Thirsty for evaluations on the Sunday game between the Bruins and the Caps? Come and quench your thirst with this exciting pre-game preview.
It’s going to be scorching hot this Sunday noon as the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins are firing up for their encounter as the finale of their round-robin play.
As both teams are thirsty for their first win since the Restart, there will be some serious actions for expectation. Whoever takes the win in this Sunday game will seize higher seeds for the playoffs. Since both the Bruins and the Capitals have not been victorious for both of their seeding games, they will be giving their all for this crucial matchup, and that’s not something you want to miss.
Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals
Ruins are absolutely not a force to be overlooked. Before the season hiatus because of the pandemic, the Bruins had the most points in the NHL. Reason? Their league-leading defense! However, as much as that stellar defense is responsible for their wins, it is the main reason for their two seeding defeats. Seven goals being given up were more than enough to get them off the table.
The Capitals, at the same time, can be just as dangerous. For goals per game, they held the NHL’s second rank in the NHL before the hiatus. However, Washington only had three goals in their first two seeding games. Should Boston Bruins go easy on that goal efficiency deficit of their opponent? They better not, as that would just give the Capitals more determination to upscale their goals per game rate for the season.
To add to that, Washington has another reason to strive for a win: This game is a perfect payback time. While they won their first meeting with the Bruins this season, the Caps experienced an embarrassing 7-3 defeat for the last one on Christmas Eve.
Bruins are ambitious to get back on track
In this matchup against Washington Capitals, the Bruins’ determination to make a comeback is definitely a reason for their fans to be excited. The desire to compensate for the last-minute 3-2 defeat they suffered against Tampa Bay Lightning in their last game might make the team to be flushing out onto the field with vengeful spirits. More careful and determined this time, Boston is ready to deal some damage.
However, it is doubtful whether morale alone can be enough, especially when Bruins are struggling to generate offense. This was absolutely not a problem for Boston during the regular season, but since the Restart, things got tough. Boston Bruins ranked ninth in goals per game at 3.24 in the NHL and it sported the top goal differential in the NHL at +0.86 goals per game. However, through two games in Toronto, they have only managed a total of three goals.
Not just offense, problems seem to be also crawling up to the Bruins’ goal. The underperforming netminder Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes for Boston in this final round-robin affair. The 33-year-old and his teammate Halak have been quite disappointing, as they limited opponents to a pedestrian 2.39 goals per game during the regular season, but they’ve given up seven goals in two contests against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers.
Can the Bruins improve their spot in the standings with a win versus the Capitals this Sunday? That’s up to the team’s ability to quickly reshape for their most satisfying performance.
Caps with their veteran netminder Holtby
The Caps need to dish out some serious effort in order to prevail in this upcoming Sunday noon action. They do have a high-potent attack that can penetrate any defense in the league; however, that has not been the case for their last two seeding games. In Washington’s last 3-1 fall before Philadelphia Flyers, only Tavis Boyd was able to find the back of the net in the third period, while star Alex Ovechkin got zero points in the two seeding games. Caps have not been looking good in attack mode.
Besides that, their star goalie Braden Holtby has been struggling in presumably the worst year in all of his career. (25-14-6 3.11 GAA) has been in goal for both of the seeding games. In the last game, the 30-year-old gave up three out of only 21 shots and. His records of a 3.11 GAA and .897 save percentage in 48 games (47 starts) for Washington this season have been the lowest during his 10-year career, and that’s something to be worried about.
Despite the abysmal numbers, however, Braden Holtby is still expected to be standing between the pipes for the Capitals this Sunday. Counter-intuitive? Most certainly not, if you can get past the superficial records.
The veteran goaltender is presumably in his final season with the Capitals, and that’s precisely why he will be as dangerous as a timebomb. If you look into Holtby’s past records against Boston, this will even make more sense. The man has got three starts against Boston this season and came out with a figure of 2-1-0 with a 3.32 GAA and .879 save percentage. He has also dominated Boston throughout his career with the Caps, going 18-4-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .939 save percentage in 21 start out of 22 games.
- The Bruins are 0-5 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite.
- The Capitals are 10-3 in their last 13 games as an underdog.
- The Capitals are 9-1 in their last 10 Sunday games
Predictions: Washington for the win
The two teams are both in need of a victory for the higher seeds in the playoffs, so serious competition is without a doubt this Sunday.
Both of the teams have their chances, yes, but Washington might be on a brighter side. Even though Caps’ Holtby is in the worst season of his career, the netminder has dominated the Bruins throughout the years to the impressive record of 18-4-0. For the Bruins, on the other hand, Rask’s numbers have been disappointing. To add to that, Boston’s offensive struggles have been at least confounding, and their deficiencies on defense also have been no less alarming.
Judging on those aspects, expect to see Washington to come out on top in this fiery Sunday matchup.