Game 1 Reactions and Game 2’s Recipe for Success
Now that Game 1 is over, the Playoffs have officially started and the jitters and butterflies are hopefully gone for good.
While Game 1 ended up being a loss for the Caps, I still feel like it was a win for the Caps mentally. After the shakey season they just finished, it would have been more than easy to go into enemy territory and get rocked by the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Instead, the Caps stood strongly, even when short handed on three different occasions, and battled this one out right through the end of regulation and into overtime.
I hate to make excuses, but with the circumstances of this particular Game 1, the chances of the home team losing a game like that are very low. What more can you ask of the Caps? All it really came down to was one shot.
Well then again, there actually might be a few thinks that you could ask for more of from the Caps.
First, the Caps need more shots. Much more. Yes, I know it’s hard to generate shots when you’re on the penalty kill, but you still need more than 7 shots through two periods if you expect to make it out of the first found, let alone win the Cup.
Second, the Caps need much more from their star players. Out of 17:34 of ice time, Ovechkin only registered a single shot. Even though he did rack up 7 hits, Ovechkin still needs to contribute much more on offense. It’s basically a known fact that the success of the team relies on the success of Ovechkin. If he’s not scoring goals, don’t expect the Caps to be winning too many games. With this said, it is positive to point out the fact that in 38 playoff games played, Ovechkin has 50 points (25 goals and 25 assists). Let’s hope he registers point 51 Saturday afternoon in front of the Massholes of Boston.
Third, the Caps could benefit from more pressure on Tim Thomas. Hendricks helped decently piss off Thomas by helping knock off his lid, but more can definitely be done. And it can be done legally too. With a goalie as good as Tim Thomas, you have to do more than take fancy shots. Pressure him and piss him off.
Another thing that the Caps could benefit from is more hitting. Yes, they did have 29 hits in Game 1, but that still is less than the Bruins’ 40. Goals are obviously what’s most important here, but the Caps have to continue to keep up in the hit department with Boston if they don’t want to get pushed around too much. It’s very important to be assertive. The Caps must keep up the hard hitting to keep the Bruins on their toes, especially now that they have a 1-0 series lead.
The last thing that I think the Caps need more of is goals. I know that I’m being captain obvious here, but you can’t win if you don’t score. Also, I know that Game 1 was a bit of a different story because one team had to get the shutout after going into OT 0-0, but the Caps can’t afford to have another 1-0 type of game (well, not the losing kind that is). Mentally, the Caps cannot let Tim Thomas and the rest of the Bruins get in the zone. Score. Some. Goals.
Enough of what the Caps need more of. One thing that they could use less of is stupid penalties. Boarding by Wideman, puck over the glass by Brouwer, and that silly roughing penalty by Holtby? Come on guys. Play smart here. More time on the PK means less time on offense.
In the past I would have been much more pissed off by the outcome of Game 1. Now, this might be because I’m used to the Caps losing those kinds of games after the season they just finished. However, I think that I’m not really mad because I feel like the Caps still have just as much of a chance at winning the series as the Bruins do. Sure the Bruins have the 1-0 series lead, but things are just getting heated up.
This is a seven game series. If the Caps lose again in Game 2, then start to worry a bit. But for now, the only thing you should really be worrying about is if Pierre McGuire will doing Saturday’s game or not.
Posted on April 14, 2012, in Banter from the Nosebleeds, Nosebleeder's Breakdown and tagged Alex Ovechkin, Boston Bruins, Braden Holtby, Dennis Wideman, Game 1, Game 2, Matt Hendricks, NHL, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tim Thomas, Troy Brouwer, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.