The Bruins and Capitals took the ice Thursday night at the Garden for their first game of their first round match up. The only goal of the game came off the stick of Chris Kelly only 1:18 into overtime to give the B’s a 1-0 series lead.
Former Bruins and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bruins color commentator Bob Beers spoke with Toucher & Rich about the Bruins overtime win, the Capitals style of play and Caps goalie Braden Holtby.
Washington seemed to be playing a more defensive type of game against the Bruins, blocking 22 shots and only getting 17 shots on goal. Was Beers surprised by the strategy of the Capitals to be tight and defensive?
“I don’t know if surprised is the right word, but I know that they tried to change things under Dale Hunter. They’ve tried to get a little bit more that way, the other way wasn’t working for them in terms of the run and gun that they’ve done in the past.”
Capitals head coach Dale Hunter amassed 3565 penalty minutes over his 19 years in the league and was known to deliver some cheap shots at times. What are Beers’ feeling of Hunter as a player?
“He played the game hard, he play the game we’ll say on the edge, but a lot of the times he played over the edge. He played the game hard, he played the game to win and guys that played with him really loved playing with him. He was a guy you hated playing against.”
There’s not much bad blood between the Capitals and Bruins, not like last year’s round one opponent the Montreal Canadiens. Does Beers feel that the Bruins need to develop a hatred for Washington during this series?
“That’s one thing you hope for because the Bruins seem to play better when pushed, when prodded, those types of things. If they have a genuine hatred for a team or a genuine dislike for a team then the Bruins seem to bring their best.”
The Bruins held Alex Ovechkin to only one shot on net and seemed to be preoccupied with Dennis Seidenberg. Why wasn’t Ovechkin really a threat in this first game?
“He wasn’t really a threat at all and that’s because they didn’t give him any room. When he gets room to do things that’s when he can really be effective.”
Washington’s rookie goalie Braden Holtby made 29 saves, but it didn’t seem like the Bruins challenged him all that much. What did Beers think of the young goalie’s performance?
“I want to give him a lot of credit in terms of handling pucks he should handle. The pucks that he saw he was able to handle, there were some rebounds there. I would love to see the Bruins get some more traffic in front of him, I think that’s something that they can do much better.”
At the end of the game a piece of glass came free and hit David Krejci from behind knocking him down to the ice. What did Beers think of the whole thing and is Krejci alright?
“I saw him walk through the locker room after the game and he looked okay, but that doesn’t mean anything. Who knows? I guess we’ll just have to wait till today, hopefully he’s okay that would be ridiculous if he was injured on something like that.”
“I’ve seen some strange injuries, but nothing like that.”