Share with your Friends

(Page 1 of 5)
Bruins vs Capitals - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Thomas: No regrets, wants to stay in Boston

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

"On and off the ice, I tried to do what I felt was right. And I tried to prepare myself as much as possible to do the best job I could possibly do, on the ice, which is when it's obviously the most important as a professional athlete."
-- Tim Thomas

BOSTON -- At 38 years old, Tim Thomas easily could have been the player most affected by the Boston Bruins' arduous schedule filled with nearly 200 games over the course of the last 20 months.

Two days after losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to Washington, though, Thomas sounded as though he was ready to keep playing if only his team hadn't come up short.

"I feel good," Thomas said as he and his teammates participated in clear-out day at TD Garden. "I'm one of the lucky ones here that is leaving with no injuries and in good health. Mentally, the last 20 months has been a long run, but all things considered I think I held up pretty well."

Five reasons why the Bruins' title defense is over

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

Do the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings uncork the bubbly after every defending Stanley Cup champion is eliminated from the postseason?

If the last NHL team to repeat as Cup champs had a ritual like the one the 1972 Miami Dolphins perform every time the last NFL team in a given season falls from the ranks of the unbeaten, those old-time Wings had to be a little worried they'd never get to taste the champagne as the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs commenced.

Deeper on defense than when they won last season, seemingly deeper up front with the emergence of Tyler Seguin as a star and still riding the all-world goaltending of Tim Thomas, the Bruins seemed like one of the surer bets among recent defending champions to at least drive deep into the playoffs.

And then with one backhand shovel into the back of the Boston net, Joel Ward ended the Bruins' title defense before the calendar even turned to May. Here are the five biggest reasons the Bruins couldn't get out of the first round and couldn't defend their Cup championship:

1. Top six was see-through

Rich Peverley was forced into the Bruins' top six because of Nathan Horton's injury absence, and had three goals in the seven-game series against Washington. Of Boston's other 12 goals, four came from "top-six forwards." And Seguin (two goals), David Krejci and Brad Marchand (one apiece), didn't find the back of the net until Game 5. That was too long for the Bruins to wait for production from their best players. And in Game 7, Seguin scored at the end of probably the only shift he, Krejci and Milan Lucic really played like a first line.

Caps sit and wait for next opponent

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- The Washington Capitals have defeated the Boston Bruins in the closest seven-game playoff series in Stanley Cup history, but they’re OK with waiting another 24 hours to find out who they will play in the second round.

Washington could face two of the four teams that will play a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night.

"There is still a long way to go," forward Mike Knuble said. "This is just getting one rung of the ladder out of the way. We’ll enjoy the [heck] out of it tonight, and it will be exciting to see tomorrow who we are going to get."

Banged-up Bergeron offers no excuses

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – There's no greater pillar of grace and dignity in the Boston Bruins' dressing room than Patrice Bergeron.

So it was no surprise that when given the opportunity to use an injury as an excuse for his inability to prevent the Bruins from losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to Washington 2-1 in overtime, Bergeron passed.

"I don't want to use that tonight. I'll let you guys know," Bergeron said after Wednesday's loss. "I don't want to talk about it now if you don't mind, if you guys don't mind. But obviously on the checkout, I'll let you guys know."

Caps can salvage tough season by beating Bruins

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The Washington Capitals are not supposed to be here.

Washington barely scraped its way into the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, finishing in second place in what was perceived to be a weak division. Few pundits gave the Capitals much of a chance in their first-round series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

That the Capitals have matched the Bruins goal for goal, save for save, and have a winner-take-all Game 7 with a chance to knock out the champs has been a huge surprise.

That said, the Washington Capitals -- after being anointed a Cup contender after a busy offseason and beginning the 2011-12 campaign with seven straight victories -- are not supposed to be here.

Three keys to Game 7 victory for Bruins, Capitals

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have been in a lot of Game 7s lately, winning three en route to claiming the Stanley Cup in 2011 while getting knocked out of the playoffs in a Game 7 in both 2009 and 2010.

Their opponent Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Washington Capitals, has plenty of experience in these win-or-go-home contests as well. This will be Washington's fifth Game 7 in the past five years, though it will be the first away from the Verizon Center.

Can the Bruins continue their Stanley Cup defense? Will the Capitals thrive as the in the underdog role? Here are three keys to victory for both teams:


1) GET DIRTY: The theme in this series has been simple -- when Boston's forwards are able to get to the net, the Bruins have had success in solving 22-year-old rookie goaltender Braden Holtby. The Bruins have to get players to the net, and then they need to capitalize on rebound chances and deflections once they get there. Staying on the perimeter and relying on shots from a distance will only allow Holtby to settle into this contest.

Bruins' top line has potential to turn series tide

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

Milan Lucic
Left Wing - BOS
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 3
SOG: 12 | +/-: 2
BOSTON -- Through four games they were point-less.

Then two of them showed signs of life and picked up an assist apiece in Boston's Game 5 loss to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last Saturday.

Heading into Game 6 of the series Sunday, with the Bruins facing elimination, coach Claude Julien united Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Milan Lucic as an uncharacteristic first line -- at least by their performances against the Caps, not career track records.

They had shown signs of life in the third period of Boston's Game 5 loss the day before. Things got even better in Game 6, with the trio that had combined for two points prior suddenly erupting for two goals (one on the power play) and six points. Seguin's goal was the difference in a 4-3 overtime win.

Thomas expecting to repeat past Game 7 success

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- In an effort to keep things loose a day before what could be the last game of their season, the Boston Bruins held a shootout contest at the conclusion of practice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.

With the squad split in half, the victors earned the right to watch the other group skate a lap around the rink in defeat. Tim Thomas didn't participate for either group, so he had no rooting interest. Thomas was saving all of his competitive juices for what is most important -- Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

"I had enough shootouts this year," Thomas quipped after leaving the ice.

No one with the Bruins can have any problem with Thomas monitoring his practice workload considering how far he has taken the team the last couple years. In earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP last season, he won three Game 7s. In those ultimate showdowns, which included two shutouts, he posted a .969 save percentage and a 0.97 goals-against average.

Start time set for Wednesday's playoff game

The National Hockey League today announced that the starting time for Game 7 of the Boston Bruins-Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Quarter-Final series has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 25, in Boston. The game will be televised by NBC Sports Network in the U.S.; NESN in the Boston market; CSN in the Washington DC market; and CBC and RDS in Canada.

Underrated Alzner the glue on Capitals' blue line

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

There may not be a more honest and insightful player in the NHL than Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.

His honesty has even gotten him into a bit of trouble this season, when he admitted it was tough for players to get excited for a game against the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center in early February -- even if the two teams were in a fight for first place in the Southeast Division.

It is also the way Alzner plays on the ice. He's a cerebral guy, more likely to beat an elite forward with his brain than his brawn (though he's continuing to work on the latter). Through strong skating, positional awareness and an extra dose of belief in his ability, Alzner has built off an impressive first full season in the NHL in 2010-11 with an even better campaign this year.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next | Last


NHL GameCenter LIVE™ is now NHL.TV™.
Watch out-of-market games and replays with an all new redesigned media player, mobile and connected device apps.


NHL Mobile App

Introducing the new official NHL App, available for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. A host of new features and improved functionality are available across all platforms, including a redesigned league-wide scoreboard, expanded news coverage, searchable video highlights, individual team experiences* and more. The new NHL App on your tablet also introduces new offerings such as 60fps video, Multitasking** and Picture-in-Picture.

*Available only for smartphones
** Available only for suported iPads
World Cup of Hockey 2016