I love when people say hockey is a team sport and one person really never has the ability to dominate a game, unlike the NBA. If anyone says that, show them last night’s Caps-Pens game, where Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin each had a hat trick.
It’s funny to watch Washington play Pittsburgh so well considering they barely made it past the lowly Rangers in the first round. I’m a little surprised at the space Pittsburgh is giving Ovechkin. Against New York, the Rangers played Ovechkin tightly through the neutral zone, taking away his speed into the offensive zone. They backed off in the offensive zone a bit, letting Ovechkin shoot, but without a lot of speed behind his shot and removing Ovechkin’s ability to float down into the play. That’s going to be Pittsburgh’s challenge — you can’t back-up on Ovechkin but if you pinch, there’s a good chance he’ll get past you.
Another option for the Penguins? Someone besides Crosby scores a goal.
Meanwhile, you know the NHL is trying to figure out a way to have Ovechkin play Crosby one-on-one in the playoffs. It’s going to happen, either through penalties or a suspicious elevator failure.
But to be fair, Canucks-Blackhawks has really been just as exciting. Maybe even more so, even though that series lacks the star power of Penguins-Caps. The games have been up-and-down the ice from the drop of the puck. I find myself physically tired between periods, just from the excitement.