Game Seven coming up.

Friendly reminder: Cap tip to The Footy Blog from whom I pinched this game recap format.

Game in a Sentence:
This game entertained, regardless of total goals scored, and ended with the Capitals holding on for a victory and sending us back to MSG for game seven.

Observations:

- This game had much better pace to it than many people will give it credit for. Great passing at both ends of the rink, good speed through the neutral zone and plenty of chances. You may not have been entertained but I was and that’s good enough for me. I’m selfish that way.

- I’m going to go ahead and cite this blog’s editor on my thoughts on Ovechkin tonight. I noticed him everytime he was on the ice, he played good two-way hockey and scored on a beautiful shot from the slot, thereby necessitating the question: “Who left him open in the slot?”

- The Rangers effort level didn’t seem to be as high as we’ve seen throughout the playoffs. Maybe it was just as simple as playing on the road, but the Blueshirts just didn’t have that jump you like to see from a team that is trying to close out a series.

- On the note of effort level, the Capitals played like the team you thought was going to bury the other for good. Lots of speed off the opening faceoff, hard on the forecheck, etc. The Pierre McGuire “want factor” would have been off the charts had someone followed through on the formula and kept track.

- Again, what a rocket from OV

- We need to create some sort of meta-crease around the crease, at both ends of the rink, and keep track of who fills it the most. It seems to me that whoever clogs that area the most is most likely to win in the postseason. Garbage goals and blocked shots pile up and turn into wins. Body count translates into both. They say that whoever controls the middle four squares on a chess board is most likely to win a game, this has become the middle four squares on a sheet of ice. Not good for style points but we don’t keep track of those.

- Jason Chimera was a five star agitator out there. He seemed to have a Ranger after him on every shift and put in quality minute down low in the offensive and defensive zones. It’s ironic to say this given that this guy used to play for Washington but Chimera has been the Caps equivalent to Boyd Gordon in this series.

- John Tortorella has absolutely zero time for your questions.

On a serious note, grow up Torts. I’m not one to suggest that those in hockey “owe” the media anything because, quite frankly, I’m not sure you can get anything of value out of a player or coach while they’re still in that mode, but that’s just pathetic. Answer the questions and stop acting like you’re better than everyone else in there. You were part of the media during your coaching unemployment and you will be unemployed again at some point in the future. These people aren’t beneath your ability to give well thought out answers so quit pretending. Grow up.

- On a non-serious note, I think a Torts sound board may be in order.

- How was that not goaltender interference on the Rangers goal? Hagelin had Holtby’s pad in between his legs in the crease. Baffling.

- Henrik Lundqvist had a gem of a game. The Caps really could have run away with this one but Lundqvist was the only Ranger who seemed to be on top of things tonight. A couple huge saves on cross crease passes really preserved any hope of a Rangers comeback which, unfortunately for New York, didn’t come through.

- Braden Holtby has to be up there with Mike Smith and Jonathan Quick as guys who are show stoppers by now. I’d be stunned if he wasn’t starting for the Caps on opening day next season and it remains to be seen how far he can take them still. I wouldn’t put it past the Capitals to take home a Cup this year. You read that right.

- Game Seven goes Saturday night in New York City. What else could you ask for?

My Three Stars:

1) Braden Holtby
2) Alex Ovechkin
3) Jason Chimera