There’s something really cruel about hopes soaring high like eagles and then being shot down by a jet plane piloted by Corey Perry. That’s not a great metaphor, but I’m not even all the way into my first cup of coffee, so it will have to do.
Game 1: Capitals v Rangers
Final Score: Caps 3 – Rangers 4
Series: Tied 3-3
At the start of this game, everything was coming up Rangers. After all, they were playing desperate hockey, trying to extend their season, and no person better personified this than Chris “My Aesthetic is Supervillain” Kreider, who scores just 40 seconds into the game on a nifty backhander after streaking down the ice to beat all of Washington’s D to the net.
While shots were almost even in the first period, Washington looked completely lost, and at the very end of the 1st, Brouwer took a dumb roughing penalty on Hagelin that sent New York to the power play with only 4 seconds left in the period. But I mean, what can anyone do with 4 seconds?
Well, Chris “It’s Me Again” Kreider can score a goal, apparently. After review, it was determined he scored with 0.3 in the period and the Caps march off to the dressing room down 2-0.
Man, I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall in that dressing room, because whatever impassioned speech Ovi gave was made of magic, and the Capitals came out to dominate the second, out shooting the Rangers 18-4, and out possessing them with 71% CF% (all situations). Despite the flurry of activity, Lundqvist remained a beast in net, and the only goal he let in was this ugly shovel from Jason “Not A Mythological Creature” Chimera to cut the lead to one.
Listen, I know I have bitched hard about this series, and how boring it has been, and how literally everything has been like 1 goal, and as a Stars fan, I’m just not used to that. WELL. WELL. THIS GAME. This is what I wanted.
You see, in the 3rd period McDonagh got wind of Ovi’s great intermission rally cry and was like “I’m going to one up that Russian bastard.” The Rangers came out of the tunnel raring to go, and Rick “I Think I Can, I Think I Can” Nash gets his first goal of the series in just 54 seconds.
But the Rangers aren’t done yet – Dan “Team Dad” Boyle scores on a slapshot just 4 minutes later, putting New York up 4-1. Stick a fork in ‘em, the Caps are done.
Or are they?
In probably the most critical goal of the series, Kuznetsov flicks one right past Lundqvist and breathes life into the Washington offense.
What did the Rangers do? They sat back and defended their net, blocking 17 shots this period. It was ridiculous, considering Lundqvist is one of the best goalies in the playoffs. The Caps outshot the Rangers 10-4 in this period, and had an insane All Situation CF% of 79%.
Still, with time winding down, the Caps need to make something happen, and who else would you expect it be than Joel “This Is How You Spell Clutch” Ward.
With 3 minutes to go, the Caps throw everything they’ve got at the net, and the Rangers look like they’re killing penalties, when the refs blow what could’ve been the biggest call of the playoffs – they nab James “It Wasn’t Me” Sheppard for Delay of Game, but the puck very obviously deflected off the glass. Talk about wanting that coach’s challenge. The clock winds down with the Caps playing 6-on-4, and in the last seconds of regulation, it looks like Ovechkin is going to do the impossible and tie it up, but Henrik “Bow Down Bitches” Lundqvist stands tall, earning the win (and the Broadway Hat).
What We Learned: GAME SEVEN!!!!!!!!
Also, the Rangers are trying to make Bowling For Goalies a team sport.
Game 2: Fucks vs Flames
Final Score: ASSHOLES (OT)
Series: FUCK EVERYTHING
It’s no secret that I was rooting for the Flames this series, but I also didn’t expect them to do it. Well, the Flames love to toy with our emotions. See, while they did play some distressingly bad hockey early in the 1st, allowing Getzlaf some prime scoring chances, Kesler put the Flames on a 4 minute power play by high-sticking Sean “Blood Tastes Like Pennies” Monahan in the mouth.
Jiri “Who Dat” Hudler scores on the power play, and the Flames go up 1, and everyone’s hopes start bubbling. They can do this, can’t they?
I spent most of the first intermission trying to cope with all my feelings by making up goal celebration catch phrases a la Patrick Kane’s “SHOWTIME”.
The second starts and the Flames are literally being manhandled. They barely touch the puck all game, and in the 2nd, they only have 26% CF% in all situations. Joe “Never Met A Penalty He Didn’t Like” Colborne takes a holding minor to put the Ducks on the power play, and Ryan “I’m Definitely Someone’s Asshole Friend” Kesler uses the man advantage to tie up the game.
Everyone’s hopes deflate like an old balloon.
A MINUTE LATER JOHNNY “SWEET CHILD OF MINE” GAUDREAU SCORES ON A FANCY PANTS WRISTER.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to let that joke die.
There was another Ducks scare in the second, but of a much different variety – Corey Perry gets hit by Stajan and his leg/knee just twists in ways bodies aren’t meant to twist. He screams, clutches his leg and then is helped off the ice by a teammate. Everyone’s predicting he’s done for the season….for about five minutes. When he returns to the ice. While I’m glad he’s ok (no, I wouldn’t wish injury even on Corey Perry), I suspect he’s probably not 100%.
Of course the Flames are their own worst enemy so stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Mikael “We Were All Rooting for You” Backlund takes a penalty at the literal end of the period by slashing Ryan Kesler.
The Ducks start the 3rd on the power play, and you guessed it – they score. The rest of the third is the Ducks owning the ice, with Karri “Don’t Forget the Second R” Ramo saving the Flames’ hides the best he can. Given the Ducks had 47 shots, it’s amazing that the game wasn’t a complete blowout.
The Flames hold on to push the game to OT, but it doesn’t take long for Corey “I Hate Joy and Fun” Perry to shovel in a rebound and end the game.
The Flames are extinguished.
(See what I did there?)
What We Learned: The Ducks are the bitter enemy of anyone who enjoys an underdog story, and must be crushed. Also, next round will be rife with jokes about children’s movies. I’m kind of excited for that.