This is how I feel writing this post. Face. Palm. What a great way to start an article hey? NOT! I’ve been caught up with university schooling and summer courses and quizzes and midterms but we finished our midterms today (Finally!) and now I have some time to address my site. I’m not going to waste anytime so here we go.
- NHL Game 7’s: Anaheim Ducks vs Edmonton Oilers / Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Now, we all know how these teams fared AFTER these games ended but it’s nice to look back in retrospect. I was lucky enough to talk to 2 huge fans of teams playing in each of these games and asked them what they thought their teams would have to do in order to secure a win in their game 7’s.
Washington Capitals Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: I spoke to one of my old classmates and avid Penguins fan, Dylan G. and wanted his take on what the Penguins would need to do to make sure Crosby and Co. can secure a trip to the ECF.
Regarding what would be crucial for them to get a win: “They have to play aggressive, jump on loose pucks, win the battles in the corner and not try to do too many fancy plays, just need to get the puck in the net and force the capitals to make mistakes”
For the most part, Pittsburgh held Washington in check. They had 19 blocks to Washingtons 9, and forced 10 giveaways. They were not successful in winning the battles in the corner as Washington won 61% of their face-offs. Other then that, Washington had more shots on goal 29-28 and more hits 32-29. Not huge differences but from these numbers it looks like Washington definitely had an advantage. Although no one had a lower +/- then 0 on the Penguins, no one on Washington had a higher +/- than 0 (Star forward Alex Ovechkin had the lowest plus/minus with -2) Considering that Pittsburgh won 2-0 and both goals coming while Ovechkin (who had a takeaway, 4 shots on goal and 4 hits) was on the ice goes to show that while Ovechkin is a terrific player, it takes more then 1 superstar to make a team. As previously stated, the Penguins won 2-0 on goals from forwards Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins continue on (Spoiler alert: The play in game 7 tonight against the Ottawa Senators). I respect Sidney Crosby and the Penguins but being a Canadian, I am hoping that Ottawa can stun them and head to the Stanley Cup Finals! Great series between the penguins and capitals and this should be a nice wrap up for the penguins and sens!
Anaheim Ducks Vs. Edmonton Oilers: This was a matchup that slightly intrigued me. Connor McDavid is a great player and being that his date of birth is 1 day before mine, I had to see what a guy my age was doing in the NHL and it is incredible. While I write about him, he is playing in a game 7 in the playoffs for the Oilers. Pretty crazy stuff to think about. I spoke to another fellow classmate of mine and Oilers superfan David S. to get his take on what Edmonton what have had to do to win this game.
Regarding what the Oilers had to watch for in game 7, David provided me with this insight: “I think they should watch for Anaheim being more physical with their offence. I think that the Oilers should have a tighter defence than offence in the first and see how the Ducks play. If they’re what I think they are then the Oilers definitely need defence.”
As the Oilers lost this game, it was interesting to see how they lost it. They had 15 giveaways to Anaheim’s 10 but had more blocks (20) then the Duck’s 16. David mentioned needing defence and watching for Anaheim’s physicality. The physicality part was evident as the Duck’s had 39 hits compared to the Oilers 23. More physical? Definitely. The Duck’s did what they had to do to win in terms of outperforming their opponent. (30 shots on goal to 24 for Edmonton, Anaheim won their face-offs 56% of the time compared to the Oiler’s 44%) For Anaheim, forwards Andrew Cogliano and Nick Ritchie scored their 2 goals and Edmonton’s Drake Caggiula netted their lone score of the game. Overall, it was a good game as no one expected Edmonton to make it this far but they performed well and had a good season. As for the Ducks, well, they are out of the playoffs as the Nashville Predators are heading to their first ever Stanley Cup Final! Congrats to the Predators on their birth in the finals and a big shoutout to the Anaheim Ducks for having a tremendous season. Nashville will play the winner of Ottawa-Pittsburgh tonight. The Stanley Cup Finals look to be solid matchups all around this year!