Round 3’s Game 3 look-back at the Washington Capitals puts us in a mind of the cinematic triumph that is “Meatballs.” That American screen classic featured one of the truly great inspirational speeches in film, offered by the legendary comedic genius, Bill Murray, in his tour de force…
Boiled to its essence, the theme today is, “it just doesn’t matter…”
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps are up, two games to one, in this series. They were down, 1-2, to Columbus in Round 1, and they were up, 2-1, against Pittsburgh in Round 2.
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps allowed two power play goals in Game 3 last night. They allowed two power play goals in Game 2 and won.
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps allowed those two power play goals for the second time in this series. They allowed two power play goals twice to Columbus, and they allowed two power play goals twice to Pittsburgh. They won both series in six games.
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps had 38 shots on goal last night. It was the highest shot total they had in a game settled in regulation in this postseason, and in the four games in which they finished a game with at least 35 shots, whenever it ended, the Caps are just 2-2.
- It just doesn’t matter that Tampa Bay had five power play opportunities last night. It was the third time in this postseason that the Caps faced five shorthanded situations (one in each series now), and they won their previous two instances.
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps won only 43.8 percent of their faceoffs last night (28-for-64). First, it is the second straight game that they went 28-for-64), and second, the Caps are 8-2 when finishing below 50 percent on draws in this postseason.
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps’ shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 were 53.16 percent last night. The Caps are 5-3 when over 50 percent in this postseason, 5-2 when under 50 percent.
- It just doesn’t matter that the Caps had only seven blocked shots last night. They are 3-3 when recording fewer than 15 blocked shots.
- It just doesn’t matter that Jay Beagle was minus-7 in shot differential at 5-on-5. The Caps are 9-4 in games when he is a minus player in those situations.
- It just doesn’t matter that Braden Holtby lost last night. He has not lost consecutive games in the same postseason since he lost Games 1 and 2 to Pittsburgh last spring. That’s 20 straight games (he did lose consecutive games in the last game last spring and the first one against Columbus this spring).
To put it more succinctly, it just doesn’t matter what happened. What matters is Game 4. Let the Mohawks…er, Lightning… get all the really good-looking girls… we’ll take the win instead.