Thursday nights hockey game was a big game. Not only for our local NHL team, but for the city as a whole. Up until puck drop, local media, fans, and haters were all talking about the Caps inability to show up in the playoffs. The Curse was being brought up every day it seemed.
Less than 10 minutes into game 1, the Caps were down 2-0. The phone booth was silent. A calm sea of red surrounded the ice. Nerves at an all time high. Lopsided this was not. The Caps came out sloppy. Poor puck handling on defense led to a team riddled with youth and inexperience outshoot the caps 10-3 in the second period.
This rang all too familiar to the loyalists. To see a team sit atop the league all year only to come out flat in the playoffs and drag us all through another upsetting series. But luck decided to sneak into the Verizon Center. Earlier in the week, LP, one of the DTC four, said on our podcast that he hoped for a slow start. We all attacked him right away. Why would ANYONE wish that on their team? The answer is simple. Nothing comes easy and don’t be cocky.
The Caps needed to have their backs against the wall. Even coach Trotz felt the same way. That bad start was important. Our team and our fans need to understand in the playoffs, no game is guaranteed. Thankfully we came out victorious. Thankfully Tom Wilson had THE SHOT OF THE YEAR to seal the game and send us to game two hyped and ready for another battle. Thankfully Mike Babcock had swallow his word about who is or is not of concern to his team.
Tonight’s game will be another challenge. The top line needs to perform and be more impactful. Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie need to settle into a groove. It’s too early in the series to question how the top line performs. These are big time players, and there is no better time to shine than in game two.