Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hang In There Everybody

Look folks - the Caps are a pretty good Hockey Club - with this Russian Kid in goal I'm not sure who I'd say is a better team than they are. So it was a little much to hope that we'd sweep all three games from them in their building. What we've seen are three straight road wins followed by 2 straight home wins.

I didn't expect Hank to let in 4 goals on 14 shots - but he has flat out won a bunch of these games for us all by himself - so a letdown was not totally unexpected. And in the end we never scored - so 1-0 would have been the same as 4-0.

I could bring up the team's record with and without Sean Avery - but it's moot now. I was glad to see that Torts is out there coaching. He does things - he tries stuff - and he's not afraid of his players like so many other coaches are. I mean - the guy has won the cup - we could do a lot worse than having Tortorella behind our bench. Now, if Avery is a healthy scratch for game six I'm going to have a whole different opinion - but I'm assuming our little Seanny (still anatomically correct, don't worry Raymond) will suit up and play on Sunday. And, trust me, we will notice him out there.

I still think we're going to win this series - possibly in game seven - but our best shot is at home tomorrow.

Now, like I tell my 10 year old son - this is just hockey. Now, hockey is not baseball - there is pain and anguish along with the "bluephoria" and we are living and dying with our team every day. But no matter what happens we can be proud about how this unit pulled together to make the playoffs and how they stood up to a superior team and went punch for punch with them. If this series was the Stanley Cup Finals I think people would be talking about it for years.

Anyway - not that I know that much about hockey or anything compared to the Nugman - but here was my prediction - posted here - from before the series began:
Rangers over Caps
. Heart over head on this one. Throw out the regular season meetings because the Rangers have a new coach, a new attitude, and Mr. Sean Avery now. Rangers have the better goaltender - a crucial factor in a long series. Our PK will (somewhat) neutralize the Caps greatest strength (their PP) which could lead to frustration and pressure on the Caps. Rangers will play tough at home. Rangers need to steal one of the first 2 and still may need to steal game 7 to scratch their way to round 2. One qualifier - if Drury's "undisclosed double-secret" upper-or-lower body injury puts him out for an extended period I'd have to revise my pick to Caps. If the captain plays at something approaching full strength he's good for at least one massive momentum shifting goal. I could give a past example... but it's too painful to recall.

So, as it turned out we did steal one in DC (both actually). And Drury did get one game winning goal. So now we just have to "play tough at home" and win game six, or "steal game 7". I think we could do either. But again - this is a really good hockey team we're playing.

So hang in there. Lundqvist just has to win us one more. And to the hockey gods - please guys - can't the Capitals throw one stinker out there? A little help please?

And as a personal aside to my friend Nugman - we can't win them all. And if you ever start thinking about any self inflicted wounds - give me a call. Also - you may want to check out a surprisingly good Brian Setzer song called "The Knife Feels Like Justice."

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