NHL postseason history is littered with the broken dreams of teams who lost lengthy overtime games. That being said, there are exceptions to the rule and if something unusual were to happen, the consistently weird 2012 playoffs would be the right time for that to occur.
The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers 2-1 in triple overtime tonight and fell behind 2-1 in the series as well. For some, the series might as well be over, yet Braden Holtby ranks among the many who aren’t convinced.
A question of fatigue
If you ask me, the series could change on a dime if the Capitals win in Game 4 for a simple reason: fatigue. As you’ll see from this post and the box score, only one Washington player passed the 40-minute mark (Dennis Wideman). Contrast that with four New York defensemen (including Ryan McDonagh, who logged a ridiculous 53-plus minutes) and even one forward (Ryan Callahan) who passed 40 minutes and it’s not crazy to say that Washington might have a shot if this series goes long.
You know, with Connor McDavid hogging so much attention, it’s about time that Jack Eichel provided us with another awesome goal.
That tally came at the Colorado Avalanche’s (and especially Semyon Varlamov‘s) expense as that was the Buffalo Sabres first shot of the game.
Patrick Roy apparently felt like this just wasn’t Varlamov’s afternoon, as Colorado’s head coach decided to pull him after Varly allowed two goals on as many shots. Evander Kane nabbed the other goal for Buffalo.
You can watch the goal in the video above, which reminds us that “Eichel Tower” might not be a unique pun.
To be fair to Varlamov, Calvin Pickard has already allowed a goal as well. The Sabres are currently off to a 3-0 lead, and maybe a small roll considering how well they played against Montreal on Friday?
NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Bruins fight for Atlantic positioning
While Jeff Blashill continues to establish himself following up Mike Babcock, Claude Julien recently hit a milestone with his 500th win and earned plaudits from CSNNE.com as one of the best coaches in the league.
(Speaking of milestones, Brad Richards is expected to play in his 1,100th game.)
Boston currently holds the second spot in the Atlantic with 66 points in 55 games played, but Detroit is right behind them with 65 in as many contests. With the Tampa Bay Lightning hovering nearby, each team likely recognizes this as an important game.
Goalie nods: Backups battle as Kinkaid faces Enroth
The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings prefer to lean on workhorse goalies Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick respectively, but Sunday presents a change of pace.
In the Kings’ case, Jhonas Enroth is playing in part because of (what Los Angeles hopes is) a minor injury to Quick.
It’s true that the under-sized goalie sports a mediocre 4-4-1 record, but he’s given the Kings legitimate chances to win games considering his impressive (especially for a backup) save percentage of .925. Perhaps he can earn a few more reps if he plays well in what may be a tight game?
Speaking of earning more reps, Keith Kinkaid must continue to work to prove that he’s able to make the jump from AHL goalie to at least an NHL backup. The Kings aren’t likely to make it easy for him, either.