Speaking generally about the Capitals’ 7-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, Bruce Boudreau agreed with the notion that not in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that lopsided of a score.
“No, and the score was definitely not a 7-1 game,” the Caps’ coach said. “I’m sitting behind the bench going, ‘That is one fantastic team.’ ”
Boudreau added that, because of Detroit’s scary power play, it “could very have been 3-3 in a heartbeat.”
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun (32 saves on 33 shots) agreed.
“It wasn’t 7-1 game. At the end we kind of scored a couple,” he said. “We have so much skill. Once it kind of pours on, it pours on. Saying that, the game could’ve been easily 3-3 in the second period.”
But, the point is, it wasn’t. And while maybe 7-1 was more indicative of what Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall called a third-period “disaster,” this was not a close game.
This was a pasting.
This was a dominant Caps team getting a couple good bounces and knocking out an opponent playing its backup goalie – Ty Conklin, who allowed seven goals on just 25 shots.
“I found a lot of ways we were really good,” Conklin said. “[But] the difference was in goal.”
Boudreau said the same – that Vokoun was just better than Conklin. But the difference was more than that. The difference was, while both teams committed some ill-advised penalties, the Caps cashed in twice on the power play, while the Red Wings managed to score only once on two five-on-threes.
“I think once they killed that second five-on-three, they got a little bit of confidence,” Boudreau said, adding that maybe a younger team doesn’t excel in that situation.
But the Caps did, and then they skated all over the Red Wings to break the game open. It finished 7-1, and Detroit coach Mike Babcock wasn’t explaining how it wasn’t really a six-goal game.
Because it was.
“Coulda, woulda, shoulda – 7-1,” Babcock said. “When you wake up tomorrow it’s 7-1.”