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The Narrative: Physicality, Slick Swedes and Snider

Three things we're talking about today when we're talking about the Caps

Rob Carr/Getty Images

1. Through two games, the Caps have had an edge in physical play, with a slight advantage in hits (which isn't a good thing in and of itself) and a bigger advantage in memorable and impactful ones:

Sayeth the Captain:

All of that has the Flyers looking to up their physicality:

Yes, Brayden, focus on that. And, while you're at it, ask last year's Islanders (or anyone else) how that tends to work out.


2. The Caps have scored six goals in two games; Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson have combined for seven assists. All three Caps' power-play tallies have been assisted by both slick Swedes, and of the three other goals, Johansson had the primary assist on one (Jay Beagle's Game 1 insurance tally) and Backstrom scored another (the icing-on-the-cake fourth marker in Game 2). In other words, one or both of these guys has had a hand in every goal that the Caps have scored from inside the Flyers' zone so far.

That's tremendous production from both men, and perhaps particularly surprising coming from Johansson, based on his historical playoff performances:

And with four points in two games, Backstrom is half-way to the eight he posted in 14 games last spring.

Backstrom and Johansson are a huge part of why the Caps have as many power-play goals through two games this time around as they had in 14 a year ago.


3. In their first home game since the passing of their beloved owner Ed Snider, the Flyers will look to draw upon what will certainly be an emotional pregame for inspiration:

But really, Philly already has all the motivation they need in what amounts to a must-win. As Claude Giroux knows...