Saturday, April 19, 2008

Game 5 Caps vs. Flyers 4-19-2008 Preview

Series C: Washington Capitals (44-43; 94 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 12th Overall) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (44-43; 95 points; 4th Atlantic Division, 6th Eastern Conference, 11th Overall):
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #5, Caps Game #5, Home Game #3, NHL Game #135

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 1:08 pm. Washington TV: None. Radio: WJFK 106.7-FM. Philadelphia TV: None. Radio: WWIP 610-AM. U.S. National TV: NBC. Canadian National TV: TSN, RDS (French). NHL Center Ice: None.

Today the Caps add another new experience to their growing resume, the playoff pressure of do-or-die. The margin for error is gone and the Caps MUST win today's game.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times: not dead yet, no fun, youth will be served. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire. NHL.com Series Page. TSN.ca Series Page. ESPN NHL Playoffs page.

Open Source Intelligence:

Philadelphia Daily News: living in the past, standing tall. Philadelphia Inquirer: trying to finish, earning praise. Flyers.com.

What Do We Expect Today?:

Rarely, if ever, do the teams and people that talk about comebacks ever actually author a comeback. The talk of and comparisons to 1988 started immediately after Game 4 and people were asking "Who will be this year's Dale Hunter?" when the proper question is "Who will be this year's Kevin Hatcher?" Don't know what I'm talking about? Shame on you then because it was Kevin Hatcher who scored the game winning goal on April 12th, 1988 in Game 5 against the Flyers and without Hatcher's goal in Game 5, there is no Dale Hunter moment. 1988's Game 4 was a single overtime lasting just 1:18 and the split in D.C. was Philadelphia winning Game 1 and the Caps winning Game 2. But the worst part of all this premature talk of a Game 7 is that you know the Flyers are well aware of the past. They are well aware that the Caps have done this to the Flyers before even though none of the players on either team from 1988 are still in the NHL. So if the Caps want a Game 6, lettalone a Game 7, they need to focus entirely on Game 5. They MUST score first. They MUST not trail at any point in the game. One week ago we pointed out how despite blowing a two goal lead in the third period, it was only Game 1 and the Flyers would have time to recover from it. We further pointed out that the Flyers would make certain that they wouldn't blow that kind of lead again in this series and they haven't. The Caps MUST stay out of the Penalty Box too. While the Flyers are only 3 for 22 on the Power Play in the series, those three goals have cost the Caps dearly, especially in Game 4.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Flyers 3
Winner by Dowd

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