Game 1: Touchdown

By Noah Tanenbaum
Oct. 04, 2018

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It was a special night for the Washington Capitals. The franchise lifted it's first Stanley Cup Banner in it's 45 years of a club. But something else also happened. Oh yeah. They beat the Boston Bruins 7-0.

That's a nice way to start the season, eh?

For everyone writing them off, saying the cup hangover would be a real hangover after the partying they did this summer, the Capitals came to play tonight. Within the first 30 seconds, T.J. Oshie scored a goal. Before the came had eclipsed two minutes, the Capitals were up 2-0 thanks to Evgeny Kuznetsov on the power play. It was a night to remember in Washington.

Typically, the early 2-0 lead for the Capitals came with an inevitable collapse at some point in the game. For most teams, a 2-0 lead to start the game would be enough to carry them the rest of the way. The Capitals, however, were always the exception. They somehow always found a way to blow the lead, or at the very least, make the game interesting.

Not tonight though. Tonight, the Capitals played with a fire that was not even seen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Many times the club would take a 2-0 lead, or even more, in the playoffs, and still make you sweat until the final horn sounded.

Washington's defense, however, looked as complete as I have ever seen tonight. With a new Head Coach Todd Reirden behind the bench, many felt the Capitals would fail to live up to the expectations that they have built over the past couple season's of being a perennially contender. At least for tonight, they looked every part they have during the 2015-17 stretch where they dominated the regular season and won two President's Trophies as the league's top team.

Other goals were scored by Alex Ovechkin (of course), newcomer Nic Dowd, another Kuzy goal, a John Carlson rocket on the power play, and finally, a Lars Eller goal to seal the touchdown, from the man who sealed the Stanley Cup himself.

The fact that the Capitals did this, without their top line winger, Tom Wilson, who got suspended 20 games earlier today, and John Carlson's defensive partner Michal Kempny, showed a lot about what this team might be. To be fair, this was only the first game of the season, and no one should be jumping to conclusion's about a Back-To-Back just quite yet.

But maybe they should. This looked like the most complete 60 minutes that I have ever seen this team play. They outshot the Bruins (something they struggled with last season), out-chanced them, and out-played them, from the moment the puck dropped, to the final horn.

While this start was the best that anyone could have expected, the Capitals face an even harder test tomorrow, Pittsburg. If the Capitals can go into Pittsburg, on the second night of a back-to-back and win, it will speak volumes about where this team is headed this season.

But for now, let's all rejoice in this win, and soak it all in. The Capitals are the defending Stanley Cup Champions, and no one can take that away from them. Definitely not Boston.