the Caps biggest problem seems to be that they forgot about the team they were two years ago. A team that was near the bottom of the standings, but brought their best effort to the ice almost every night and made sure if you beat them you were going to earn it. They, of course, lost a lot of games and were likely looked down upon by most other teams, and many times they made them pay for such oversights.
now you look at this team and they have been doing that very thing all year. they just are not prepared at all to face a hard-working, scrappy team that is going to give their all on every shift even if they don't have the most talent out there. I get that teams in all sports fall into this same mindset when they are riding high as the Caps are, but what makes it so damn frustrating is that this team and most of the roster are themselves only less than 2 years removed from being one of those teams that was looked down upon. it just makes no sense how they can continue to underestimate teams and get out-worked and out-hussled.
I know the team is playing as well as it ever has and its prospects are the brightest they've likely ever been, but this just seems like it is a major problem that can't be fixed on the ice.