ARLINGTON, VA - NOVEMBER 09: Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitols speaks during Microsoft's "A Salute to Our Troops" Operation USO Care Package Day at Kettler Iceplex on November 9, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Microsoft)
As is his way, Ted Leonsis took to his blog following Wednesday’s loss that ousted the Capitals from this year’s playoffs.
As isn’t his way, he was humble about it.
After a season of defending the team’s performance, responding to criticism in sometimes questionable ways and touting the successful rebuild, Leonsis admitted that the team might need a little bit more work. He offered no excuses, just a big ‘ol “I’m sorry.”
And that’s exactly what fans need to hear.
There wasn’t anything about the team that Leonsis thought performed well.
"Their role players outplayed our role players.
Their highest paid players outplayed our highest paid players.
In fact, their role players outplayed our highest paid players.
Their goaltending was better.
Their special teams were better.
They adhered to their coaches’ system better than we adhered to our coaches’ system.
The wheels fell off for us. No doubt about that."
The heartbreak is still fresh and Leonsis admits that emotions are high. Fans are already calling for change, but he admits that taking a few days to cool off might be a good idea.
“The best course of action for us though is to let a few days pass; be very analytic about what needs to be improved; articulate that plan; and then execute upon it.”
What those improvements are isn’t clear. A coaching change and a re-evaluation of talent have been suggested. Some even blame Ovechkin. But the fact is, four seasons in a row of being bounced out of the playoffs by the second round means that more than a few changes need to be made.
What we don’t want to hear from Leonsis is his favorite word: rebuild.