And Now It's Over

A nice day for hockey, for me. First, I got to watch a couple of chunks of the Pittsburgh/Tampa game; enough to see four goals scored by the Lightning. I didn't get to see Fleury chased, but that's a small price to pay.

And then I got to watch (most of) the Caps crushing of the Rangers. They came out with hunger, and heavily dominated the game. I think it probably wasn't the team's best game of the season, but it's in the conversation. I saw 50-ish minutes of the game, and they were just destroying the Rangers. They showed Lundqvist sitting on the bench with a minute or two left, hiding behind his glove, looking like he felt that he'd let the team down. He didn't. If he hadn't been on his game, this could have easily been five or six to nothing.

They were just keeping the puck in the offensive zone, and generating a lot of chances. I'm surprised, looking at the box score, that the Caps had so few shots, but they were largely very good shots. They also kept their cool when the Rangers tried getting chippy; this helped the Caps keep a positive power play differential and meant that the Rangers were the only ones picking up misconducts.

The only downer on the whole game is that Green went down with another puck to the head (attempting to block another shot). Man, I hope he's ok, but it looked bad and he didn't return. Ugh. I've heard vague rumors that Wideman might be able to return for the next round; it seems unlikely, but let's hope so. And maybe Poti can, as well. And Knuble should, I think.

To get to the good stuff, almost the entire team looked good. Neuvy had a great game, coming less than forty seconds from a shutout. That makes him 15-0 in playoff series as a professional (actually, that's including the OHL; I assume that's a pro league, but I don't know for sure). I thought there were stretches where OV didn't look too good, but he still managed a goal and an assist, so what the hell do I know? MarJo was buzzing again, and Backstrom looked pretty good, as well. And the defense as a whole looked quite good, quickly defusing most chances (and Neuvy was there for the few that they missed).

And the other good stuff was finding out that Buffalo beat Philly last night (despite their best efforts to let the Flyers win) and that Montreal and Boston are currently deadlocked going into the second overtime (don't really care who wins that one, but hoping for a brutally tough seven games).

So now we get to wait a bit to see who's next; I believe that this could take until the end of next week to find out, theoretically. Despite today's result, I feel pretty comfortable saying that Pittsburgh will advance, but the other two are coin flips. But if the Caps can keep playing like they did today, I don't care who we play.

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