What did I say yesterday? Do not smite the hockey gods lest you shall pay. In game one of the Stanley Cup Finals, Jaromir Jagr hit the post in second overtime and then collided with teammate and part-time bouncer, Milan Lucic. Shades of this, amirite?
The Washington Capitals had only a 38% win percentage on the road this season, so getting the W Thursday night is crucial; they just can’t depend on victory away from Verizon Center. But Monday’s home loss to the Bruins was an ugly affair, and the once well composed team fell to shambles. To win Game Four, the Caps are gonna have to dig deep.
I have compiled a series of modest steps the Capitals should take to make it happen. And then we threw in the secret weapon. (Okay, we’ll tell you: more posters.)
We almost feel like we’re watching some kind of bizarre social experiment in this series, as we observe Bruins forward Milan Lucic‘s temper simmer, simmer, and boil over more and more frequently as his line continues to be rather ineffective versus the Caps. These bursts of temper saw Lucic collecting 8 PIMs by the end of the night, though– puzzlingly- the refs seemed to think that it was always necessary to tack a Washington penalty on top, perhaps so Lucic wouldn’t get so lonely in the box. The refs have seen this behavior — he’s acting out for attention– and should know better.
Game Three: The Washington Capitals treated the Boston Bruins to a quiet night of conversation and sport. And then all these damn rowdy Caps fans showed up and spoiled what could have been a pleasant night. It was ugly, it was loose, it was the opposite of those first two games, and it ended tragically.
With Brooks Laich screening up front, Alex Semin converted a first period penalty play while Chara was in the box. Rich Peverly tied it up, but who cares because Alex Ovechkin scored 13 seconds later. Daniel Paille was left all alone in front of Holtby, tying the game at two. Brian Rolston exploited some bad Caps D early in the third and gave the Bruins their first lead of the night. Nick Backstom set Brooks Laich loose for a breakaway to beat Tim Thomas and tie it with six minutes left.
On a late-game 4-on-4, Zdeno Chara’s slapshot caught a little bit of Hamrlik and got past Holtby. Bruins beat Caps 4-3.
As of Thursday, the Washington Capitals are officially embarking on a quest for sixteen wins and a big, shiny trophy. There will be many obstacles along their way, the first of which is the scariest team in the entire world, the Boston Bruins. You may have heard stories, legends, even epic ballads about the infamy of the Bruins, especially their scary power forward, Milan Lucic.
Doubtless you have heard from many Boston fans and members of the media since Saturday that Milan Lucic is a pretty big deal, and that the Caps will need to watch out for him. We’re here to second that assessment, and to offer a profile that we hope can come close to touching the sheer awesome power that is the Bruins forward. Don’t eat us, Mr. Lucic.