Caps Off Their Game, Off To Philly
After six periods of hockey, the Washington Capitals head to the “City of Brotherly Love” for games three and four in a 1-1 series. The Caps will need to split in Philadelphia to win back the home-ice advantage.
After the first game, which saw two early goals from unlikely sources and a third period masterpiece by the league’s top scoring forward and defenseman, the city of Washington was abuzz with Caps Fever. Early in Sunday’s game two, the Caps seemed to be riding that wave. Unfortunately, the wave hit Martin Biron squarely in the chest pad – along with several pucks on golden scoring opportunities.
To look at the game from a disheartening perspective, one would talk about the way the Caps looked. They were out-hustled and out-worked, they allowed the Flyers to dictate the flow of the game to them, they went 0-for-6 on the power play, they were out shot by 17 (41-24); the list could go on.
That being said, one cannot help but notice that as bad as things seemed, the Caps could have won that game 4-2. Biron was masterful, but Semin alone had four shots that he makes on most nights. Matt Cooke had a golden opportunity, as well. The Flyers played a perfect game; perfect, stifling defense with timely goals and big, timely hits. The top line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Kozlov were –2 on the game, and yet the Caps could have still won the game if two or three shots go into open spaces instead of Biron’s sternum.
The Caps aren’t going to miss all of those open shots all the time. They aren’t going to be out-worked very often and they aren’t going to play as individualistic as they did very often. After seven straight wins to take the Southeast and an emotional game one come-from-behind victory, the Caps were due for a bad game. Just remember that the Caps never lost back-to-back games in regulation under Coach Bruce Boudreau. Just remember how the Caps have bounced back to play some of their best hockey after bad losses this season.
Whatever the Caps fate in this series, no one expected a four game sweep by either team, so let’s all just buckle down and bask in the roller coaster ride that is post-season hockey.
This article was released on 2008-04-14.
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