Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. We all have those moments where you get that sick feeling as things are spiraling out of control towards the inevitable. And as we watch the inevitable occur in slow motion, you realize that everyone is watching you, and there's absolutely nothing you can do. Nicklas Backstrom had one of those moments yesterday during the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins game. The only problem with this one is that it may have ended the Capitals' drive towards the playoffs.
I'm not going to say anything, but just keep your eyes on #19 in red.
I don't know if Nicklas Backstrom knows Bryan McCabe. I assume that they are aware of one another, but I don't know if Backstrom is friends with McCabe. I'm going to assume they aren't, but it brought back memories of Bryan McCabe's "School For Kids Who Can't Handle The Puck In Front Of Their Net Good".
Ouch. Those goals look remarkably similar.
All I know is that with the loss yesterday to Pittsburgh, Washington is six points behind 8th-place Philadelphia, and seven points behind Southeast Division-leader Carolina. Those two points that Washington missed out on yesterday would have been huge in their push to make the playoffs this season. I, for one, don't think that Backstrom should be blamed for the Capitals potentially missing the playoffs, though.
"That was officially heartbreaking," Captials' head coach Bruce Boudreau said to The Canadian Press. "I feel bad for Nick. He was doing everything that he could and ends up shooting it in his own net."
Sidney Crosby tried to give Washington's dark cloud a silver lining. "We've been on the other side of that before and obviously it's not fun," Crosby told the Canadian Press.
All I know is that The Pens Blog is loving this. However, through the magic of a screen grab, I present to you the moment that Alexander Ovechkin realizes that this season is over:
28.9 seconds left. That sinking feeling.
I apologize to Capitals fans. You guys saw your team outplay the Penguins, and somehow were punished by the hockey gods still. I can't explain why, but it seems that Washington is in some sort of purgatory when it comes to things like this. If there's any consolation, though, you do have the Maurice Richard Trophy winner playing for you, and it appears that Backstrom will win the Calder Trophy as best rookie. However, it's too bad that his season may be remembered for this instead of a run to the playoffs.
Chin up, Mr. Backstrom. You have a long, successful career ahead of you.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!