GWG---Tyler Seguin Three Stars: Tyler Seguin, Nicklas Backstrom, Andrew Ference
I'm going to slide by the usual recapping of the last game. I was so sickened by what happened that I actually had to take a step back and close my mind to hockey for a while. But not for too long, of course. Things keep going regardless. Looking back, I knew as soon as Backstrom made that horrible pass that it was over. I'm glad these players were able to put it out of their minds quickly because I sure as hell couldn't.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what it's like to be a Caps fan come Spring. It's like being in love only the potential highs and lows are more extreme. If any of you reading this listened to my latest podcast, you would know that I laid all this out in describing a game I saw 25 years ago. And here we are again at another Game Seven, again after they had a chance to put their opponent away.
Despair? Yeah, there's that. Hand wringing? Got plenty of that, too. But there's just as much cause for optimism as there is for gloom and doom. If you read Dan Daly's article, you will see why. I'm going to be very cautious and approach this much like diffusing a bomb. There's also a car wreck element to it--you can't look away because you have to see what happens.
This whole series I've made a new Facebook friend. She's a fellow Caps fan named Denise Aitchison who I first heard about through the Puck Podcast. She's actually the show's Fan Correspondent representing the Capitals. On the most recent show, she pointed out that the long break between games led to hockey media types scratching for stories. The alleged controversy over Alex Ovechkin's "reduced" ice time is a prime example of that. So he's a bit pissed, so what? He also said if it works for the team, he's fine with it. Let it go, people.
At this point I'm tired of all the talking and I wish they'd just play the game. So I'll be anxiously awaiting the 7:30 PM puck drop and hope for the best. For those of you who go back at least 15 years, this one's for you: It could end up like the collapse against the Penguins in 2009, but I'm hoping not. I have a feeling it will be more like the Eastern Conference final in 1998 against Buffalo.
Let's hope that history doesn't matter at all and this year's Capitals forge their own successful path.
PS--no offense to Jeff Schultz, but if the rumors prove true and he will be in the lineup, he better step up his game, because the Bruins will be bringing it. If he doesn't, the game could be lost. As long he plays mistake free and is willing to play the body (good luck with that) he can be effective. Otherwise, we will just have to hope he doesn't play in enough situations to affect the outcome. Awful of me to say, yet true. By the way, that goes DOUBLE for Dennis Wideman!