The Washington Capitals have a great opportunity tonight to do something their fans have waited a long time to see against the team every one of them would pick to do it against. The three-peat is on death’s door heading into Game 6.
The Penguins have a good chance of winning because they have a lot of talent and they are a good team. I think you’re going to see a great effort from the home team. I also think that sometimes it isn’t good enough because of the random bounces that can happen.
Working in Pittsburgh’s favor is the potential injury status of Nicklas Backstrom. He is nursing a hand injury and he did not participate in the morning skate. He has not been confirmed as playing tonight. He has not been ruled out either. If it is indeed a hand injury those can be tricky to play with and even more so when you are a highly skilled player with the puck. That isn’t to say the Penguins won’t be negatively impacted by injuries. Phil Kessel hasn’t been himself and that has been one of the hugest differences in this year’s playoff run compared to the last two. Injuries are part of the luck needed to win the whole thing and right now it isn’t going as well as it did for Pittsburgh.
Kris Letang had a bad Game 5. He is still their best defenseman. He still helps the team and needs to remain in his elevated role. I would expect Letang to push play tonight without some of the mindless pinching he has been guilty of. The good/great version of Letang is a game changer and it would be nice to see it coming off of last game’s costly errors.
Matt Murray needs to have a classic bounce back game. Your guess is as good as mine if it will happen. Consistency hasn’t been Murray’s thing this year.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy. His Vegas Golden Knights are heading to the Western Conference Finals. This has been Fleury’s best year of his career. The goaltending position sure is something. The Vegas/Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Final that was joked about might not happen and not for the reasons people thought. It has been a great sports story in Vegas.
Thanks for reading!