Caps Win: Push the Maple Leafs to the Brink (Thanks to Inept T.O PP)
April 22, 2017, 11:31 AM ET [16 Comments]
Washington Capitals Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
This series has been so close that each game feels like overtime starting in the first period.
Last night was no exception as the fourth game in five went to an extra-frame. Who else but Justin Williams scored the winning goal and the Capitals now have a 3-2 series lead on the Leafs.
The Capitals are the heavy favorites, but after five games I think it's fair to say that the Leafs are one of the most ridiculous 8th seeds in NHL history. Including the L.A Kings who won a Cup from that position a couple of years ago.
As good as the Caps are, the Leafs have matched them and the series has been completely even. Either team could already have won. Either team could have a 3-2 lead. The goalies have been evenly matched. The Capitals haven't been able to use their superior group of defensemen to take advantage of the Leafs.
Best of all, the hockey has been great. At times end-to-end, at times close checking. No one can say it's been boring. Watching this series you know one thing: the Leafs are going to enter next season as co-favorites in the East with Pittsburgh and Washington.
As much as people will want to pin a loss on the Capitals choking reputation, if they do in fact lose two consecutive games to lose to the Leafs, it will because they're playing a great team - it won't be because they can't win.
I mean, the Capitals could already have won four games. They've done everything right. They just happen to be playing a series that would be more appropriate as the conference final.
Notice that the Game Score lists Braden Holtby as the best player last night. That is because the Leafs were the better team. They won the possession battle and the only reason the Capitals aren't going back to Toronto scared out of their minds is because the League's best Power Play (at least the best one that made the Playoffs) failed to score on four opportunities.
What a crazy game. Ovechkin looked to be out for the year with a knee injury and I'm sure every single caps fan felt like puking, but then he came back! It was a Christmas miracle. Must have been a charlie horse, but man, for a second there it looked like a ruined knee.
I'm glad it was - Toronto has played too good to win on a technicality. No one wants to see the game's biggest star go down in a game like that. Some will say it was dirty, but Kadri went for a hipcheck and Ovechkin hurt himself trying to get out of the way.
In other news, Tom Wilson took an insane four penalties! Personally.
He was benched in the third period.
What a game.
I can't wait for Sun