The battle of the bastards (IFYKY) … or I guess in this case, battle of the winless and struggling on this final day of the Round Robin / Qualifying round. The situation was simple coming in: Win – play Trotz and the shut down Islanders… Lose – well, we have to put up with Carolina fans and their stupidity online for the next week and half. Well, that and the fact they are a damn good hockey team. Let’s get into some pre-game news before we break er’ down, shall we?
The last thing you wanna see when come into a game with such stakes on the line, you’d like to see your full lineup… and today we didn’t. Lars is in return-to-play protocol still after leaving the bubble to head home for the birth of his child. Carlson was out for the third straight game, and Backstrom was listed as a game time decision.
UGHHHHHHH HOW TF ARE WE GONNA GET THE POINT WE NEED TO (I’d rather) PLAY THE ISLANDERS?!?! By buckling down and playing a full 60 I guess, so we’ll see how that actually plays out for us in today’s matinee. Here’s the good news tho, as we’ve continually questioned the decision making (or lack there of) by Todd in terms of mid-game adjustments and line changes. Looks like we might be seeing something a bit different today, however.
It was a pretty low-key first period from both teams in terms of literally everything. One penalty on the Caps as Orly get’s ahold of Pasta, but the Caps would kill, keep Boston O-fer on the pepper in the qualifying round. The biggest issue that we saw was that the Caps didn’t register their first shot on goal until 9:09 into the first. Vs Philly? Didn’t register one till 9:42 into the first. This is legit a big concern, we have GOT to find a way to create offense, and it starts with the breakout that yes, continues to struggle. Caps would only record one more shot on goal in the period, and it was a puck that finds the back of the net thanks to the Osh babe crashin’ the crease and jammin’ er home. 1-0 good guys and we’ve got our first lead of the qualifying round.
This was a period that saw absolutely NOTHING… in terms of goals that is, but here’s what did stick out to me. TODD MADE A CHANGE! Oshie’s goal in the first came via a line combo of him, Backy, and Big O. What happened in the 2nd? That same line was together, and there was sustained pressure throughout the period from this line and A LOT of pucks on net by the captain himself, which is good, cause he’s a guy you wanna get goin’. Secondly, it was two power plays in the second…. and 0 goals. Leaving the Caps (up to that point) at 1/10 in the round Robin… you definitely HATE to see that, because as @allencaps1995 wrote a few weeks back, special teams is CRUCIAL in these playoffs to try and create your own emotion and energy.
FINALLY!!! We bout that action boss, and we got some in the third period with a whooping two combined goals! Let’s start with the first one though, the game winning goal by Tommy Tuck-It himself and it’s a simple play as Kemps send sit to Kovy on the way, Kovy just gives it a good chip out of the zone to avoid danger and keep the puck out and it’s all Whip on this one as he wins the rade, drives the crease, and puts her to bed over Tukka’s left shoulder and the boys are off to a two goal lead.
oh by the way… we totally agree with ya Pasta…
Boston would strike however, ruining Holtby’s bid at a shutout. Honestly, how fuckin’ good has Holts been in this Round Robin so far? By far our best player, and this is the Holts we need to make a serious run at another cup. All hail the beast baby. Either way, here’s the B’s goal. The puck is bouncing in Jonas feet and its a fluke play that sneaks past Holts.