The Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center for a matinee match with the Boston Bruins, their second game in 24 hours. Disaster.
Milan Lucic scored after a bad read by Dennis Wideman gave him an opening. Brad Marchand made it 2-0 after Karl Alzner and John Carlson funneled the puck to their own crease. Marchand set up Tyler Seguin for the game’s third– and the second in which Dennis Wideman lost his man. A gorgeous 200-foot series culminated in a goal by Marcus Johansson (or Ward, whatever) and the end of Tim Thomas’s Sovereign Shutout. Peverly got the empty netter. Bruins beat Caps 4-1.
During the second period, Brooks Laich chased a puck behind the Boston net with Dennis Seidenberg in close pursuit. Seidenberg apparently connected with Laich’s left knee. Brooks tried to crawl to the bench but needed help to get down the tunnel. He tried his leg out during a TV timeout, but quickly retreated back to the locker room.
Brooks Laich’s status is unknown. Backstrom and Green are still on the shelf. But the worst thing for us to do right now is allow these injuries to mask the failure of this team– even when two of those three were healthy– to generate offense. We shouldn’t use the recent absence of Backstrom and now Laich as an excuse for Dale Hunter’s dysfunctional system. It shouldn’t continue once they return.
I know this looked like an awful game, and it really was. But there were bright spots that we must not ignore. Alex Ovechkin’s inspired-if-frustrated performance was his best since the new year, and the team mounted a thunderous comeback attempt in the third.
The Capitals host the Florida Panthers at home on Tuesday and the Jets on Thursday. That’s two big division games. Even with today’s loss, they’re still within striking distance of the Southeast lead. You’ve seen how tough this schedule is down the stretch. They’ve gotta get points meow before it’s too late.
Crash the net. Save Brooksy.
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