- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Caps skating into ‘hornet’s nest’ at Canadiens
MONTREAL -– Several Capitals players watched on television Thursday night in Ottawa as the Canadiens got waxed by the rival Bruins 7-0 in Boston. They knew they got a tough break on the schedule with a trip to Bell Centre on Saturday night with Montreal eager to erase the memories of that embarrassment.
“We think we’re in a hornet’s nest tonight,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I’ve been playing against the Canadiens since 1977, and I’ve watched them pretty closely. When they lose a game like that, they’re gonna come back pretty mad.”
The Caps expect a fired-up Montreal team from the get-go. Nicklas Backstrom said he and his teammates and the coaches talked about that hornet’s nest aspect of this game.
“I think they’re gonna be ready for us, so we gotta bring our A game because they’re gonna come out right away,” winger Jason Chimera said. “They didn’t have the game they wanted to in Boston, and I think they’re gonna come out pretty hard.”
Chimera and others expect a lot of pop out of the Canadiens, especially given that it’s a Saturday night in Montreal that’s part of “Hockey Night In Canada.” The Bell Centre crowd also has a certain reputation for doing “crazy things” to players, Eric Fehr said. Couple that with Montreal’s motivation and hornet’s nest seems like an apt description of what the Caps are skating into.
“We’re gonna have to be ready for them. The first period’s gonna be key, and hopefully we can try to keep the fans out of it,” said Fehr, who is set to return to the lineup after missing Friday night’s loss to the Senators. “They’re not happy with the way their last game went, and they’re gonna try to rally behind their fans, and it’s our job to make sure they can’t do that.”
In goal will be rookie Braden Holtby, who was told just before the Hershey Bears’ game at the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday night that he was heading to Montreal. He got in a car and made the three-hour trip from Glens Falls, N.Y. and will return to the place he made his last NHL start.
That was March 15, when Holtby beat the Canadiens in his first game at Bell Centre. The rookie, who starts because Michal Neuvirth is sick and the Caps don’t want to overextend Semyon Varlamov with back-to-back games, said the familiarity of playing in Montreal again does help a little.
“But at the same time it’s just another game. You have to approach it with the same mindset that you have with wherever else you play,” Holtby said. “Just try and block out the extras as much as you can with the fans and the atmosphere and whatever and just focus on the little things you need to do to be successful.”
He’ll be tasked with trying to stop an angry Canadiens team, but the Caps are mad, too. They weren’t satisfied with Friday night’s effort at Ottawa. The physical nature of their game and forechecking wasn’t there, so the goal is to bring it back to combat Montreal’s intensity.
“Obviously we know we can’t play the way we did [Friday] night,” Chimera said. “It wasn’t good enough the way we played, and it was just one of those games where we kinda lacked a little something.”
Added Backstrom: “We lost last night, too, so we wanna get back on track and play our best game tonight.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama pleads for peace in strife-torn Central African Republic
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow