Matt Bradley is about to bleed. (Photo credit: Michael Dwyer)
The Washington Capitals mounted one of their largest offensive pushes ever to try and stop the Boston Bruins from extending their losing streak to eight. Nope.
The Bruins scored the first three goals of the night all in the first period: a screened shot by Patrice Bergeron, a deflection off Scott Hannan by Andrew Ference (his first in 99 games), and a five-holer by Blake Wheeler. Matt Bradley responded early in the second with a dangle-and-wrist from a tight angle. Karl Alzner turned on hero mode, slapping one in off Tim Thomas’ shoulder to keep the Caps within striking distance. Despite a furious effort in the waning moments, the Bruins felled the Caps 3-2.
Yep. That’s eight. Does the slump imperil Bruce Boudreau’s job? Don’t know. But it’s hard to fault BBBB when the players are so clearly not playing the system. The defensive breakdowns and sputtering breakout and the turnovers in neutral off of diagonal passes evidence that. Two crucial players (Semin and Schultz) are out with injuries or illness, and that might qualify the losing streak as well.
The passion the Capitals players showed in that epic but ultimately frustrating third period reveal that Bruce can still get them to play with their hearts and heads. So there’s that.
The Capitals cross the border to face the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night. Who will show up: the first period Caps or the third period Caps? Cause it’s the latter, this slump is going to end in a blowout.
Additional reporting by Neil “Waddles” Greenberg.
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