May 15, 2009

Penguins Vs Capitals 05/13/2009 EC Semifinal Game 7 Review

Capitals bench during final seconds of Semifinal Game 7 on May 13, 2009.
Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Penguins 6 - Capitals 2

The Pittsburgh Penguins showed up ready to play a Game 7, while many of the Washington Capitals clearly did not. The lop sided score pretty much says it all.

You certainly can't blame the loss on the obviously biased officiating that has plagued most of this playoff series. The Capitals were hit with four penalties in this game, while the Penguins went completely unpunished by the refs.

One of the biggest mistakes by Washington was that they left Pittsburgh unpunished as well. Starting after about the first ten minutes of the game, the Pens were allowed to hang out in and around the Caps' goal crease without having to fight all that much for the privilege. All but one of Pittsburgh's six goals were scored from close range.

Washington had a similar problem at the other end of the ice too. They just didn't put enough energy into opening up the crease area for a forward to drive to the net, or put a body in front to get a deflection goal. The two goals the Capitals did manage were from close range though. Alex Ovechkin scored an unassisted wrap around about two minutes before the end of the second period. The other came a third of the way through the third period, when Brooks Laich backhanded the rebound of a Tomas Fleischmann shot.

Washington's young goalie Simeon Varlamov didn't have a very good game either, and after allowing four goals, was replaced with Jose Theodore during the second period. A couple of the goals scored while Varlamov was minding the net, he probably should've been able to stop. His having a bad game Wednesday night happens to all goaltenders and was just really bad timing. Unfortunately, two more got by Theodore, putting the game completely out of reach.

We've learned since the stunning end of the Caps' post season, that several of their players were playing with injuries. This may account for defenseman Mike Green having such a disappointing playoff performance level throughout two rounds. It doesn't explain however, why he wasn't replaced by a healthier player after it became clear he couldn't fight through it, the way some of the others were fortunate to be able to do. Whatever the reasoning, you can't blame Green for wanting to play.

The blowout was an odd way for the series to end, after having been so close in every other game. The Capitals will put it all behind them, after some serious grieving. They should be very proud of the outstanding regular season they had, and going as far as they did in the playoffs. Washington will be back next season, a little more experienced and a good bit wiser.


Anonymous said...

If you knew anything about the game you would know that the team who's end the game is being played in 75% of the time is going to take more penalties. The craps were penalized because they were so outworked and had to resort to sloppy play to get the puck out of their own zone. I apologize if that logic confuses you, I know you've never laced them up in your life, you are a craps fan after all, so I won't explain things further. Enjoy watching the Cup Finals!

Dan, Jr. said...

Hello "Anonymous". What you should apologize for is the fact that you can't read.

Every paragragh in my post talks about how the Caps were outworked. I also stated that the loss could not be blamed on the officiating.

I make no apologies for confusing you. Now, pull your pants back up and wash those hands. Your mommy is calling you. It's time for your nap.


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