Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game 7 Caps vs. Canadiens 4-28-2010 Preview

Series A: Washington Capitals (57-31; 121 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs. Montreal Canadiens (42-46; 88 points; 4th Northeast Division, 8th Eastern Conference, 19th Overall):
Caps Playoff Game #7, Home Playoff Game #4, NHL Playoff Game #117

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WJFK 106.7-FM. Montreal TV: None. Radio: CJAD 880-AM.  U.S. National TV: Versus.  Canadian National TV: TSN, RDS (French).

Tonight the Caps once again host Game 7 of a playoff series.  This will be the 9th Game 7 in team history and the Caps have hosted all but 1 of them.  However, the Caps have only won 2 of the previous 8 single elimination playoff games in franchise history with the two wins coming on home ice.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: now the injuries hit, trying to avoid the WhammyExaminerCaps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com: Preview, under pressure, lineup change, longer than expectedAP WireCanadian PressESPN.com.

Open Source Intelligence:

Montreal Gazette:  on a roll, what to do?  Canadiens.com: 5 Keys, down to one.

What Do We Expect Tonight:

Well folks for the Caps to avoid elimination yet again there are a few things that they need to do; first of all, whoever Bruce Boudreau goes with in goal tonight is going to have to come out on top of their game from the start.  The Caps can't fall behind even 1-0 lettalone 2-0 less than 10 minutes into the game like they have in Games 2, 5, and 6.  As a matter of fact with Halak stopping just about everything right now, Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov or Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore are probably going to have to pitch a shutout for the Caps tonight.  Secondly, the Caps need to put the glove on Mike Cammelleri.  With the exception of Game 4, when he's scored a goal, the Canadiens have won.  So stop him from scoring goals and the Caps can win.  The Caps also need to get back to pounding the Canadiens all over the ice.  They did that in Games 1-4 and built a 3-1 lead but stopped doing that in Games 5 and 6 and are 0-2.  Get the puck in deep and get the forecheckers into the corners quickly and Montreal will turn the puck over.  When it comes to Halak however, the Caps need to go for quality over quantity.  Shots from beyond the faceoff circles especially need screens and the guys who are setting screens need to fight for the rebounds that come out.  And when the puck isn't shot from distance, the Caps need to crash the crease and work the puck to the front of the net.  Finally, let's admit something here, the Caps are one of the NHL's marquee teams.  Aside from some of the worst acting you've ever seen, there's a reason why Montreal was finally whistled an unheard of three times in Game 6 for diving after flopping around all series.  When the Caps are handed Power Plays tonight, they MUST take advantage of them.  This doesn't necessarily mean that the Caps have to score right away and on every Power Play chance, but they must use the Power Play to get their offense going.  The NHL needs the Caps in the second round and Hades, the third round to face the Penguin Scum because the NBC's contract is up next year.  Will this all come to pass, we have our doubts because we've been down this road before and there's just something about this franchise.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 1
Canadiens 3
Winner by Gomez
(3-3 in the playoffs, 50-40 on the season with two perfect games)

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