Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hat Tricks for Ovechkin AND Crosby

Game 2 of the round 2 series between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins:

Sidney Crosby, the highly publicised (and referee-protected) Pittsburgh star, scored all 3 goals in a Natural Hat Trick for Pittsburgh - but it wasn't enough. The Cap's own star, Alex Ovechkin (who I can no longer call a Human Puck Vortex) matched the over-rated Pittsburgh crybaby with a hat trick of his own.

With arguably the leagues two best forwards deadlocked at 3 goals each - it turned out to be the Capital's David Steckel who added the difference-making goal for the Caps 4-3 win. It was Steckel's second goal of the series - he only had 8 goals in the regular season. (Frankly, I don't think I even noticed him in the Rangers-Caps series).

Varlamov, the Capital's young goaltender, who entered the Ranger's series as a 20 year old back-up rookie goalie with 5 games of NHL experience, looked every bit the seasoned 21-year-old rising star last night. Other than Crosby's 3 goals, the Russian goaltender shut down the 'Guins, making 33 saves, including a couple when his club was defending a 5 on 3 power play.

So, Caps hold serve at home for a 2-0 lead. We'll see if Pittsburgh can win in their own building. (So far, the Rangers put up a much better fight than the Penguins have).

- In other news:

The Rangers finally got around to announcing what Nugman told you yesterday: Naslund decided retiring was a better option than getting millions of dollars to play for the Rangers next year. I have to respect that - there are plenty of players who retire in their heads but still skate around and draw paychecks. Naslund helps us by freeing up some desperately needed cap space.
Tonight we have B-hawks/Canucks, and Red Wings/Ducks. Both series tied 1-1.

And my 10 year old son, Kid Pucks, gets the start in goal today in his 5th grade gym class Floor Hockey match. I've advised him to treat any opponents that approach the net with the same sense of respect and sportsmanship that he's seen professional NHL goaltenders show towards Mr. Sean Avery. I'll let you know if I get a call from the school...

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