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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Stanley Cup Game One : Recap

Four lead changes. Ten total goals. Five different ties throughout the game. What a fucking hockey game.

I’ve been a diehard Capitals fan all my life and it has always been a dream of mine to watch this team play for the cup, although they fell just short in tonight’s game, game 1 certainly lived up to the hype.

I first have to mention the absolutely wild opening ceremony Vegas put on, highlighted by the world’s biggest hockey fans Lil Jon and Michael Buffer, introducing both teams. If Lil Jon’s ballad, “Shots,” doesn’t get you ready to watch some grown men on skates, I don’t know what will.

Was this ceremony way over the top, and completely OD? Absolutely. But damn it was electric, and the Vegas crowd was ready to rumble from beginning to end. Going into the game, Caps fans knew the first ten minutes were going to be vital.

Vegas was fresh coming off over a week break between games. With the added energy from the crowd, The Golden Knights were going to come out firing. Much to Caps’ dismay, Vegas dominated the play early and an Andre Burakovsky boarding penalty open the door for a Colin Miller blast and a power play goal which gave Vegas a 1-0 lead 7:15 into the first period.

This Caps team has been resilient all playoffs and were able to battle back and take the lead with with back to back goals by Brett Connolly, and Nicklas Backstrom. This was only the begging of the seesaw, back and forth battle that unfolded throughout the night.

We found ourselves tied 3-3 early into the third period when hometown hero Tom Wilson scored a weird deflection goal off Fleury’s pad and in. Was that little move he did intentional? Who knows. Lets act like it was, because that was sweet.

A goal of similar style and flair most definitely would have been scored against the Caps years past. However, the lead was short lived because only minutes later Ryan Reeves scored an absolute bullshit goal where he completely cross checked John Carlson to the ice before putting away a gimme in the slot. This was a devastating turn of events, this goal clearly should’ve never happened, and was a blatant missed call.

Vegas then took advantage of DSPs inability to chip the puck out of the zone and Tomas Nosek put the Knights up 5-4, and they added in an empty net goal to make it 6-4 final. Vegas is a very fast team and hard to beat at home. With this win tonight, Vegas is now 7-1 at home during the playoffs as their magical inaugural season continues.

However, the Caps played well enough to steal this game scoring four goals on Fleury was encouraging, but a few unfortunate missed calls, untimely mistakes, and a missed empty net late in the game by Lars Eller has put Washington into a 1-0 deficit.

Game ones of the Stanley cup are extremely important in predicting who will win the series. The last 6 cup winners have won game one of the series. However this Caps team is different, they have gone through countless adversities these playoffs and have prevailed each time.

Yes, we do find ourselves in a 1-0 series deficit to a very skilled, and hungry Golden Knights team. Although I do expect these road warrior Caps will find a way to bring this series back to the nation’s capital tied at 1. For today, even after a tough loss it’s still ok to believe.

– Sean

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