The Washington Post

Open thread: Capitals vs. Lightning

If the Capitals fail to make the playoffs, it will be the first time since 2007. The Post Sports Live crew debates whether General Manager George McPhee or Coach Adam Oates is more to blame for the team's underperformance. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

Braden Holtby (23-15-3, 2.92 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) will start the Capitals’ season finale Sunday afternoon against Tampa Bay and Peter LeBlanc will make his NHL debut.

But while Washington has one game left to play, all the attention is on what will follow in the next few days as decisions are made about the direction of the organization and the future of those leading it. General Manager George McPhee is in the final year of his contract and has not been renewed while Coach Adam Oates has one year left on his contract with the team.

As speculation swirls, take a look back at some of the problems that have built up over the past four seasons leading to this point where the Capitals will miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07.

From Sunday’s paper: Capitals’ problems began long before their playoff streak ended

Faceoff: 3 p.m., Verizon Center
TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM

Here is the Capitals’ lineup:

Forwards
Grabovski-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Penner-Beagle-Brouwer
Chimera-Fehr-Ward
Kuznetsov-LeBlanc-Wilson

Defense
Alzner-Carlson
Orlov-Strachan
Brouillette-Carrick

Goal:  Holtby, Halak.
Scratches: Marcus Johansson (left hand), Mike Green (upper body), Patrick Wey and Jack Hillen (suspected concussions), John Erskine and Aaron Volpatti.
LTIR: Brooks Laich (groin).

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