OK, I’ll admit it. When the Caps were down 4-2 after two I started having, you know, unsure thoughts. Thoughts like:
“We should be proud to have even made the playoffs”.
“It’s a young team, they’re just getting started, this year doesn’t matter much”.
Oh me of little faith.
The Caps took game one of their best-of-seven series with the Flyers in fairly dramatic fashion, scoring three goals in the third period, including a nifty steal by Ovechkin for the game winner. Game winning goal, assist and eight hits on a supposedly more physical team == quite a first playoff game for Alex the Great.
I’m sure folks that more regularly blog the Caps than I do will recap the game better than I will. Peerless Prognosticator already has and I’m sure Japers will by tomorrow. But here are a few of my thoughts.
- The stats say we did well in the faceoff circle, winning 58% (36 of 62). However, their first goal was scored when the Flyers got a clean faceoff win in our end, so I was acutely attuned to every faceoff loss from that point forward. My gut impression was that we hadn’t done as well as we did.
- Remember, I don’t get to see the Caps very often. So it was kinda surreal to see a Caps team able to cycle the puck down low so well. The Flyers seems fairly helpless to stop us.
- On the other hand, we didn’t seem to do so well getting the puck out of our own zone. On Philly’s second goal, we managed to get it out of the zone, but turned it over in the neutral zone which lead to a 3-on-2.
- With the exception of the second half of the second (where the Flyers scored three times in under four minutes), I thought the Caps out played the Flyers most of the way. The third period was especially good for the Caps. Not only did they score three, the held the Flyers to a mere three shots, and NONE after Ovechkin scored what turned out to be the game winner. My mom always says a two goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey. that sure was true tonight.
- Both Ovechkin and Brashear showed great patience on their goals. There’s a great picture of Ovechkin waiting for Biron to commit over @ Off Wing Opinion.
- The refs pretty much let them skate. There was what I thought was a missed tripping call at one point and my brother pointed out Richards was standing in Huet’s way in the crease on Briere’s second goal, but frankly it was such a pretty pass I doubt Huet could have gotten it. Caps do need to do a better job clearing their crease.
- There’s a bit of a controversy surrounding the Caps’ fourth goal. The Caps were on the power play and Green unleashed a shot that hit Flyer’s winger Thoresen in the groin. The refs didn’t whistle the play dead and the Caps scored while Thoresen writhed on the ice in pain. Apparently, the rules are that you don’t blow the whistle unless the player’s life is in danger, so it looks like a good non-call. But I’m guessing Philly fan doesn’t agree.
Game two, Sunday 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific. You’ll know where I’ll be.