Tough loss but not a big a deal. It's game 1 and it's a long series. It hurt a little more as the loss came in OT. Playoff hockey is already emotional but emotions climb that much higher in OT and a win is something the winning team can carry with them for a while. It will be critical for the Caps to bounce back from the loss but there is no question that we are capable of playing with the Bruins.
Here are my general thoughts on the game:
1. Holtby was very good. He had a number of very good saves and he plays with a lot of confidence and composure. His biggest issue is that he has a tough time controlling the puck and is apt to give up some good rebounds. The OT goal that was scored is one that I'm sure he would love to have back. Looked like he slid to far to his right leaving a portion of the net open allowing Kelly to slam it in. Still, if not for Holtby, the game would have ended much earlier. We can only hope he plays at least as well in game 2.
2. PK was very good. While we can commend the PK unit, we have to be upset for taking too many penalties. Beagle to a 4 minute penalty at the end of the first. We were able to kill of the rest of that penalty to start the second and just as we kill that one off, we take another penalty. We have to be smarter and not take so many penalties.
3. Defense was solid. There were a couple of break downs but by and large a strong defensive effort. There were a number of guys that sacrficed their bodies to block shots and take lanes away for open looks at the net. Was very satisfied with the defense.
4. Offense struggled. This is an understatement. Two shots in the second period? That's not going to cut it. We had opportunities to shoot but guys are just shooting wide. We have to get the puck to the net. Also, when there are open looks, guys have to bury it. Backstrom and Green both had great looks at Thomas from close range and Green missed the net entirely. That was a classic Mike Green opportunity and where as before he would have nailed it, he missed the net. Again, not going to cut it.
5. Ovie was punished and gave punishment. Can't fault Ovie for this game. It is clear that the Bruins are going to hit him any chance they can and they are not going to give him any room to skate. It was a VERY physical game for him. I thought he did his best given what he was faced with. It is clear that other guys are going to have to step up and get the offense going because they are taking Ovie out of the equation.
Game 2 is tomorrow afternoon. Pressure is still on both teams. The Caps are obviously looking for the split on their away games and Boston is looking to maintain their home ice advantage. I expect another tough, physical game. Hopefully we come out on top in this one.
UNLEASH THE FURY!!!