Zdeno sad. (Photo: Jared Wickerham)
The Montreal Canadiens pulled off an improbable comeback tonight, defeating the Boston Bruins 3-1 in game seven.
(Actually, I think I wrote that wrong. Let me try again.)
The universe decided it hated Zdeno Chara, so Montreal got ANOTHER fluky game seven win over a team way better than them.
(Okay, that’s better.)
Not kidding. Chara was bad. The 6’9” Norris trophy winner scored an own goal, committed two penalties, slipped on multiple invisible bananas, and had one particularly weird incident involving Brendan Gallagher and a temporary suspension of the rules of physics.
Let’s take a gander.
Crash the net! (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Three times in Game Six did the Boston Bruins gain a lead over the Washington Capitals. And three times did the Caps tie it up. But the Caps just couldn’t finish off Boston.
Rich Peverley was credited for deflecting Bergeron’s blue-line bomb past Holtby. Mike Green got that back with a slapshot from way out, bouncing off Greg Zanon’s lower body in traffic. David Krecji used his speed to convert a power play and restore the Bruins’ lead. Jason Chimera evened it up by finishing off a great setup from Nick Backstrom at the end of the second period. Tyler Seguin’s rebound made easy feeding for Andrew Ference, giving the Bruins their third lead of the day. Alex Ovechkin canceled that out with a laser-quick shot off the faceoff with just five minutes remaining.
Into overtime, which Boston dominated until Tyler Seguin got the game winner. Bruins beat Caps 4-3 (OT). We’re going to Game Seven in Boston.
This is what Swedish revenge looks like. (Photo credit: Mark Baer, US Presswire)
The playoff series gives Caps fans a chance to learn all about our rivals and the exotic places they come from. For the first of their Stanley Cup travelogue series, the PuckBuddys offer “How To Spot A Bruins Fan” and helpfully explain why living in Boston is worse than gargling with cat litter.
The Geography of Bad: Let’s just put a few things on the table. Some cities are horrible because of where they are. Tampa comes to mind. Not quite poor enough to be swamp trash, not quite rich enough to be coastal, it’s the worst of Florida compressed into one atomically fetid spot. Or take Winnipeg. God help anyone who has to go to Winnipeg.
Other places aren’t so much insufferable because of where they are, but because of who lives there. Philadelphia, for example, where entire generations have refined the art of being over-privileged and grating. Dallas, which is just about all we need to say about that hole. Or pretty much the entire state of Arizona.
That said, there’s a whole special category of wretched for cities that, were the Lord truly merciful, He would just dump into the ocean and pretend it never happened. Can you guess which blighted dung pile is featured in this week’s list of awful?
Photo credit: Charles Krupa
After Thursday’s disappointing overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, Dale Hunter’s Washington Capitals redoubled their efforts. The result: another excruciatingly tight hockey game at TD Garden, but with a heluva lot more offense.
Troy Brouwer crashed the net to score to the game’s first goal after 38 scoreless minutes. Halfway through the third, Benoit Pouliot tied the game with a backhand off a loose puck in the slot.
And the overtime. Nothing. OT2 ended in a blink… as Nick Backstrom beat Thomas over the shoulder. Caps beat Bruins 2-1 (OT).
Not Alex Ovechkin. (Pic via capitals.com)
For those of you who like the All-Star Game, good news: this game was just as loose and ridiculous as you could have possibly dreamed. For those of you who dislike the All-Star Game, good news: it’s over.
We return to real hockey on Tuesday and thank goodness for that, but it was a nice weekend of rest for most of our team, and a nice weekend of dumb, mindless spectacle for hockey fans. I expect to see the rest of the Caps come back with suntans, and Dennis Wideman to come back with a smile on his face. As silly as most of the actual events of the weekend are, recognition is and always will be one of the best feelings in the world, especially for a guy like Wideman that rarely gets what he deserves.
It’s still official Dennis Wideman Day for the rest of Sunday, and then after that you can go back to your regularly scheduled Caps fandom.
Screengrab via @CarrottBazooka
Since Alex Ovechkin has opted out of the All-Star Weekend (and has better things to do anyway), Dennis Wideman is now Washington’s lone representative in Ottawa. While Wideman is perhaps slightly less likely to don a hat and sunglasses and do trick shots, he’s a Capital, so we love him all the same. We’ll be covering Wideman’s foray into the glamorous life of an All-Star, so check back for updates, because let’s face it, you’re already bored without hockey.
Dennis Wideman was picked in the 15th round with the second-to-last pick that could be used on a defenseman, before only Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. This means that we can get hipster now if we want and call him underrated. We knew Dennis Wideman when he wasn’t cool. Logan Couture was picked last overall and won a brand new caaaaarrrrr! Somehow it just wasn’t the same without Ovechkin there laughing and taking pictures.
Photo credit: paparazzi.ru
This week, the Caps went 3-1-0 against the Lightning, Hurricanes, Islanders, and Habs, and if you asked someone who they thought was the only team to beat us, they would probably be surprised by the answer. Despite being outshot 77-136, the Caps still managed to outscore opponents 9-7 and take 6 of 8 points. Especially if you blindly ignore that Tuesday ever happened, it was a pretty good week.
Elsewhere in the NHL, a compelling case was made for wearing helmets in warmups, Mrs. Pronger made us sad about Chris Pronger again, Brian Elliott was re-signed in St. Louis, Chara and Alfredsson were named captains of the All-Star Game, Rangers owner James Dolan apparently has no idea the Stanley Cup is not awarded in January, and Ryan Kesler and Alain Vigneault had a lovers’ quarrel.
In case you were wondering the most important question–how does everything in the world apply to the Washington Capitals?–here’s a helpful guide to what’s terrible this week.
GROUP HUG! (Photo credit: Rob Carr)
In dramatic fashion, in front of a national television audience and a sellout crowd at Verizon Center, the Cardiac Caps were once again back at work as Washington pushed their winning streak to eight. Less than one month ago it would have been hard to imagine any of this happening. Nevertheless, the Caps are now just a single point out of first-place in the Eastern Conference.
“Guys have a bit of a swagger right now, back to the way things were,” said Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby.
The Blackhawks opened the scoring less than five minutes into the contest. After receiving a feed from Marian Hossa, Nick Leddy put the puck past Holtby. Just under two and a half minutes later, however, Boyd Gordon would knot the game at one. After picking up an errant pass by the ‘Hawks power play, Gordon raced down the wing before firing a slapper past Chicago netminder Corey Crawford for the shortie. Late in the first frame, after John Erskine drew a holding penalty, Washington headed to their recently anemic power play. This time, however, it would be different. New Cap Jason Arnott fired a bullet from the point that found twine, giving Washington their first lead of the game.
Three minutes into the second period, Chicago would tie the game at two when Holtby gave Tomas Kopecky a little too much daylight. Kopecky seized the opportunity, banking the puck off ‘keeper’s back from behind the goal-line. In the waining moments of the stanza, things got physical when Chicago’s Brent Seabrook delivered a hard check behind the net to Jason Chimera. Everyone favorite fire-footed, stone-handed forward took exception to Seabrook, challenging him to a duel. Seabrook appeared to come out with the win in the bout but it was Chimera got the take-down.
“Chimmer, I thought, he was a factor. He did not get a star or anything, but I thought he was a real big factor in the game,” said Chimera’s teammate Brooks Laich. “He was the one that sort of instigated that little rhubarb there. I think he does a good job and takes one of their top defenders off. So I think he had a very good night.”
Six and half in to the final frame, the aforementioned Laich put home Matt Hendricks’ (or more accurately Eric Fehr’s) feed from the corner to put the Caps on top. Washington appeared to be in control until Marcus Johansson was called for hooking at 18:10. “I thought it was a pretty chintzy call,” said Boudreau. On the ensuing Blackhawks power play, Jonathan Toews converted on a mad scrum in front of the net, as the puck bounced in off Holtby’s skate.
In overtime, the Capitals missed numerous chances until, finally, Mike Knuble — with a little help from Johansson — came to the rescue. Ballgame over. Caps top ‘Hawks, 4-3.
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