People, do you realize what we’re on the verge of here? Do you understand? We’re all so swept up in watching the Capitals throw away yet another brilliant team and season that I don’t think the hockey world is paying enough attention to what could happen on the other coast. The Anaheim Ducks are just one more, 60-minute spit-up from blowing their fifth-straight 3-2 lead and losing a Game 7 at home.
FIVE! They’ve done this four times in a row! They’re halfway to their 5th! Do you understand the magnitude here?! On level of sports accomplishments, this is Kerry Wood’s 20 Ks, Jordan’s 55 in the Garden, that one game where Cutler was great behind no offensive line (I forget which one). This is going to be a Picasso, a Rembrandt, a Monet of playoff idiocy.
This has never happened. It’s more unique than the Buffalo Bills four straight Super Bowls. Maybe it’s not taking on that tone because the Ducks won a Cup 10 years ago, and some of those players are still here… well actually it’s only Getzlaf and Perry. But is anyone going to remember they won one if they do this again?
This is better than the Bills. It would be like the Bills blowing those four Super Bowls after leading halfway through the fourth quarter in all of them. They were only really close in one of them. And they lost twice to one of the greatest teams in all time in the Drugstore Cowboys.
The Ducks, arguably, have only lost to one great team. The ’13 Red Wings were hardly great. The ’14 Kings almost certainly were. Were the ’15 Hawks? They were really good, but most certainly the worst Hawks Cup team. Last year’s Predators? No one’s writing songs about them, and they play in Nashville! They write songs about going to 7-11 there! And then the dude from Kings of Leon shows his sellout ass on Twitter!
And look at the teams they’ve tossed away! One Presidents’ Trophy runner-up in ’13, two Western Conference champions. It’s not like they’ve been a bunch of bums that somehow found itself with a 3-2 lead in every round. They’ve won the division in each of those seasons! And they’ve blown these leads to a 7-seed, a 5-seed, a 4-seed and another 7-seed! It’s just magnificent. I just can’t express the delight.
Last night might have been the Ducks at their most Ducks. The only other contender was the Game 7 barf-belch against the Kings when they gave up six in Teemu Selanne’s final game (oh my god, I think I have to punch myself in the groin to come down from writing that). They gave up 7! Five in the first! It’s like they already know their fate, took their 3-2 lead and are now just going to sit and watch with the rest of us as yet another series ends exactly the same as it has the previous four seasons.
What do I even compare this to? The Atlanta Braves, who won 14 divisions and only managed the one World Series? At least they changed up the way they lost every year. The Pirates lost two Game 7s, but five? You’d think the Ducks would have just accidentally won a Game 7 when an opposing goaltender got food poisoning or something. Some bounce would have gone their way. Some Duck would have just come up with two goals that bounced in off SOMETHING. Nope.
And really, they should embrace this. We’ll always remember five straight of these. Everyone will. Even if they breakthrough tomorrow, what will it mean? It’ll just be relief.
Think of it. Ducks fans are assuredly dumping their tickets already. The Ponda Center could be all orange. Can’t you see the beauty? Marvel at it?
But they won’t. They can’t. It’s just not going to happen. This is what they do. Has a team ever been more beholden to their nature? This is going to be the most unique accomplishment in hockey history, you have to believe. It’s spanned two coaches now. They’ll never wash this stink off. I just can’t wait.
-The Main Event That Isn’t The Main Event But Really Is The Main Event moves into its sixth game tonight. The Caps were able to finally come alive in the 3rd period on Saturday, though all that really happened was that their dominance that’s been on display all series finally cashed.
As I wrote last week, there really isn’t anything the Caps have done wrong, aside from Orlov and Niskanen against Crosby. They’ve carried the play, and just had to hope and wait that Fleury’s level would drop even a little. It finally did. And Holtby’s rose just enough. All that sets up a classic for tonight.
While the Caps still have a whole history of playoff incompetence to carry, you know the Penguins want to finish this badly tonight. Heading back to DC in front of a frothing, red mass with the Caps having all the mojo is a daunting prospect.
Get ready, Macho Man has just gone for the ring bell.