In his blog on Monday previewing the Rangers-Caps series, Stan Fischler from MSG.com predicted the Rangers would prevail in 6 games. Stan said the goaltending and defense would be the difference, and agreed with Torts that opening on the road could be advantageous to the Rangers.
So today, with the Rangers up 1 game to none in the series, Stan is bubbling over, and today he talks about The Meaning of the First Game Win.
A few of Stan's points:
But looking ahead to the second game in our nation's capital on Saturday, it is apparent that the Capitals may very well be a paper tiger and not necessarily a playoff scoring machine.
As I told you over and over again in my previews of this fascinating match-up, the Caps are so weak in goal and so deficient on defense that all the Ovechkins and Semins and Greens cannot compensate for a goalie so riddled with doubts — and deficiencies — as Jose Theodore.
While I will agree with Stan that the Rangers have a huge advantage in this series in goal, and an advatange albeit smaller on defense, I disagree that the Caps scoring cannot overcome this. I think Stan is playing the "paper tiger" card a little early in the hand here.
Al Ovechkin is a multi-talented player. That's a given. But even he has limitations. He is not as good as the press clipping tonnage given to him. Nor can he play defense or goal. Nor did he score even one goal.
He got the build-up alright and it led to a letdown. Big-time.
I think to say "he didn't score a goal" is a bit simplistic on Stan's part. Ovechkin is one of the most dynamic hockey players in our lifetime. When he is on the ice, he makes every player on his team better. He did pick up two assists, drew a couple of penalties, and had 13 shots on goal. He finished the season with 56 goals and 54 assists, so he brings more to the game than goal scoring .
Now, as our counterparts at Japers Rink are quick to point out, home teams that lose Game One at home have still won almost 50% of those series.
We've got a long way to go, because I am pretty sure the Caps still want to play the rest of the series and see what happens. Just for the hell of it.
That being said, I would sure as hell rather be up 1-0 than down 1-0.