You’ll have to forgive Ilya Samsonov. He simply wanted a cold brew.
You see, Dunkin’ didn’t just treat the world to a funny commercial back in February. It also predicted what would happen more than three months later in Game 3 of the first-round Stanley Cup playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.
Samsonov committed a costly mistake Wednesday night that led to Craig Smith scoring the Bruins’ game-winning goal in double overtime. It was crucial in that Boston now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, but those of us who run on Dunkin’ couldn’t help but immediately think back to the little animated goalie who once pulled a similar stunt.
Here’s the deal: Samsonov left the puck unattended behind the net Wednesday — the product of “miscommunication” with defenseman Justin Schultz, according to Washington head coach Peter Laviolette — and Smith snuck in the back door to pot a wraparound goal. Game over.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the aforementioned Dunkin’ commercial — appropriately titled “Empty Net,” according to the Dunkin’ YouTube page — also revolves around a Capitals goalie recklessly leaving his (bubble hockey) crease.
Of course, the animated Caps goalie avoided disaster, with animated David Pastrnak struggling to retrieve the puck as the unnamed netminder chatted with animated T.J. Oshie. But Samsonov? Not so much. The living, breathing version of Craig Smith made him pay.
Sure, this all probably is one big coincidence. After all, it’s been a game of musical chairs between the pipes for Washington, with Vitek Vanecek starting Game 1, Craig Anderson starting Game 2 and Samonsov getting the nod in Game 3. And Dunkin’ doesn’t actually identify the little goalie by name.
But we like to think Dunkin’ was onto something back in February, and that maybe Samsonov just needed a quick pick-me-up with Game 3 lingering into double OT.
You’re telling me you don’t see the resemblance?
Anyway, the Bruins and Capitals will resume their series Friday night on NESN. Puck drop for Game 4 from TD Garden is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, with pregame coverage on NESN beginning at 5:30 p.m.