I normally am leery of any claims of “best” or “worst” or “greatest” or “most painful” in sports, because I’m youngish (or at least, I was once), and I don’t want to be wrong. Everything didn’t happen this week. History is long.
I’m especially cautious when talking about the Caps, because there’s a perception that D.C. media members (and newer fans) treat the franchise as if it was founded during the lockout.
Still, a few of the longest sort of longtime fans indicated that Monday’s gut-punch loss to the Rangers ranks right up there among the worst in franchise history, including Reader Tom, who has a pretty impressive Caps fan resume, and sent me this e-mail.
Worst playoff loss in team history. No doubt about it. And I’ve seen some real doozies. But I’m not gonna dwell on it. I think our finest moment is yet to come.
Cheers to him for the optimism, but was that really the worst? Ed Frankovic, another of the old-schoolers, seems to agree:
It was as cruel a loss as Caps fans can likely remember....This is as bad of a loss as I can remember in Washington hockey history. The only good news is there is still at least one more game to play.
John Keeley, too:
What has to be regarded as one of the most shocking (which is saying something), infuriating, and malicious of playoff defeats in team history.
So whether it was the fourth-worst or the second-worst or something else, it definitely is up there, and is unforgettable.
Here’s at least one voice of dissent, from @stopthehats: “4OT to Pens was worse, game 2 to DET. Who am I kidding? We’ve had like 32 of these. Need the whole Internet to rank them.”
Oh, and Neil Greenberg just wrote that “from 1939 through 2011, home teams such as Rangers which trailed by goal with less than 8 secs left in regulation were 2-348.” Long odds, man. Long odds.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER...
Mike Wise goes after Kornheiser, writing that “the Charlie Browns of Washington sports whose identity is tethered to their abject loserness... actually use the term Les Boulez to signify their loserness.”
Kilgore: “Find the fattest, reddest marker you can and circle May 21, the day of the Washington Nationals’ next game against the Philadelphia Phillies.”
Sheinin on the Orioles: “At the intersection of what is universal and explainable in baseball — pitching, defense and timely hitting is what wins games — and what is inexplicable and mystical sit the Orioles.”
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Robert Griffin III continues to do every single possible thing correctly.
C'mon Caps!!!!!!!!— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 8, 2012
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Joel Ward stepped up and talked to reporters after taking the crucial penalty at the end of regulation:
“It’s a little mentally disturbing for sure right now. It’s tough to be in that position when you’re letting the team down.”
PHOTO OF THE DAY
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats are at the Pirates at 7 on MASN2. The Orioles host the Rangers at 7 on MASN. All TV/Radio listings are here.
Nick Young, wearing a ridiculous shirt to his playoff game.
Here’s a first-person account of traveling to the Nats game with 40 Phillies fans.
Here are a bunch of photos of Cole Hamels, baseball bad-ass.
Rangers fans to Ted Leonsis: “F you Ted Leonsis and F your F-ing team too!”
Facebook is categorizing Orioles and Nats stories as Red Sox and Phillies stories.