Caps take 1-0 Series Lead on Pens

Yessir, believe it or not, I’m writin’ about hockey! I just caught game 1 of the Washington vs. Pittsburgh NHL semifinal playoff series, and wow what a game! Very exciting from start to finish.

The hype goin’ into the series was on Ovechkin vs. Crosby and they didn’t disappoint early. Crosby gets the first goal of the series with a sweet move across the middle and against the grain; and Ovechkin got an easy tie breakin’ power play goal later on in the first.

In the second, Simeon Varlamov, the goalie for the Capitals, allowed a goal off a one-timer from Mark Eaton. The 21-year-old Hershey Bear watched the puck all the way into his glove, but it glanced off and into the net for a garbage goal allowed. However, later on in the period, he stopped what should have been a sure goal from Crosby on a 2-on-1 break. Reachin’ back across his body and stretchin’ his stick back into the crease, Varlamov magically snagged the puck a millisecond before it crossed the line for what was one of the most amazing saves I’ve ever seen in my life. Slow motion replays confirmed that the puck never crossed and solidified the save as the best of this year’s playoffs so far.

Other than the power play goal, Ovechkin never had an easy look in the game. This is a testament to the Penguins defense, particularly the play of Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang. However, the dude is all over the ice with huge hits and such an aggresive attacking style that even without scoring he makes the Capitals’ offense better. I was particularly impressed with the Caps’ power play stopping ability as the Pens didn’t have a goal in 6 power play attempts.

If the Caps can get a handle on their dumb penalties and turnovers, they should advance in the playoffs IMHO. They’re the better team. This series has an air of the Bulls vs. Celtics, Jordan vs. Bird series of my childhood. I’m not a huge hockey fan, but watchin’ Ovechkin is temptin’ me. I don’t know how to describe it other than game one was electric. Whether you’re a hockey fan or not, everyone should treat themselves to watchin’ this series if you can!

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