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Carey Price has 'too easy a night' vs. the Capitals

Carey Price has 'too easy a night' vs. the Capitals

There are ways to score on a top-notch goaltender.

Giving him an unobscured look at the puck and failing to record a shot on net for most of the third period, however, are not among them. 

But that’s exactly happened Saturday night at Verizon Center, where the Caps saw their six-game winning streak halted by Carey Price and the Canadiens, 2-1.

“They had a lot of urgency in their game,” Lars Eller said. “They battled hard. We had the puck a lot. We had a lot of zone time but we failed to sort of get bodies inside and get the puck inside at the same time.”

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“It was too easy a night for Price,” the former Montreal center added. “Didn’t get shots. Didn’t get secondary [chances]. We just failed to get our nose dirty and get the puck in there. That was the step we were missing today.”

That they skipped such an all-important step was a bit surprising, given the caliber of goaltender they were facing and the fact that they had recently done a better job of getting to the net, creating screens, putting pucks in play and hunting for seconds.

But it didn’t happen against Shea Weber and Co.

As a team, Montreal blocked 21 shots—or the same number of shots the Capitals managed to put on Price.

”They were defending pretty well,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “And you got one of the best goaltenders in the NHL in Price. He’s been outstanding. We didn’t make it hard enough on Carey. …Sometimes the other team is playing really well and they force you to get some of those dirty goals or garbage goals, whatever, and you have to make it hard on them. And we didn’t make it hard enough on them. Even in the third, they got into a pretty good defensive posture and we were still looking for the extra play, the extra play.”

Trotz continued: “Especially against quality goalies, you don’t want to get too fine. When you’re not getting a lot of looks because the other team is doing a good job of keeping you to the outside, you have to force yourself into their house a little bit, get in front of the net.”

They did not. But that wasn’t even their biggest problem in the third period as they scrambled to get back into the game.

For a span of 15:22 stretching from late in the second period until late in the third, the Capitals failed to muster a single shot on Price.

Forget about getting a body to the net. They couldn’t even get a puck there.  

“To beat any goalie you have to get shots,” Eller said. “In the third, we didn’t even get a lot of shots. We made it hard for ourselves.”

Indeed they did.

MORE CAPITALS: Caps' win streak clipped by Canadiens

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.


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Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

On Wednesday night ESPN hosts their yearly sports award show, the ESPYs, to celebrate the best of the last 365 days in sport. 

One thing they will not be celebrating, or did not even consider celebrating, was Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

This year there were 16 plays nominated to be the “Best Play” and were seeded into a bracket. For the past month fans have been voting in each head-to-head matchup culminating in four pretty outstanding plays:

All of those plays can be viewed here

Three of those four were in a championship game, the other was a just a once in a lifetime play from a teenager. 

But the ESPYs are saying that there are 16 plays from this past year that were better than Holtby’s save… Can we really believe that? Everyone loves buzzer beaters, but they accounted for six of the 16 plays. One of them could have easily gotten bumped. 

And aside from the three listed above there were only two that were in the championship event for each sport. Holtby could have rounded it out for six.

We’re not saying that Holtby’s play was the best in the past year, or even in the top four. Heck, there should be no one that tops Ogunbowale’s incredible heroics. But arguably the best play in D.C. sports history not making the top-16 for best plays in a 365 day period? 

It must have been one heck of a sports year.  

For those that are nominated, Alex Ovechkin is a finalist for Best Male Athlete and Best NHL Player. The Capitals are in the running for Best Team.