wnol.info May 30 2017


Barry Trotz: Capitals think they are mentally tougher

May 30 2017, 07:15 | Van Peters

"This is just a step in the right direction", Rielly continued.

Sean Kuraly scored his first two National Hockey League goals - his second at 10:19 of double overtime - as the Boston Bruins stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators Friday. This time, Ovechkin got up and skated away.

"This is the playoffs, it's going to be tight, (and) it's never going to be an easy ride. I thought there should've been no penalty", Babcock told reporters.

It's been a whirlwind two seasons for Matthews, who spent his draft year playing in Switzerland before a trip to Russian Federation for the worlds last spring where he scored six goals and nine points in 10 games.

Bruins rookie Sean Kuraly's goal in double overtime Friday sends the series back to Boston for Game 6. "I thought that was my problem".

Entering the series, the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals were expected to handle Toronto easily in their first round matchup. Not only did it bounce right into the danger area right in front of the bench, it went to the Maple Leafs' leading scorer in Auston Matthews. He needs to score.

Following tonight's 2-1 overtime victory, the Washington Capitals look to move on to the second round.

Washington's star left winger returned for the second period and played the rest of the game. Braden Holtby has given up 15 goals on 175 shots faced.

"We know how good they are", Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "We were going for it, we were pushing hard". I think we have a bright future, we have unbelievable support from the city of Toronto and Leafs Nation. "From where we started this season to where we are now, we made a pretty big statement with our play".

It was equal parts entertaining, frustrating and exhilarating for the team and its fan base, but a much better storyline than the previous few seasons when they missed the playoffs.

Ready for playoff hockey?

"Yes, he is fine", Trotz said during a media conference call Saturday. "We definitely want to be in the same situation next year, but hopefully with a different outcome". Toronto's power play failed to cash in on several chances later that period and into the third.

"We just wanted to get control of the puck on the faceoff", Johansson said. "For sure, the pace has picked up". Babcock said. "Until you've been through the playoffs with players, you don't really know the level of the player you have".

It's something that Babcock is confident that Marner will eventually figure it out.

Toronto will likely make short-term contract offers to Polak and Hunwick (who played well late in the season and provided valuable experience).

Babcock noted that his team, which had only one point more than the Lightning despite no major injuries, wouldn't have survived under such circumstances. Everything about Mitchy, he's a big moment guy.

While they had good point-per-game averages in the first six games of their careers, they'll have to replicate that over long periods to reach the success of these players.

When the Leafs get around to deciding who they protect in the Las Vegas expansion draft in June, it might well come down to Marincin or Carrick. If Toronto wins, the Penguins get home-ice advantage.

Toronto's speed gave the Capitals a nice test before facing the quick Penguins, who used that element to eliminate Washington in six a year ago.

Toronto's best chance of the period came when Jake Gardiner blasted a one-timer from the point off the crossbar after a pass from Nazem Kadri. The Washington Capitals have won 13 of their last 16 games when allowing four or less goals.

Marcus Johansson scored both goals for the Capitals.

The top priority for the Leafs is getting a top-four defenceman.

It took three years for the 11th overall pick from 2014 to crack the Predators lineup on a full-time basis.



Other news