Are changes coming for the Washington Capitals?
Rookie Fan vs. Veteran Fan: Game 7 Edition
One of the major story lines in the lead up to tonight’s game seven has been the Caps’ bad track record in these winner-take-all matches, and the apprehension with which fans approach an experience that, in all likelihood, brings back terrible, heart-wrenching memories.
So I called upon my friend David the Rookie Fan, despite the fact that he trounced me last time we went head to head and I’ve been trying to pretend he doesn’t exist. This is David’s first game seven, while I know the team is 1-3 in its last four of these.
Question: Will the Caps pull off a win in tonight’s game seven against the Bruins?
Elimination games are rough. As a Padres fan, I’m still angry about Game 163, in which Matt Holiday failed to touch home plate on the winning run. So my expectations, generally speaking, are tempered when it comes to really feeling optimistic about one game determining everything. That said, since my Padres have been underwhelming (to say the least- and I promise, that’s my last baseball reference), the Capitals have been giving me hope. The Caps have kept Boston’s biggest performers under control, though the resurgence of Tyler Seguin in game 6 makes me nervous.
Here’s why I like the Caps in Game 7: the shot blocking in front of Holtby. To me, this tells a positive story for the Caps. I have heard two differing theories, though. On the one hand, more shots blocked is bad, because it indicates more time spent in the defensive zone. I prefer to subscribe to the theory that blocked shots are indicative of a willingness to get dirty, of wanting it more, and, in this case, of taking pressure off of the young, spectacular goalie in his first playoff series. The Caps seem to know what Holtby is: a young, talented, but ultimately inexperienced goalie, who can still be beat by some of the league’s best. This game will come down to the goaltending, and I trust Holtby’s youth over Thomas’s experience and tired legs.
Caps, 3-2, in a very stressful overtime. We’ll all be cheering for Ottawa come Thursday.
I hope you all enjoyed the part where David drew a parallel to a West Coast baseball team. I know I did.
The fact is, a lot of David’s analysis is good. He’s right about keeping Boston’s regular season producers under control, and he’s definitely right about blocked shots, at least in the first couple games. I hope he’s right about Holtby – if there’s one benefit to being 22 as opposed to 38, it should be that a series like this doesn’t take as much of a toll on you. Thomas’ style doesn’t exactly economize energy, so I have to think he’s feeling it by now, mentally and physically.
But there’s another reason I think the Caps will pull this off, and it has to do with the psychology of all of this. While Caps fans being terrified can’t be encouraging to our players, there is reason to think Boston’s fans are even more downtrodden. With the Red Sox scraping the bottom of MLB (look David, I can talk about baseball, too!) and the Patriots coming off another Super Bowl loss, Boston’s superstitious fans fear another collapse. With the game being played in Boston, that apprehension will be palpable to the Bruins.
The Caps will win. And unlike David, who wants to torture you, I think we’ll win in regulation. But if you think there’s nothing you can do to support the Caps, you’re wrong! Don’t underestimate the value of tweeting your support for the team @WashCaps or directly to your favorite player.
We agree, but I never miss a chance to win at something. Vote now!
Will the Caps pull off a win in tonight's game seven against the Bruins?
- I'm with David the Rookie Fan - Something about Seguin and blocked shots and something called "Padres." (52%, 23 Votes)
- I'm with Nicole the Veteran Fan - It's all mental and DC fans will lose that race to the bottom. Go us! (48%, 21 Votes)
Total Voters: 44