Capitals Lose to Leafs in Double OT Thrill-Ride
April 16, 2017, 9:20 AM ET [67 Comments]
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have stunned the Washington Capitals, stolen home-ice advantage and given notice to the hockey world that they're legit contenders. Hell, they may revolutionize an ultra-conservative league into putting away the old schlock about youth and experience.
In what I don't think I am exaggerating by calling the Best Game I've Ever seen, the Leafs - a team who has defied all common sense and wisdom by dressing up to NINE ROOKIES in a single game; a team who's total playoff experience triples every period - took the NHL's best team to double overtime before scoring a beauty that surely brought a tear to the eyes of Lonny Bohonos, wherever he may have been.
The Capitals leave the friendly confines of the Verizon Centre with a disappointing 1-1 tie. But let's not lose track of the plot just because the old doubts might be creeping in: this is a great team facing another great team.
They mocked me when I said the Leafs weren't your typical 8th seed. Maybe they'll now see the errors of their ways. What'd I say the other day? "An 8th seed has no business with a player like Kasperi Kapanen on the fourth line." Well, look who scored a deuce, including the game-winner.
The Capitals could have won the game, and the series, about a hundred times last night. The last five minutes of the third saw them put an insane amount of pressure on the Leafs. How they did not score is beyond me. Besides the dozens of other opportunities, Ovechkin beat Andersen only to have the puck go through his pads and somehow kick wide of the net.
They got an early overtime power-play.
They killed an even-up call only to spring OV on a breakaway. No dice!
Ovechkin personally may have had 104 scoring chances - he played a great game and Toronto didn't come close to containing him like they did in game one.
He must have had five point-blank shots.
At the end of the day, you'd think the Capitals would upset going on the road with a split. But how can they be? They haven't played badly at all.
They could have played no differently and been up 2-0 and the series would be on ice. Toronto isn't coming back after spotting the Capitals a 2-0 lead. But then again, playing no differently, they could have been down 2-0, so you can view this positively as well.
Toronto has matched the Capitals shot-for-shot, hit-for-hit. In most cases where a favorite like the Capitals isn't dominating the 8th seed you'd have to say they're blowing it. But the Capitals are playing fine - the Leafs are just not that far from being on of the NHL's best teams themselves.
At the end of the day, it was four and half of the most entertaining hours hockey has the ability to provide.