Posts Tagged ‘NHL Playoffs


State of Emergency

By Ben Linton

They have the best record in the National Hockey League. They clinched the number one seed in the east division and home ice throughout the playoffs. They held a streak of 14 consecutive victories at one point this season. They possess the reigning MVP of the league. So why can’t the Washington Capitals put away the Montreal Canadiens like they are supposed to?

Sadly, the NHL’s most dominant team has struggled to put away the eight-seed Montreal Canadiens, leading them to play in a game that will not make, but only break their season. You see, a game seven victory will not even boost to morale of the Capitals team, because they were never supposed to be in such a predicament to begin with. Even if they win, they will still have immense pressure on them to live up to their expectations of hoisting the trophy at the end of the season.

How did they get here? The dreaded powerplay and an opposing goalie that is playing unconscious right now are the main reasons why the Canadiens have stuck around for so long. The Capitals have been plagued by the Canadiens penalty kill and have only scored one goal on a powerplay the whole series, a total of 1 for 30. Washington is also out-shooting Montreal 250 to 178, but have failed to capitalize on these opportunities. Part of this can be credited to Canadiens’ goalie Jarsolav Halak, who holds a .931 save percentage throughout the series and has been an absolute nightmare for the Caps’ offense.  All these things combined has made a recipe for disaster.

So when the Capitals take home ice Wednesday Night, something they have been unable to protect this far into the playoffs, expect a whole different attitude. So much more rides on this game, other than just advancing in the playoffs. The Capitals have been the only bright light in a sports town that has seen its beloved Redskins go 4-12, the Wizards disappoint to an unbelievable degree, and the Nationals possess the worst record in the MLB in 2009. Right now, the Capitals are the only thing sports fans in D.C. have to hold on to. And if the Caps happen to let Game Seven slip, all hope for sports in the nation’s capital may slip as well. Game 7 will be of monumental importance (no pun intended).

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December 2019
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