Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cinco de la Serie (or Игра пять)

When playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs, game five has never been kind to the Capitals. Never. Nada. Not once have the Capitals won a game five against the black and gold.

But then again, not once had a team in the NHL been DFL in the league at Thanksgiving, yet come back to win their division. Never had an NHL defenseman scored a goal in eight straight games. The number of Capitals teams in franchise history to score 108 points? Nada, until this year.

Under Bruce Boudreau, the impossible always seems possible with this group of mostly young men. Yes, they screw up at times -- sometimes the screw up is more like "epic fail" -- but overall, this is most certainly the best Capitals team the NHL has ever seen.

Yet, at times, it seems as if they are playing against more than just the opposing team. Even Washington GM George McPhee commented on the officiating this past week after game three's 7-2 power play disparity, even while the players themselves kept their comments fairly neutral.

The emotions are running high, especially in light of the abuse rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov has been taking in both the series against the Rangers and so far against the Penguins. It's understandable if it's difficult to keep retaliation off the mind, but frustration against constant penalty killing and lack of attack time shouldn't play into the game as much as it has. Game four was a bit more even in terms of calls, but still a lot of clutching and grabbing of the interference variety was ignored.

Game five starts in just about 200 minutes. Here's to overcoming obstacles and doing the impossible.

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