They reminded me of the 2009 Capitals. On multiple occasions they set up their PP-style cycle at even strength, they were putting on consistent pressure that created odd man rushes, and Ovechkin nearly scored while seated on the ice, which happened second most memorably in 2009 (the first most memorable being, of course, the goal).
Notes I Took During The Game:
-Brilliant start. We came out like a team with a major chip on our shoulder (which we were), and the Rangers didn’t know what to do. They didn’t regroup until about halfway through the first, and then only sporadically. We looked good. I mean, real good.
-Number 8 scored at 88 seconds in, which was a delight. I will give you zero dollars (Canadian) if you can guess how he beat Lundqvist. Plus, he had assists from 19 and 52, which bodes well. Green’s looking like he did in — well, you can probably guess.
-What a PK. With no Beagle and Laich in the box for the first one, that was huge. Anything after that would be trivial. Even a double minor. Killing that was a huge momentum swing and confidence boost for the Caps. Really exorcised the demons from last game.
-On that subject, are the Rangers blading or something? I’ve been hit in the face with a baseball hard enough for it to leave stitch imprints, and I’ve never started bleeding. Are these guys anemic?
-Aucoin had a couple stunning shifts. He really deserved at least one goal, but even without it, it’s a great sign to see real thirdeary and fourtheary pressure [(C) Craig Laughlin]. You know, like Matt Bradley in… never mind.
-I wrote “Kalinka” in Cyrillic — I guess they played it in the arena? Sometimes I get distracted.
-Normally I spend a lot of time shouting “where was the man on that oh my god that was an easy tap-in you guys what is with you never being in the right place at the right time.” This game there was none (okay, aside from Semin trying to pass to a point man who wasn’t there) of that. Chimera’s goal was the biggest example, but when we had the aforementioned cycles set up, there always seemed to be someone in just the right place to bail out a guy trapped on the boards, or an open pass to make when two d-men were converging on the puck carrier. It was a thing of beauty.
-This is where I drew a picture of Pierre McGuire’s head looking really sad with a thought bubble that said “No Crosby? Then why am I even here?”
-Lundqvist screwed up horrifically once (when he lost control of the puck behind the net) and luckily got bailed out, but he was still the only Ranger who really showed up. He also said “we were pretty far from where we have to be to win a game like this,” which sounds like the beginning of bus-throwing to me. He’s got a point, but I’m crossing my fingers that they beat themselves in the dressing room first.
-Un-SPICY Nominee: John Carlson’s butt for ending Holtby’s shutout. Also, the refs for being “oh yeah Hags straddling the goalie’s leg is totally cool and in no way interference.”
-Meanwhile, Torterra maintained exactly the level of press cooperation we’ve come to expect. DH32 just did that thing where he doesn’t have any emotions (which, turns out, could be what this team needs more than an expletive-laden histrionic rant).
Finally, our SPICY player of the game is… Alexander Ovechkin. There has been a lot of bad press about Russians lately, saying their enigmatic, lazy, don’t care about the Cup, and that all the talent in the world can’t make up for a good ol’ Canadian farmboy. Well, when we’re facing elimination, Captain Ovi put the team on his back and scored immediately and decisively. And frankly, the man lives SPICY. Congratulations, Ovechkin!
Game 7. Saturday. 7:30. Do or die 2: Beyond Thunderdome.