Thursday, August 8, 2013

Matchup 5: #1 4OT Loss to Pittsburgh vs. #2 Easter Epic

It has been a long, long time since the last matchup, but then again, so much has happened since. Here is the first semifinal match, between two heartbreaking 4th-overtime losses to hated rivals: the loss to Pittsburgh and the infamous Easter Epic.

If you've forgotten how this works (and I don't blame you if you have), I compare these two in different factors and declare a winner in the end. So, let's begin.

The Caps had struggled against both of these teams. They were both hated rivals who the Caps wanted to beat just once. The loss to Pittsburgh did not really have much of an importance factor compared to the Epic, which occurred in Game 7.
Advantage: Easter Epic

Again, impact is tough to measure. Both of these were first round matches. In the long run, the Caps probably would not have been able to knock off the Flyers or Oilers in 1987, while they may have fared better against the Rangers and Panthers. The Caps blew a good opportunity in a year anything could have happened to reach their first SCF.
Advantage: Loss to Pittsburgh

Shock Factor:
This is the definition of a tossup. The Isles goalie had played the game of his life, stopping more than 75 shots in the game the Caps had dominated. The Penguins were playing without Mario Lemieux, Joe Juneau had the first ever playoff OT penalty shot, and the Caps were up in the series. Plus, the game-winner was scored by Pavel Nedved, of all people. It is pretty much impossible for me to choose between the two.
Advantage: Push

Grudge/Hate Factor:
Another toughie. The Isles were hated during the time they beat up the Caps, and the Pens were hated when they beat up the Caps. In the long run though, there is a reason the Penguins are the Caps' biggest rivals, and the reason we see 'Crosby Sucks' jerseys instead of 'Tavares Sucks' jerseys at Verizon Center.
Advantage: Loss to Pittsburgh

In the end, the 4OT Loss to Pittsburgh was just a bit worse than the Easter Epic for the Caps faithful. This will go on to the finals of this tourney, where it will take on...

Well, you will see.

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