Posted by: emmaharger | April 18, 2012

ECQF: Bruins-Capitals Games 2 and 3

[Alright, I know we’re both behind on doing some things we mean to do, but we’re gonna try to play catchup, mindful of the fact that, hey, it is the playoffs and both of us are spending quite a lot of time watching games–even if they’re not our teams. “Because it’s the Cup,” as the kids say.]

Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins

2-1 Capitals (OT), series tied 1-1

Goals: Troy Brouwer (Washington), Benoit Pouliot (Boston), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington, OT)

Goalies: Braden Holtby (43/44, .977%), Tim Thomas (37/39, .949%)

Writeups: Yahoo and Rant

The Good:

This introduction video for the Bru-Tang Clan line. I can’t seem to embed it, so watch it here. I love these guys so much. “The best-looking line in hockey.” The way Patrice Bergeron looks down and smiles shyly when Brad Marchand says what so many other people think should happen. The fact that Tyler Seguin can’t keep a straight face the whole time.

Speaking of Bergeron, I noticed he was getting a little more physical in this game–in the middle of scrums, even throwing a hit on Alexander Ovechkin.

And thank you Benoit Pouliot for scoring!

The Bad:

Some weak penalties were assessed to the Bruins at the beginning of the game, but then the refs decided to swallow their whistles altogether.

The Ugly:

Watch this side-by-side video of cross-checks to the face. One was in game 2 of the 2008 quarterfinals and one was in this game. One incurred a one-game suspension. One didn’t. At least Shawn Thornton knows what’s up.

Also, too many of the Bruins’ shots in this game were one-and-done shots from the point right at Holtby’s chest. C’mon, those are so easy to save! Manage his rebounds! Get in his face! Screen him! Be effective!

Next Game:

Down there…

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals

4-3 Bruins, Bruins lead 2-1

Goals: Alexander Semin (Washington), Rich Peverley (Boston), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington), Daniel Paille (Boston), Brian Rolston (Boston), Brooks Laich (Washington), Zdeno Chara (Boston)

Goalies: Tim Thomas (29/32, .906%), Braden Holtby (25/29, .862%)

Writeups: Yahoo and Rant

The Good:

I think the media narrative of “Braden Holtby is the best goaltender of all time, ALL TIME!” totally got smashed to pieces tonight–not only by the Bruins win, but also by this strange little incident:

Okay, let’s try to break this down. Shawn Thornton picks up the puck off the boards and goes into Washington’s zone, shooting it in there. Holtby then looks like he’s going to come poke-check the puck, but he…lets go of his stick. (I guess the refs didn’t feel that that didn’t give Daniel Paille a good chance to score, since no penalty shot was awarded.) Then after he lets go of his stick, Mike Green picks up the puck and, in an attempt to clear the zone, he takes a shot on his own goalie. Holtby doesn’t know where the puck is and looks behind him, but by then it’s already gone away from him and been taken up by another teammate.

I used Youtube Doubler to pair this with Yakety Sax, the classic theme tune from the Benny Hill Show, often used to accompany acts of failure. Enjoy.

Okay, other than that, this game actually had scoring from many parts of the lineup! It wasn’t just the third line. Top line, third line, Merlot line, d-men…yes, more of this, please!

Oh and also–Tim Thomas didn’t seem particularly bothered by the Obama and ‘HOPE you get pulled’ signs displayed behind him in warmups. First of all, goalies don’t really look behind themselves in warmups for a long time, except when coming in and out of the net. It would’ve been more effective if they’d stood at the corners, although it wouldn’t have produced such dramatic comparison photos as were created. Second of all, per my friend Arian who lives in the DC area and met some of the Bruins before the game (she said all of them were so lovely!), she asked Thomas if he would be bothered by it. He just laughed it off. That’s so Timmy. But hey, to the fans who made those: please don’t forget to vote in November. Let your voice be heard.

The Bad:

Giving up the first goal has been of particular risk in this low-scoring series (did the Pens and Flyers steal all the Eastern teams’ scoring mojo?), and when the Bruins did in this game, it was preceded and followed by a first period that was not a particularly good one.

Also, still need to see some better work and output from some of the top six: Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand–you guys wanna show up? David Krejci, you feeling okay?

The Ugly:

When Rich Peverley tied it at one at the top of the second period, Alexander Ovechkin came back and untied it 13 seconds later. He celebrated as if he’d won the Cup. Frankly, I grow tired not only of Ovechkin himself, but of the hype around him. We get it, the defensemen need to try to slow him down or stop him. They’re doing a good job of that, even though he appears to recklessly leave his feet every time he takes or gives a hit. Yes, he’s the captain, but he is not the only aspect of that team. There was a period of time in the regular season where he couldn’t do much of anything, really…

Things are getting really chippy between these two teams–and the Caps are no angels here. Check out this incident where Jason Chimera gets Marchand with a stick to what Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson might call the gentleman’s area.

An ESPN reporter said that Chimera was waiting postgame to apologize to Marchand, but that was untrue–it was Karl Alzner looking to make good for an elbowing incident earlier in the game. Alzner didn’t have any make-good to give to Lucic for coming in between he and Matt Hendricks, creeping up behind Lucic to wrap his arm around him and try to pull him away, though. He also made the mistake of doing the “wah wah crybaby” gesture to Lucic after their incident ended. HUGE MISTAKE. Lucic is the least likely person to be a crybaby pretty much ever: Chris Kelly joked that Lucic didn’t even when he was an actual baby.

Also, those Caps need to keep an eye on their sticks! This is the third game now of this series in which a Bruin has been cross-checked in the face. In this game, Nicklas Backstrom received a match penalty for this little after-the-final-whistle cuteness on Peverley:

(It’s easier to see in the replay.)

Match penalties come with automatic suspensions pending further review. Edit: Backstrom will be suspended for one game.

Next Game:

at Washington Capitals

April 19

NBC Sports Network

I wonder how this game will go considering there will be no Backstrom…

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