A week ago, even the most pessimistic Bruins backer would not have uttered the following: “The B’s must figure out a way to solve Braden Holtby.”
The Capitals goaltender has allowed just two goals in six periods and three extra sessions as Washington has suddenly become a defensive-minded squad.
Three things to look for as the Bruins play their first postseason road game of the 2012 playoffs tonight in D.C. (7:30, NESN):
Nicklas Backstrom was the most active player on the ice Saturday afternoon as he not only netted the game-winner on a wrister, he also mixed it up with Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas. The Caps center was playing just his fifth game back after missing 40 games because of a concussion. Just two years ago, Backstrom was a 100-point scorer in the league. It’s scary for Bruins fans to think that he has room for improvement on the offensive end in this series.
Need for a breakout game
Judging by the scores alone, it’s obvious that the Bruins offense is struggling. But it can’t all be that Holtby is just hot. The B’s offense deserves plenty of the blame here, particularly Tyler Seguin, who was expected to step up in his second NHL postseason. Seguin went largely unnoticed in Saturday’s game despite playing 26 minutes. Bergeron has also struggled and has surprisingly lost his fair share of faceoffs in the series.
A year ago at this time, Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards was roasting Benoit Pouliot for leaving his feet in an attempt to drill Johnny Boychuk. This April, things are drastically different as Pouliot has been one of the early surprises of the 2012 postseason. He had an assist in Game 1 and a thrilling goal in Game 2. The left wing has a chance to lay down a legacy in Boston if he can become a postseason hero. The foundation for such a thing is there.