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Washington Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis's Invention of Not Lying

"Just turned off the TV," Clark said. "I think I wanted to throw something."

"Yeah, that wasn't good for any of us," Laich said.

Asked if a part of him felt happy for the Penguins, Boudreau said, "No" before the question was finished. "Not one part. Not my toe. Not the three hairs I have on my head.

"I had five texts from guys right after the game because it could have been," he added. "I don't know if we would've gotten by Carolina, but the potential if you're dreaming would have been there."

The point is, it's possible now, where four years ago it felt like a cash-strapped tycoon was running the team instead of a patient, forward-thinking owner.

"It is very sobering and painful when you look in the mirror and don't like what you see," Leonsis said. "It's easier to go down the 'We're-one-player-away' path. I've been there when I brought in Jaromir Jagr.

"But when you come to that clarity, 'Can this team win a championship?' And if your answer is, 'No,' then you have to do something."

Like tell the truth.

"I've known Ted now for five, six years now and I've never heard him tell a lie," Laich said. "He's a very up-front guy and a humble guy."

In a building now among the NHL's loudest arenas, home of the hottest sports ticket in town Saturday night and maybe the most valuable team-sport athlete in North America, Ted Leonsis also looks amazingly prescient.

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