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Hall Of Famer Rod Langway thinks the Caps are close to being a Stanley Cup winner

Sep 8, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

Rod Langway Getty Images

When you’re a Hockey Hall Of Fame member, your opinions tend to carry a bit more weight than the regular guy. When you’re Rod Langway and you’re talking about the Washington Capitals’ chances of winning the Stanley Cup, you’re going to command a bit more attention than that still.

Such is the case as Langway was asked about what he felt about the team during a charity function in Baltimore. Langway, a former Capitals star in his own right, can sympathize with the misfortunes of the current Caps team as Langway never got to play in the Stanley Cup finals while playing in Washington, something these Caps have yet to do as well.

So what does Langway see as the problem? You’d better not be pointing the finger at coach Bruce Boudreau as’s Chase Hughes found out.

Langway said the problem isn’t Bruce Boudreau and defended the coaching staff as a whole as “excellent.”  He instead said the problem is a lack of playoff experience and general health when the playoffs come around.

“I think it’s wear and tear on a lot of players playing a lot of ice. When you have Ovechkin and players like [Mike] Green, I think the last two years they’ve been hurt or injured and playing hurt. You can’t play in the playoffs with your best players just playing on one leg or having to really struggle to get through the game,” he said.

“They’ve got to be healthy going down the stretch, and experience really helps in the playoffs because it is a whole different game.”

Health? That’s a new one.

Langway says he likes the moves the team made in the offseason including landing Roman Hamrlik to help on defense and, of course, getting Tomas Vokoun to play goal. That veteran experience is the exact sort of thing that Langway was talking about the team needing to help them get to the Stanley Cup finals. The additions of Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer as well will be a boost to their forward units and Brouwer brings with him the recent experience of winning it all with the Blackhawks in 2010.

Will Langway’s Hall Of Fame smarts prove to be correct for the Capitals when it comes to the playoffs? We’ll find out, but with the way Washington is built now you have to like their chances of being able to win it all a bit more heading into the season.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    If they click at the right time, I don’t see why they can challenge for the Cup?

    • kellyb9 - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      I agree, it’s all a matter of putting everything together in the right combination at the right time, but it does appear at the same time, that their window of opportunity is closed.

      • farvefromover - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        how has their window closed when THIS season hasn’t even been played?

  2. polegojim - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Now, we haven’t heard THAT one before… Seriously?

    Sorry, but my synicism is forced to surface when I see those types of ‘excuse making’ comments.

    Um, OK, sure Rod:
    … ‘lack of playoff experience’ would typically result in NOT winning the Stanley Cup, since you have to WIN playoff games/series consecutively to WIN the Stanley Cup. “We can’t win the Stanley Cup, because our players haven’t won enough playoff games.” REALLY??? No Kidding! They will need to mix up this team if they want to gain more experience.

    …as far as unjuries when playoffs come around… welcome to the club Rod, that’s the NHL. That’s where the coaching staff IS…IS…IS responsible to a large degree. Prepare for the playoffs, recruit depth where you’re injured players have created holes – that’s strategic. That’s not going to stop.

    For such a good team talent-wise, they’ve been ‘close’ for years. They have the ‘hockey’ talent. Time to put up the needed mental toughness, which has been the component that escapes them, or just admit this team chemistry is NOT championship caliber.

    Somebody’s been eating the fallen apples…

  3. polegojim - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    oops ‘cynicism’ – speed typing casualty

  4. capsrockva - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    I think the Caps can win it all

  5. jpelle82 - Sep 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    once green and semin are gone and they fill in some more character guys maybe they have a shot. theres a lot of teams in the east that are on the incline, washington seems to be on the decline

  6. bigz8042 - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Character guys is the key. you can’t win it all on the back of one player (OVIE) you really need support. Knuble is one of those type of guys but you also need depth on the Defense. and not just a great puck handler (Green) you need a standup at the blue line knock your teeth down your throat guy like Pronger. And a top notch goalie,

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