Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No Longer Champs

Tonight was the end of the reign for the Boston Bruins. The Washington Capitals ousted the defending Stanley Cup Champions with a game-winning OT winner from Joel Ward, who picked up right where he left off last year in terms of clutch goal scoring in the playoffs. A great play made by Ward after Mike Knuble started a 2 on 1 rush which Ward shoveled past a screened Thomas.

This was a tremendous game as any Stanley Cup Game 7 that goes to overtime will be. Two plays will be remembered most in my eyes, aside from the winner. First, the GIF of Braden Holtby shoving Rich Peverley was outstanding. The other is Dennis Seidenberg laying out with his leg to block a wide open net for Alex Ovechkin and help send this game to OT. Luckily, we won't remember Shane Furlatt getting influenced by 20,000 referees and calling a penalty on the Caps.

Now, Washington moves on and in a year which they struggled for most of the season to make the playoffs, they might finally have the team capable of going far. Braden Holtby is in the Ken Dryden/Steve  Penney zone (we'll know at the end of his career which one he emulates), the Caps defense is better now that Tom Poti isn't one of those top 6 and they no longer need Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin to score to win games. They have secondary scoring galore now it seems. They will be a tough out in the Eastern Semifinals.

Of course, I couldn't wrap this up without mentioning the ugly that occurs after the winner. Now, if you're not a hockey fan, Joel Ward is black. And him scoring a goal to knock the Boston Bruins out of the playoffs brought out the ugly side that, unfortunately, doesn't shock me as Boston fans have taken to Twitter, using the n-word to describe Ward (this link is very NSFW). I'm just hoping that if Wayne Simmonds scores a series winning goal, we won't see such a sad display that ruins the reputation of another city's sports fans.

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