At 7:00 PM tonight, the puck hits the ice in the Igloo for Game 3 of the Capitals-Penguins Losenoidoomock series. But what can we expect tonight that could possibly top Game 2?
How about a Crosby-Malkin line?
As of today, the NHL could not have scripted the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs any better if, you know, all those conspiracies floating around the Interwebs were actually true.
Even the players concur. "It was amazing. Two of the star-power players in the league and each getting hat tricks in the same game - you couldn't have scripted it better," Capitals forward Chris Clark told reporters after the game Monday.
Turns out truth is often stranger (or at least more jump-on-the-couch/shake the arena exciting) than fiction. Especially with the Capitals and Penguins, who have already created two instant classics.
Malkin and Crosby on the same line could come close to matching the intensity of Monday's hat trick fest, at least if that "two-headed monster" can live up to the hype. Malkin would move to wing and Crosby would center the line if Pittsburgh Coach Dan Bylsma sends out the pair that is its own whatifsports.com dream package.
While nothing is confirmed, Bylsma hinted to NHL.com that playing the Pens top forwards on the same line was a possibility, adding, "It's something I do in different games and different situations."
Tossing a slumping Malkin out with Crosby, who leads NHL skaters with 8 playoff goals, could be the spark of energy the Penguins need to climb out of their 0-2 hole going into tonight's tilt. The possibility is certainly worthy of note by the Caps.
Sid vs. Ovi
The obvious story line thus far has been the Crosby vs. Ovechkin showdown that has the two MVP's facing off in the postseason for the first time to prove who really is King of Hockey.
From the moment the matchup became a reality last Tuesday night after the Rangers and Devils were both eliminated with Game 7 losses, there have been countless prognosticators surmising who would wind up on top and why.
As I watched Carolina score goals 3 and 4 to bury Marty and the Devils post Caps victory at the Verizon Center, the sea of red in D.C. erupted in chants of "Crosby Sucks" and buzzed with conversation about how the Capitals would defeat Sid and the rest of the Pens. The deluge of blogs, columns, stat comparisons and embedded polls have continued to burst forth.
Much like how the Bachelor tries to out-do the last emotionally twisted season with each new series, Game 2 more than upped the ante of Crosby and Ovechkin both putting up tallies in Game 1, which was certainly noteworthy enough on its own.
Dueling hat tricks from Sid the Kid and Ovi in the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals? I'm not sure how exactly to quantify the anti-uppage; a thousand-fold? Maybe a googleplex-fold?
In addition to Alexander the Great getting his first playoff hat trick, it was the first time in 13 years players from both teams had hat tricks and it was the first time ever back-to-back MVP's were the scorers.
The third man in the equation, Evgeni Malkin, has yet to light the lamp this series despite stealing the scoring title from Ovechkin in the regular season.
Ovechkin seems to have turned the tables and knocked Malkin off his game. Despite the so-called rivalry supposedly dissipated, it certainly seems as if Ovi has a bit of a proverbial bulls-eye on Malkin's back every time they share the ice and he has leveled some hits on Geno that were hard to ignore.
All of the elements leading up to tonight create the opportunity for a perfect storm leading to a breakout night from Malkin. Or, should I say, Hurricane Kolapadaar Geno. You can see more about seo hero contest here.