Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game 7 Caps vs. Canadiens 4-28-2010 Post-Mortem

Well, at least we still have their baseball team...

We can't say were all that surprised right now.  We don't know what it is but there's just something about this franchise.  If it isn't a hose job or a freak injury or a bad bounce or who knows what else, then this franchise just can't seem to get out of its own way.  How else do you explain the blown playoff leads and the 2-7 record in Game 7, 2-6 at home?  We knew the shoe was eventually going to drop on us, it always does.   But congratulations folks, we're not only the first #1 seed to blow a 3-1 lead to a #8 seed but we gave Jacques Martin his first win ever in a Game 7.

The seed for the loss tonight was first planted back in late January-early February when the Caps went on that magical 14 game winning streak.  Simply put, this team peaked way too soon folks.  Remember all those lists of NHL teams with long winning streaks during the regular season?  The most recent team to win the Cup was the Islanders from back in the 1980's.  That wasn't a good sign for us as we racked up the wins that pulled us away in the Eastern Conference and President's Trophy race.  That seed was then given a good fertilizing when it was Montreal who broke the 14 game winning streak.  Interesting isn't how the team who put an end to our epic winning streak put an end to our season?  Coincidence?  We think not.

While the series was formally lost tonight, it was really lost last Friday when the Caps blew Game 5.  The Caps, as usual in this series, fell behind 2-0 before starting to score.  Despite cutting the deficit in half early in the second period, it was with about 5-6 minutes left that the Caps seemed to pull up.  They realized that in order to win Game 5, they'd likely have to play Overtime for the fourth straight game at home and seventh time in the last ten home contests going back into the regular season.  So the Caps figured, "hey, we've got two more chances, lets save it."  Instead they gave Montreal life and the confidence that they could pull off the upset that they did.

And here's the thing about tonight that mystifies us.  Of the Game 7's the Caps have played, this was by far their best performance.  Even better than the 2 wins.  That's not say that there were no mistakes made tonight.  Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green takes a stupid penalty in the first period that leads to Montreal's first goal after the Caps had been dominating the first period.  Green then decided to play the man instead of the puck late in the third and the Caps end up down 2-0 for the fourth time in the series as a result.  The Caps for the most part stopped hitting after the first period too and we don't know why.

Silly us too thinking that because the Caps are now considered a "marquee team" that they would be given a little assistance onto the Second Round.  Not once in this series did the Caps have to deal with either Bill McCreary or Paul Devorski.  But we're glad to see that two years since Game 7 against the Flyers that the league is trying to do something about goaltender interference.

But before we wrap this up let's give credit to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens.  Halak played another great game tonight and the team in front of him blocked almost as many shots, 41, as the Caps got on goal, 42.  Montreal had blocked 26 shots heading into the third period.  You do the math folks.  However, we won't be the least bit surprised if the Penguin Scum shred him for 6 goals on 10 shots on Friday night.  That's just how it is for the Washington Capitals.

Finally we know this is mostly wishful thinking, but we hope we don't have to hear from players, coaches, General Managers, and Owners about how disappointed they are.  About how upset that they are that "the season ended way too soon."  About how "we haven't achieved our goals and won't rest until we do."  About how "we can't wait for next season."  We've heard that two years in a row now and probably will hear it for a third.  But until something is actually done about it, it is just empty talk.

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