Wednesday night’s Washington Capitals victory over the New York Rangers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the perfect relief for fans from their heartache following their loss in Game Five in New York on Monday. That loss brought the kind of fan depression that can only be cured by the next win. With this win, the Capitals stay alive and force a Game Seven. Oh Boy.
After the game that wouldn’t end finally ended Thursday morning, I wrote something about an “I got this” vibe from the Washington Capitals. Saturday afternoon’s game validated that feeling. The Caps had it and defeated the New York Rangers by a score of 3-2. Thankfully, it was in regulation time, too.
There are three photos I’m especially happy with from yesterday’s game. One is the feature photo in this post of Nicklas Backstrom’s fist pump following his goal. We don’t get that kind of celly from him very often.
While I couldn’t quite tell how the Alex Ovechkin hit on Dan Girardi went down, but it was one of those rare times that I shot an in-focus, not-too-motion-blurred photo of a moment like that.
Then there is the photo of the sombrero on the ice in front of the Chipotle dasher board ad in front of a fan holding a sign reading “Rangers Are in Danger” with the puck sliding by for some Cinco De Mayo spirit.
I had always wanted to be at one of those marathon (this is the word everyone agreed to use, right?) multiple overtime NHL playoff games. I always figured that if it was at one and the Washington Capitals were playing, the Caps would, you know, lose because Capitals. This left me prepared, so it was easier to accept the outcome. Karl Alzner may have a had harder time, though.
The toughest time I had last night was watching the girl sitting in front of us. She was bouncy. Very bouncy. Not like a bouncy personality (well, I don’t know, maybe she does…I just don’t know her), but physically bouncy. Bouncy in her seat. Bouncy while standing. It was as if she could not contain herself.
When my youngest daughter was four years old, she would run in a circle through the kitchen, living room, dining room, and foyer screaming at the top of her lungs, “I CAN’T STOP! I CAN’T STOP!” and she couldn’t. Bouncy Girl last night reminded me of her. She blocked our view, was distracting, and not someone I would willing chose to sit behind (and be afraid to sit in front of lest she spill her beer). We asked Bouncy Girl a couple times to not lean so much and everything. We could tell she tried, but just couldn’t manage. It was different than the Masshole Boston Bruins fans two weeks ago. We wanted to see the game, but we were also being entertained by the show she was putting on. It was quite bizarre. Then, as the overtimes melted into more overtimes, she lost some steam and turned into the Not Quite As Bouncy Girl. It was alright.
For the broader Semifinals series, I’m a little surprised at how optimistic I am after that loss. Over the past year or two, almost every time the Capitals have taken a lead in a game there has been a tension in the air that, somehow, the Capitals would find a way to cough up that lead. For the few years before that, when the Capitals were playing dynamic, exciting hockey, being down a couple goals was never a worry. The Young Guns carried the air of “We got this,” and would pull out super exciting finished on a regular basis. Never any worry.
It’s probably just me, but that feels like the feeling in the air again. The current Dale Hunter brand hockey sure isn’t exciting like the Bruce Boudreau era, but what we want are wins, right? At least in the playoffs. So the Capitals are down 2-1 in the series. Braden Holtby and Matt Hendricks and everyone else last night sure were playing with the “Don’t worry, I got this” attitude.
Or maybe I’m just fooling myself.
To read more stuff about the game, you know where to go: Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, District Sports Page, Ed Frankovic, and On Frozen Blog. Unfortunately, it looks like the box score was too big for Capitals Outsider to handle, so none of that.
The Washington Capitals never had a lead in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they tied it up three of the four times they trailed. The fourth time, they had no opportunity as Tyler Seguin scored the Bruins fourth goal in overtime to win it for the Bruins, 4-3. And just like that, there’s a seventh game in Boston to come on Wednesday.
The Washington Capitals bounced back last night to even their series against the Boston Bruins at two games a piece on the back of a 44 save performance by goaltender Braden Holtby. It was kinda like, “Wow,” from the 400s. Ah, yes, the 400s…where it takes a dozen Verizon Center security guys to bounce a couple drunk looking for trouble. These were not the asshats from Monday night, just garden variety drunks in a bad mood looking for a bad time.
Like always, there are better places to read about the game like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, District Sports Page, On Frozen Blog and Ed Frankovic…and I am still a very happy camper because Capitals Outsider is still doing box scores.
See my photos below or on flickr and thanks for stopping by again!
Every so often, you have to be reminded of what you hate and why. Last night, it was time for me to remember why I hate Boston. It really had nothing to do with the Bruins. In fact, there are two cool things about the whole state of Assachusetts. One is that I met my wife there and the other are the Bruins (but the latter may just be relative). See, for a short period after high school, I lived in Boston. Allston to be exact. At the time, it was a weird mix of over-privileged college students and immigrants. I’m not sure what it’s like today since I haven’t been back in over 20 years, although I have been back to the state (which also reminded me of a number of reasons why I hated it so much). Anyway…
What got me back into so much hate were the three Boston, Assachusetts loving asshats that sat in front of us. I’m all for good natured chirping yelling and chirping between fans. It’s fun and it adds something for everyone. These three, though, were nothing of the sort. Two boys and a girl. I won’t call them men and a woman, because that ain’t how they behaved. Before they were seated, the girl was flipping everyone off and every other word out of her mouth was what that gesture says with a finger. They were intent on going out of their way to ruin everyone’s time around them and took offense at being called on it. While it never seemed like things would escalate beyond name calling between them and the people around me, a talking to from Verizon Center staff telling them to behave or get tossed finally settled them down in the third period.
In four years of holding Capitals season tickets, I don’t remember anything else quite like this. There wasn’t anything that terrible about it. Their presence and behavior just made everything else not fun. Besides the lecture, the only other things that shut them up at all were Capitals goals and when the girl overheard me telling one of my friends that my fear as the parent of girls was that they might turn out like her. She looked at me then, looked sad, and turned away and was quiet and nearly motionless for about 10 minutes.
So, I couldn’t really see a lot of the game through their heads, arms, phones, hats, and such. Little glimpses here and there. What I could see looked like it might have been a game. So, I’ve read about it on Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic. Luckily, there’s also the handy dandy box score from Capitals Outsider, too. My photos are below and on flickr.
My family has left Verizon Center a lot happier than we did Sunday night following the Washington Capitals 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Two of their NHL Eastern Conference Semifinal playoff series. We’ve also left feeling a lot worse (at least some of us). But this is the first time since Game Five of the 2009 Semifinal Series against the Pittsburgh Penguins that we haven’t known if it was the last time we’ll leave Verizon Center until the fall. I realized this as my friend Daniel that sits next to us uttered an expletive and hoped out of his seat and down the stairs before I had a chance to open my camera bag when Vincent Lecavalier scored the overtime game winner. I didn’t have the time to process that thought last night with the subsequent events of the evening, but it’s hit me pretty hard today. I have no fear. Alex Ovechkin said that the Capitals will win two in Tampa. Since I’ve got nothing else, I’ll take it.
More thoughtful thinking stuff can be found in the usual places like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, On Frozen Blog, and Ed Frankovic. I still can’t get enough of the Capital Outsider box score…it’s just missing “Fire, fire, fire.”
My photos are here and on flickr.
The Eastern Conference Semifnals began with a dud for the Washington Capitals when they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2. I’ve been trying,but I just can’t find anything to say that isn’t being said better by others like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, and Ed Frankovic. At least there’s some humor in the Capitals Outsider box score.
I only have a few photos here and on flickr, but they tell the story.
The Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers for the fourth time in five games to win their NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals playoff series yesterday by a score of 3-1. Who the Capitals will play next is still to be determined as all the other Eastern Conference series are still underway. Watching the game was something of an odd experience for me as I was lost in a fog of allergies, a head cold, and medicines to fight them both off. The fog was so thick that I completely missed the Rangers scoring their goal in the waning moments of the game. I’m also unsure whether it was my condition or if this vibe actually existed, but it seemed like the Capitals and the Verizon Center faithful took a big step forward in this victory by acting like we’ve all been here before.
Two years ago, when Sergei Fedorov scored late in the third period of game seven against the Rangers, there was huge release of massive pent up longing from the crowd as it began to look like the Capitals were going to win their first playoff series since 1998. It was a first. It was new. It’s nice that the Capitals won this time, but we’ve won before, recently, yet failed to get much further. It’s great that “we are louder,” but there is still more to do. This time, it felt like there was recognition that this was only of many hard steps between the regular season and the end of the second season. With so many steps towards maturity that the Capitals have taken in the past seven months, this can only be a good thing.
Read more about the game at the regular places like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, and The Examiner (McNally). Check out my photos below or on flickr…and also check out more photos by @ikeastan on flickr and @Piratical_Turk‘s gallery.