Producer of the Wes McElroy Show from 3pm - 6pm
Jesse has been with Clear Channel Media & Entertainment since 2010. He considers himself a Richmond transplant as he has lived in the River City for over 10 years now but grew up in the Western Maryland area. Deciding to attend VCU he studied Broadcast Journalism and English while spending time working at radio stations WVCW and WRIR. Jesse is currently the producer for the Wes McElroy Show as well as other shows for Sports Radio 910. Being from the Maryland area he is a diehard fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. Besides his work at Sports Radio 910 he also writes a blog for VCU basketball’s radio website.
The Caps Celebrate Mike Riberio’s OT Goal In Game 5. Unfortunately It Would Be
The Last Moment The Team Would Enjoy In The Playoffs.
“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” A very common phrase used in sports after it was coined by legendary broadcaster Jim McKay. Well even for how common it is, in my opinion, you can definitely call that the theme of the 2012-2013 Washington Capitals. In what was an odd season that started off with a lockout, the Caps entered into the 48-game campaign with a brand new head coach in beloved former Cap, Adam Oates. As players returned from the AHL, Canada, or Europe they were presented with a brand new system and virtually no training camp to learn it. As much as you want to say “Well they’re professionals”, hockey is a very precise and systematic game. For the Caps to start the season with a brand new system with no time to learn it is like you trying to juggle chainsaws after just one lesson of learning with beanbags. And the season would start much like how that would turn out as the first month Washington went 1-5-1.
Also during the first couple months of the season, Oates was trying to figure out what he had between the pipes. Braden Holtby was the hero of the 2012 playoffs, but the first-year head coach wanted to give veteran netminder Michal Neuvirth a chance to win back his starting job. Neuvirth would try to fight though injury but Holtby would end up seeing the bulk of the duty in goal starting 36 games and only getting pulled once. The 24-year old would be a bright spot for the team racking up 1,123 saves with .920 save average. As winter ended, much like the weather, the Capitals would start warming up. Washington would take advantage of a particularly weak year in the Southeast division and start a surge towards the top. The team started to look more comfortable in the new system and would finish March with a 9-6-1 record.
Superstar Alexander Ovechkin would switch positions and move to the right side of his line which allowed him to be a little less of a two-way player, and he and the team would benefit from the move. The Caps started the month of April with an 8-game winning streak and Ovie scored 14 goals and collected 22 points. The captain of the Caps will probably earn his 3rd MVP trophy after scoring 32 goals with 56 points for the season. Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Riberio were the pointman the Caps needed earning 48 and 49 points respectively; Backstrom finished the year with 40 assists 3rd most in the league. Often criticized defensemen Mike Green netted 12 goals which lead the NHL for scoring in that postion. Also veterans Eric Fehr, Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle, and Jason Chimera would be solid for the Caps playing in 40+ games.
The surge Washington saw in the months of March and April lead the team to their 8th divisional title and their 5th out of the past 6 seasons. For the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs the Caps drew the team they have the most wins against in the postseason, the New York Rangers. This would also be the 4th time in the last 5 years the two met in the playoffs. The postseason started off the way the regular season ended as Washington jumped out to a 2 game lead but then when the series shifted to New York the Rangers would tie things up. The Caps would win game 5 with a Mike Riberio overtime goal but then New York would control the series the rest of the way. Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lindqvist would post 2 back-to-back shutouts with 27 saves in game 6 and 35 in game 7, which would be a disastrous finale for the Caps as New York won 5-0. That win would also be the first time in Rangers’ history that they won a game 7 on the road.
After the playoffs ended Ovechkin would act a little un-captain like questioning the refs for not calling penalties on the Rangers, and even accusing the league of fixing games to keep the Rangers, and the New York market, on TV. Like mentioned in the beginning, the 2012-2013 Washington Capitals saw the lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs, outside of lifting the cup. In my opinion at times the play look a little muddled and slow, but you could accord that too still working out the kinks of the new system. The future does look kind of bright for the Caps as young guys Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault would solid contributors, as well as the backline of John Carlson and Karl Alzner. With a group of mid-level mid-twenties players, Washington is going to have to make some moves this offseason to try see if they can bring in more scoring. It will be interesting to see if owner Ted Leonsis endorses his faith in general manager George McPhee and waits to see what this team can do with a full training camp.