Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Montreal, Buffalo stay alive, another ‘too many men’ gaffe

Bruce Boudreau

FILE - In this May 11, 2009 file photo, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau disagrees with a referee’s call during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, FILE)


Another playoff night, another costly “Too Many Men on the Ice” penalty. There have been 18 so far this playoffs, according to TSN. Montreal Canadiens 2, Washington Capitals 1

Capitals lead series 3-2

This time, the Washington Capitals were confused while trying to pull Semyon Varlamov for an extra man and ended up taking the suddenly widespread penalty in the last minutes of a Game 5 they would go on to lose 2-1 against Montreal. Coach Bruce Boudreau’s face can often look like a mood ring when he gets angry; I’m thinking behind that irritation was at least a partial feeling of humiliation.

I’ve yet to see the Alex Ovechkin-era Capitals win a series with much ease; could it be that the team needs to be in tough spots or else they get bored and lose focus? To be fair, Jaroslav Halak had a nice 37 save performance, but I still expected a bit more out of a Capitals team that could have earned itself a nice early rest.

Buffalo Sabres 4, Boston Bruins 1

Bruins lead series 3-2

While Montreal almost seemed to “back in” to a sixth game in their series, Buffalo bludgeoned Boston in Game 5. Despite the fact that Ryan Miller was unable to get a shutout, the Sabres dominated most of the game and were rewarded with a commanding victory to stay alive in the series. I wrote earlier that Buffalo has the best chance of any team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit and I think this game showed that in a big way.