Apr 22, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin (19) scores the game-winning goal on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during overtime in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE
In lieu of a preview, I decided we'd just post the public skate wicked early so that we could all make loud noises and place sparkly gifs in the comments all afternoon long.
Besides, by now we know what we're dealing with with the Caps - a team newly committed to defense who's been pretty successful at pushing the Bruins to the outside so their rookie netminder's glut of juicy rebounds can't get jumped upon.
Pretty successful, that is, until the Bruins remembered how to play their game around the mid-point of Game 5, since which time it's been difficult for Washington to slow down an offense that produced the third-most goals per game during the regular season (behind only Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, which I find rather amusing).
Boston was (correct me if this is wrong) 38-0-0 when leading by two at any point in a game during the regular season. They haven't led by two once this series. I think there's a decent chance that changes tonight, if only because that Bruins have crushed their opposition when I'm watching them at the bar I'll be at tonight (I tweeted that they'd outscored them 17-0 earlier, it's actually 17-2. Details).
That said, I don't expect the Caps to lie down - who could expect a team to lie down in a game seven? Sure, the Ovechkin-era Caps are 1-3 in Game Sevens. But remember, before last year, the Bruins weren't too hot in Game Sevens themselves. Every team has a time, and there's no reason for Washington to think that theirs isn't now. Ovechkin, Semin, Laich, Hendricks, Chimera, Backstrom, MoJo and Alzner are still forces to be reckoned with. And Holtby's proven that he's not afraid of the stage.
Then again, the stage hasn't been quite this big yet, the lights haven't burned quite as bright.
Let's go B's.