A High Stick, a Low Time

There is no joy in Tony Cheng’s neighborhood after the Caps snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference seminfinal series. The Caps were a mere 6.6 seconds away from seizing control of the series. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Six point six seconds, a cleared puck, and so much postseason frustration would have been held at bay, if only for another game. It was not meant to be. It is never meant to be, the high-sticking penalty be darned. Now all the old demons of history are back, tugging on the jerseys of the Caps, mocking the Red instead of rocking it. The Easter Epic. Pat LaFontaine. Sean Burke. Jaromir Jagr. You know the postseason script from here. The Caps show up in body only in Game 6, Billy Smith steps out of retirement to go in goal for the Rangers, and the Caps will be left to dust off their golf clubs and set up their tee times the next day. See you next season, Caps, the eternal masters of the little game and the tormented symbols of the postseason game.