Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Last Stand

The Caps-Pens series has so far been one for the ages. Hat-tricks by both Ovechkin and Crosby in Game 2, OT wins by Pittsburgh in both game 3 and 5, and plenty of refereeing issues and claims of runs being taken at Russian players. Wow this series sure has lived up to the hype.

For the Capitals though, advancing to the next round would mean more to the city of DC than anything else right now. In a sports down void of any real winner over the past decade-and-a-half, the Capitals have been the closest thing to a champion since the Redskins won the Super Bowl back in January 1992.

What has plagued the Caps in this series is a defense that too easily gets sucked in throughout the neutral zone and gives up an odd-man rush leading to shots on goal and rebound chances for a Pens team that thrives on that. The speed of Pittsburgh seems to be overwhelming at times and to make up for getting beat the Caps tend to hook, slash, or trip the Pens on their way to the goal.

The absence of two of the Caps leading scorers, Alexander Semin and Mike Green, also doesn't bode well for their chances. The fact that these two have been non-factors throughout these games leaves on Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom as the only real threats to Pittsburgh. For being the NHL's highest scoring teams in the league during the regular season, the absence of the two drops point production dramatically.

It may be time for the Washington area to reload and hope that in the fall the Redskins can make a miraculous run to get to the Super Bowl but the chances of that are very slim. Looks like DC may be in for another summer of boring baseball and may once again have to pin their hopes on the Caps next year. Barring a change in play I'll most likely be hanging up my jersey's and getting ready for football season. It hurts me to say this but I wish our big name players could step up and give us hope. Game 6 hangs over us and so does our hopes of championship coming to town.

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