Downed But Still Not Out: With Title Defense Hopes on the Line on Wednesday, Caps Must Rely On Experience From the Last Year to Win Game 7

grant halversonPhoto: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

While there wasn’t a whole lot to like about the Capitals’ 5-2 Game 5 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night in Raleigh, the positive that can be taken from the lopsided defeat is that the Caps have another chance to take the series and advance to the second round to face former Head Coach Barry Trotz and New York Islanders. In order to do that, however, they will need to rely on their experience from the last year of hockey to clinch the series.

In the Capitals’ first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the team found themselves down 2-0 in the series and after a key Game 3 win, the Caps rallied to win the series in six games. In their second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals had to claw their way to a decisive Game 6 overtime victory to take the series 4-2.

And in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps took a commanding 3-0 series lead only to have to win a decisive Game 7 to advance to the franchise’s second Stanley Cup Final, which they won in five games. And it is this experience (and the additional knowledge they have picked up throughout the 2018-19 season) that the Capitals must feed off of on Wednesday night.

In year’s past, the Capitals may have been the team to let a loss in a game in which they could have clinched a series get to them. But this group of players is vastly different from those of years’ past. They have the know-how and the proven ability to win the games that matter, to put their foot on the gas when the stakes are high, and an insatiable desire to repeat and defend their long-awaited Stanley Cup championship.

Captain Alex Ovechkin has once again been playing like a man on a mission and his supporting stars have been just as motivated. The loss of right wing T.J. Oshie to a broken clavicle certainly hurts, but the team showed how they are capable of playing when motivated by the loss of the team’s heart and soul in Game 5.

In essence, the Capitals must play the best game of their playoff season thus far and must do so with the knowledge and reassurance that they have been through this situation before and come out on top. Their title defense and repeat hopes depend on it.

By Michael Fleetwood

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About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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5 Responses to Downed But Still Not Out: With Title Defense Hopes on the Line on Wednesday, Caps Must Rely On Experience From the Last Year to Win Game 7

  1. Pingback: Downed But Still Not Out: With Title Defense Hopes on the Line on Wednesday, Caps Must Rely On Experience From the Last Year to Win Game 7 — NoVa Caps – Hockey Time

  2. Anonymous says:

    Game 7 history isnt great! Kutzy didnt do well today. Step up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Game turned on the FIXJOB SCREWJOB Call. End of story. Instead of 3up Nhl F’d caps

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good article. Just to note, the Caps didn’t take a 3-0 series lead in the ECF against Tampa last spring. In fact, they were down 2-3 at one point. The series went as such:

    11-May Washington Capitals 4–2 Tampa Bay Lightning
    13-May Washington Capitals 6–2 Tampa Bay Lightning
    15-May Tampa Bay Lightning 4–2 Washington Capitals
    17-May Tampa Bay Lightning 4–2 Washington Capitals
    19-May Washington Capitals 2–3 Tampa Bay Lightning
    21-May Tampa Bay Lightning 0–3 Washington Capitals
    23-May Washington Capitals 4–0 Tampa Bay Lightning

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I noticed that too, but that lends even more support to this group of Caps players ability to win must-win playoff game as they shutout the Lightening back to back last year.

      Like

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