The Washington Capitals never had a lead in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they tied it up three of the four times they trailed. The fourth time, they had no opportunity as Tyler Seguin scored the Bruins fourth goal in overtime to win it for the Bruins, 4-3. And just like that, there’s a seventh game in Boston to come on Wednesday.
The Washington Capitals bounced back last night to even their series against the Boston Bruins at two games a piece on the back of a 44 save performance by goaltender Braden Holtby. It was kinda like, “Wow,” from the 400s. Ah, yes, the 400s…where it takes a dozen Verizon Center security guys to bounce a couple drunk looking for trouble. These were not the asshats from Monday night, just garden variety drunks in a bad mood looking for a bad time.
Like always, there are better places to read about the game like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, District Sports Page, On Frozen Blog and Ed Frankovic…and I am still a very happy camper because Capitals Outsider is still doing box scores.
See my photos below or on flickr and thanks for stopping by again!
Every so often, you have to be reminded of what you hate and why. Last night, it was time for me to remember why I hate Boston. It really had nothing to do with the Bruins. In fact, there are two cool things about the whole state of Assachusetts. One is that I met my wife there and the other are the Bruins (but the latter may just be relative). See, for a short period after high school, I lived in Boston. Allston to be exact. At the time, it was a weird mix of over-privileged college students and immigrants. I’m not sure what it’s like today since I haven’t been back in over 20 years, although I have been back to the state (which also reminded me of a number of reasons why I hated it so much). Anyway…
What got me back into so much hate were the three Boston, Assachusetts loving asshats that sat in front of us. I’m all for good natured chirping yelling and chirping between fans. It’s fun and it adds something for everyone. These three, though, were nothing of the sort. Two boys and a girl. I won’t call them men and a woman, because that ain’t how they behaved. Before they were seated, the girl was flipping everyone off and every other word out of her mouth was what that gesture says with a finger. They were intent on going out of their way to ruin everyone’s time around them and took offense at being called on it. While it never seemed like things would escalate beyond name calling between them and the people around me, a talking to from Verizon Center staff telling them to behave or get tossed finally settled them down in the third period.
In four years of holding Capitals season tickets, I don’t remember anything else quite like this. There wasn’t anything that terrible about it. Their presence and behavior just made everything else not fun. Besides the lecture, the only other things that shut them up at all were Capitals goals and when the girl overheard me telling one of my friends that my fear as the parent of girls was that they might turn out like her. She looked at me then, looked sad, and turned away and was quiet and nearly motionless for about 10 minutes.
So, I couldn’t really see a lot of the game through their heads, arms, phones, hats, and such. Little glimpses here and there. What I could see looked like it might have been a game. So, I’ve read about it on Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic. Luckily, there’s also the handy dandy box score from Capitals Outsider, too. My photos are below and on flickr.
The Washington Capitals clinched a playoff berth with their 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers last night (and a loss by the Buffalo Sabres to the Philadelphia Flyers). That was good. Really, really good.
The Washington Capitals lost goalie Michal Neuvirth after former Capital Marco Sturm fell on his leg. That was bad. Really, really bad.
The Washington Capitals got goals from both Alexes for the first time since, uh, the last time they played Florida (and Jay Beagle and Brooks Laich knocked in goals of their own, too). That was good.
The Washington Capitals let a 3-0 lead slip to a 3-2 lead in an all too familiar manner. That was bad.
The Washington Capitals scored a fourth goal before the Panthers managed to score a third goal. That was good.
The Washington Capitals power play was not very powerful. Again. That was bad.
The Washington Capitals penalty kill was very successful. That was good.
The Washington Capitals had lots of trouble removing the puck from their zone. Again. That was bad.
The second season begins sometime next week. I wonder if this team has found their identity.
Oh, and what’s this? After missing 80 games with concussion like symptoms, the Capitals Outsider Box Score has returned!
My photos are below and on flickr.
The Washington Capitals were up with a solid lead again last night in their game against the Montreal Canadiens and, once again, they gave up the lead. Fortunately, the Capitals prevailed in the shootout on the strength of goals by Matt Hendricks (despite his “Paralyzer” shootout move doing nothing for him) and Alexander Semin while Michal Neuvrith didn’t let anything by him.
While there were many stories of the game last night like the Capitals blowing another lead, the team scrapping that much closer to getting into the playoffs despite themselves, a continuing powerless play, and it saying “Fan Appreciation Day” on the ticket, the only thing that really seemed to matter (and was a big enough gift back to fans) was the return of Nicklas Backstrom. Well, the playoff thing matter a little bit, too. And that power(less) play could be a real problem if they get there. It was great seeing Backstrom get right back into the groove.
It was also cool to see Semin roughing someone up. I know some up in the press box called it a weak call, and perhaps it was from that view, but from my view (which you can see in one of the photos below), Semin gave some elbow and cared enough to finish with an extra little bit.
Before the Washington Capitals hosted the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center last night, former Capitals Peter Bondra answered questions from Capitals season ticket holders in a “chalk talk” session. It was pretty lightweight, but enjoyable, which was good, because for Caps fans, everything went downhill after that in a 5-1 beat down from Buffalo.
Braden Holtby gave up 3 goals on 18 shots. In a follow up to his excellent defensive play while on a power play Sunday night, Alex Ovechkin coughed up the puck leading to a Sabres shorthanded goal. Bah. Everyone was talking about how this game was going to be like a game seven in the playoffs. Sadly, they seemed to follow the model of the Eastern Conference Semis game seven in 2009 against the Penguins.
The added salt in the wound heartbreaker of the night was seeing a flag flying (literally) Sabres fan occupying the seat of Capitals super fan, Elliot Segal from DC101’s “Elliot in the Morning” radio show.
I made my own mistakes, too. I kept accidentally changing (and not noticing for a while) a camera setting that led some serious overexposure. Like the Capitals, I’ll hang my mistakes out in public for everyone to see. Except maybe some of these might be kind of cool.
My photos (overexposed and all) are below and on flickr.
The Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals played a pretty high energy game last night at Verizon Center. Perhaps what was most surprising was that there were no fights. The hitting was hard and tempers were definitely flaring, but no one threw down. For a short time I really thought I we might see Roman Hamrlik get into a rare fight by throw down with Setphane Veilleux after Veilleux used some nasty stick express his outrage over Hamrlik flipping him to the ice. But it was not to be.
What was to be was Braden Holtby pitching a shutout, supported with goals by Jason Chimera, Mathieu Perreault, and Alex Ovechkin (who is hungry for more, although I always seem to miss or mangle the focus on the “feed me” gesture). Without Holtby heroics in the first period, he may have just been holding on late. Getting out of the first period 0-0 was the best thing that happened to the Capitals all night, and they have Holtby to thank for that.
I don’t know about anyone else, but before last night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, I still hadn’t recovered from the last Jets game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. There was just no reasonable way to describe how that game went from being 2 minutes away from a 2-0 win to a 3-2 loss in overtime other than bad luck. Really bad luck.
Last night, it wasn’t bad luck so much as thinking that 26 minutes of domination is enough to win a 60 minute game. I miss Bruce Boudreau as much as any Capitals fan. I miss a lot of the style of play int he Boudreau era, but this really good effort, but only for a little while, is one I wouldn’t mind never seeing from this team again.
There were two moments while the Capitals were still leading that I got that sinking “they’re gonna lose” feeling. The first was seeing the Brooks Laich fist pump from last season’s 24/7 on the scoreboard after his fight with Jim Slater. I thought it was fun seeing it up there. I just all the sudden had that feeling. The second was a little after the beginning of the third period. I saw a Jets fan with a sign making her way down to her seat near the glass. The text on the sign read: “I Travelled 1247.4 miles from Winnipeg to watch the Jets Defeat the Caps Again! Go Jets Go!” and I found myself thinking, “Oh cool! I’m going to title it ‘Whoops,’ or something hopefully a little more witty.” Immediately followed by, “Oh no, they’re really gonna lose.” Sigh.
Look at my photos below or on flickr.
Watching the Capitals at what may be their best in their current form at this time may not be as fun and exciting as when they were at their best in 2009 or 2010, but it sure was fun to watch yesterday’s game agains the Toronto Maple Leafs. There was no angst, no doom and gloom, no waiting for a shoe to drop…even when Mathieu Perreault put them up 2-0 in the first minute of the third period. That was kind of surprising given the Capitals recent history with 2-0 leads. Something about the game felt right. They were going to win. And give Michal Neuvirth a shutout victory in his 100th NHL game.
And there was the hitting. Which was good.
More of this please.
Read more at the regular places that tell their stories with words like On Frozen Blog, Ed Frankovic, Japer’s Rink, District Sports Page and Russian Machine. Check out my photos below or on flickr and thanks for stopping by!
Way back when in ought-eight, ought-nine, when the Washington Capitals trailed by a couple goals, there was never any worry about whether they’d come back, only about who was going to be credited with the goal…and who are we kidding? It was almost always Alex Ovechkin unless it was overtime, in which case it would be Mike “Game Over” Green. It always worked out. Until April or May, at least. This season, though, and much of last season, holding a two goal lead is stressful as the wonder is focused on if they’re going to hold it, blow it, and how close it will be.
Last night was more of the latter, but a little of the former. The Capitals had to win in this game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They had the lead, they fell behind and Ovechkin won it in overtime. Of course, this was in a game against a goalie making his first NHL career start and suffering from what sounds like a pretty nasty case of dehydration. He was visibly off late in the third period and overtime, most noticeably during stops in play where it looked like he was holding onto the goal for support to keep standing. But whatever it takes, a win is a win. Unfortunately, it may be game over for green for a little while after the hit he laid on Brett Connolly, but that’s beside the point.
The theme of the night seems to have been yelling. Coach Dale Hunter yelled at the Capitals in the second intermission. Green was yelling from the bench, Dennis Wideman was yelling when shooting, and Ovi was yelling after he scored. And when was the last time we saw him jump into the glass like that after scoring? Personally, I’ve missed seeing that.
You know where to go to really read about the game, and it ain’t here. It’s over at places like Ed Frankovic, On Frozen Blog, Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, District Sports Page and such. I have some photos below and on flickr.