Thursday, May 14, 2009
Crosby vs. Ovechkin
Game, set, match. Sidney Crosby reigns supreme. In what was supposed to be a Game 7 for the ages was over in the first when the Penguins scored 2 goals in 8 seconds to stun the Cap faithful. The series was awesome. Crosby and Ovechkin trading hat tricks in Game 2, or the OT thrillers in game 5 & 6. The top two players in the world trading hits, blow for blow. The Caps going into the Igloo and winning Game 6 on the road to force Game 7. Then we have Game 7. This was supposed to be Ovechkins night. Home ice advantage, having momentum from a Game 6 OT win, the crowd decked out in red and in a frenzy before the face off. Ovechkin had a break-away early in the game that was denied by Fleury. If that goes in, this game may take on an entirely different complexion. Instead, Fleury flashed the leather, and Crosby scored a few minutes later to get the Pens going. Varlamov is a rookie and perhaps too much was asked of him. He looked VERY average at times in this series, but those Penguin forwards can make alot of goalies look average. The Capitals should have realized they needed help in net when Jose Theodre changed his name to Jose "Three or more". Pittsburgh came to play, the Caps didn't.
For the sake of the NHL, this going 7 games and the stars playing phenomenal, was as good as it could get for 6 games. Back and forth, blown leads, physical play, OT winners. All the components of an exciting series. If the NHL had their choice though, I think they would have preferred if the Caps went through. Some will argue that the Pens are the better choice for the NHL, the greatness that is Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. A two headed monster of talent not seen shared by teammates since Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux. But the NHL already has the Pittsburgh market cornered because of those names that I just mentioned. Washington DC on the other hand is NOT a hockey town, but is quickly becoming one. Having the most dynamic player in the game will do that for a city. A deep run to the Stanley Cup finals would have been more beneficial for the NHL had it occurred in DC. That being said, the Penguins aren't a bad option. And now with the Bruins out of the way, the Penguins become the favorite in the East. Not to take ANYTHING away from Cam Ward and the Hurricanes who have blazed a trail through their opponents for the better part of 3 months now. We could be looking at a re-match from last year, Pittsburgh and Detroit. The NHL loves dynasties, but loves an underdog even more. That re-match would be good for the game and if anyone is going to knock off the Wings, Crosby and Co. are the team for the job.