If Game 7 experience matters, the Washington Capitals won’t be lacking in that department against the New York Rangers Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
As CSNWashington.com notes, this “will be the sixth Game 7 in the playoff careers of Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Semin. For Caps veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik, it will be his ninth career Game 7.”
Yesterday, Laich waxed rather poetically about how the Capitals need to approach Saturday’s winner-take-all affair.
“You can’t get froze up by the pressure or the intensity,” he said. “You just have to let yourself be free and enjoy it and then after that whatever you are, if you’re a skater, you have to skate, if you’re a shooter, you shoot.”
Laich added: “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on, now. Lord knows, I can’t change.”
The Caps are 2-3 in Game 7’s in what we’ll call the Alex Ovechkin era, but that losing record means nothing when you consider it was less than three weeks ago they went into Boston and beat the defending Stanley Cup champs in a deciding contest.
So, let’s assume that the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will eventually play in the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field on Sunday.
Every indication is that Cam Talbot and Connor Hellebuyck shall get the nods for their respective teams. Most assume, with the firepower on hand, that this could be a high-scoring game.
Hellebuyck isn’t flustered about all the goals the Jets have allowed so far, as he told NHL.com.
“It’s not something you’re really worried about,” Hellebuyck said. “It’s early in the year, it happens to a lot of teams. If you look at the trends in the past 10 years, there’s always a lot of goals being scored at the beginning of the year.”
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.