Saturday, May 12, 2018
Morning Playoff Notes (May 12)
The Washington Capitals opened up the Conference Finals with some good news, getting both Box 18 forward Tom Wilson and Box 19 forward Andre Burakovsky back into their lineup, against a healthy and fairly well-rested Tampa Bay Lightning team. The Capitals still didn't have Nicklas Backstrom, as his hand injury was still enough to keep him out of the lineup, but was that really going to matter?
It should have, but it didn't. I mean, it really didn't. In the first two periods of the game, the Capitals were relentless in both ends of the size, maintaining good possession in the offensive zone and keeping the Lightning to the outside in their own zone. Shots were limited both sides, but the Caps were able to capitalize on the chances that they were given, including a late power play marker by Alex Ovechkin in the 1st, shortly after a Tampa goal got called back for a too many men on the ice penalty. That in itself was the real nail in the coffin.
The Lightning were able to put a couple past Braden Holtby in the 3rd period, but it was only just enough to put a small dent in the lead, as the Capitals were able to take Game 1, 4-2. Holtby only had to make 19 saves for the win, Ovechkin led the scoring parade with a goal and an assist, while both T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up a pair of assists.
Game 2 goes on Sunday evening and if the Tampa Bay/Boston series was any indication, we should be seeing a much different Lightning team then.
You may not have all the players, but if you can wrestle yourself the right combination on any given night, you could walk away with the round lead, if you're lucky. Buddy and Kevin's teams were tops on Friday night, both taking 6 points from Game 1 of the East Final. Everyone in the pool was able to get a point, which was good.
Tony's team was able to maintain his lead and even gain an extra point on the lead on Neil's team. We'll have more on the West Final match-up later on this afternoon, just to show you how close things could possibly get.