24 April, 2014

Hard Hat-Wearing Brads Turns the Tide

In a rivalry game like Pens-Caps, especially this season, often you can toss out the stats sheet and point to one or two key moments as turning point. Such was the case Monday night in the Caps’ 1-0 triumph.

In Monday night’s second period, with the game scoreless and the Pens holding a decisive edge in shots and scoring chances, Matt Bradley did what many in the NHL have wanted to do for years and in the process reversed the game’s momentum: he punished filthy Matt Cooke. Cooke, you’ll recall, did his level best to take out Alexander Ovechkin with an extended knee the last time these teams met. He kept up his dirty play and soon thereafter and was suspended. Matt Bradley carried a long memory into tonight’s game and waited to extract frontier justice in defense of his teammate. And despite the penalty he incurred on the hit, it was a clean hit.

Seasons of meager achievements gain meaning from such moments. And moments after Brads left the penalty box, he was forced to own up to his largely clean hit: Ryan Craig came calling, and Brads answered — in resounding fashion.

Let’s keep a close eye on what this hockey team achieves hereafter. Monday night we may have witnessed a turning point in a largely undistinguished season, and if so, Matt Bradley deserves credit.



    Hopefully Bradley’s favorite adult beverage is waiting for him next Caps trip to Boston.

    Like how Cooke looked at ref after, and Staal was the one who went after Bradley.

    21 February, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink
  2. Matt Cooke is dispicable and one of the worst things in the game right now. That he lets minor leaguers fight his battles for him as he tries to amputate legs at the knees and leaps into players numbers on the backs of their sweaters — driving their heads into the boards — is gutless and pathetic.

    22 February, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink
  3. HBH WC wrote:

    I didn’t like Cook as a Cap and I don’t like him now.
    Looked like a clean hit to me!

    22 February, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink
  4. HBH WC wrote:

    One other thing,
    Didn’t Bylsma say Neuvy was shaky on 24/7?
    The Pens have scored exactly no goals on Neuvy over the last two games!!!

    22 February, 2011 at 7:18 am | Permalink
  5. Right you are, HBH WC — and on the season series’ four games in total, the Pens put up just three goals in total on the Caps.

    22 February, 2011 at 7:22 am | Permalink
  6. Dennis Baker wrote:

    charging (count the number of strides Bradley took)could have called on an elbow also. always liked Bradley as a good honest grinder still do but it was defitely right call. Ovechky should have been called for cross checking (3x)in front of his own net in last minute

    22 February, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  7. nafyekcoh wrote:

    Reports say Backstrom has a minor thumb fracture from the slash he took from Letang. If he can’t go who are your centers?

    22 February, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink
  8. nafyekcoh wrote:

    @ Dennis Baker

    The hit Brads put on Cooke was legit, that hit happens in every game and ends up as a “no call.” The refs were watching Cooke closely based on his knee-to-knee hit on Ovi and knew the Caps would be marking him, they were just keeping the game in hand. Sorry, but that was a clean hit.

    22 February, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  9. Dennis Baker wrote:

    maybe it is not always called but it was obviously charging. everybody including the announcers want Cooke to “get his” I agree he is a dirty player but refs have to call what they see …even ovechsky’s crosschecks

    22 February, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

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  1. Thank You Matt Bradley Box Score | Capitals Outsider on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 12:58 am

    [...] Matt Bradley charged him. Later, Bradley fought with Ryan Craig (because the Penguins as of late have been sending their [...]