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Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals: My Thoughts on Game Seven

WASHINGTON - MAY 13:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins shake hands after Pittsburgh's 6-2 victory in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal  Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 13, 2009 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Reed KaufmanCorrespondent IJune 3, 2009

I know this is very belated, but I wrote it the night of the loss and thought I published it, but apparently I did not.

The Capitals vs. Penguins series was a dream come true for the NHL, hockey fans, and the sports world alike. The series did not disappoint, lasting six exciting contests, and one mercy-killing.

Watching the game seven Capitals 6-2 loss to the Penguins was like watching a puppy get stabbed to death. The more they struggled, the more harm they did to themselves. I don’t even know this puppy personally, but who doesn’t love puppies.

Simeon Varlamov was not to blame for that loss.

The Capitals play a risky style game that is very entertaining to watch, because it provides more opportunities to score—both for them and their opponents. This fact was never more evident than in Wednesday’s game.

Asking a 21-year-old rookie goalie with the AHL affiliate logo still donning half his mask to backstop that type of game against another offense with gifted forwards was boldly ambitious.  All things considered, Varlamov was outstanding during these Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nicklas Backstrom is turning into a superstar right before our eyes.

If Alexander Semin and Mike Green both don’t have significant injuries, they have some serious explaining to do.

Green’s responsibility in the defensive zone was questionable at best. It has to be tough for him to be criticized for not putting points on the board, as I’m sure he started to feel the pressure to produce in the offensive zone—either way, this cannot detract from his primary responsibilities as a defenseman, especially with a rookie goaltender.

Either way, Semin still has some work to do to be considered a complete player. I think I counted at least four times he missed the net high from the wing during the game. Instead of giving his teammates a chance at a rebound, he was going for glory and missing, providing the other team with an odd man rush. Brutal.

Marc-Andre Fleury is an elite goaltender in the NHL.

Bill Guerin is finally the winger the Pens needed alongside Crosby. I can’t believe it took them this long to find him.

The Penguins don’t win another game without Sergei Gonchar.

What will become of Jose Theodore?

Kudos to the Capitals fans for both getting on their team, as well as saluting them at the end of the game. Classy. I didn’t even see any debris on the ice afterwards. You wouldn’t be able to say that about most cities after a 6-2 game-seven loss.

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