Caps fans hoping for an escape from the misery of another early playoff exit won't find one in Hershey. The Capitals' AHL affiliate Hershey Bears saw their season end in similar fashion to their NHL counterparts on Wednesday as they fell 4-2 in Game 7 of their second round series to the Providence Bruins on Wednesday.
The Bears returned to Hershey for Game 6 and 7 with a 3-2 series lead and a chance to return to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season but were unable to close out the series losing both games. Riley Barber and Chandler Stephenson both scored in the Game 7 loss.
You can see the highlights of the game here:
Much like the Capitals, the Bears now face some tough questions heading into the offseason. Tom Gilbert, Garrett Mitchell, Christian Thomas, Paul Carey, Chris Bourque, Stanislav Galiev and Pheonix Copley are all unrestricted free agents while Chandler Stephenson, Christina Djoos, Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker and Liam O'Brien are unrestricted free agents.
Plus, there are several players who could be ready for a jump to the NHL. For a Capitals team facing cap constraints, a cheap way to bolster the roster would be to promote prominent prospects to the NHL lineup. One such prospect is forward Jakub Vrana who struggled at points in Hershey this year.
In addition to Vrana, Copley, Djoos, Boyd, Stephenson, Riley Barber and Madison Bowey all are players who could get serious looks with the Capitals next season.
As tumultuous as this summer may prove to be for the Caps, the Bears may face even more turnover to their roster. Questions as to how good this team may be next season make this year's Game 7 loss to Providence sting all the more.
It also leaves Washington sports fans bemoaning yet another Game 7 loss.