2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Eastern Conference SemifinalsNew York Rangers ( 1 ) vs. Washington Capitals ( 7 ) It's not surprising that the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals got to the second round, it's how the got here. The Rangers were taken to the bring of elimination against an eighth seeded Ottawa Senators team who, let's face it, probably had no business being in the playoffs in the first place. The Capitals were not favorites in their series against the Boston Bruins, and had their own troubles on their way to a 7th place finish in the regular season, but with the talent they had, and a ridiculous hot rookie goaltender in Braden Holtby they d...
At the end of the season in 2006 or 07, Jeremy Colliton cleaned out his locker and headed home. He had a long drive ahead going from Bridgeport, CT to Blackie, AB. Twitter was not created until March of ’06 and didn’t launch until that July but Facebook was available and Jeremy used it to chronicle his long drive home. His periodic status updates about which George Strait song he was listening to, or how he could not wait for the taste of Canadian beef, eased the pain that I and other hockey fans experience when the season ends. Today it’s Twitter that provides that catharsis.
Several of this years’ Sound Tigers club use twitter and most posted something about their journey. It was obvious from reading each of them that, though sad to leave, they were happy to be home. Kevin Poulin said he was glad to have some ‘home cooking’ and wished teammates Rhett Rakhshani (driving solo to California) and David Ullstrom (flying home to Sweden) well. Ullstrom was in touch with both Casey Cizikas and Trevor Frischmon about having them come to visit him over the summer. John Persson (remember this kids’ name) also from Sweden did not return home. He instead returned to his Canadian billet family in Red Deer, Alberta where he has the most adorable five(?) year-old blonde alarm clock.
The Washington Capitals signed Joel Ward away from Nashville last summer following the forwards impressive playoff performance.
On Wednesday night, Ward rewarded the Caps with a game-winning goal in overtime of game seven to oust the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Talk about paying off.
Ward's goal came just 2:57 into overtime as the No. 7 seed Caps dethroned the No. 2 seed Bruins, winning three games out of four in Boston in the process. Caps goalie Braden Holtby, proving to be a road warrior, made 31 stops on 32 shots to outduel Boston's Tim Thomas (25 saves on 27 shots) yet again.
For Caps goalie Braden Holtby, Thursday was just another day at the office.
That day at the office, by the way, included 44 saves on 45 shots by the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native. It marked the second time in four games that Holtby made 40+ saves in the series, he stopped 43 of 44 shots in game two to steal a win in Boston.
Not bad for a guy with zero NHL playoff experience prior to his start in game one. Sure he had AHL playoff experience and some while playing for the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL, but not NHL playoff experience on the biggest stage in hockey.
The result: a 1.60 GAA (second among all goalies in playoffs...
Coming into the series, nobody thought that 22-year-old Braden Holtby, with zero playoff experience, could match Tim Thomas save-for-save.
But the Caps' young netminder has done just that, even slightly out-dueling Boston's former Vezina Trophy winner.
Holtby carries a .83 GAA into game three in D.C. and a sparkling .973 save percentage. Not to mention that he's stopped 72 of 74 shots in those two games, answering some of the questions surrounding the Caps' ominous goaltending situation entering the playoffs. Thomas hasn't been all that bad either, tending the cage to the tune of the same .83 GAA and a .9...
The defending Stanley Cup Champions will have to first go through the Washington Capitals in this year's playoffs if they have any plans of repeating. Fortunately for them, the Capitals aren't exactly the most consistent team in the league right now. Frankly, they're probably lucky to find themselves in the playoffs after everything that's gone on in the nation's capital this year. Star players underperforming and creating mutinies against coaches, GMs unable to figure out what to do with their team, just a lot of headaches and problems for the Caps and their fans. The Bruins, on the other han...
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...
They waited until game 81, but the Washington Capitals will be going to the NHL playoffs for the fifth-straight year thanks to a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers and a Buffalo Sabres loss at Philadelphia.
The old saying, "It wasn't pretty," doesn't even come close to describe the '11-12 Capitals road to the playoffs.
There were injuries to Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom, a so-called down year for superstar captain Alex Ovechkin and the firing of a coach mid-season.
When the dust settled after Thursday night, the Capitals find themselves a win and a Florida loss away from the third seed in the Eastern Conference.