How Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals match up in playoffs

Mar 5, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) punches Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) punches Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 3, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save against the Washington Capitals during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save against the Washington Capitals during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Which team has the better goaltending?

*Insert Will Ferrell “we are laughing” gif*

There is one blatant and obvious weakness of the Washington Capitals, and that is their goaltending. It has been… not good.

With the departure of Braden Holtby this offseason, it looked like it was time for Ilya Samsonov to take over the crease. While he sports a 13-4-1 record, his .902 save percentage (SV%) and 2.69 goals-against average (GAA) is a tad unsightly and he lost the starting job to Vitek Vanacek. Samsonov has been on and off the COVID list a couple of times this season, most recently still in COVID protocol.

Vanacek hasn’t been much better, with the same 2.69 GAA as Samsonov and a .908 SV%, going 21-10-4. He is in line to be named the starter for the postseason, but it isn’t exactly great when the playoffs are just a day away, yet head coach Peter Laviolette won’t be announcing the starting goaltender. 

Meanwhile, the Bruins have technically three reliable goaltenders in the crease, all of which I would take over Vanacek. Tuukka Rask is the starter, with Jeremy Swayman as the backup.

Rask was sidelined for a while with an injury, but he has shown no sign of slowing down. A 15-5-2 record with a 2.28 GAA and .913 SV% is what Rask finished the regular season with. And Swayman has been a sensation, with a record of 7-3-0, a 1.50 GAA and .945 SV%.

Must Read. Some Bruins Thoughts Ahead of the Playoffs. light

Yeah, I think I know who has the edge in the crease.

Advantage: Boston