Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The Washington Capitals took advantage of home ice thus far in this series, winning both games at Verizon Center to take a 2-o series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Stanley Cup Playoff Eastern Conference semi final match up. Tonight, the series shifts up to the Igloo in steel town, amid a spate of activity from both clubs. From the Penguins side, the Penguins are now starting to complain more. This time about the Capitals tactics on face offs, setting picks and / or interfering with their players, and also about the curvature of Alex Ovechkin's stick. Concerns are being raised from multiple sources with the Penguins orgainsation.
On the Capitals side of things, the Caps are dealing with some injury issues. Apparently Eric Fehr did not skate this morning, and will not be in the line up for tonight's game. In his place will likely be NHL veteran and Caps center Michael Nylander, who has been a healthy scratch for the first two games of this series. John Erskine, who is nursing a lower body injury persumably from taking a hard shot to the leg in game one, will also likely sit out for the 2nd straghit game. Likely to be in his place will be either Karl Alzner, or Tyler Sloan, who made his first NHL playoff appearance in Monday nights game two victory, playing a great game and also picking up an assist on David Steckle's goal in the 2nd period.
The Caps beat writer, Tarik El-Bashir filed this video report covering both sides on his blog, Capitals Insider:
And so it continues tonight. The much hyped, epic battle of the NHL's two top superstars, Alex Ovechkin and Sydney Crosby once again takes center stage with the Capitals up by two games once again. As I am sure ALL Caps fans, both long time such as myself, and new alike, are now well aware of the Capitals playoff history Vs the Penguins. As I sated in this post, the Capitals have been up by two games on the Pens multiple times in the past, and just like the Rangers did when they were up 2-0 and 3-1 over the Caps last round, the Caps folded to lose the series. Tonight is an extremely important point in this series, and may just go a long way to show just how far the Caps have come, and just how different of a team these "new Caps" are compared to those great prennial playoff appearing, but also choking Caps teams of old. The Capitals must take some pages and some notes from the past, in order to look towards the future here. To win this game tonight would go along way in proving to themselves, and thier loyal fans, and the rest of the world that this Capitals team is not only as good as those of old, but is in fact better. It is my hope that after tonight, those old "choking dogs" ghosts that have plagued the Capitals for much of thier collective playoff career. From what I have seen thus far this playoff season, that little Journey song I was humming a while back, seems to be creaping into my thoughts more and more....
..."Don't stop, Believin"...