The Washington Capitals have not gotten out to the start they would have hoped for in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially not considering they are already a team dealing with significant absences in their lineup.
On Saturday night the Capitals faced off against the Boston Bruins in the inaugural game of this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs and unfortunately it was less than 14 minutes before things went completely sideways for the Caps. After taking an early 1 -0 lead in the contest, the Bruins answered back with a goal courtesy of forward Jake DeBrusk, but it was the aftermath of that goal that could prove to be a major hurdle for the Capitals moving forward.
It's not clear exactly what happened, but in an attempt to make the save rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek appears to have suffered some kind of injury. Vanecek may have tweaked something or pulled a muscle on the play, but that is only speculation on my part at this time. All we have to go on thus far is the live video feed from the game itself, and what we know is that Vanecek was not touched on the play but did stretch out quite far in his attempt to make the save. It may also have been that Vanecek was relatively unprepared for how quickly the puck came to him following the faceoff, resulting in him overextending to attempt the save and potentially leading to the injury.
What makes this situation all the more wild is the fact that the NBC broadcast appears to have cursed Vanecek literally seconds before the injury actually happened. The commentators in the booth were in the middle of discussing the possibility of Vanecek being injured in this series, and being replaced by veteran Craig Anderson, when the puck was dropped on the faceoff. It was only moments later that the injury actually became a reality.
Take a listen for yourself:
To make matters even worse for the rookie, some like former NHL goaltender Kelly Hrudey have been quick to blame him for getting injured so early in the series. Even if Hrudey is correct here in his assessment, I believe the comments were in poor taste. You can listen to those in the short clip below.