Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
Game One of the conference semifinals was a bore. Also: a loss. But the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers brought a lot more oomph to Game Two. It was a hard-hitting, higher shooting, kind-of-awesome affair. And despite any controversies we may drudge up here or complaints we may file, the only thing that matters right now are results.
At 12:20 of the 2nd game of the 2nd series, player number 22 crashed the net. Yep, Mike Knuble got the game’s first goal capping off some good movement from Joel Ward and Keith Aucoin. Then… well it’s hard to explain, but we’ll try: the puck rolled over Carlson’s stick, setting up Kreider for a breakaway that Holtby defused. Beagle moved the puck up to Chimera, who dumped it to Matt Hendricks, who scored a no-look goal*. (Phew!)
Brad Richards scored a 4-on-4 goal as neither Brouwer or Wideman could catch him in transition, and the second period went scoreless.
The Rangers tied it up with a powerplay goal off Carlson’s back halfway through the third period. Carlson reversed that by drawing an interference penalty from Richards, which Alex Ovechkin instantly transmogrified into the game-winning goal. Caps beat Rags 3-2.
Series record: Rangers 1, Capitals 1
No one has seen Dale Hunter’s bookshelf. We don’t really know how wise he is. All we know is that he doesn’t articulate his strategies in front of the press, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
He was a professional athlete of the highest order. If you don’t think that requires intelligence, then you don’t have much intelligence either.
And at this point, we care about results above all else. The long-term predictive value of team fundamentals mean astonishingly little to me compared to W‘s. Whether Dale Hunter wants to play three-dimensional chess with Tortorella or just fart on a snare drum, so long as he brings the wins we’re totes cool.
Say what you will of Alex Ovechkin’s ice time. I care not one iota. Look at that shot total. Look at the number under the G column on the stat sheet. Those are results. Results like that have a semantic density so high that their gravitational force knocks over time-on-ice like a houseplant.
The Capitals now head back to DC with the series tied. These next two games at Verizon Center are unspeakably important, but we’re gonna try and speak about ’em anyway.
We need loudness. We need cleverness. We need wholesome, fun-for-the-whole-family taunting of the Rangers. And we need unconditional, fury-unleashing, red-rocking love for our Caps team.
If you’ve got a ticket, you’ve got a duty. Do your duty.
* UPDATE: Jason Chimera got credit for the second goal. I really don’t think he got a piece of it.
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