Hockey catch-up

Haven't been posting too much lately; too much other stuff going on. But I'll try to catch up a bit now.

The Caps game in Boston the other night was quite a good one. The Caps played much better than they did in the first game. They still didn't look likely to take the series, but much better, overall. And the result was very similar.

They played scoreless through the first period, with shots basically even. Both teams had chances, but I can't remember about relative quantity.

In the second period, things went in both directions for Washington. Boston had five more shots, but the men in white had the only goal. The third period was the mirror image of that, with Washington having five more shots, but the Bruins getting the only goal.

And that left us in a very familiar place, both for this seriesi and for the Caps, historically: overtime. Washington was outplayed in overtime, but not by a large margin. But nobody scored, so we went to another one. This one, thankfully, did not last nearly as long, with Backstrom potting the winning goal three minutes in.

And that meant that the series had officially started, because the home team had lost one. So all Washington needed to do was defend their turf, and they'd go through.

But this is the Caps, and we had last night's game. This one, I was actually able to attend in person (thanks, dear). I had planned on taking lots of photographs, but found that I really wanted to watch the game, instead. So I put the camera away pretty early, and had lots of fun yelling and screaming.

And the Caps did give us something to scream about. Sasha minor got the Caps on the board with a power play goal sixteen minutes in. That put the Caps head to end the first, which was a nice feeling.

The second really got off with a bang, though, with Peverley equalizing thirty-five seconds in, and OV re-establishing that lead thirteen seconds later. After that, things went much slower for the rest of the period, but Paille re-evened things nine minutes in. So things went into the second intermission in the very familiar spot of being tied.

I felt like the Caps were playing much better; in particular, Boston wasn't spending nearly as much time in the Washington zone. So I was hopeful things would go the way of the men in red.

But it was not to be. In fact, I blame the next goal almost entirely on Hunter. It happened only a minute into the period, with Rolston getting it past Holtby. The reason I blame it on the coach is that, just before, there had been two offensive zone faceoffs, neither of which featured Chara on the ice. So who do you play? Apparently, you play Beagle's line.

And when Boston gets a shot that Holtby catches? And Chara comes on the ice? That, it seems, is when you play OV's line. Unsurprisingly, they were penned in, and allowed a goal in fairly short order. *sigh*

That, of course, put Boston ahead, which remained the case for the next thirteen minutes. Finally, Backstrom found Laich on a ridiculously long stretch pass. Laich suckered Thomas out of his net by keeping the puck way in front of himself, and then calmly depositied the biscuit in the basket. So we're back to a tie, with not a whole lot of time left.

Sadly, that was as good as it got for Washington; Chara scored a 4-on-4 goal with two minutes left to close out the scoring.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the game. The Caps weren't showing that they were completely outclassed if Holtby failed to save 97% of the shots he faced. That said, the personnel decisions were a bit strange, and there were a couple of serious breakdowns (one of the second period goals was scored by a player all alone five feet from the goal).

But now Washington is down again, and will have to win again in Boston to take the series. Let's hope they can at least win the game tomorrow night at the phone booth.

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