It was a disappointing finish to the 2013 regular season for the Boston Bruins, who lost back to back games and the top spot in the Northeast Division over the weekend. A 3-2 overtime loss to the Capitals on Saturday night was followed up by a 4-2 loss to the Senators last night at the Garden, dropping the Bruins to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference where they will face the fifth seed Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.
Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner’s post-game interview from yesterday:
I laughed watching this. So let me get this straight, Adam McQuaid (5 fights this year) and Shawn Thornton (5 fights) circling Matt Hendricks (6 fights – one already in the game with Nathan Horton) is the same as John Erskine (2 fights) and Hendricks (6) going after Tyler Seguin (0 career fights and one of our star players)? Ha, ok, sure. I understand that Alzner is just sticking up for his teammate, but I mean really, this was comical.
Apparently the Caps defenseman missed the part where Hendricks basically jumped Nathan Horton, gloves off and throwing before Horton knew what was going on. Hendricks’ hand seemed fine while he was throwing those haymakers.
But you wouldn’t do that because you’re not that type of team. Well damn right you’re not that type of team, the Caps aren’t much of a team at all at the moment. McQuaid and Thornton’s response was precisely why the Bruins are such a tight knit bunch, everyone has everyone else’s back. You’re going to jump one of our top players? Go for it, but you can expect someone to come knocking in the not too distant future. Apparently those qualities aren’t too high on the list in the Caps locker room. And that’s not to say that Horton even needed anyone to back him up, as he’s shown he can handle himself in these situations before, but he’s still one of our top players who hadn’t had a fight this year after coming off a serious concussion.
I’m sure the Bruins aren’t losing any sleep over Alzner or his comments. It’s just funny that this “was the biggest joke [Alzner has] ever seen.” As Milan Lucic said last year after Alzner’s cry-baby gesture (perhaps the most ironic part of this all) in the playoffs:
UPDATE (3/17 – 4pm):
The Washington Post had an article today with Hendricks’ response to the game yesterday, and it was much more in line with what you’d expect. “You do it [fight Horton] and you live with the repercussions. I figured they would be looking for me once the score got to 4-1.” If anything this makes Alzner look like a bigger whiner, but good on Hendricks for knowing his role and not taking the easy way out.
You didn’t read that headline wrong. Though Marcus Johansson technically got credit for the Washington goal, the puck that got past Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin didn’t come off a the stick of a Capitals player. A net front David Krejci clearing attempt ricocheted off Johnny Boychuk’s skate and into the net, in what was one of the few mistakes Boston made all afternoon. Aside from that play, the Bruins put together one of their better efforts of the season, especially the recently criticized line of Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. The trio exploded for a combined nine points on the afternoon, leading the B’s to their second straight win.
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton, the Boston Bruins apparently thought it unnecessary to put in much of an effort the rest of the way. And as is becoming more and more common across the league, a resurgent Washington Capitals squad made them pay. The Caps scored twice in the second period and again in the third to draw the game even, and just 37 seconds into the overtime period Washington forward Eric Fehr danced through the Bruin defense and roofed a wrister over Tuukka Rask’s glove to earn the Capitals the victory. The Bruins remain in fourth place in the East and just a point behind the Montreal Canadiens for the first spot, but their efforts in the last two games (or lack thereof) show there is significant work to be done.
Tuesday, March 5th, 7pm, Verizon Center, Washington
TV: NESN, CSN-DC Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Bruins were back to business today after their defeat at the hands of the Canadiens last night, with an optional skate this morning at Ristuccia Arena before heading to Washington D.C. to face the Capitals tomorrow night. While the mood was generally positive despite losing two points from their bitter rivals, many Bruin players acknowledged some disappointment for not stepping up in their captain’s absence after he took care of business against Alexei Emelin. Their next opponents will provide a nice rebound opportunity and a chance for some revenge for last season’s playoffs however, as the Caps have struggled all season and currently reside tied for last place in the Eastern Conference.