Thursday, December 29, 2011

Washington’s Way – Rangers fall 4-1 to Caps

You know – we never could beat the Ovechkin Capitals.

Since taking a 3-1 lead in the playoff series 4 years ago, the Caps have owned us. We’ve won a few here and there – but all the meaningful ones have gone Washington’s way. The Rangers are the only team to have lost a playoff series to the Capitals in the last 4 years – and we managed to do it twice. And your old pal Dave Pucks is still haunted by an Ovechkin goal against a long-forgotten backup goaltender (Valliquette?). Ovie swooped in to the right, and came all the way around the back of the net to slam it in the opposite side. Not good.

Anyhoo – this season, the Rangers are unexpectedly good – like “first place in the East” good. And the Caps are unexpectedly bad – like “get your fat coach fired” bad. So here in the Dave Pucks homestead Pucks Junior, Grandma Pucks and I started to think that maybe this season would be different. And so we hunted through Cablevision channels looking for Versus last night with a little hope and confidence that things would be better last night.

We was wrong!

The Caps came all psyched to play the first place Rangers – an enthusiasm which we did not share.

As coach John Tortorella himself put it: “We didn’t defend”. Of course – with Staal and Sauer all concussed and stuff we are forced to put our natural 7th and 8th defensemen out there on the ice every night – and sometimes it’s going to come back and bite us just behind the 5 hole. And so Woywika and Stalman (who?) found themselves way up ice (past the red line) when the puck found its way to Semin . And Semin looked up and saw - in the Ranger goal – not King Henrik Lundqvist – but rather his more easy-access backup Marty Biron. Marty is good – but he’s human and so Semin buried his chance to put the Caps up 3-1, and a little later – did it again to finalize the score at 4-1.

On the positive side Dubinsky continued his resurgence with a goal assisted by Callahan. Cally had a goal reversed by the Toronto goal judge – who ruled correctly that Cap-Call had kicked it in.

So it was our first loss in 6 games – and it remains to be seen if the streaky Rangers can avoid dropping two in a row – as they have done several times this season. Still, things are looking up this year – it looks like we’re going to make the playoffs.

I just hope we don’t have to play the Caps when we get there.

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