April 28, 2010

Why you should watch hockey tonight... Game 7!

The Washington Capitals were the best team in hockey this season. Now they're in a Game 7 battle with the Montreal Canadians, an eight seed. Ladies and gentlemen, the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Why is this such a big deal? Because heart break is something that Caps fans are all to familair with, take it away Yahoo Sports blogger Greg Wyshynski.

In 2008, I watched from the press box as the life was slowly sucked out of Washington Capitals fans in the Verizon Center during a tied Game 7 against the No. 6-seeded Philadelphia Flyers; when "Rock The Red" optimism morphed into John Hurt looking down at his stomach in "Spaceballs" and muttering "oh no, not again." (You know, right before the alien burst through his chest and did that ragtime routine.) Their misery ended on Joffrey Lupul's overtime power-play goal.

In 2009, I witnessed the Capitals battle back from an inexplicable 3-1 deficit to the No. 7-seeded New York Rangers, forcing a Game 7 in D.C. There was a moment early in that game when the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist nearly had a two-goal lead, but the Capitals rallied for a 2-1 victory to advance.

Later in Spring 2009, the Capitals had another Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins and ... well, these memories are etched in the minds of both fan bases. Semyon Varlamov flaming out after shouldering the load for two rounds. Pittsburgh scoring five consecutive goals, including one by noted sniper Craig Adams. Marc-Andre Fleury's critical save on Alex Ovechkin's breakaway in the first period. Penguins won, 6-2, and it wasn't even that close.

Wednesday in D.C. is yet another Game 7 for a Bruce Boudreau playoff team, which is becoming a wearisome and troubling trend for his NHL tenure. This time it's the Montreal Canadiens -- the 16th-best team in the playoffs based on regular-season record -- who have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to make this a one-game series.

And it's not like Washington isn't playing well, they're getting a buttload of shots on net but anytime you get a hot goalie in net - it's a tough order. Tonight. Habs. Caps. Hell on Earth. Game 7. Enjoy.

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