With the way they had celebrated, one would expect the Washington Capitals to suffer an all-time brutal Stanley Cup hangover. However, instead they extended their honeymoon with a thumping 7-0 romp of the Boston Bruins to open the 2018-19 season.
This score might have actually been very kind to the Bruins, who literally had no answer for the Capitals’ speed, energy and skill.
The defending champions made a great impression as Todd Reirden debuted as the head coach.
In this one, Washington came storming out of the gate, with T.J. Oshie scoring 24 seconds in, and Evgeny Kuznetsov making it 2-0 with just less than two minutes into the contest. Tuukka Rask‘s night however ended early after allowing five goals. The lowest point came during a stretch of three goals which were allowed on three shots.
One really cannot pin this all on Rask, even though Wednesday night brought back memories of his more embattled moments with the Boston last season.
Talking about bringing back memories, perhaps it was very fitting to see Jaroslav Halak replace Rask in net, as Halak authored Washington’s one of the most frustrating playoff losses of the Alex Ovechkin era. Halak had very little power to deny the Capitals tonight, as Washington was dominating virtually every facet of the season-opener.
Many of Capitals players came up very big on what was already a very special, banner-raising night.
Kuznetsov came very close to collecting a hat trick. However he had to settle for two goals. Nicklas Backstrom generated three assists, which pushed past the 800-point mark for his career (now he is at 802). Both John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin enjoyed one-goal, one-assist nights and each of the players scored from “Ovechkin’s office.”
The Bruins had to face the sobering reality that they still have a lot of things to clean up, as they cannot simply blame this on a rough night for Rask. On the brighter side of the things, they won’t face a Capitals power play that went to 4-for-6 every night.
It is quite dangerous to put so much weight into any single game of the regular season, as much tempted as it might be with hockey back upon us. However as it turns out, it is also very dangerous to count out the Capitals as they begin their pursuit of “back-to-back” Stanley Cup titles.