The Big Show: Bruins beat Caps 1-0 (OT)

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

Here we go. The big show. The postseason. First of many between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals– a tight, violent, and excruciating bout of playoff hockey. There is nothing sweeter.

The Caps endured three punishing  but scoreless periods before someone named Chris Kelly scored the OT winner. Bruins beat Caps 1-0.

  • The Capitals couldn’t possess the puck in the first forty, so they did the next best thing: blocked shots. Led by birthday boy Roman Hamrlik, the Caps dove in front of pucks like the end of every buddy cop movie, except with ya know pucks instead of bullets. Those 22 total blocks cut Boston’s offense in half and were a definite boon to…
  • Braden Holtby, the rookie in the Washington net. The first NHL playoff game of Braden’s career, and the kid was MAGNIFICENT. Maybe his rebounds were a bit ripe, but he was poke-checking, getting physical, tracking pucks through mondo screens, leaving no space along the post, and being his typically bad-ass self– even after getting roughed up a few times. 29 saves, .967% Sv%.
  • Jay Beagle delivered a couple cross-checks and a high stick, earning a dumb double minor at the end of the first period. That four-minute kill deprived the Caps of the offense they already lacked, but it also exposed the depth of character this team’s defense has. The Bruins’ O was brutal, but the PK unit was more than equal to the task.
  • Much to our disappointment, this season’s Caps haven’t punished opponents for running over their netminders, but when David Krecji knocked Holts over after the whistle, John Carlson pounced on him like an attack dog. Carlson and Krecji shared minor penalties, which should have led to some exhilarating 4-on-4, but….
  • Holtby’s adrenaline got the best of him or something, and he was whistled for roughing just a few seconds later. It was a weak call methinks, and punishment for prudent goalie behavior. Setting the Caps on another epic 4-on-3 penalty kill, well… it’s just part of the reason why the team mustered only 7 shots on goal through 40 minutes.
  • The rest of that story: the Caps offense was MIA until the third period. Seriously. Just two shots in the second period. I mean– the ’09-’10 could probably get two shots on goal just during intermission.
  • That third period, something changed. Personally, I think it was TD Garden playing “The Anthem” by Waldorf natives Good Charlotte. The third period Caps dominated the Bruins zone, generating chances and making Tim Thomas work.

Series record: Bruins 1, Caps 0

Joe B suit of the night

Here’s the thing: all the talk of patterns and habits and trend lines is over and done. Projections and predictions are irrelevant. All that matters now is results.

Regular season record? No one cares. Not enough goals during the 82? Commit too many penalties? Offer poor D-zone coverage? Irrelevant. This is the real game now.

Ovechkin vs Chara is off to a terrific start, but so is Ovechkin vs Seidenberg, and so is Johansson vs. the puck. When Chara got the best of Ovi, Ovi smiled. When Ovi got the best of Chara, Chara got frustrated and offered a high stick.

We’re in it now. This is the mud, a viscous soup of unbelievably tough hockey through which our guys gotta wade.

Or maybe it’s the Gauntlet, with muscled-out weirdos like Chara and Looch shooting tennis balls at the Red.

Or is it trench warfare? a battle of attrition by which we reveal who is stronger.

No. This is the motherflipping playoffs. They’ve got one; we’ll get the next.

Grind ‘em down and crash the net.

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

  • bailamos?

    No bailamos. Only nail-biting and heart attacks today.

  • GovtMinion

    As a B’s fan, I’m damned pleased with the outcome.

    And I’ll also admit that Holtby scared the hell out of me all night. Very good Patrick Roy imitation all night- great saves, defended his net against chippy Bruins… Very impressive night!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryantpthomas Bryant Thomas

    CRASH THE MOTHER FUCKING NET

  • Al

    holy crap was holtby amazing! i was neverous through out watching that whole game but holtby just looked as calm and confident as a seasoned pro. also timmy thomas stare down when his mask got knocked was pretty goofy.

  • JessHughes

    Nice recap but I wish we weren’t stuck with the “the Caps gave it the ol’ college try” storyline.

  • Abhi

    We were shooting from too far out. Caps, Y U no listen to Neil Greenberg?!?

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  • John W.

    Holtby came up HUGE! That was what we need this playoffs, if we got any offensive production,  this game was all ours. I cant believe i am saying this, but if Ovie was on the point on the PP when Greeny missed that golden opportunity, this game might have ended differently. Put this game behind you and look ahead to Saturday.

  • Gracie

    Bahah, the TD Garden playing Good Charlotte. I’m happy someone else noticed.

    All in all, I was extremely proud of Holtby

  • Greddy287

    need to get some shots on net, and STOP GETTING YOUR ASSES BEAT BY THE BRUINS. who the fuck cares if they are bigger, man up and HIT SOMEONE. fist to cuffs!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    I’m not sold on the Joel Ward choice over Mike Knuble. I think a dirty grinder like Knuble is something we need out there right now. Aucoin missed a couple of great opportunities.

    As far as Holtby is concerned…I’m all in. That guy is EXACTLY what the CAPS need in net. I love the aggressive play & his calm during the game.  

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    The Bruins tend to be a bunch of bullies. I had a bit of respect for them until I really started watching closer. They can’t get it done where it counts so they tend to concentrate on manhandling the little guys & forcing their opponents to dig their own graves. The penalties from this game alone are proof of that. The CAPS will have to respond by outsmarting these goons. It won’t be enough to go toe to toe with Boston physically. Let them wear themselves out & keep Tim Thomas moving east to west.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AD53U5OE5LM6MQ4OMD7QL6QGYA Philip

    is it just me or is anyone else ALREADY tired of Marchand throwing elbows and diving all over the rink?   it’s getting old right quick.  what an annoying little person.

  • Peter

    Totally. You get a different ref crew out there and it’ll all go differently.

  • Peter

    Bailamos on Saturday

  • Peter

    Nor am I, but I didn’t wanna argue about the roster in a postseason recap.

  • KareeLyn

    I think we have a chance.  Our defense really showed up last night, and if you mix that with some Ovi/Sasha/Nicky finesse and a little awkward Brouwer/Chimera weird goalage, things will be looking up. 

  • http://twitter.com/VaMedic Chris Gardner

    Very good game. Turn on the Oh-fence like the third and we will be fine. Timmeh is blocking shots by rebounding them across the center of the ice. Be there, bury it, repeat.
    Feel better about series today than pre-game yesterday.

  • InOviweTrust

    Still love when people complain that the Bruins are bullies. This is HOCKEY. As a Caps fan I can’t stand watching Ovi and Semin look to the refs every time they lose an edge with contact. Man up.

  • Poo Daniels

    thomas looked a little slow in net. the caps definitely just need to get an effective cycle going up front and the goals will come

  • Adburns96

    Anyone else have visions of Jeff George dragged across the Dallas Star when the Goons were hovering over Sasha…or visions of the alleyway in A Christmas Story where Ralphie and the boys get shook down?? Either way, our lack of response kinda sorta left me thinking that the JC pushback was just a flash in the pan…

  • JoeAjello

    “Or maybe it’s the Gauntlet, with muscled-out weirdos like Chara and Looch shooting tennis balls at the Red.”

    Did you just make an American Gladiators reference?

    I don’t know if I am more impressed by the randomness of such a nod to a certain piece of Americana or terrified that I picked up on it right away.

    Either way, a tip of the hat to you Mr. Hassett.

  • Peter

    ha you nailed it

  • Jeremy

    Anyone got video of Carlson defending Holtby? Or of Holtby’s roughing?

  • Johnnymorte

    What the hell is DH thinking with an Ovi/Laich/Brouwer top line?  Ovi belongs with JoJo they have been clicking all year.  Someone should cross check some sense into Dale.   Knoobs needs be in the game.  He played well down the stretch.