5 Biggest Reasons Washington Capitals Should Be Confident About 2013 Playoffs

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They also learned how to rally from a 3-1 series deficit. And, unfortunately, they learned about heartbreak as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime of Game 7. In 2009, the Caps again faced a 3-1 series deficit, this time against the New York Rangers. The Caps then learned how to successfully rally from such a hole as they beat the Rangers 2-1 in Game 7. The Caps learned how to win a playoff series. The next round taught the Caps that when two evenly matched teams are brought together, it’s the tiny little things that often make a difference. In one of the all-time great playoff series, the Caps and Pittsburgh Penguins put on a series for the ages. In the end, the Pens were the better team and the Caps had to learn to accept just how close they had come to getting to the next level. The following season, the Caps took that bitterness and frustration and flattened the rest of the NHL. The Caps steamrolled their way to a 54-15-13 regular season mark and became the first non-Original Six team to crack the 120-point barrier. The Caps also won their first President’s Trophy. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1618264-5-biggest-reasons-washington-capitals-should-be-confident-about-2013-playoffs

Steve Oleksy makes Washington Capitals and NHL playoffs after grinding for years

I have to try.’ My brother is so strong-willed.” Since his NHL debut March 5, Oleksy has grinded the corners, back- and fore-checked, moved the puck and occasionally dropped the gloves, which has already made him popular among frothing Caps fans and on HockeyFights.com. He also is a 27-year-old NHL rookie, a fact that pretty much requires two questions: What took you so long? And, really, how did you get here? “Long story,” he said while untying his skates after practice Friday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. “It’s definitely not the most common route, that’s for sure. But one of my mottos the whole time has been: It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” If the Caps took a circuitous route to the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, Oleksy’s personal journey mirrors that odyssey. He tried college baseball at 19. Then he quit college and moved away to play junior hockey against his father’s wishes. (Andy Oleksy said he didn’t talk to his son for three weeks.) Steve went back to college, playing hockey, graduating with a business degree yet always harboring a big-time hockey dream — that was going nowhere. Cut in Toledo after just three games in 2009, toyed with in Port Huron until he finally asked for his release in 2010, he was nearing the end of his two-year-or-bust plan when Idaho of the East Coast Hockey League beckoned. Another fork in the road came this past summer when he skated with some of the Red Wings under the tutelage of the great Igor Larionov. source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/steve-oleksy-makes-washington-capitals-and-nhl-playoffs-after-grinding-for-years/2013/04/27/6028e158-af81-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html


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