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Good release, but.... (3.5 stars)
on February 7, 2010
As my title indicates, I am thrilled that there are finally a set for the Washington Capitals on DVD. And certainly, I cannot argue with the choices of the games such as the 87 series win against the Philadelphia Flyers, the 98 series win against the Sabres, or even the more recent game in 2009 where Ovechkin and Crosby both notched hat tricks in Capital wins. I can also understand including the Penguins game from 96, seeing as they have traditionally been a rival of the Capitals.
However, there are a couple of things about the game selection that bother me. First, two of the most memorable games from growing up as a Capitals fan were the Easter Epic 4OT game against the New York Islanders and the 4 OT game in 1996 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. I understand that these probably would not be included because these sets typically do not feature losses, but both of these games were well-played, suspense-filled games against traditional rivals. Furthermore, even if they are only including wins, why would they not include the game 6 from 1994 where the Washington Capitals eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins (especially considering how much trouble Washington had winning playoff series prior to that against the Penguins)?
This goes somewhat with my second complaint, which is that the set is tempered far more towards the Alex Ovechkin fans or newer Capitals fans. Do not get me wrong, I think he is one of the most exciting and hardest working players in the league and has managed to rekindle the interest of fans such as myself who had been less than inspired by our team's descent. However, there are 4 regular season games centered around Ovechkin or an Ovechkin led team. Why couldn't they have picked maybe 1 or 2 at most of the most significant of those games. Furthermore, while the 2-1 victory over the Rangers was certainly important historically, I would hardly call it a "greatest game" as it lacked excitement with the exception of the final 5 minutes or so of the third period (Compare it to the Isles-Caps 86 4 OT game and you will see what I mean). Finally, with all of the great players the Capitals had coming through their organization in the 80s and early 90s, it is a shame that there is only one pre-1996 game included in this set. This seems especially glaring when Rod Langway is on the back of the box, and yet would have only been in one of those games. In my opinion, they should have chosen at least 2 more games from those great 1980s teams that included players such as Scott Stevens, Larry Murphy, Rod Langway, Mike Gartner, etc.
That said, I am excited this DVD came out and have pre-ordered a copy. However, as a hockey fan, I view it more as the best of Ovechkin, with only a brief footnotes worth of games from the prior era. I wish they had included more from the past eras of the Capitals, which were unique and exciting in their own right (I would have done 3 games from the 80s, a game from the 90 playoffs or 94 elimination of Pittsburgh, the 96 game they have, the 98 game they have, and then choose 4 of the 7 Ovechkin era games they included). Hopefully this helps those who are considering whether to purchase this set.