Peter DeBoer knows who he’ll be cheering for tonight.
Specifically, the scoreboard clock. DeBoer would like to see it run for as long as possible as the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals decide who will face New Jersey in the Eastern Conference finals.
“The longer the better,” he said, when ask who (or what) he would be rooting for.
DeBoer is relishing the opportunity to sit back and relax while the Rangers and Capitals slug it out. The way he sees it, you can’t get too much R&R come playoff time.
“I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much rest this time of year,” DeBoer told NHL.com. “We have to stay sharp. That’s [the coaches’] job, to manage the schedule and days off so we’re ready to go Game 1. That’s on the coaching staff to manage it properly. I wouldn’t want to trade spots with someone playing a Game 7 right now.”
This is a pretty stark contrast to the situation New Jersey found itself in after Round 1. The Devils were the last team to advance — needing a double-OT Game 7 win over Florida — and only had two days off before starting Round 2 against Philadelphia. They lost the opening game, but went on to beat the Flyers in four straight.
As such, Devils forward Alexei Ponikarovsky feels the length of tonight’s Caps-Rangers game is irrelevant.
“Doesn’t matter for me,” he said. “Maybe it’s going to end in regulation. If it doesn’t it’s not a big deal for us. We’ll just wait and see who comes out on top.”
It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanen to injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.
For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.
After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.
Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.
Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:
Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins
Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals
Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.
Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.
The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.
(Check out video of the hit above.)
The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.
Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?
Washington currently leads the game 3-2.
There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.
Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.
The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.
It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.
The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.
Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?
(If you’re into that kind of thing.)
Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form: