Saturday, April 19, 2008

Caps Will Have To Break Their Spirit

What would it take for the Capitals to come back to win in seven games? That very question slipped through my brain as I am watching "Don't Stop Believing" on YouTube and telling friends to keep the faith. If I think long and hard about it a few things come to mind. But one most important point, the Caps have to win, and win a heart breaker.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the Capitals' amazing 3-1 comeback in 1988 with Dale Hunter burying the game winner. It just so happened it came against the same Philadelphia Flyer team 20 years ago this month. The '87 - '88 Caps won 5-2 in game 5 and 7-2 in game 6 before winning game 7 5:57 into the overtime period.

The '07 - '08 Caps would have to do much the same, win the next two games by a wide margin and steel some of that Flyer confidence away. For that to happen, the Caps have to take advantage of their opportunities. Scoring on the power play, making their shots on net, battling in the corners for pucks, win the small battles. Now is when this team's resolve will be really be put to the test.

The Capitals have home ice advantage, which helps them greatly to make this run, but they will have to break the Flyers resolve to do that. If they wish to make this a long series they will have to play a brand of hockey that will frustrate the Flyers, punish them, and all around make it not much fun to play against at the Verizon Center.

This team must be focused too. The Flyers have done a good job at frustrating the Caps' top line. Now the Caps have to return the favor, keep the Flyer forwards frustrated. That means playing the Caps style of hockey, using their speed and aggressiveness.

And if it makes you feel better, the Caps lost game 4 in 1988 in overtime as well. History repeating itself?

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