Game 7 Caps vs. Penguin Scum 5-13-2009
Well folks, we knew we shouldn't have bothered going to the game tonight. Our heads told us not to go tonight. Our guts told us not to go tonight. But our hearts were insisting that we did.
So much for listening to your heart...
We knew right away after finding out that Martin Brodeur had choked away the series to Carolina that we were going to lose to the Penguin Scum. We knew the NHL would not allow us to win.
Oh come on Caps Nut, you can't be serious??? How do you fix a 6-2 game???
Pipe down... We'll get there...
But first, some of you have noticed and call us out for a change in tenor on this blog. Back when we first started this thing, the Caps were just plain awful. There was all kinds of negativity surrounding the team as the losses piled up. We however tried to focus on the positive. We tried to stay upbeat in the dark times knowing full well that better days were ahead.
Then last year when the Caps fired Glen Hanlon and replaced him with Bruce Boudreau, things started to turn around. However, while we noticed the improvement, we didn't believe that the Caps were a playoff ready team. We didn't think that the Caps could come from as far back as they did to make the playoffs.
Then the Caps hosted Carolina on April 1st, 2008. When we saw Alexander "Slappy" Semin layout Eric Staal with a clean, vicious, and brutal open ice shoulder check, we began to think, they could just actually do this.
Falling behind 3-1 to the Flyers in the first round was a wake-up call, but we didn't fully heed it as we watched the Caps force a Game 7.
Uh, Caps Nut, what does this have to do with tonight???
Shut up, we're getting there... This is called "decompressing" ok???
We thought, "these guys could really do it, maybe this is a team of destiny." Then like a ton of bricks the shoe dropped first in the form of Shaone Morrrissonnn getting tossed into Christobal Huet and the refs looking the other way as a goal was scored on the interference. Then other shoe came with a ticky-tack tripping call to Tom Poti in overtime after 60 minutes of "let 'em play" hockey.
In short folks, we got blindsided and we weren't going to let that happen to us again.
This wasn't at all like 1998. The breaks were not going our way against the Rangers and it was our sheer talent level that got us through. If this had been a replay of 1998, Sean Avery would have been the one suspended for six games, not Mr. Donald Brashear. If this had been a replay of 1998, the Penguin Scum would have been the ones getting marched off to the penalty box in droves. Not the Caps. If this had been 1998, Simeon "the Saviour" Varlamov would not have melted down and cost us 3 games with his play.
Add in the that the fact that we never drank the Kool-Aid that the Caps were a legitimate Stanley Cup contender and you should understand why we've been a nattering nabob of negativism. Sorry folks, but when John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles is considered your big hitting defenseman who scares the opposing forwards, you aren't going to win the Cup. When Viktor Kozlov, Eric Fehr, and Tomas Fleischmann are your go-to goal scoring right wingers, you aren't going to win the Cup.
But we'll wrap the season later.
Back to tonight.
Get out of here...
How in the world the NHL assigns the "senior" referees from the two worst officiated games of this series to Game 7 is beyond us. But again, it was a sign that the NHL wasn't going to allow the Caps to win this game. After all, they tried rather hard on Monday night but the Caps just wouldn't cooperate.
The game got off to a decent enough start. We were expecting "let 'em play" hockey until at least the third period. But we only got 11:29 of it. Long enough for the Penguin Scum to weather the early Caps storm and get their legs under them. Morrrissonnn gets called for a slashing call that was ignored when Evgeni Malkin-Lindros did the exact same thing to Sergei (#3) Fedorov in Game 4. (Fedorov you might remember then had to tackle Malkin-Lindros because he didn't have his stick anymore and got called for holding.) Power Play goal Penguin Scum and things were off and running.
Throw in a bad night for Simeon "the Saviour" and the snowball effect got underway.
There were other opportunities for Bill McCreary and Dan O'Halloran to "even things up" but nope, just to make sure that the Caps could not get any momentum heading into the intermission, a dive that certainly rivaled anything ever done by Canadian Diving Team Captain, Lowblow Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby, by Brooks Orpik drew a penalty on Sergei (#3) and put an end to any of those ideas.
After Boudreau finally yanked Simeon "the Saviour" after allowing two goals on two shots to start the second period, there was really no need to call anymore penalties on the Caps unless of course it involved protecting the NHL's Golden Girl, Lowblow Cindy. Jealous of Orpik's header, Cindy couldn't help herself and took a header herself off a high stick from Brooks "and Dunn" Laich 26 seconds into the third period. Laich was assessed four minutes for the gushing head wound he opened up on Lowblow Cindy and any hopes of a third period rally were snuffed out.
To give you an idea of how bad the officiating was tonight folks, the Caps couldn't even get a sympathy call/token Power Play tonight. Four penalties called on the Caps. None, zip, zilch, nada, zero, nothing called on the Penguin Scum. If that is not indicative that the fix was in tonight, then nothing else will. The 6-2 score just provides cover because the Caps would have had to play out of their minds to win this game, and even then that may have not been enough. The Penguin Scum played like a team that knew it could do just about anything it wanted, the Caps played like they were afraid to take another penalty after the first two penalty calls.
However ladies and gentlemen, we have to admit. We take a perverse pleasure in tonight's game.
Huh? You enjoyed watching your team take a hose job you knew was coming???
We said get out of here...
After bestowing this series the title of "Greatest NHL Playoff Series, Ever" before the Series was even officially over, tonight's game was as Anti-Climatic as they come. There was standing room only in the Phone Booth Press Box tonight but we guarandangtee you that all over the United States, Canada, Russia, Africa, and the rest of the world, TV's were be changed en mass 2:12 into the second period for something else. Only the folks in Pittsburgh and the sadists in Washington were sticking around for this one and some of the folks in Pittsburgh were heading outside to get a head start on burning their couches in celebration.
In short, this was a joke of a game befitting a joke of a league properly won by a joke of a team. Marc Andre Fleury literally gave away a tailor-made shutout tonight and we had a feeling that whoever ended up winning this series wouldn't have anything physically or emotionally left in the gas tank for the last month of the playoffs. Because as we said, we didn't think the Caps were Stanley Cup contenders and with the advantages and breaks afforded the Penguin Scum in this series, there's no way you can take them seriously as Cup threat either, because let's be honest here. With all the calls and breaks going their way, they still needed 7 games and two deflections of our own sticks to win the series. That isn't the sign of a better team.
But hey, at least we didn't blow a 3-1 lead, that was our worst nightmare.
So in the coming days we'll pick through the rubble of this season and come up with some grades. We'll also preview the Conference and Stanley Cup Finals.