Photo: Alex Brandon/AP
It’s game 80 for the Washington Capitals this season. I cannot think of a more perfect time to go all Adam Oates and force new things down Caps fans’ throats. On our end, RMNB tried out a new in-game live blog, where you got to interact with Chris. But not me. I’m the actual Chris. His name is Chris From The Comments, because he doesn’t have the credentials to blow up the site at will. From the Caps, got some new lines and D-pairs from Barry Trotz, which might be the way the Capitals lineup looks when we start the playoffs. Braden Holtby was in net because you sure as hell know why Braden Holtby was in net. Pens had won 13 of 14. So let’s do this.
Well, on second thought, let’s not. Forty-four seconds into the game, the Capitals’ defense crumbled like a nomination before the Senate — except the Capitals were trying even less.
Early in the second, Matt Cullen scored yet another goal in the first minute of the period, His shorthanded goal seemingly crush the Caps’ hopes. Then the Caps killed a five-minute penalty (Tom Wilson, natch) only to surrender a five-hole goal to Connor Sheary on an odd-man rush soon after. Thank goodness for Marcus Johansson, who finally got the Caps on board late in the period.
In the third, Joe Hanson was money yet again, turning the rest of the third period into a grudge match against the league’s hottest team. Just over three minutes later, another perfect Swedish and adorable and awesome player named Andre Burakovsky CRASHED THE FREAKIN’ NET and tied the game. This is why you watch sports.
What happened later is why you never want to watch sports again. Sidney Crosby in the extra frame. Pens beat Caps 4-3 (OT).
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) April 7, 2016
Joe B suit of the night
Before Thursday’s game, some people said this game was meaningless. The Caps wrapped up the Presidents’ Trophy a week ago. They are trying to make it to the playoffs without suffering any injuries. But this game meant a lot to the Washington Capitals. Tuesday’s loss stung. In the locker room after the game, the players were disgusted with themselves. They wanted Braden Holtby, their savior the last two seasons, to be rewarded with the single season all-time win record. But it didn’t happen.
All sports are vapid except for meaning and emotion we assign them. That meaning is based off glorious individual moments. Tonight, Holtby was in goal again. You won’t remember how many points the Capitals ended up with this season, but you will remember whether Braden Holtby name sits next to one of the greatest goalies of all time. He’ll likely get one more chance to make that happen. This was a heartbreaker.
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