Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Capitals Take Game Seven and Advance!

The moment was finally here – a monumental Game 7 and it was expected that both teams would come out hard to fight to the end. Especially the Blueshirts, trying to recover from "water bottlegate" and two stinky performances from Henrik Lundqvist.

First of all a huge welcome back to captain Chris Clark – who celebrated his return with some glass-rattling hits on several Blueshirts in the opening period.

We also saw two amazing stops by Varlamov in the first 4 minutes, including one to the gut of Varly. Nik Antropov slid in the first goal as Sean Avery screened Varly (first period). Ten minutes into first – still no shots on goal by the boys. Antropov took a high stick and Caps were not able to convert on power play. Greener tripped up one of the talented Staal brothers (Marc) and went to 4 on 4. But the Rangers’ power play didn’t pan out. Finally, Alex Semin’s shot went off Callahan’s twig and the men in red finally got on the board late in the first (luck be damned)!

First period saw ridiculous delay with a glass problem. Overall the Caps were doing a terrible job of getting the puck out of their offensive zone. The Rangers looked much lighter on their feet while the Caps seemed to grip their sticks tight. And Hockey Mom was clenching her jaw tight as we all feared a repeat of last year’s Game 7.

In the second period, Kozlov thought he caught the King out of his crease but Henrik tapped it away with a tip of his glove in a stellar save. Ovie was on the ice way too long and while trying to dump the puck, turned it over to the Rangers. Thankfully his pals, particularly David Steckel, dug it out of the Caps’ zone. Once again the stripes had their whistles in their windpipes as Zherdev got away with a blatant trip on Mike Green, who went flying into the boards.

Zherdev certainly seemed to wake up from his hibernation for Game 7. Unfortunately, for the home team, the same could not be said for the Caps’ Viktor Kozlov, who suffered some serious lapses in judgment with some Squirt hockey giveaways. For most of the first two periods, it seemed like our boys just sat around and watched like the Rangers were on a flipping power play! Lots of careless passing going on as well…going into the locker room at the end of the second, the score was still tied at one apiece. Did anyone else feel like this was déjà vu all over again for the first 40 minutes?

But finally in the final period, the Caps we know and love showed up to play! The boys showed a lot more zip in their step, ramped up the hits and saw several more scoring opportunities, including a beauty from Ovie that was ultimately stumped by Lundqvist. The Caps tightened up and did an outstanding job of holding the Rags to only one shot on goal in the final period.

Then with less than five minutes left in the third, the trusty 39-year old veteran Sergei Fedorov showed us his Stanley Cup form and scored the most magnificent game winner – rocking the Phone Booth to its core and sending the whiny Ranger bed wetters home! And hopefully Feds will buy the young Russian Simeon Varlamov his first legal vodka shot on his 21st birthday – as our rookie net minder had another phenomenal game.

So in addition to moving on the second round, the Caps made history tonight having never won a Game 7 at the Phone Booth. My fortune cookie from lunch today said: “Soon, you will be sitting on top of the world” and my lucky number was 28. Yes indeed, April 28 will be one to remember for a not-so-pretty win but a win nonetheless! HM and my fellow Caps fans (as well as the entire Caps organization) want to revel in this great feeling for now and get ready for Sidney and pals come Saturday! Way to go boys….


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