Halak’d! Habs Beat Caps 4-1. Series Goes to 7.

Halak's Glove Unstoppable.

The Washington Capitals have forgotten how to score. Except for Eric Fehr’s half-forgotten memory of a goal in the third period, the high-scoring Caps were completely impotent in their pathetic 4-1 loss to the Canadiens. You can chalk it up to Jaroslav Halak’s herculean 53-save night, the brownian motion of the Caps’ powerplay, or the ire of hockey gods at my shaving– it doesn’t matter. The Caps were found wanting in every metric.

We usually dedicate the segment of the game recap to highlights, but I can recall none tonight. This game was a 60-minute parade of sadness: the white team buzzing about sending ineffectual lobs at the net for King Kong Halak to swat casually. While the hockey tastemakers may spend the night picking players worthy of scorn, we’re going to cast a wide net. The whole of the Capitals roster failed to play up to level of the Habs.

Boo freaking hoo.

  • Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak‘s unholy pact with 7th-century Carpathian sorcerer Janko Nepomuk Draždiak seems to have paid off nicely as only one of the Caps FIFTY FREAKING FOUR shots passed him. There’s no way he could repeat this performance Wednesday Night. … ::gulps:: right?
  • Eric Fehr is the guy you want scoring the first Caps goal of every game, but that goal really should come before 55 minutes into regulation. We dig his 7 goals in 10 games against the Habs this year, but trying to further elaborate on it right now would be like watching a French movie without English subtitles.
  • If Boyd Gordon is so pimp, why did he play only 7:39?
  • Tripping and diving will never be coincident. If one happened, the other one did not.
  • That reminds me, God I hate Maxim Lapierre. I’m not sure why the Hockey Gods decided to reward his acts of cowardice (two unsportsmanlike minors for diving) tonight, but let’s look at this positively, I think I found a new bulls-eye for my dartboard.
  • This might be off tangent, but what the hell is wrong with Markov’s head here? His face looks like a fifth grader’s clay project that melted in the kiln.
  • The Capitals Powerplay is a mess. No wait, a mess is what’s in a baby’s diaper. This is a freaking disaster. In the regular season, the Caps #1 Rated Powerplay was 25.2%, a mere 3.4% better than the second place team, the Nads. Now, the Caps are mired in a 1 for 30 slump, which is 3.3% for those counting at home. The problem is that everyone’s pressing. Where is everyone’s confidence? Why does the regular season feel like it was 7 months ago? On the Caps wasted 5 on 3, no one was positioned right, and even though there were no passing lanes, Sasha Minor and Nicklas Backstrom tried to force the issue anyways. And that’s when I reached for the Bottle of Jack. The Canadiens clearly know what the Capitals are trying to do. How about we try something different? You know, get some guys in front of the net, screen the goalie and put a rebound home. What? That kind of goal is not pretty enough for this team? I’m sorry.

But have no fear Caps Fans. On SportsNite, Craig Laughlin declared that the Capitals need to “STAY THE COURSE.” Which is always what I want to hear when the Capitals’ Season of Destiny is headed straight towards the Cliffs of Insanity. But now, all we’re left with are questions. Should Theo start over Varly for Game 7? Should Flash be exiled to the Pressbox for his ghost-like play during this series? Will Alex Semin ever score a goal again?

We’ll let you guys debate those answers in the comments below. But at least the Habs have already jinxed themselves. Let’s hope it works. We’ll see you Wednesday.

And one last thing: Don’t. Shave. Your. Beards.

  • Melissa

    So you thought they were lacking something. Good, I’m not crazy. I read Boudreau’s comments on the game and from his angle, all seemed well. Don’t quite understand that one.

  • Kat

    Message to all the “Fans” bashing the team right now saying “it’s over, we’re done, lose lose, hate hate”: you aren’t a true fan. Be sad, be upset, but there’s a reason that series in the Playoffs go 7 games. Wednesday, yell your lungs out, push the team to victory, and party in the street after they win. If they lose, it’s gonna suck, but at least you supported them. (Plus they aren’t gonna lose.) Lets Go Caps!

  • http://danielpholt.tumblr.com danielpholt

    Flash if my favourite player but he’s been non existent in 6 games. Time to give him the media box treatment if you ask me. At least Semin looks capable of exploding with a goal or two.

    I really felt we would turn it around after the 2nd period. I mean, surely the guy can’t stand on his head like that again..right?

    Keep the faith, i’ll be watching live on Wednesday night, lets go caps.

  • CapsFan1975

    @DanielPHolt

    I’ll be watching live also. Maybe we’ll meet. Either celebrate or commiserate together.

  • http://make-lemons.com michelle

    “60-minute parade of sadness” – sums it up nicely

  • Caitlin

    Halak won that game for the Habs and kept them in it, it was like he had 8 arms. With 54 shots on goal this could have easily been a different game without Halak’s superb performance. I know BB and the boys will be able to get things rolling for game 7, somethings gonna give (and the real Alex Semin might make an appearance finally?).

    I also agree with Kat, there is one game left, support your team and don’t throw them under the bus, the Caps aren’t done yet!

  • mostholy2

    Given that this is the first time I’ve ever tried to grow a playoff beard and we are now again stuck in this game 7 situation I was considering shaving it.

    RMNB has convinced me to see this through the thick and thin and keep it on for as long as the ride lasts! We WILL win on Wednesday through sheer force of will, dedication, hard work and talent and move on to face the hated Flyers.

  • Hittman

    If I were Boudreau I would bring in Walker. I’d also kick Mike Green in the nuts for playing like a goddamn Mite. First thing you learn when you graduate from Mites is not to shoot the puck directly into the shin pads of the guy in front of you. Green does that probably 85% of the time.

  • http://twitter.com/dplusc21 dplusc21

    I’ve been going waay against the norm and rooting for the Caps here in Montreal…..so I NEED them to win. Not just for their reputation, but mine as well!!

    I’m not *too* worried though, I think they’ll bounce back in game 7.

    I love the Habs too, BUT this I know: Halak plays either REALLY well, or REALLY bad. I love the guy, but he’s not *always* this good…..

  • Rob

    Barry Melrose and Matthew Barnaby said after Game 2 that the Caps simply aren’t working hard enough, aren’t playing a full game and must tighten up their defense or it would be a short spring. While the defense has tightened up a bit, the hard work seems to still be missing.

    it’s very apparent to me that the style that was so successful in the regular season simply doesn’t work when the other team commits to playing suffocating defense first and foremost, is willing to block shots for as long as it takes, and counterpunch when the opportunity presents itself.

    The Caps have a very good chance to win game 7, and probably will because of the talent and home ice, but it shouldn’t be this close. Gabby is getting outcoached and his players are getting outworked.

  • http://deleted СашкаСемин

    game 7, MUST WIN!

  • http://capslove.wordpress.com/ Dazey2

    I think the Caps wanted to come home and win in front of their fans. Maybe they made a deal with Ted Leonsis to draw out the series to create more ticket and merchandise sales. Totally uncool and much too suspenseful. We should have taken care of the Habs in Game 5, so for Leonsis, we’d have secured more sales for Round Two!

  • Habs-been

    As a Montrealer, I gotta say…….”Wake up Caps !!!!” You were supposes to bury the Habs in 5 ! Start hitting! (Especially Lapierre) he needs a good beat down (coward with a Big Mouth who writes checks with his mouth that his a** can’t cash!)
    To all Caps fans (and Americans) I’m sorry for the A-holes in Mtl that boo your anthem. What can you expect from “peppers” ( I’ll describe what peppers are to those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, if u post and ask me)
    Last game was simply a goalie’s game, Mtl. had Halak, who stopped a lot of shots from the outside, and Varlamov who was off last night.
    You guys gotta come out hitting , fast and hard. Get in Halak’s face. I’m surprised Ovie couldn’t get around the traffic pylon (Gill). Weak side is left defence…(Hamrlik)
    Go Caps go !

  • BobbyG

    “Gabby is getting outcoached and his players are getting outworked.”

    I agree with Rob 100%. For hours after game 6 I was bummed out, disappointed, deflated. Now I’m just plain angry, bordering on postal.

    I don’t know why the Caps are so off their game, why some players have been invisible, why Coach BB made some of the decisions he did regarding line combinations, strategy, and time management for certain players like Ovie. A lot has to be solved in the next 24 hours, but I refuse to capitulate to doom and gloom. I’ll watch game 7 live and cheer the Caps on from a great distance, hoping that the fans who will witness the game in person will give them loud and boisterous support so that the wave of good feeling will somehow help carry them to victory.

    And then it’s out of our hands and in the hands of the players. Let’s wish them well and hope for the best as we wait out these agonizing last hours before the puck drops in game 7.

  • http://owen.lesley@shaw.ca owen

    BB failed to manage players’ ice time during the season. With ov and Semin averaging plus 25 minutes a game, they were worn out at playoff time. The Olympics was also a factor. The 3rd. and 4th. lines all season were relegated to 10 to 13 minutes a game. And hockey is a team game? Ha,ha Boudreau you brought this onto yourself.