Pens-Caps Game Seven Bound
May 11, 2009 by Big Tony
What else should anybody have expected but to see Pittsburgh and Washington go to a seventh game. After an intense back and forth battle Monday night both teams will have to retool and focus their energies on playing what is all but certain to be another incredible match-up. The difference in the game will likely not be Washington having home ice advantage, or superstar play from Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Semin, etc, but it will come down to the goaltenders. Sure it seems obvious that the last line of defense will determine who wins and who loses but it is more than the obvious. Which of the two will make the big save at the right time and who will make the easy save when it’s necessary? Which will push the play up the ice when the puck comes into his respective zone or make a simple play when a simple play is required rather than trying to be a hero with the puck? Smart play from the netminders, not just great saves, will be the difference in game seven. As the games have gone on Varlamov has been the one people are waiting to fall apart, and it was believed that finally happened in game four. But he has stood his ground and been able to battle back from the adversity he faced. The series is six games old and he has not caved yet and he won’t—quite frankly neither will Fleury. Varlamov has played well but Fleury has another level to take his game to, it’s a level we saw last year in game five of the finals and it’s a level we’ll see Wednesday night. Because of Fleury kicking it into another gear he will simply outduel Varlamov and the Penguins will head into round three.
P.S. This is my 100th entry. Thanks very much to everyone who reads these and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. Here’s to the next 100!