While everyone is bashing the Washington Capitals after getting swept out of the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Redskins tight end has a message to fans in the D.C. area: hey, at least the Capitals aren’t the Redskins. OK, maybe he didn’t exactly say that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
Cooley is a Capitals fans and friends with some of the players and, in the following interview, simply tries to make the point that at least they make the playoffs. Cooley has done so just twice with the Redskins, but says he’d love the opportunity to go to the postseason every year, where, eventually something good has to happen.
It hasn’t yet for the Capitals. They’ve won their division in each of the last four seasons and still can’t say that they’ve even made the Conference Finals.
Chris Cooley joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes to discuss the Capitals’ struggles in the postseason, what they need to do differently, if he thinks making the playoffs has become satisfying enough and if the blame should be pinned on Alex Ovechkin.
On the Capitals postseason struggles:
“I guess you can compare it to football. If I could be on a team that makes the playoffs every year and has a chance every year to get hot and win, I would take it, no questions asked. Absolutely. … Until they do win it, there’s always going to be the argument that they’re not a finishing team or they can’t, but trust me, if I could be on a team that makes the playoffs every year, not even a question I’d take it, I’d keep that coach forever.”
What could they do differently?:
“What I do know, knowing these guys, is that they care about this team so much. They care about winning. Whether or not they go out and have a good time, it’s one of the closest teams I’ve been around. I’m honestly jealous of the relationship they all have together as teammates.”
Does he think making the playoffs has become good enough?:
“I don’t think it ever will be for anyone. … All I’m saying is that, as a player, give me the opportunity to be on a team that makes the playoffs every year and puts themselves in a position to win it and I’ll take it. … At some point, they’re still young, they’re still all together, but at some point they’ll have to learn how to win. And I’m not the guy to criticize or tell them that because obviously I haven’t been part of a team that does. I don’t know what that feels like. I’ve been to the playoffs twice in seven years.”
On whether the bulk of the blame belongs on the captain, Alex Ovechkin:
“You can say whatever you want to say about them partying or going out or anything, but if I’m in charge of the team — if I’m a coach, a GM — I want guys that show up and work. You can go to a Caps game and know literally nothing about hockey and see that Ovechkin plays harder than anyone else. He skates harder, he plays harder, he hits, he does everything. So you have a guy that, regardless of whatever he does outside of hockey, he shows up and plays. I’ve never been to a game and thought, ‘this guy is loafing’. He plays his balls off.”