Is anybody really surprised this series is tied at 3 and heading toward a game 7 thriller Wednesday night in DC?
In fact, through 6 games we have seen just about everything we expected to see.
Great offensive playmaking and goals.
Great skill and determination by the 3 best forwards in the league.
Key contributions from 2nd, 3rd and 4th line players.
And of course, great goaltending. Well, from the Capitals perspective at least.
Rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov has been spectacular on most nights in this series and if you have any doubts about why this series is tied at 3, just look at these numbers:
shots = 212
saves = 190
shots = 151
saves = 131
In terms of save percentage, neither goalie is above .900, but if you were to switch the percentage for Varlamov to be the same as Fleury's, the Pens would have scored 6 more goals in this series and it would be over already. Of course, if Fleury's save percentage was the same a Varlamov's, the Capitals would have scored 4 less goals and the same would probably be true.
In a series where everything else seems equal, the play of the goaltenders has been the difference.
And that's why I think for the Penguins to win this series, they need Marc-Andre Fleury to play that ONE game we all know he is capable of playing. Like he did in game 4 against the Flyers in the past round and as he did in game 5 agains the Red Wings last spring.
In a series that has been ALMOST everything we expected, it's the ONE thing we have not seen...and the ONE thing that the Penguins desparately need to advance to the next round.