The Bruins once again fall to the Capitals, making it 5 losses in the last 6 games, and 5 straight losses to the Capitals. Over the last 5 match ups with the Caps, the Bruins are 0-5 and have been outscored 16-3. So what is it about this Capitals team that makes them so dominant over the B's?
With this win and Dallas' loss to the Rangers, the Capitals move into first place overall in the NHL, making a 3-2 loss a little less devastating. However, knowing the recent history between these two teams, it is very frustrating that the Bruins just cannot figure out how to get 2 points against Washington. Braden Holtby is probably the biggest weapon that the Capitals have against the Bruins, which is strange when you realize they have Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie leading the way on offense.
Holtby has been all but lights out against the Bruins, sweeping the series last year and gaining the edge in the first two games this year. This season Holtby has a league leading 25 wins, a .932 save percentage (3rd), and a 1.93 goals against average (2nd). It's no surprise that Washington has found something special in Holtby, and as long as he is in net the Bruins are going to have an uphill battle when facing the Capitals.
Another big weapon for the Capitals is their speed versus this slow, laboring Bruins defense. The Capitals scored 3 times on Tuesday, all by 1st round draft picks. Although he gave up 3 goals, Rask did all he could to keep his team in the game, making several spectacular saves. As was the problem with Montreal in the past, the speed and raw skill of the Washington forwards seems to be too much for the Bruins to handle. If the Bruins want to be a contender, which right now they are not, they will most likely have to go through Washington to get to the Cup. This game should serve as a wake up call to the front office to go out and get a defenseman, and do it now.
Bruins defenseman Adam Mcquaid suffered an upper body injury during the second period of the loss to the Capitals. Mcquaid was chasing a loose puck when he was hit from behind by Washington's Zach Sill. Mcquaid was clearly concussed as he fell to the ice and did not move for several minutes while the trainers looked at him. Eventually, he was helped off the ice and made his way to the locker room and would miss the rest of the game. Thus, the debate began; was the hit dirty or not?
Hockey fans lost their minds on Twitter following the hit, mainly because there was no penalty called on the ice. Fans were claiming it was a blatant boarding penalty and should have been a major penalty on Sill. Watching the replay, I'm inclined to agree with them.
Of course the league will review the hit and determine whether punishment will be handed down, but that does the Bruins no good at this point. Yes, a suspension will serve as some vengeance for Mcquaid, but that doesn't help the 2 points that evaded the B's in that game. A power play, whether it was 2 minutes or 5 minutes, would have given the Bruins an opportunity to get back in the game.
Another critical question surrounding this controversy is why is this team paying Zac Rinaldo? When Rinaldo joined the team, Bruins fans expected another goon that can't score and just pisses people off. Being the goon that he is, Rinaldo was just feet away from Sill after the hit, and did nothing. Why have Rinaldo on this team if he won't drop the gloves and stick up for his teammates? To his credit, he did try to get Sill to drop them later on in the game, but that is a situation that calls for immediate action.
The league is going to watch the replay of the hit over the next few days and decide whether it merits suspension. So, the question remains, was the hit on Adam Mcquaid dirty or not? I'll let you decide.
By Matt Watts