Sunday, May 10, 2009
The Caps are now down 3-2 in a series they once led 2-0. They've had two overtime losses and now need to win the last two games of the series to advance. Otherwise, the hated Sid Crosby and his whiny batch of Penguins will advance. My theory on this series, the Caps need the drama to motivate them. After coming back from being down 3-1 to the Rangers, they were still riding high enough to win the first two games of the series against the Pens. Yes, the Caps have been playing hard. But they haven't been quite clutch enough.
Now that they face elimination, I think they will step it up again. They will not go down easy on Monday. I expect hard hitting, passionate play and an overwhelming offensive output. The Caps have played their best hockey in the playoffs with their backs against the wall. And hopefully they will do it again. As a fan though I could do without all this drama.
Ideally, the Caps would have completed a clean sweep of the Pens or maybe let them win one game on an off night. But this comeback has me and a lot of other fans on edge. While this is the type of series that the NFL brass have been hoping for, superstar vs. superstar, comebacks, overtimes, controversial plays and exhilarating goals, I don't really care what it's doing for hockey as a game. I want my Caps to advance. They have already gotten farther in the playoffs than any Caps team in over a decade, and I appreciate that. But these games are close. And with a little luck, the puck will bounce their way in the next two games.
The Penguins are managing to get an amazing number of shots off. And its unrealistic to expect this rookie goalie, Varlamov, to block over 40 shots a game. The guy has been great. And usually I'd call for the offensive powers of Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin to step up. But now I'm calling for the defense to kick it up a notch. Help this kid out. The offense is trying and scoring. Help prevent a few of these shots on goal.
Really everyone needs to play their hearts out these next two games. Otherwise there will be a long offseasons with even larger expectations looming next season. But right now, I just want to see a little more hockey.
LET'S GO CAP!