The Washington Capitals are nothing if not consistent. The squad lived down to its reputation as premature withdrawers from the 2011 playoffs. Going into the Stanley Cup playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the second year in a row, the Caps got swept by No. 5 Tampa Bay in the second round. The lackluster start to the current season—a mediocre record, a fired coach—suggests that, absent immediate postseason success, the municipal love affair with rocking the red is headed for the rocks.

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