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May 20th, 2018, 23:57
I can't believe Winnipeg collapsed the way they did in that series. It's mind-boggling that we're going to have a first-year expansion team in the Stanley Cup Final.
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May 21st, 2018, 01:20
I called it. The Knights are going to win it too. That's was Bettman wants.
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May 21st, 2018, 16:22
Winnipeg just looked really exhausted the last two games, in my opinion. In my head, Vegas vs the Capitols would be a stellar match, but Vegas vs Lightning would see Vegas humbled. In any case, I've already won, with Boston and Pittsburgh eliminated so early, these playoffs have been outstanding.
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May 22nd, 2018, 05:51
Washington put a beatdown on Tampa Bay tonight. I hope they can do that again in game 7.
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May 22nd, 2018, 15:51
That was the first and only time I've seen Tampa Bay "mastered" this entire season. If the Capitols can do that one more time, they'll have several dates with Vegas lined up!!
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May 24th, 2018, 16:45
So then Washington went to Tampa and basically repeated the previous game. Now we have a fine final matchup, this should be really good! The hockey gods were with Holtby the last two games, he looked invincible.
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June 5th, 2018, 05:00
Nice beatdown by Washington tonight. Las Vegas is pretty much toast at this point.
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June 5th, 2018, 16:18
The Vegas Knights squad that played the Jets have yet to show up to play Washington, and at this point they only get one more chance to arrive. I thought Vegas might make a statement of intent last night, but that quickly turned into Washington domination in record time.
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June 5th, 2018, 17:20
They came in hammering last night and took a page out of Washington's playbook. Holtby held them off and the Caps took advantage of their chances. It was over by the second period.

One thing I noticed is the top corners. They really had Fleury scouted last night. At least three of the goals I saw that was the first shot - and none of those were rebounds. Its not an easy shot to make with curve restrictions on blades being what they are.

First goal is critical in hockey and coaches are more and more pushing to get it instead of "controlling the game until the third period" (a system to wear out your opponents and push for the win). This is what I've seen the Caps do from the start.
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June 5th, 2018, 17:28
Looks like I was wrong. The Knights totally crumbled one game in…unless it's all a "fake out" to get 7 games and a comeback from 3-1.

You know, to have the greatest cendrillon story ever.
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June 5th, 2018, 17:41
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Looks like I was wrong. The Knights totally crumbled one game in…unless it's all a "fake out" to get 7 games and a comeback from 3-1.

You know, to have the greatest cendrillon story ever.
I think the level of talent of the two teams brought them right to where they should be. Both teams gel. But I think the experience of Washington is really showing. They have quite a bit more grit and are not just riding Ovy's emotion anymore - Ovy is sucking it up.

Also, there's a matter of having star players that can tip the balance.
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June 5th, 2018, 18:06
Fleury is looking more tired each game, from what I observe. He was so solid in April/May, and now looks to be the weak link in the Knight's defense. I am pulling for Washington, although I don't despise Vegas, and I was hoping for a better final series than what we are currently getting.
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June 5th, 2018, 21:08
That's the nature of a series - they tend to go back and forth as each game gets analyzed and teams adjust. In this case, Washington keeps getting better. I don't remember LV having to deal with being behind so much until this series.

Endurance is a huge factor in the playoffs, you're right, especially down the stretch. It will be a huge factor for these teams coming back to the regular season.

Also, remember the ice in LV in game 1 and 2. Part of their home ice advantage got taken away because of that - always an issue in LA until recently, and in New York for decades when the circus came to town and the playoffs took a backseat to it in MSG.
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June 5th, 2018, 21:58
Yeah, I've not seen gaping holes like that in ice for a very long time, just awful quality control. They need to really tighten that up, giving your opposition a chance to rest while you have the home ice advantage is not something you ever want to do, in my opinion.
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June 8th, 2018, 05:35
Great job, Washington!!! The game started out strictly defensive, but when the scoring started it really got hot. That victory almost erases twenty years of bad memories, almost.

Party in DC!!
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June 8th, 2018, 06:06
Yeah, I was pretty happy to see Washington take home the Cup. I was rooting for them since the beginning of the playoffs, and I definitely didn't want to see Vegas get it.

It was good to see Ovechkin get MVP too.
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June 8th, 2018, 16:05
Yeah, the two NHL accolades that have evaded him his entire career, he finally got them both. Sadly, the better games all happened in April/May, but sometimes that's just the way it happens.

I don't dislike the Vegas Knights at all, and I'm sure they'll be back in the playoffs again soon. They might have had the best performance I've ever seen from an expansion team in any sport during their debut season.
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June 8th, 2018, 17:27
I was going to say the opposite. The better games are always in the first round. The final series the players are broken and battered, sometimes literally playing on one foot.

But I was really surprised at the quality of play on both sides of the ice. LV realized they needed to crowd the net and create confusion - always a good tactic if you don't mind risking a short career with back injuries. Meanwhile, the Caps continued to shoot high on Fleury. He left gaping holes and was not able to compensate - plus the Caps were able to take those shots. LV's defense were not able to stop them - they had a 30% PP through the playoffs and 33% for the series - probably higher after last game.

Most entertaining finals I've seen in a long time. Remember, Washington is the worst expansion team in the history of the league. Their inaugural season they didn't even get 10 points. The good Caps teams were leagues greatest chokers, routinely getting president's cups (or near them) and going out in the first round.

For this reason, I find it fitting that the sweetheart deal that LV got was trumped by the team that finally overcame the start that league saddled them with.
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June 8th, 2018, 17:50
That is a great point about the nineteen seventy-two Caps, and one I'd forgotten about entirely. They certainly didn't get the same boosts that Vegas received.
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