Believe me, as a Caps fan since their first year (1974), I know exactly how disappointed and frustrated you guys feel right now. I've seen some collapses over the years that make what has happened to the 'Canes this week look mild. But, there is NO WAY you can say that your guys choked tonight.
You threw everything but Zamboni at their goal tonight, and their guy just stood on his head. I've never seen one team get 9 power plays to the other's 0. That tells me that you were outplaying them all over the ice, for 60 minutes. That's not choking. That's just bad luck and great goaltending. In other words: that's hockey.
Keep in mind that the Capitals have to face the exact same goalie Saturday. And while I doubt that the Caps are going to lose, given that the Panthers are going to be playing back-to-back road games while the Caps were sitting home resting tonight. If tonight's game showed you anything, it is that one hot goalie can win any game, any time, anywhere.
We definitely got the break in the scheduling this week with Tampa Bay and Florida coming in on the second half of back-to-backs after playing you guys the night before. But that only means anything if we win tomorrow. Florida's got absolutely nothing to lose, and nothing to save for the next day. They are going to be fired-up and loose coming in to the Verizon Center. So, if I were you guys, I'd be watching.