By Scott Lowe
Tonight's Eastern Conference quarterfinal Game 7 between Washington and Montreal doesn't come down to anything more than playing harder and smarter than the other team. Goaltending obviously can have a huge impact, too, but the reality is that hard work and intelligent play can even defeat hot goaltending - but there has to be a commitment to playing the right style of hockey from all 20 players who are in the lineup.
Yes, Jaroslav Halak has stolen three games of this series from the Caps, and if he saves 45 out of 47 or 53 out of 54 shots again he will steal a fourth. But, the reality is, that Washington does have some say in that.
If the Caps continue to give him a ...
By Scott Lowe
While tonight’s Game 6 of the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals is not a must-win for the top-seeded Washington Capitals, a loss would definitely tilt the scale back in favor of Montreal in terms of the pressure quotient and leave a series that the Caps seemed to be in control of to an anything-can-happen Game 7 in front of a nervous Verizon Center crowd.
“The whole organization wants to win right now,” Alex Ovechkin said. “We don’t want to have to go back to play in Washington for a seventh game. It’s going to be hard, but we can do it.”
So, while there still is some margin for error for Washington tonight at Bell Centre, it boils down to the same thi...
Tonight should be interesting.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. Everywhere you look the media has said that the Washington Capitals have a stranglehold on their NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Montreal, but if the Canadiens can pull out Game 5 tonight at Verizon Center the mantra will change to, “The pressure’s on the Caps.”
So, for that and other reasons, from the Washington perspective at least, it makes sense for the Caps to do everything in their power to close out the series immediately. If the Caps were to win the series they’d face Philadelphia, which finished off its five-game upset of the Devils last night, in the second round. This tim...
Based on reports out of Montreal, it appears as though Washington Capitals' defenseman Shaone Morrisonn will be a game-time decision for tonight's NHL Eastern Conference Game 4 at the Bell Centre.
Morrisonn, who skipped yesterday's skate along with fellow blueliner Joe Corvo, participated in this morning's session. Media reports also indicate that the forward combinations will remain unchanged and that Corvo is expected to play. If Morrisonn cannot go, he will be replaced by either John Erskine or Tyler Sloan - most likely Erskine, who played well in last year's playoffs.
It appears as though defenseman Jaro Spacek also is a game-time decision for the Habs.
Washington Probable Forw...
While Habs' nation waits to hear whether it will be Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price in goal for tonight's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Washington, Bruce Boudreau pondered the history he and the Caps' organization have with Price.
Boudreau's Hershey Bears faced Price and the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2007 Calder Cup Finals, falling in five games. Price was outstanding in the series, ultimately earning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP.
"We played five games against him, I think we averaged 42 shots, and they won in five games," Boudreau said yesterday. "He was quite a difference-maker at that point, and he still is. We know he's a good goalie. If ...
By Scott Lowe
After a convincing 5-1 road victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Washington Capitals are beginning to look like the dominant team that ran up 121 points during the regular season. Perhaps the most encouraging thing for the Caps at this point, however, is that they still haven’t hit on all cylinders.
Washington coach Bruce Boudreau certainly pulled the right strings to get help get the Caps on the right track at the Bell Centre Monday, inserting Boyd Gordon back into the lineup as the fourth-line center and starting Semyon Varlamov over Jose Theodore in goal. All Gordon did was win 11 of his first 12 faceoffs en rout...
Based on reports from Washington Post beat writer Tarik El-Bashir, Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice after the Wasghington Capitals' pregame skate today, which nine times out of 10 would indicate he will get the starting nod tonight. Jose Theodore, who was pulled from Game 2 Saturday and has allowed goals on the last three shots he has faced, stayed on the ice for extra work.
In addition, it appears as though Eric Belanger, who has won 80 percent of his faceoffs thus far in the series, will be moved to the second line. If that's the case, the Washington lineup would look like this:
By Scott Lowe
The Washington Capitals enjoyed the finest regular season by far in franchise history, and they did it with a high-flying, high-powered offense that easily was the highest-scoring in the NHL en route to capturing the Southeast Division, the Eastern Conference top seed and the Presidents’ Trophy. Because of that unprecedented regular-season success it’s possible to see how the Caps might enter the postseason with a “my way or the highway” mentality and the confidence that if they just maintained the status quo everything would be fine.
It’s possible to see how that mentality could creep into the locker room, but in this case it’s not entirely understandable. No...
It appears as though Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau will be juggling his lineup a bit for tonight's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals aganinst the Montreal Canadiens.
Perhaps looking for a spark or maybe a little more offense up and down the lineup or maybe some veteran leadership in the dressing room, Boudreau appears to be leaning toward dressing versatile veteran center Brendan Morrison and playing him on the second line at center instead of Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann will be returned to his customary left wing position, most likely on the third line. Ah, the luxury of what baseball manager Earl Weaver used to call "deep depth."
The question is, who sits? Appar...