This game ruled. I don’t care what the score or my head tells me.
Which is kind of strange. The youngs and AHLers clearly were a bit thrown off at first and played a more conservative game, which did play to the Cassidy system a bit, and allowed Jeremy Swayman to be Jeremy Swayman. And the Caps really didn’t have much of an answer for it.
Unbelievably, the Boston Bruins, with this roster, against a more or less complete Caps squad, opened the scoring. DeBrusk fed Jarred Tinordi the puck, who went on a little tour of the attacking zone, and then bounced the puck off of Curtis Lazar’s legs to get the Bruins up 1-0.
Absolutely unreal effort here.
Of course, the Caps couldn’t let that stand for more than a few minutes, and they finally managed to crack Swayman with a net-man scramble where Carl Hagelin popped the puck in over his pad. 1-1 all.
No further scoring, and both teams went to the locker rooms tied at one apiece. Both. As in this one as well.
In every great underdog sports story, there is unfortunately one trope that often reigns supreme, especially post-1980 where coked out sincerity fell out of style. It’s always a feel-good moment, never doesn’t get people going...but it also means the underdog has to lose.
And with 1.8 seconds left on the clock, a one-in-a-million, never going in any other way, no chance in hell that works shot...worked. After all that effort they put in the third.
Bruins lose 2-1.
- Your Even-Strength TOI leader was Connor Clifton, who clocked 22 minutes of ice time.
- It’s a real disappointment for all of these guys, and it shouldn’t surprise you at all that the Caps spent most of this game dominating them because they were still very much the Washington Capitals, you have to give all the credit in the world to the P-B’s who got called up to tonight’s game like Cameron Hughes, Tinordi, Vaak etc. etc. who played their hearts out for 60 minutes and forced an actual NHL team to squeak out a win against them. For many of these guys, barring a call-up to the main club during the playoffs, or to IIHF Worlds over the summer, this was their Calder Cup moment and their seasons are over. They have nothing to be disappointed in other than the score, because they played like they wanted it and left it all on the ice. Good on them.
- That said, I think if we’re doing some depth building in the not-too-distant future, I really want to see Studs, Steen, and Hughes be on the shortlist. They were definitely guys who look like they’re close to “done” at the AHL level and ready for some tidy 9-10 minute nights on the fourth/third line.
- I get the distinct impression Tom Wilson and Trent Frederic are going to be best buddies by the end of this upcoming playoff round. Both got 10 minutes for what was an otherwise minor fracas in the third.
- Jeremy Swayman will be your backup for Tuukka Rask this postseason, as Cassidy confirmed. Well earned by the UMaine grad, but for all of our sakes let’s hope he’s only needed in dire emergency. He finished his night with a tidy .938 SV%, and minus that one in a million shot he looked like he was having the time of his life.
- And before we swing into full playoffs mode, I just want to take a second to thank you, the reader. From all of our writers and editorial staff, we thank you for being such a fun and lively group. This has been one of the most unusual seasons we’ll probably ever see in our lifetimes, with plenty of the usual ups, downs, and creamy middles, and a bunch of new and unusual things dropped on top of it. We know Boston fandom usually brings out a lot of passion and hyperbole, and we’re glad to be the place you can have that passion with a little bit of temperence thrown in. Y’know, just a little. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for a wonderful regular season!
- And now, onto Saturday! Let’s get game one ready!