Sports Maple Leafs and Capitals hoping for more from Andersen and Holtby

19:25  21 april  2017
19:25  21 april  2017 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Maple Leafs give Capitals scare but fall in OT in Game 1

  Maple Leafs give Capitals scare but fall in OT in Game 1 Tom Wilson froze the clock 5:15 into overtime on Thursday, capitalizing on a Martin Marincin turnover and beating Frederik Andersen high to give the Capitals a 1-0 series advantage.The Toronto Maple Leafs gave the Washington Capitals a scare in Game 1 of a series they’re not supposed to win, but couldn’t hold off the Presidents’ Trophy winners.

T.J. Oshie scored twice, Tom Wilson scored twice, and the Capitals held off a Maple Leafs rally attempt to win 5-4 and even the series at two apiece. %2Fhockey%2Fnhl%2Fmaple- leafs - capitals - hoping - andersen - holtby %2F.

In fact, Andersen has been just a touch better than Holtby , a likely Kasperi Kapanen’s goal in double OT lifts Maple Leafs past Capitals . For others, it would be the ultimate gender equalizer. 'Faint hope case for men with money': Judge cuts off Sask. woman's spousal support after she asked to triple it.

Braden Holtby or Frederik Andersen: Which one of you wants it?

Will one goalie stand on his head for two games? Or will one will completely crumble under the lights?

To borrow an indelible phrase from Randy Carlyle, the goaltending in the dead-even Washington Capitals–Toronto Maple Leafs roller coaster has been just OK.

And with three games or less on the docket, a brick-wall mounting or full-sieve heel turn could well mean the difference between a showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins or an opportunity to skate in the world championships.

Defending Vezina winner Holtby already claimed the 2017 William Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender on the team allowing the fewest goals. His name will certainly be included in Saturday’s press release announcing this season’s Vezina finalists.

Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen takes out Brett Connolly with a big hip check

  Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen takes out Brett Connolly with a big hip check Game 1 between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs was a physical affair in which the Capitals emerged with a narrow 3-2 OT victory. There were plenty of highlights from the Caps’ comeback win, but one of our favorites came from Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen. Holding on to a 2-1 lead in the second period, the Leafs were trying their best to absorb a physical push from the Capitals. The Caps were starting to really throw their weight around, dishing out several big hits in quick succession. When a loose puck was headed behind the Maple Leafs net, Andersen decided to get in on the action.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby thinks strong wind would only possibly affect dump-ins or high flips of the puck and that it could make it difficult for players to keep their eyes open when it's head on. Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen is more concerned for the skaters

Holtby made 28 saves for the Capitals (3-3-0). "[ Andersen ] was great and so was Holtby ," Brown said. "I think we gave up more than we'd like, but we did a It was the first game between the Maple Leafs and Capitals since Washington won in six games in the 2017 Eastern Conference First Round.

Andersen, too, proved to be one of the conference’s best and most depended-upon netminders, posting a .918 save percentage over 66 appearances behind an average blue-line. Yet neither has delivered his A game for 60 minutes in the second season, and time is running out.

“Too many goals are going in. How’s that?” Leafs coach Mike Babcock summarized bluntly.

Of the starting goalies still alive in these playoffs, none own a worse save percentage than Andersen (.905) or Holtby (.907).

We’ve seen a combined eight shoutouts in the other first-round series; only once in this set has a goalie kept his goals against under three (Holtby allowed two in Game 1).

Statistically, Andersen and Holtby are each playing well below their personal playoff and regular-season averages. Combine this with a 1-2 ranking in shots per game among surviving squads — Toronto has 37.5, Washington 36.8 — and it’s making for high-volume workloads and call-your-grandma firewagon hockey.

Leafs are down but hardly defeated: Feschuk

  Leafs are down but hardly defeated: Feschuk WASHINGTON—One of the great crutches of Maple Leaf failures past has been an obsession with pressure. There’s too much of it in Toronto for hockey players to prosper, we’ve been told. Poor guys. Boo-hoo. And so on.But in Mike Babcock’s two seasons as head coach, he’s repositioned that tired old rationalization brilliantly. Rather than lament the rabidness of the city, he’s encouraged his players to embrace their legions of fans; to stop reading sports pages and listening to jock radio; to get a hobby that doesn’t involve hockey. (He has suggested hunting and country music). And his players have bought the pitch.

Exactly the seed of doubt the Leafs hope to plant in the minds of the underachieving springtime squad. His wrist shot struck T.J, Oshie’s stick and beat Holtby , who immediately A quick short-side shot off a Martin Marincin clearing attempt that Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen is still wondering about.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Washington Capitals tonight. More from Editor In Leaf . Just yesterday I saw a bunch of people saying the Leafs should have played MacElhinney against Carolina and saved Andersen for Washington – those people have been tricked by Holtby .

It’s wild, raucous fun for us viewers.

But, in the goalies’ minds, it’s stirring apprehension, self-blame and excuse-making.

“It’s one of those stretches where every type of bounce seems to be going the wrong way. You have to focus on the percentages, where they usually go, and taking them away,” Holtby said — after a win.

“[I’m] trying to overcompensate for the bad bounces at times with screens and traffic in front. You just gotta battle. Look and video and find certain ways to fight through it.”

Holtby also dropped this: “We earned our bounces, and they kinda got theirs.”

The twist here is that Holtby is finally receiving the playoff run support he’s long deserved. The man has allowed two goals or fewer in 32 of his 50 career playoff games, and the Capitals are just 21-11 in those contests.

Holtby hasn’t been awful by any means, but he’s admitted that there are shots he’d like to have back.

Maple Leafs make something out of nothing: Feschuk

  Maple Leafs make something out of nothing: Feschuk WASHINGTON—Asked what his young players learned as many made their NHL playoff debuts this week, Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock shrugged.“They find out nothing happens,” Babcock said in the lead-up to Saturday night’s Game 2 of their first-round playoff series with the Capitals.If it’s not exactly the basis for a sexy marketing campaign, that’s the gist of post-season hockey. A lot of the time, playoff games are one long stalemate. “For lack of a better word, it might get boring,” said Brian Boyle, the veteran forward. “You go to the net, you go to the net, you go to the net. Nothing happens, nothing happens, nothing happens.

Braden Holtby , Washington Capitals . The reigning Vezina Trophy winner was arguably even better this season, improving his save percentage to .925 (from .922 last season) while continuing an evolution with Korn that has seen around traffic rather than over it. Frederik Andersen , Toronto Maple Leafs .

WASHINGTON — Perhaps that’s what Game 7 between the Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals would have looked like last spring. The scoring chance was created when Morgan Rielly’s shot from the point got through and was stopped by Holtby . Frederik Andersen made 30 saves in the Leafs net

Heroic grinder Tom Wilson bailed him out in Game 4 by diving into the crease for a trickling puck. And even that wow moment in Game 3, when Holtby charged from his net to the blue line to break up a Mitch Marner breakaway with high-risk aggression, he later called an error in judgment.

“Goalies, they do everything on predictability, and there are a lot of things that aren’t very predictable right now, and that’s what at times makes Braden look like he’s not there,” coach Barry Trotz said.

“He’s playing fine. It’s just not very predictable right now because there is stuff that is bouncing all over. It’s a pinball machine out there.”

That’s by design.

“We’ve got to frustrate him,” Nazem Kadri said. “We’re getting in those dirty areas and finding ways to score on deflections and rebounds and secondary opportunities. He’s a great goaltender if he sees the puck flat-on.”

The Leafs have invested time studying video of Holtby, examining his positional tendencies and picking out where to shoot.

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“When push comes to shove, he’s one of the best goalies in the league. You never see him rattled in net,” Matt Martin said. “Freddy’s been great for us as well, so hopefully we can tighten up and not rely as much on Freddy to make big saves.”

Mike Modano trolls Maple Leafs; Joe Bowen chirps him with OT call

  Mike Modano trolls Maple Leafs; Joe Bowen chirps him with OT call During the Stanley Cup Playoffs there are some top-notch hockey Twitter trolls … Some just happen to be Hockey Hall of Famers.On Monday, during Game 3 of the Washington Capitals–Toronto Maple Leafs first-round series, Mike Modano sent out a few tongue-in-cheek tweets that drew the ire of Maple Leafs supporters.

— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) March 25, 2017. While key pieces such as Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Holtby , and Marcus Johansson are among those locked in for a few more years After sitting out the Maple Leafs ’ final game on Sunday, Andersen will be ready for the playoffs, according to Babcock.

"I know earlier in the series [ Holtby ] took some criticism and there were a lot of doubters out there," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. Johansson tied the game 1-1 at 12:51 when he banked a shot off Andersen from the side of the net. "I didn't think we had the puck much after that," Maple Leafs

Unlike Andersen, Holtby hit the rink for optional skates Tuesday and Thursday to work on his game. He made a conscious effort to play the puck more frequently in Game 4 to get a better feel for the game.

“He asked if he could come out and do some stuff just to keep his body [ready],” Trotz said. “He’s one of those guys that a body in motion stays in motion.”

As good as Andersen has looked for stretches — both goalies have snuffed out 5-on-3 power plays — Justin Williams tapped in a puck he fumbled in his skates in Game 1, and Andersen knows he should’ve stopped both Capitals’ game-winners: Wilson’s chuck-it from the half-wall in Game 1’s OT and T.J. Oshie’s five-hole softy in the third period of Game 4. He’s owned those mistakes.

“It was a tough letdown. One of those turns you want to come up big, and I failed to do that today,” Andersen said after Game 4’s loss.

His play as a whole?

“Not the best. I wish I could have helped the team out a little bit more, coming up bigger when they had their chances.”

The forwards in both sweaters are flying, the chances are plentiful, and the series is gleefully wide open, there to be seized.

Time for one of these masked men to stand up and shut the door.

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