In all honesty, I think I spilled out any real wisdom/conjecture/bold thoughts in yesterday’s Dose (which I’d extra-bonus-encourage you to read later if you missed it). Let’s just go ahead and jump in to the Game 7 recap.
RANGERS 2, CAPITALS 1 (OT) - New York advances
-- Henrik Lundqvist won his sixth Game 7 in a row, and that many Game 7 wins ties him for the all-time mark with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. Overall, Lundqvist is 6-1 with a .970 GAA and .960 save percentage in Game 7's and is similarly dominant in other elimination situations.
So, basically, the guy who has everything really does. Except a Stanley Cup ring, I guess.
-- Brooks Orpik landed a brutal hit on Dan Boyle, the second troubling check that Boyle received in this series. He didn't come back to the game, and if I were him, I'd be awfully careful. He's 38 and has suffered more and more troubling injuries over the years. Boyle has to at least think a bit about his long-term future outside of the game.
-- Derek Stepan scored the OTGWG, capping a nice run in which he's generated four points in the past three games. Considering how hard points have been to come by, Stepan's nice run is that much more impressive.
-- Rick Nash didn't score, but he generated six SOG, and some of them were impressive chances. The most obvious one came in the first period, when Braden Holtby stopped him on a shorthanded breakaway chance. I wonder if he'll finally enjoy a semi-dominant series against the Lightning?
-- It's been a quiet postseason for Martin St. Louis, but it should be interesting to see how he plays against his former team. If nothing else, he better get ready for some awkward questions.
-- Speaking of Ovechkin, if you're going to bury him for never hitting a conference final, don't you have to apply the same unfair standards to Barry Trotz? Few would do that, and honestly, it's dumb either way. But still, if you're the type to do that, can you deny that they're both in the same basic boat?
-- There's already some precedent to Joel Ward possibly being a contract year guy. In 2010-11's contract year, he generated 13 points in 12 playoff games. In 14 playoff games after his first deal, he managed five, and he generated four in seven games (two non-contract years). This time around, he's in a contract year again, and he scored nine points in 14 postseason games. That matches his output of nine points in 21 games in the previous two playoff runs for Washington (they, of course, didn't make it in 2013-14).
Ward's a fine player (he's basically a 20-goal guy and can produce some assists), GMs should just weigh his entire body of work rather than assuming he's some sort of Clutch Genius or something.