With John Carlson out of the lineup, and perhaps not even returning...
Boys Will Be Boys – (Caps v. Boston, Playground Edition)
Today, Washington & Boston took it to the playground for Game 6. Not any ordinary playground, mind you. No, this was that hypothetical playground where kids like Beaver Cleaver, Timmy Martin, or Patty Lane might have passed those endless summer day.
First, and most important, both teams proved today that they listened to their kindergarten teachers – they took turns, and they shared. In good news, they demonstrated that they were paying attention when the teacher explained the concept of taking turns. 7 goals were scored in Game 6, and the were in perfect alternation – B.C.B.C.B.C.B.
The unfortunate part of that unexpected politeness is that the Bruins scored first. For some reason, the whole give-and-get approach just stops working properly once you get into OT.
Just because we’re using a schoolyard/playground metaphor today, that doesn’t mean there weren’t spats. Ovi made Chara bleed (using a high stick, which probably also deserves some kind of achievement award when the nose you’re splitting open is 6′ 7″ off the ice surface). Jay Beagle had a half dozen “discussions” in the vicinity of both Tim Thomas and Braden Holtby‘s creases, and Jason Chimera was almost as ‘bad’ – though he balanced his out nicely with one of those oh-so-evenly matched goals.
Because this is Capitals Outsider, a quick touch upon the high achievers from the Red Zone.
– Mike Green got himself on the scoreboard with style, tying things up in the first period and temporarily silencing the critics who’ve been fond of pointing out how long his current goal drought had been going on (answer: exactly 6 months – October 22, 2011). With contract talks coming up this summer, every little bit helps. Also, it slowed the Bruins down and undercut their momentum. That was good, too.
– Ovechkin hasn’t had quite the epic goal scarcity, but when you’re the Great 8, anything less than a hat trick a game is underperforming, so the game-tying goal that forced OT is nothing to sneeze at.
– Holtby continues to be spectacular on the whole, doing both the Bears and the general franchise proud (please note: he was a South Carolina Stingray just 2 years ago). His save percentage dipped some tonight (down to .871 from Saturday’s winning .919), but on the whole he’s been steady and fiercely competitive. At several points in the game, he was the only thing preventing the Bruins from leaving the Caps in the dust on the scoreboard.
– Honorable Mention of the Black & Gold Variety: Defenseman Andrew Ference earned both a goal and an assist today. Fitting that it happened on Earth Day, as Ference is well known for his environmental activism.
While there was certainly some pushing and shoving, as is to be expected, there were no fisticuffs during this Sunday play-date. There was also no resolution to the underlying issue behind these regularly-scheduled meetings. With their victory today, the Bruins forced the series to progress to a Game Seven – a game they will host in Boston on Wednesday night. That’s three days to rest and recover before the final meeting between the two, and it is to be expected that neither will go down without a fight.
It is now a one-goal series. Time for the Caps to show that they know how to win.
Post-Script Statement of Potential Bias: I wasn’t unhappy to see this series go to a game 7, nor am I particularly surprised. That being said, I should also mention that at one point I wrote an article or two for Something’s Bruin. I’m all about the playoff respect, so don’t expect any undue or over the top Bruin‘s hate from this corner.