Okay, the Caps lost last night. For Caps fans like me, the game was disappointing. I refuse to whine about the officiating, I admire that so far as I can see no one in the Caps organization is doing so. Sure other bloggers and a few of my own comments on blogs, etc. indicate my real feelings after thinking about it for some time today. It was a great game, the officiating left a lot to be desired on/for both sides, and the game given the quality of play deserved a better ending than the one that occurred. That is not to say that means the team I root for needed to be or necessarily would have been the one to win. Okay so that's all I'll say on that subject.
The Caps have their work cut out for them, who knows these guys seem to thrive when their backs are against the wall. Ovie said it well and I'll paraphrase - the Caps need six periods IN A ROW where they play their best hockey, six periods like the first and second period of last night's game. Oh and don't, I repeat DON'T expect the Penguins to get frustrated, play stupid or just fold up and go home. For the record so far this series there have been 5 games, four out of the five have been one goal games and the other was a two goal game in which the Caps scored the first goal and Sergei Federov had two other good scoring chances before the Pens rattled off three in a row and never looked back. Simple fact, these are two very talented teams who play all out, new style hockey; they match up well to each other and so far the Pens have found a way to win three times, while the Caps have only found a way to win twice.
In the end it really probably is that simple. Speaking of simple, hopefully the Caps will keep it that way. I have no doubt when each of these two teams is eliminated from the playoffs, or if the hockey gods shine on them one of them wins the Cup, we'll learn there were more guys "ding'ed" up than anyone suspected. That said, none of that matters. At the end of the game tomorrow night either the Penguins will advance or both teams will be headed back to Verizon Center for Game 7.
As a Caps fan, I'm hoping to get a chance to see another game 7. I also hope if we get that chance the following things happen in no particular order of precedence:
a) All 18, 277 in attendance listen to the announcement for our National Anthem and indeed join in and sing it respectfully rather than desecrating it with that "O" stuff and even that "RED" stuff.
b) If Sergei Gonchar plays we applaud his return to the ice once and then forget that stupid Larry Murphey "whoop".
c) No matter what the Pens fans do on Monday when Ovie touches the puck, we continue to NOT boo every time Crosby touches the puck.
d) We continue to take advantage of the advantages Caps ownership have given us to pack our building with Caps fans clad in read and we continue to see precious few "baby blue" or "black & gold" sweaters "in our house."
and last but possibly most importantly:
e) No matter how stupid or frustrating the officiating is or isn't to us we do NOT throw things on the playing surface.
Now for Monday night I'm hoping the Caps just play simple, straightforward,GREAT hockey and kick some flightless bird butt. They can do it, they've shown that but they need to turn up and keep up the intensity. There is no doubt the Penguins will want to finish this series at home. Don't kid yourselves no one who has a chance to finish and end a series in Game 6 wants to play Game 7.
So folks we have them right where we want them, they are visible on all sides, our options are simple and obvious in front of us - we shall attack, attack and drive to victory. We shall ask no quarter nor shall we offer such to our opponents. There is no option, it's either victory or the embarrassment and ignominy of digging our golf clubs out of that cobweb ridden corner in our garages. So sharpen your skates, tape your sticks, adjust your pads and leap, leap my loyal band of brothers into the breach screaming that cry that elicits fear from the hearts of your worthy opponents --- "NO PRISONERS!!!!!"
LETS GO CAPS!!!!