Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Caps take 2-0 series lead

Feel free to caption that how you wish, the possibilities are endless.

This is isn't exactly what we had in mind for game two of this series. We truly felt the Pens were the better team and would take game two to even up the series heading back to Pittsburgh. Not what happened unfortunately.

The Pens once again were up on the scoreboard first with a goal from none other than Sidney Crosby. And on the power play! Wow! The first goal is huge. You feel good. The captain came through once again. The Pens were flying. Things were looking good. Fleury made some nice saves, the Pens had some nice chances. One goal went in and the Pens were heading into the locker room with a 1-0 lead after the first period.

It wouldn't take long for everyone's favorite shooter to tie up the score. Where did the Ovie go who was playing horribly sloppy in the first? Or the one that wasn't really showing up for the playoffs? We were allowed to hope he wasn't going to show up. With a little less than half the period left to play, guess who, would put the Pens up once again 2-1. Someone named Crosby definitely showed up. But before you could really relax (who are we kidding, you weren't going to relax) the Caps would tie the score at 2 with a goal by Steckle.

About halfway through the third period we were wondering if this was going to head into overtime, where things obviously become a lot more nerve wracking. But then Ovie decided to break that tie with a little over seven minutes left in the game on a Caps power play. Four seconds into a Caps power play. Yeah, that hurts. But wait! Ovie wasn't done burning the Pens just yet, he decided to add another goal with just over four and half minutes left for a hat trick to make the score 4-2. After what seemed like an eternity waiting for all the hats to be picked up, we watched the Pens give a admirable attempt at scoring two goals with about four minutes left. With 30.4 seconds left, Sid would score his third goal for a hat trick in which one hat was thrown to the ice. Thank you Crosby fan, you made our night a little better. The Pens would fail to score another goal to tie the game before time ran out. Caps win 4-3, lead the series 2-0.

- Ovie looked crappy early on. He looked lost and fanned on shots, missed passes. What happened? The Pens need to do the same thing and wake up.

- Is Ovie's hair red? On Versus someone mentioned his new dye job and we were confused. Then we saw his interview after the game and it looked red. No, it was red. Like the lady that used to live across the street from us red. Not that that helps you any. Sorry.

- Did Sidney Crosby come to play or what? His teammates need to follow his example because all of those goals he scored were right on the doorstep. What is there not to understand about that? Get bodies to the net! Get pucks to the net! If even one or two of his teammates would do something, the Pens wouldn't be down 2-0.

- Where is Malkin? We saw him get a nice takeaway and hit Ovie once and then he took a stupid penalty that led to a Caps goal. We're not going to be too hard on him because let's face it, if his name wasn't Malkin, people wouldn't be throwing him under the bus. We know, he's the leading scorer in the league and MVP candidate and this is the worst time for him to not show up, but everyone has a bad game or two. We don't see anyone else stepping up.

- Is Varlamov really that good? Or are the Pens doing their best to miss the net? The kid is obviously good or no matter how hard the Pens tried to suck, they'd have buried more pucks into his net. But is he as good as he looks? We're not ready to say yes or no yet.

- People love to throw Fleury under the bus and say he sucks because Varlamov is "outplaying" him. We don't know. Both have made awesome saves, several last night, but the Pens being down 2-0 is not Fleury's fault. Especially last night when you leave Ovie wide open. Seriously, someone cover him. Please. And yes, we'll even praise Ovie here, he probably has the best shot in the league. Cover him!

- Fleury's bouncing the puck off of his stick a couple times before catching it with his glove after a shot was so cool to us. Maybe because we're uncoordinated. 

- Did the better team really win these first two games? We aren't ready to say yes. People are throwing the Pens under the bus, you'll see more about that below, but what are the Caps really doing? No, the Pens did not play their best hockey by any means, especially when you have one person doing all of your scoring, but what can you say about the Caps? Good goaltending and Ovie. Woo hoo. We truly believe both of these first two games would have been the Pens' if someone other than Crosby had stepped up. The Caps last night had Ovie and one person step up to score and that is what made the difference. If the rest of the Pens can't see that we don't know what to say.

- Did anyone like Ovie's Oscar winning performance last night? What a way to buy a call. Terrible. Sidney has the diving reputation but Ovie pulls BS like that? We think you've got the wrong guy. And Doc's quote on that play was awesome, something along the lines of: even though the sign says no salesmen, sometimes the doorbell rings anyway. Nice.

We're like a lot of other people who read comments and whatnot on the internet. The overall feeling we got was 99% negative. Now are we happy that the Pens are down two games to none? No, obviously not. But this is a best of SEVEN series and there's a lot of hockey left to be played. This is no time to give up on the Pens, no one said this series was going to easy. The power play has been bad, yes. Last night's defense on Ovie was bad. Did they play 60 minutes? No, probably not. But did they get blown out? No. Were the Caps all that great? No. Both teams had one player who showed up, the two superstars, Sid and Ovie. Who else would you have thought? If Sid continues to play the way he's been playing, the Pens still have a chance at this series. If he can get someone to join him in his fight, Malkin maybe, we like their chances of winning this series. Yeah, you heard us right. We're not throwing everyone under the bus and freaking out. Being down two games sucks, but it is by no means the end of the series. How many times have we watched the Pens battle back? Does the end of the season, you know the push to even make the playoffs at all, ring a bell? We're going back to Pittsburgh and anything can happen at home. A couple of guys wake-up and step-up and things could be heading in the other direction. The Pens need us more than ever, so let's do this thing.

And remember:

We have some Versus hockey stuff to give away! We'll randomly select a few winners to receive a Versus hockey merchandise pack. If you're interested in entering please send us an e-mail at faceoffsandfirstdowns @ gmail.com with GIVEAWAY as the subject. Please include your full name and address where it can be sent. We'll pick the winners Wednesday at NOON so please send your e-mail before then. Thanks!

Go Pens!

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