This one was a lot like the Pitt/Georgetown game last night. Both featured teams from Pittsburgh and DC that are at the pinnacle of their sport. Both games spent about 2/3rds of the contest in a tight battle being played at a very high level. Both games saw the Pittsburgh team loose focus for a minute and not be able to come back. The Pens and Caps were tied 3-3 after 2 periods, but the Capitals put in two goals at the beginning of the 3rd, and played defense until the horn blew. Both teams played a fantastic games overall. It’s just something you have to be thankful you got to witness, and then move on. A lot was being made of this game because of the budding rivalry and whatnot. I just didn’t see it. It’s just another regular season game. Yeah, it stinks to lose to the Caps. It stinks to lose to anyone. But this game was never the Pens goal. That has always been to give some company to those Championship banners in the rafters (I think Ovechkin is pointing at them in that picture above. I guess he doesn’t quite know what they are yet), and this game had little impact on that goal.
If you really cared about the star matchup, however, you weren’t disappointed. Ovie had a pair of goals. Crosby had one for himself, and Malkin had 3 assists. Once again, I’m not sold on whole points race thing. Yeah, I’m sure the guys are competitive about it and want to win, but once again it has nothing to do with the ultimate goal. I’m sure Ovechkin would trade his scoring title last year for Sid’s Stanley Cup ring in a heartbeat. But I guess it’s still a little fun to root for your guy in the good vs. evil battle.
Overall, I think we played well. I’d even venture to say that we out-played the Caps for most of the game. The difference is the 5 minutes in the third period where we blinked. That’s all. You can’t let up for a second against a good team like the Capitals, and we made that mistake. It happens. Next up is the Flyers on Sunday. Yet another rivalry game. They’re always fun. But, still relatively meaningless in the regular season. So we’ll see. Philly’s really been turning their season around lately. I’d love to stomp on their progress a bit.