fans  are asking a variety of this question: Are the repeated playoff failures Coach Bruce Boudreau's fault? How much blame should he get?

Topic 2: Many fans also are asking," Shouldn't Boudreau be fired?" What about GM George McPhee?

Topic 3: If you blame the players, which ones do you blame specifically? 

Topic 4: You guys just heard Alex Ovechkin address the media here at Kettler. How would you describe his reaction and his mood? How about other Caps today? 

(Reader questions start here) Conservatively, if the Caps average $125 per ticket for 20,000 people in the playoffs, that is roughly $2.5 million per game. If you assume the Caps should have played at least four more home games in each of the last three seasons, that's at least $30 million. Isn't that a good business case to look elsewhere for a coach?

George McPhee said, "There's no difference between a playoff coach and regular season coach. Either you're a good coach or you're not. He's a good coach."Agree or disagree?

$30 mil? No, not quite. All the season ticket holders get a vastly reduced rate, and the building holds 18, 500 roughly speaking. It's more likely 15-20 million missing over the course of the rest of the playoffs, and that would be the gravy for this year.

Do you really believe GMGM's answer to your questions about Boudreau ("I expect him to be back. He's a good coach.")? Or is this buying them time to make a decision?

How did you view the specific coaching decisions made in the second round? Thanks, Lou Licata

Nobody seems to be mentioning the fact that the Caps winning streak happened WITH Wideman and WITHOUT Green. When the tables were turned, the defense was a shambles with Green and without Wideman.  Does Green need to go?

There was a significant disparity in the quality of play of Tampa's and Washington's lower lines with Tampa having the advantage.  That's where the Caps need to make moves. What are your thoughts?

I was intrigued by Tarik El-Bashir's article about a lack of leadership in the Caps locker room. I think that was why they brought in Jason Arnott and the other folks. Does this fall on Ovechkin to be the "captain" and make his teammates accept responsibility? 

How can we as fans take this organization seriously when they tell us that they are committed to winning the cup if they make no (real) changes after another early-round playoff flame out.

Was the problem us underperforming, or just the fact that Tampa Bay is so tremendously underrated?

Is it a given that Arnott will not return? What are the chances?

Putting Ovi on the point during power plays, sitting out Hendricks and not sitting out Backstrom, I believe were critical in the Caps' losses. Why weren't significant changes made to shake things up during the series?

That's it. Thanks for watching. Please send us a message on Twitter or at interactivity@wpost.com if you have feedback, criticism or want us to do this show about the Nationals, D.C. United or the Bowie Baysox.

In This Chat
Dan Steinberg
Washington Post staff writer and D.C. Sports Bogger.

E-mail: sportsbog@washpost.com.
Tarik El-Bashir
Tarik El-Bashir was The Post's Washington Capitals beat reporter from 2005 through the 2009-10 season. He still reports on the Capitals for The Post while also covering the Georgetown men's basketball team.
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