Lundqvist. If ever a word was worth a thousand words. Say it with me now, Lundqvist. Feels good, doesn't it?
The importance of having a goalie who inspires confidence in the post-season cannot be overstated! I see now that success in the Playoffs must begin with a goalie who comes through when it counts. He has to provide a solid foundation for which the team can build on. He must be collected as the team battles to establish it's identity shift after shift, period after period, and game after game. We have said goalie! This is what struck me most in the first two games of this series.
Understandably, I was nervous going into this series. Still am. Washington is no joke, and I certainly won't count them out...ever. But when I turned on my TV for Game 2 and saw Theodore riding the bench, my anxiety eased...kind of. It struck me then that Washington didn't have faith in their goaltender. Hmmm? How would this play out?
In the end, what I saw was a Caps team trying to compensate for this lack of confidence in what they had between their pipes. Freudian?
Most notably, It seemed that Ovechkin was determined to win the game all by himself, and by working so hard to be everywhere he wound up nowhere at all. For me, it was a great display of what role psychology plays in sports. I don't think Ovechkin is a selfish player, but I do think he knows how important he is to his team. And in this instance, he felt that he must take it upon himself to pick up the slack and thus, spread himself too thin. That's my take anyway.
Well, let's hope that the Rangers can hold onto this edge throughout this series and their entire playoff run.
LET'S GO RANGERS!
Author: Eddie Cahill | Special to NHL.com
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