4.15.2010

Game of the Night (Pt. I)


2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 1: Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals @ Verizon Center
3-2 Final OT

 The 8th seed versus the top seed.  The Ex-Hab versus the Slovakian hero.  Speed vs. Power.  It was a game of odds and everyone expected a Capitals win.

1 year ago, the Habs were in the same position as they were now.  8th place, and facing the top team in the East.  Now, the teams are different and so will our future!

No one expected the Canadiens to go far with the Capitals, but les Habitants kept Alex Ovechkin and his team to just two goals in regulation.  The calm and cool (yet on a hot-streak) Jaroslav Halak kept the game as close as a razor blade.  And putting Halak to the side for a bit, remember the other Jaroslav?  Spacek?  Well, he's been the shutdown D-man and has kept Alex "the Great" OFF the scoresheet and gave him ZERO shots!

As we saw from the first day, upsets weren't rare on the list.  And tonight was not that different.

Sometimes pretty plays do work, and today was an evident show of that.  Montreal used their smaller size, quickness, and skill to get their goals and did them well.  Add the grand emergence of the Montreal defence and that was enough to just get through regulation with a 2-2 tie.

At first glance, many doubted that the Canadiens could play a physical game.  In Game 1, we've proved them wrong.  We battled in the corners, we've made the hits along the boards, and we pushed bodies to the outside.  Montreal may have small bodies, but in those small packages, came a big punch!

Our rock-hard determination, no means no play, and relentless offensive pressure led to 38 shots, and 3 goals.  Tomas Plekanec earned the GWG with a lucky bounce after a shot from high in the lane went off of Jose Theodore's stick and into the back of his net.

I couldn't explain how ecstatic I felt after the OT goal.  I literally jumped out of my seat, arms in the air, cheering, and nearly dropped my laptop.  As much as I love my laptop-baby, hockey always comes first.  But this isn't over yet.  There are still 3 games left to win before we continue on to the second round.

3 stars:
1) Tomas Plekanec
2) Jaroslav Halak
3) Jose Theodore
3 stars (chosen by me, Addie):
1) Jaroslav Halak
2) Jaroslav Spacek
3) Eric Belanger

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