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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Stanley Cup Playoff
The structure of the National Hockey League (NHL) season is divided into the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the regular season, teams play 82 games which determine their standings. The eight top-seeded teams in each conference enter the playoff elimination tournament to determine the Stanley Cup champion. - Source: Wikipedia
The Capitals and top prospect Tom Wilson face a dilemma. At 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds now, Wilson appears physically ready for the NHL at just age 19. But if it's apparent during training camp in September that his game still needs seasoning then Wilson must get it in the Ontario Hockey League, where the best teenage players in North America ply their trade.
Braden Holtby didn't break much of a sweat in picking up his first career Stanley Cup playoff shutout Saturday. The Washington Capitals goaltender helped extend the New York Rangers' scoreless streak to 111 minutes and 16 seconds, but it wasn't like he had to do much to win Game 2
Joel Ward returned for Game 1 of the Caps' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers after missing the final nine regular-season games with a bruised left knee.
Amid a 48-game season in which perhaps only three to five teams are out of playoff contention, Wednesday might not be as active a trading environment. It also doesn't help that a few big names are already gone.
Alex Ovechkin's goal late in the third period gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers, tying their Eastern Conference semifinal series at a game apiece.
Unlike that scene in "Glengarry Glen Ross," you don't get a set of steak knives — or anything else — for finishing second in a Stanley Cup playoff series, no matter how memorable it is. All you get is the hurt that comes with knowing that you fell short, that the other team advanced and you didn't.
Braden Holtby was brilliant, and his Washington Capitals teammates knew it. As the Boston Bruins celebrated their 1-0 overtime victory, Caps players consoled their young goaltender who was the prime reason they even had a chance to steal Game 1 at TD Garden on Thursday night.
Braden Holtby's mask wasn't supposed to be a metaphor.
Henrik Lunqdvist is more than capable of being not only the best goalie on the ice or in a tournament but the best in the world. He showed that at the 2006 Turin Olympics in leading Sweden to a gold medal.
Joel Ward got his pay day on July 1 — a four-year contract with the Washington Capitals worth $12 million. But he earned that money in April and May, showcasing himself as a dynamic playoff scorer.
History isn't on the Capitals' side. Of the 162 times in Stanley Cup Playoff history a team has fallen behind 3-0 in a series, three teams have come back to win.
The NHL is staying on NBC and Versus for the next 10 years with a deal Commissioner Gary Bettman calls the most significant in league history.
Marco Sturm wanted the pressure. As the No. 1 seed, he said even with a lead in the series the onus was on the Capitals in Game 2 – because there’s a world of difference between being up two games to none and being tied with the Rangers.
Take nothing away from Michal Neuvirth, who shined in his Stanley Cup playoff debut against the Rangers in Game 1. But his Capitals teammates kept more than half of New York's shots from reaching him.
It's a goalie matchup that hardly seems like a fair fight. The New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist started more games this season (67) than the Washington Capitals' Michal Neuvirth has started in his NHL career (64).