Poll: Can the Capitals bounce back?


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.

To put things in perspective, McDonagh had to tell Andrew Gross that he didn’t need an IV after the game.

John Tortorella said that he believed that the Rangers held an edge as Game 3 went along, but what about the series itself? That remains to be seen and, if you ask me, might be the biggest ray of hope on heart-breaking night for the Capitals.

On the other hand, the Rangers regained home ice advantage in the series and an undeniable mental edge (however large).


OK, so after laying all that on the table, get to voting. Can the Capitals bounce back or will the Rangers roll them over after that big Game 3?

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.