Alright Caps fans, how are you feeling after last night’s decisive win? Do you think they can win Game Seven?

Wait, that cannot be right. Can we get the real numbers please?

Caps fans believing in their team? What is this, opposite day? Where are the self loathing and deprecating fans we know and love? Oh wait, found them!

Regardless of how many people are now riding the Capitals bandwagon, Game Six was the game fans waited years to see. Slick puck movement. Methodical snipes. Conscious and quick gap control. Timely goaltending. The Capitals suffocated the depleted Penguins, and they will get the chance to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 1997-1998 season.

So, how can they do it? The easy answer is to play the exact same game they had in Game Six, but it is a bit more nuanced than that.

Bring “Fire Dan Snyder” guy to every game

Superstitions abound in hockey. However, this fan who is wearing the feelings of all Washington Redskins fans on his chest, has been straight fire for all DC franchises in the playoffs.

Build on their dominance

Washington dominated in shot attempts all series. In this game, it finally paid dividends and it shows in all three zones. Cue the fancy stats.

The OrlovNiskanen pairing gave Crosby’s line trouble all night. The BackstromOshieBurakovsky line gave everyone fits. Alex Ovechkin’s placement on the third line neutralized the fabled HBK line’s speed, so much so that it was disbanded after the second period. Most importantly, a depleted Penguins defense corps finally showed cracks. They had been steady without Kris Letang throughout the playoffs. However, the shot blocking, heavy hitting, and defensive zone time caught up with them in this game. If it stays with them in Game Seven, the Penguins offense will have to over-perform to make up for it.

Keep shooting between the glove and ears on Marc-Andre Fleury

Fleury was the difference maker in games 1 through 4, sporting an ungodly .937 save percentage. Since the 3rd period of Game Five, the Caps have gone on an 8-2 run in goals. One big reason? Look at the placement of all these shots.

The Caps were looking for a weakness on Fleury, and boy did they find one. This is an awkward save to make for any goalie. If you drop your glove in the slightest, moving it back up that quickly is rough. Shrugging your head to the side or shrugging your shoulder up is equally as weird. By being more selective on their shots, the Capitals figured out this shot is one that drives Fleury mad.

Additionally, sometimes you need a bit of luck. This is a goal Fleury should stop, but did not.

Game Seven is here. Prepare accordingly.

 

 


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Author Details
My name is Julia, and I’m a Bethesda, MD native. I became an ice hockey fan after my dad took me to a Capitals game when I was 7, but quickly realized most 5’2” southern girls don’t become Peter Bondra. I’m a 2015 graduate of Mount Holyoke College where I studied psycholinguistics, which is a fancy way of saying why people talk funny. By day I’m a graduate student at UMD studying journalism.
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My name is Julia, and I’m a Bethesda, MD native. I became an ice hockey fan after my dad took me to a Capitals game when I was 7, but quickly realized most 5’2” southern girls don’t become Peter Bondra. I’m a 2015 graduate of Mount Holyoke College where I studied psycholinguistics, which is a fancy way of saying why people talk funny. By day I’m a graduate student at UMD studying journalism.

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