The Washington Capitals clinched a spot in the 2012 playoffs in game 81 of 82. In contrast, the Boston Bruins had been penciled in the playoffs since about game 10. Oh by the way, they're also the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Leading the Capitals against the champs is of, course, a 22-year-old netminder with zero playoff experience in Braden Holtby. But hey, Michal Neuvirth had the same amount of playoff experience when the Caps dispatched the New York Rangers in the first-round of the playoffs last year, so there's that.
Braden Holtby will make his first playoff start in the NHL in...
Caps goalie Braden Holtby has played just 21 regular season games in his short career.
Now, he's the Capitals' probable game one starter when they open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, where he could make his first career playoff start on Thursday.
Oh by the way, he's facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins...in Boston. At just 22-years-old, Holtby will be the youngest goaltender to start for any team in the 2012 playoffs. Welcome to the big show kid.
The reason the Caps could have to turn to the youngster is due to injuries to both veteran starter Tomas Vokoun and backup Michal Neuvirth, who played very well down the s...
The Ottawa Senators have beaten the New York Rangers in three out of the four games the teams have played this year, which bodes well for the Senators in their first-round playoff match up. This record is a huge improvement over the Senators' record against the Boston Bruins, in which they lost five of six games, so it is great news the Senators are not squaring off against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Senators have scored 15 goals against the Eastern Conference champions, and only allowed eight goals. Many people have written off Ottawa in the playoffs. The easy money is against the Senators, even with their impressive record against the Rangers. The...
Being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Trenton Titans have had only two goals; play spoiler to other teams in the playoff race, and try to catch the Bakersfield Condors and not be the worst team in the entire ECHL.
Sadly, they would do neither as the Reading Royals beat Trenton 7-0.
Coach Vince Williams has noted that the team is looking ahead to next season saying.
“You’re seeing what guys are made of,” he said. “You gotta earn what you’re gonna get. That’s how it should be.”
Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Flyers are a contender.
It didn’t seem possible when the team blew itself up in the offseason to take on young players. It really didn’t seem possible when Chris Pronger went down for the season. It didn’t seem possible when Ilya Bryzgalov kept hemorrhaging goals.
Things have changed.
Through the course of the season the plan that seemed like madness now seems like perfect sanity.
With young players stepping up and filling roles, the Flyers have been balanced and outstanding offensively.
Today's Trade Deadline couldn't have been more boring as only 15 deals were struck with the biggest one coming from the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres which saw Cody Hodgson and Zach Kassian swapped jerseys. The Trade Deadline day I will say is over-hyped but it has been proven to be one of the most important days in the NHL season, as smart teams have added the right pieces and have went on to win Stanley Cups.
I get excited every year for the Trade Deadline and I don't think that will change anytime soon. Now that is over, here are today's winners and losers.
Having gone 3-1-1 in their last five games with slim playoff hopes alive, the Trenton Titans hosted the Reading Royals Wednesday night at the Sun Center. Titans Coach Vince Williams decided to ride the hot hand by starting Brad Phillips again in goal. Phillips had allowed one goal in each of his last two starts, both wins.
In what has become Trenton-typical this season, the Titans allowed the first goal at 11:18 as Olivier Labelle set a screen in front of Phillips and a Yannick Tifu shot bounced off Labelle. The deflection went past Phillips to give the Royals the lead at 1-0.
Late in the period, Ryan Hayes answered right back for Trenton as he stole the puck in the offensive zone from a Royals defensemen and fired a quick shot on net. The shot beat goalie Karel St. Laurent to tie the game with just over a minute left.
By now, you've probably all heard about Brad Marchand's ill-fated attempt to hip check Habs hitting machine Alexei Yemelin, in the dying seconds of the second period in last night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. You've probably also heard that the hit will go unpunished by Brendan Shanahan and the NHL.
But the hit, and the lack of punishment at the NHL level raises many questions about how Shanahan and his staff judge these sorts of things, and what the criteria really is for repeat offenders and people who clearly can't get a message.
But first, the hit itself. As the second period came to a close, Marchan...
One of the longest rivalries in the NHL writes a new chapter on Bell Centre ice this evening as the Boston Bruins visit the Montreal Canadiens. It was surprising to learn that this is the final encounter of the season (barring a playoff miracle) between these two forever rivals.
The Bruins are fresh off a shutout loss last night against the New York Rangers and, as a result, will probably be in a snarly mood. The Habs are coming off of a loss in what was supposed to be a must win game against Carolina, 5-3.
The Habs are in disarray in this season of out discontent, with frustration being shown at all levels of the organization. Two of the players...