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Game 7: Capitals 3, Avalanche 6

October 15, 2019, 10:58 AM ET [1 Comments]
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That was NOT the start we were looking for last night! I am not even quite sure where to begin so lets just get straight to my takeaways:

1. Braden Holtby – He absolutely needs to play better. Allowing three goals on three shots on home ice is unacceptable. He looked shaky and let in six goals in his previous start against Nashville. He just does not seem to be seeing the puck at all right now. Its not all his fault, credit the Avalanche for coming out strong in the first period in what their head coach Jared Bednar called their “best period of the season”. I am not sure how to remedy the situation but the Capitals should consider moving Samsonov into the starting spot either right now or if Holtby does this again. Here are some stats comparing our two netminders so far this season, keeping in mind it’s still a relatively small sample size:

a. Braden Holtby
i. GAA – 4.27 (Ranks 43rd)
ii. SV% – .846 (Ranks 45th)
b. Ilya Samsonov
i. GAA – 1.43 (Ranks 4th)
ii. SV% – .944 (Ranks 5th)

2. Bounce Back Effort – Trailing 4-0 to start the second, the Caps came out flying and outshot the Avs 16-7 in the period. They generated many scoring chances and were able to cut the lead to two. They continued their assault in the third but the effort would soon fall flat as Samsonov committed a costly turnover trying to play the puck. The Avs took advantage of the opportunity and tapped in a wide-open goal. Overall, I liked the response by the Caps but it was simply too little too late.

3. Andre Burakovsky – The Capitals gave Burakovsky a very heartfelt video tribute in his first game back in DC since being traded. I lightly touched on this in my last post but it is awesome to see him thriving in Colorado. The Avs came into this season needing to address their lack of scoring depth and they found a key role player in Burakovsky. He already has two game winning goals for the them this season. Some people (mostly Caps fans) say he is the real “Mr. Game 7”. If the Avs make a deep playoff run this year, his experience and opportunistic playoff scoring could pay huge dividends for them.

Not much else to say here. Next game is 10/16 vs Toronto Maple Leafs. I may be overreacting but the biggest story in DC right now is Holtby’s early struggles. I expect the Caps to strongly consider throwing Samsonov in net vs the high-octane Maple Leafs offense. Play Holtby Friday vs the Rangers.

By Brian S.
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