That was the most deliriously energetic game I’ve ever attended.
And it was absolutely, hands down, the best game that this fan has ever seen.
I was very fortunate to have gone to the extravagant Centennial Game this season. That game, that soiree, however, was a whole other type of experience. December 4th was magical. The legends, the hat trick, the victory. The Canadiens created an amazing event that I will always remember fondly. Maybe I’ll end up framing the ticket and in my later years proudly tell my grandkids that I was there.
But December 4th was a ceremony.
Last night was a hockey game.
NOTE: I’ll be on CBC’s Homerun radio show this afternoon, around 3:10ish. GAME 7 may come up in conversation. 88.5FM.
My voice is hoarse, my throat raw and even still tingling with the last few cheers of the night. I lived every second of that game. And i did it with 21273 other crazy, cheering hockey fans.
The pre-game warm up was louder than some games I’ve been to and surely louder than many rinks on most nights. Game 6. Down 3-2. Do or die. The call up of PK Subban. Up against Goliath. The stage was set.
We cheered at the introductions. We sang the anthems. We cheered again.
The excitement and the noise of the crowd exploded with each goal, each miraculous save. There was energy in that building that I’ve never felt. The first goal was ear-shattering. The second goal made the crowd go supernova. And after that second goal, the outcome of the game was never in doubt.
Last night the fans possessed the team, the players. We gave those ghosts life again.
Yes, we were made slack-jawed by every thud against Halak’s pads and were awestruck with every blurry glove save that he made but at the same time, the crowd wouldn’t have allowed anything else. We weren’t going to let the Capitals win. Not last night. Not in our building.
And yes, we did have something to say about it.
Loudest night ever at the Bell Centre.
Anyone still debating which wagon to get on?
Tank or anti-tank?
What about number 13? Mike Cammalleri is having an amazing series. The winger has 10 points (5/5) in 6 games, and is converting on 25% of his shots. Cammy has as many goals as Alex Ovechkin. Awesome.
The only Hab to have played all six games and be plus? Hal Gill at +1. Gill is 2nd in league with 25 blocked shots (only behind shot blocker extraordinaire Anton Volchenkov). Josh Gorges and Roman Hamrlik are also in the top 10. The PK is epic right now. A lot of people ragged on Gill during the regular season but this is why Gainey signed him. Suddenly 3 years doesn’t seem like long enough.
Montreal has no players in the top 25 for giveaways. Washington has 2 defensemen in the top 10. Tom Poti will be a big loss for the Caps. His +9 was best in the NHL post-season. Oh, and speaking of +/- it’s nice to see regular season leader Jeff Schultz sitting at -1.
What to do with Benoit Pouliot? No goals, -2 and barely seeing the ice now. He’s not the same player who made a huge impact with the team after the trade from Minnesota. He’s an RFA this summer and isn’t doing anything to strengthen his bargaining power. He’s with a new team. It’s the playoffs. He’s up for a new contract. What else could possibly get him going?
I’d talk about Sergei Kostitsyn but right now, love him or hate him, he’s a non-factor. Same can be said for Matt Darche and even Glen Metropolit. Basically JM is rolling 3 lines and giving Tom Pyatt a ton of individual responsibility. Not a ton of ice-time but he’s out there when it counts. The defensemen are getting a lot of props for the PK, but Tom Pyatt has been absolutely outstanding. We got him and Gomez in that Higgins trade? Wow.
Neither Washington nor Montreal have players in the top 25 for hits. Matt Bradley and Alex Ovechkin each have 20, and sit at 26th. Travis Moen is 68th, with 13. So much for the big Capitals’ players using their size against the smaller Habs.
Nicklas Backstrom has 4 goals in 3 home games. Let’s keep a body on him in Game 7. He’s scaring me more than Ovechkin right now.
Anyone know why we’re sucking so much at faceoffs? Improving in this area has to be a priority. We’re giving up a lot of possession time and a lot of shots off lost draws.
But that doesn’t matter too much, right?
We’ve got Halak.
What a performance last night. What a performance all year.
Not bad for a ninth round draft pick.
What an exciting series. Nothing quite like playoff hockey. And nothing like a Game 7.
The Bell shook for Game 6. This city is gonna rock for Game 7.
Oh, and hey Bob – thanks for putting together a team that we can be proud of.
GO HABS GO!