So if you’re like most of the 18,000-plus fans that went to Saturday afternoon’s Game 4 victory, you’re probably psyched that the Washington Capitals saw not one, not two, but three “Young Guns” score in a single game.
That, according to #FancyStats extraordinaire Neil Greenberg, hasn’t happened since 2010.
Think about that for a moment, it’s been close to two years since No. 52, No. 8 and No. 19 scored in the same game.
Even with the team’s offensive struggles and switch to a defense-minded approach, you’d figure those three triple teamed for a trio of goals at least once since 2010.
But it’s true; the Young Guns haven’t quite been themselves for a good deal of time.
We’ve seen them have their runs, such as Nicklas Backstrom leading the team at the beginning of the year or Alex Ovechkin coming on strong to close this season, but a full-on triumvirate of offensive awesomeness just hasn’t happened.
That was until Saturday. Everything appeared to click on ice for the stars.
Ovechkin muscled his way to a goal, Backstrom was all over the ice (in a good way) and then Mike Green did what he just hasn’t been able to do in the postseason – be clutch.
Hell, even Alex Semin was just a few shots and inches away from making it 4-for-4 for the “Young Guns” in Game 4!
So is it a…comeback?
Let’s hold off on any talks of the Young Guns riding again for a second. They still don’t quite pass the eye test.
In a way, Game 4 was more of the boys busting up the saloon and showing they still have the chops; Game 5 will be the real test to show can do it each night (something people round here ain’t to optimistic ‘bout…)
In fact, Game 5 will say a lot about the Washington Capitals’ stars.
With three of the four premier players having scored in the previous game, it’s arguable that it’s on their shoulders to win the series.
Against the Boston Bruins, it was the third and fourth liners who grinded out a series win (with Braden Holtby’s divine net play…of course), but against the New York Rangers it’s going to take more than a few dirty goals to win.
Washington can’t survive another series on the backs of Jay Beagle and Matt Hendricks. Those grind lines might score a few here and there, but it’s going to take some star power to win this series.
The Caps already shed one playoff demon in Game 7 against the Bruins.
Now is the time for Ovechkin, Green, Semin and Backstrom to shed personal ones – their inability to show up when needed — in Game 5.
The series may depend on whether Game 4’s scoring was just a flash in the pan or the start of a comeback.
NHL in MS Paint
The user “Alzner’sDogs” sent us this comic of Karl’s pets reacting to a three overtime loss.