Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins
2-1, Capitals (OT), Capitals win series 4-3
Goals: Matt Hendricks (Washington), Tyler Seguin (Boston), Joel Ward (Washington, OT)
Goalies: Braden Holtby (31/32, .969%), Tim Thomas (25/27, .926%)
Dearly beloved, we gather here to say our goodbyes
Here it lies, no one knew its worth
The late, not so great offspring of the Bruins’ playoff berth
On these nights nowhere near when we celebrate the birth
In that little town of Bethlehem
We raise our glass, you bet your … to
La Viiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee Bostooooooooooon
Right, well, okay then. Now that I’ve had a little singing, let’s get serious here: this was a terrible way to cap off a generally very good season. A game seven where the home team seemed completely drained and devoid of passion–the first period was just painful, capped off with a wasted power play and boos from some of the home crowd–and it all ended on an overtime goal that might just have been waved off in another situation (there’s a compelling case for a goaltender interference call, although it means diddly squat now, which is ironic because earlier this season they handed out goalie interference penalties like Oprah gave away cars that one time) and caused a few embarrassments to the human race to make racist comments about the color of Joel Ward‘s skin? Yeesh. Hard pill to swallow.
The playoffs truly are a different beast from the regular season, back when the Bruins were known for their goal-scoring prowess and often opened up big comfy leads on other teams. Never once in this series did they ever, ever have a two-goal lead, and I have to give Washington credit for a lot of that: their hyper-defensive style, sacrificing the body so precious rookie Braden Holtby wouldn’t have to see the difficult shots (and contribute to NBC hyping him up as the second coming of the goalie Jesus), the physicality–the Bruins were just never able to solve them like all their fans surely (don’t call me Shirley) wanted them to.
I was hoping we could claw our way out of this series, take a few days to let the rest of the East settle and then be back in beast mode form against a completely new squad with a different play style. But alas, it was not to be. For a while, Bruins faithful will probably agonize over the missed chances, the squandered opportunities, the invisible players who barely showed up to the postseason (Milan Lucic, hi). It’s difficult going from being the champs (which they still technically are until the date someone else is handed that trophy; some Capitals fans were acting like they’ve already won the cup) to being out in the first round.
This long offseason is going to be full of questions: who’s going to be re-signed? Who’s going to be traded? Who’s going to be drafted? Who’s going to the Worlds? Who’s going to win NHL Awards? Who’s going to teach this team how to use a power play effectively? Who’s going to feel better? None of these things are anything like still being in the playoffs, but they’re something. Like Krista, I’m going to try to find some other team to cover, mostly for Yahoo so I can continue making more money, because money is nice. Unlike her, I’m not sure who it will be yet. And that’s okay. Nothing has to be decided yet.
Now, if you’ll excuse me: