The world keeps turning, the sun keeps coming up every morning, and Nugman keeps picking hockey series better than Dave Pucks.
I had the Capitals. Nugs had the Penguins. Game seven was last night. The Caps of course had won 4 consecutive win-or-go-home games this year, including three against our own New York Rangers.
I figured - Ovechkin is better than Crosby and Varlamov is hotter than Fluery - so the Caps will win. I thought they could win the cup this year.
But, like the Rangers tried to do, the Penguins started game seven with a barrage at the 21 year old rookie phenom goaltender. 16 shots in the first period. And unlike the Rangers, the Penguins have enough finishers to put 2 goals home in period one. And finally, the kid started to crack.
You can't blame him really. It was a lot to ask of the rookie - maybe the only player in NHL history to have more playoff starts (13) than regular season starts (5) in his rookie season. He had played brilliantly for so long. He mostly hung in there in the first period - but did give up 2 goals in an 8 second span. And then early in the 2nd the Penguins got two goals on their first two shots by him - the first of which clearly upset Varlamov - and the second devastated him. With the score now 4-0, Varlamov was given a seat on the bench.
And there it was - the doomsday scenario - out onto the ice skates the ghost of goalie's past - Jose "Three-or-more" Theodore. I never thought I'd see him between the pipes for the Capitals again. But there he was. And true to form - Jose let up a pair before it was over - thwarting any chance of a comeback by Ovechkin and the Caps - who mustered two tallies but fell far short of the mark. Ovie had a pretty goal - swooping behind the net - stripping Fluery who had wandered out of the crease - and wrapping it around to pump a little life into the fans and teammates. But it wasn't nearly enough.
(If you're the Caps do you dump Theodore in the offseason and name Varlamov your starter? I would - and I thought it was all but done before game 7. But will he bounce back from the tough outing? Can he be a full time starter? I think so - but the Caps have to figure that out themselves. Anyway - as Ranger fans we have plenty of our own offseason problems to worry about.)
My 10 year old (Pucks Jr.) was happy to see the Caps down and out. He doesn't remember last year and he doesn't know much about Sid Crosby so he doesn't hate the 'Guins like I do. But for all of you who wanted to finally see the Capitals lose a game seven - you got your wish.
And Nugman - you picked the right team. Again.