In the winding seconds of Game 3 Monday night in Washington, forward Nicklas Backstrom would perform an act that could quite possibly cost his team. As Alex Ovechkin and Rich Peverley exchange trips to each other, Backstrom skates in and gets between the two men. With Peverley raising his stick, the story is that Backstrom(who had missed 40 games with a concussion this season) felt threatened and reacts ‘recklessly’ in raising his stick and cross-checking Rich Peverley straight in the face. An act that was not uncommon in Game 3 and went unnoticed through most of the game. Backstrom received a match penalty for his actions and because there was no injury to Peverley and he had no prior fines or suspensions, he is only going to miss one game. Not a BIG deal, right? If you’re a Caps fan, this is a HUGE deal. (Remember the way they reacted when Ovechkin missed 3-games this season? Yeah..) So the question that remains is, what does this mean for Boston?
Without Backstrom in the line up they Caps lose a strong forward, one who is capable of making game-winning plays/goals as seen in Game 2 of the Quarter Finals this year. With his team being down 2-1 in the series, you can guarantee that the Capitals are stressing on who is going to pick up the slack. Most likely we can expect to see forward Mathieu Perrault fill in, as he did when Backstrom was out injured.
The advantage Boston is provided with is a team that relies on their star players to perform for them, when you take part of that option away, the game in a sense, crumbles. With the Bruins being an easily adaptable team (most of the time) this should pose as an opportunity for them to shut down their offensive opportunity with ease. They are able to focus primarily on their top scorer Alex Ovechkin and keep his abilities at a minimum.
One can also assume that the amount of head shots presented by the Caps will lower considering the outcome of Backstrom, but one can never really know in the playoffs. Oh wait, silly me, the team targeting heads is the Bruins. Right.
To see the Washington Capitals take on this deal, check out VC-Chillin.