4.17.2010

Game of the Night (Pt. I)


2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 2: Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals @ Verizon Center
5-6 Final OT

After causing one of the largest upsets so far in the post-season, the Caps and Habs faced-off once more before taking the series to le Centre Bell. 

To start it all off, Jose Theodore was in net, but that quickly changed just under 8 minutes into Game 2.

7:58 and just 2 shots into the game, Theodore allowed two Montreal goals.  All questions about the Washington goaltending were in just position.  Playoff hockey is played on a level beyond the regular season, and if your regular season isn't on par, you are done for in the second season.

Not even 8 minutes in, last year's playoffs started to repeat itself.  The young (now sophmore) Russian goalie, Semyon Varlamov replaced his older counterpart in the net.  And after that, things started looking up.

Even though "Varly" has been put as the better goalie, there are a few cracks and gaps in the net.  Montreal's goalie of choice, Halak, was the better of two for 40 minutes, and so was the entire Canadiens club.

For 40 minutes, Washington was the trailing team.  Their stars were sleeping and their goaltending wasn't enough to keep them strongly in.   Montreal was the better team, until the third period.  Bruce Boudreau woke his team up in the 2nd intermission and they came back with fire.  And one shouldn't play with fire.

Montreal contended and were a good contender, but the strength of the flame was too strong for the extinguisher to take out.  

Bim bam boum - third period and OT was all Washington.  4 goals came from the Capitals and only one from the Habs.  I guess the sleeping dragon woke up in time to go to Montreal.

This was a much more exciting game than the previous one.  Washington finally woke up, and was making up for the lack of fire power 2 nights ago.  Washington played a better final 20 some odd minutes than they did a game 1!  But they cannot keep doing that.  Knowing the Canadiens, playing a game like that will not always turn out the way they did tonight.

And Montreal needs to keep the same game throughout the entire match.  No 'protecting the lead', no 'chasing the Caps', and defintely no 'keeping it up for OT'!  They need to play like it's 0-0 in OT.  Every goal counts and the score doesn't matter.

But I liked the double hat tricks.  First one by Andrei Kostitsyn; second by Nicklas Backstrom (who, by the way, got the GWG).

3 stars:
1) Nicklas Backstrom
2) Andrei Kostitsyn
3) Alex Ovechkin
My 3 stars:
1) Nicklas Backstrom
2) Andrei Kostitsyn
3) John Carlson






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