Bäckström's Crushing Hit Sets Up Caps' Buzzer Beater
As soon as contact is introduced in youth hockey, one truth quickly becomes evident:
Keep your head on a swivel, dude. Especially in the corners.
Toss in the life lesson that -- more than officials in other sports -- hockey refs are prone to keep their arms down at crunch time and let the players decide a game, and the question has to be asked:
Did Dan Boyle suffer a brain cramp or something?
Yes. Yes, it is. 2-1, Capitals. Washington takes the first game of a chalk-&-cheese Stanley Cup second-round clash.
Physically, Alex Ovechkin & Crew are the NHL's largest team. Hitting hard is what they do. The New York Rangers are one of the speediest. Avoiding yard sales and drive-bys are what they're supposed to do.
And their swiftness-challenged blueliners are supposed to know what's coming when they're on the ice with Washington.
The other question Rangers Nation should be asking is, why didn't Boyle shift the puck? The corners aren't exactly the best place for sightseeing, either.
Ironically, one Swedish slam this spring affected a Game 7 when league poobahs decided after the fact that the Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall wasn't being very nice in Game 6 against Tampa Bay:
Absent their key defenseman, Detroit lost their series decider to the Lightning.
However, nothing's been said from the higher-ups in the league office this time around, so the gauntlet's been well and truly thrown down at the Garden.