A Quick Reminder It’s Only a 2-1 Series And There’s Still A Lot Of Hockey To Be Played
Bog - So, uh … can we talk people off the ledge?
Analyst Alan May gave it a go, talking about how the Caps need to move the puck faster, play with more urgency, be crisper in clearing their zone and make fewer mistakes. Then it was Brent Johnson’s turn.
“I can’t take it,” he said. “I can’t force anyone to step off the ledge. I truly can’t. The only reason why is because this isn’t the regular season. How many times can you win the Presidents’ Trophy, over and over? They have the character in the dressing room, but you’re facing the Toronto Maple Leafs, night in, night out. You know their game plan. You know what they’re going to do. You have to hit the drawing board and figure out what you’ve got to do to go against that, to shake them off their game.”
I’ve spent the last hour trying to figure out what to write, along with a couple hours last night before falling asleep. What could I say that hasn’t already been said? What could I write that Caps fans haven’t already heard 1000 times before? And then I realized…it’s only 2-1.
Are we happy the Caps have gone to 3 straight OTs with the 8 seed after once again dominating the regular season? Absolutely not. Is it at all good to be down 2-1 in the series? Hardly. But I think that’s where we have to focus. It’s only 2-1. The Caps have been a post, a fluke goal by the Leafs, or a weird bounce away from winning the two loses. But that’s playoff hockey, and it can very easily turn on a dime. So while being down in the series with another game to play in Toronto sucks, it’s also not the end of the world.
What’s crazy about this Toronto series is they were legit the team Holtby played the worst against in the regular season. The November 26th game he allowed 4 goals with an .892 save %. The January 3rd game he allowed 3 goals on 8 shots. And now, of course, he is seeing them in the playoffs. Meanwhile he still finished the regular season with the league lead in wins and shutouts, and a 2.07 GAA (.01 from leading the league in that as well). It’s fascinating.
So here we are. Down but not out. Toronto has proven to be more of a test than we expected, but at the same time, this was a 95 point regular season team with a ton of skill up front. A ton. It was easy to freak out last night and start drinking bleach, but let’s put that aside right now and realize there’s a lot of hockey left to be played. Game 4 tomorrow is obviously a must-win, and after the game, then we can either panic or get ready for a huge game 5.