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Blog Entry

Caps set up a seventh heaven

Posted on: May 11, 2009 11:33 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2009 11:36 pm
 

Really, this is the way it should be.

A seventh game, a winner take all between two great teams that were saddled with an impossible level of hype coming into this series and have somehow managed to exceed it. A better script couldn't have been written in Hollywood, no matter what the ultimate ending will be.

Face it, whether you prefer the high charged energy of Alex Ovechkin's Washington Capitals or the more contained approach of Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins, deep down you have to admit the sad thing is that this breathtaking series will be over one way or the other on Wednesday.

And that's too bad because this has been hockey at its riveting best, wide open, unpredicatable, emotional, back and forth, a heavyweight battle of Ali-Frazier proportions that has seen both teams on the ropes but refusing to go down. And now the stage has been set for a final showdown that is impossible to handicap given the momentum swings that have taken place not only from game to game, but often from shift to shift.

Tonight was a perfect example of what has transpired throughout this series for the ages. The Capitals, victimized by the risk taking style that makes them and sometimes breaks them, survived an early onslaught by the Penguins and a couple of blown leads, including one in the third period, to win 5-4 in overtime on a goal by someone whose main job is to keep opponents from scoring.

Yet while checking line center David Steckel was the ultimate hero for Washington, he wasn't the only one. Ovechkin had a great night even if he didn't score, picking up three assists and finding himself on the ice for four of the Capitals goals, and rookie goalie Simeon Varlamov made 38 saves, including 17 inthe first period as he kept his team alive when it could only manage five shots of its own. But the difference for Washington in this was the reappearance of critical forwards Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Semin, who combined for three goals after being missing in action for much of this series.

That could have been enough had Crosby not been equally as good. The Penguins captain set up the first goal by Bill Guerin after Washington gave up another odd man rush, an unfortunately frequent habit for the Caps in this series, and Crosby made a great individual play to get the equalizer with less than five minutes left in regulation. In between, Pittsburgh made the most of its efficient power play, scoring late in the second period to tie the game and again early in the third period to go ahead.

Both of those goals could or maybe should have been backbreakers, but the Capitals weren't done. And fortunately, neither is this series.

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2009 12:01 am
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

I spied your reference to the 'book' I wrote last night - "Series Up and Down in ODD Ways" - That was very nice of you - I appreciate it.

PS - I foretold an 8-1 Pens win at work today - when it was 6-1, I was beginning to get goosebumps.....pretty veteran win tonight.




Since: Apr 9, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2009 9:12 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

  • Yell       OMG. You have to be kidding ,you`ve never seen a hockey game? Where have you been hiding? Lord Stanly,the most prestigous cup in the hockey world. That`ts what we live for. The 3rd period,the overtime,the fights and the fans going insane.





Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 9:10 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

And it is only justice that the dirty play of Ovechkin leads to him taking a run at Malkin in the second period, only to hurt his own player when Malkin moves out of the way. 


Lakewood Ohio
Since: May 1, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2009 8:57 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2009 6:45 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

I'm not too sure what kingkongskinfan has been reading.

With few exceptions (his being one of them) the posts have been balanced and respectful of the opposing team's talent and effort in this series. How lucky are we to see this kind of matchup in the second round!?!?! Tonight's game should be one for the ages as the whole series has been. Buckle up kids "cos here we go!




Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2009 6:05 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

ALthough this isn't much to base off of,   but the home teams won the first 4,   and now the road teams won the last 2, I'm going to go with the Penguins 3-2.


Fred Savage
Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 5:43 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2009 4:56 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

Kingkongskinfan, obviously you didnt read all of the posts because there have been plenty of constructive posts by penguins fans on here. Especially PJK-Pitt 's post. Its a fact that Crosby complains, just as Ovechkin has played dirty. Its part of the game. I saw on a earlyer post, a Caps fan complaining about crosby constantly complaining to the refs. Well have you ever thought that he actually HAS to talk to the refs because hes the captain? Obviously not. Thats not to sound like all the caps fans are making poor posts because thats not true eather. I appreciate the sportsmanship of most of the caps fans, and penguins fans alike. Here's to a good game tonight.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 4:38 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

As Barry Melrose mentioned the other day, sometimes shots on goal doesn't really tell the entire story and "Quality Scoring Chances" might be a better indicator of which team is playing better. 

The Pens are playing a little better and they are also leading in "Quality Scoring Chances" too but that statistic indicates a MUCH closer series then shots on goal.  This statistic can be decieving because one team might decide to take more slap shots from the blue line and therefore have more shots but many of those are not quality chances.

As for goalies it is obvious that Varlamov is playing better SO FAR then Fleury.  HOWEVER, the last time I looked the goalie was part of the team, so to say they Pens have badly outplayed the Capitals does not factor in goalie play.   DON'T GOALIES COUNT?  They are listed on the roster.

Any series that goes to 7, with three OT games is very EVEN, no team dominated the other.   I will give the the Pens a very slight edge.



Since: Aug 19, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2009 4:28 pm
 

Caps set up a seventh heaven

PENGUIN FANS, ENJOY THE DAMN GAME!!

I have read all the post on this blog, I am shocked. It makes sense that Crosby has a reputation for being a little baby and not being a man on the ice...the fans are the same way. You guys are always crying about us being dirty, Ovechkin is unsportsmanlike. Get over it. It is a awesome series, sit back and watch it, we can tell our kids about that series when it comes on ESPN top playoff series years from now. You guys think something is owed to you. You ain't owed crap. A win is a win and a loss is a loss. We dominated you in the season and you guys are fighting in the playoffs. If you guys really outplayed us, why have all the games been so close? It just means that you taking crappy shots and you barely get your rebounds in. The numbers are distorted. We have a higher goal percentrage, and you got to admit, our goals look better, then Cherry Crosbies.

This is why I am glad to be a DC fan (might be education factor too), all our fans had posts about celebrating hockey and the series, the Penguins fans are a bunch of low class mongols that cry. You got two super stars and you still can't do it. We do have the best player in the world, he will stick to you tonight. Tell Crosby to shave the poor of a excuse of a beard off, wussy. Hope we beat the crap out of him, then you can finally be justified in calling us dirty.

The best team will win, get over it. I will happily concede if we lose tonight. Bunch of babies, can't get credit to where it is due.


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