When the playoffs began, many teams were being under looked. Teams like the Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, and the Washington Capitals weren’t really given much of an opportunity at success, now all three of these teams have a great opportunity at possibly winning the whole thing. The Coyotes and the Kings have already earned their opportunity at the NHL’s final four. The only remaining series that is currently taking place is the New York Rangers vs. the Washington Capitals.
As the second season began, experts started to write off the Capitals as they found themselves struggling to get into the playoffs. Not only did they limp into the playoffs, they also had to go up against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins. With an already large task at hand, the Caps also had another huge issue to deal with, that issue? Who will be in the net as the goaltender? Star goalie Tomas Vokoun went down with a groin injury, the team suddenly had a serious problem that they needed to deal with. Backup goalie Michal Neuvirth was called upon to be the goalie for the playoffs. However the Capitals suffered more bad news as Neuvirth went down with a lower body injury as well, as Panthers Marco Sturm was skating at crashed into Neuvirth. With both goalies down the team turned to Braden Holtby. With all the pressure suddenly turned towards the goalie, Holtby stepped up as he continued to put out All-Star performances against the Bruins. With Holtby looking like an experienced vet on the ice, the Capitals were able to pick up the energy from Braden, as the team went onto win game 7 with an overtime goal from Joel Ward.
With the newfound goalie, the Capitals now had to go up against the number one seed in the east, and the team that was favored to represent the east in the Stanley Cup finals, the New York Rangers. The Capitals and Rangers series has definitely been one to watch. These two teams have been putting everything on the line, as the games have been exciting from start to finish. A lot of people were thinking that the Holtby magic would come to an end as the Rangers just had too much offensive fire power. With the series now at game seven, it has been just the opposite. Holty has helped keep the Capitals in this series with tremendous performances, including game three, where Holtby stopped 47 shots before eventually allowing the game winning goal in the third overtime.
The Caps are definitely survivors as they were able to defeat the Bruins in seven games. They now have a fantastic opportunity to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals tonight as they will take on the Rangers in the 7th game of the series in the famous Madison Square Garden.
Even though I am a huge Panther fan, I am pulling for the Caps to win tonight’s game. Even though are our rival, they representing not only the Panthers, but also the Southeast Division. With that being said, I believe that the Capitals will find a way to win tonight’s game. The Capitals stars such as Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom will find a way to get it done. I also see Braden Holtby having a fantastic game, as he has the chance to not only send the Caps to the Eastern Finals for the first time since the 97-98 season, but he can also solidify himself as star goalie for the Capitals.
It isn’t even a question that hockey fans across the country will be tuning into tonight’s game. Look for Alex Ovechkin to come out and have a huge game. No one has a bigger chip on their shoulder like the one on Ovi’s. The two time MVP has failed to get past the semifinals during his career. Ovechkin knows that tonight’s game could possibly be the biggest game of his life.
Tonight’s game is surely going to be an interesting one. I am picking the Capitals to win in a quick, fast paced and physical game. The game will be close, however the Capitals will win, with the final score being 3-2.
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Tags: Alexander Ovechkin Alexander Semin Boston Bruins Braden Holtby Florida Panthers Joel Ward Los Angeles Kings Marco Sturm Michal Neuvirth New York Rangers Nhl Playoffs Nicklas Backstrom Phoenix Coyotes Tomas Vokoun Washington Capitals