Capitals Playoff Watch

Washington Capitals, Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, and D.C. United... all go here!
----------
Posts: 2167
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:48 am

Postby Steve Spurrier III » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:35 pm

Image
I'm bored, I'm broke, and I'm back.

FanFromAnnapolis
Posts: 11106
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: on the bandwagon

Postby Irn-Bru » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:51 pm

ROTFALMAO, SSIII
"Last year I thought we'd win it all. This year I know we will." - Rex Ryan, on what would become the 8-8 2011 Jets

"Dream team." - Vince Young, on what would become the 8-8 2011 Eagles

Hog
Posts: 4716
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:20 am

Postby GSPODS » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:31 am

Less than six months ago, the Washington Capitals had the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 6-14-1, a performance that prompted General Manager George McPhee to replace coach Glen Hanlon with lifelong minor-league bench boss Bruce Boudreau.

Thirty-seven wins later, the Capitals are Southeast Division champions.

Needing just one point to claim the title following the Carolina Hurricanes’ 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday night, the Caps got two. Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin each had a goal and an assist, and Cristobal Huet made 25 saves as Washington’s improbable run to the division title came to fruition with a 3-1 win over the Panthers at a raucous Verizon Center on Saturday night.

The win was the Capitals’ seventh straight, as they ran the table to capture the division crown. Washington, which was in last place in the Southeast as late as Dec. 30, has not been on such a tear in 15 years. It’s also the first time the Caps have reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2003.

Remarkably, they also became the first NHL team to make the playoffs after sitting at 14th or 15th in the conference at the halfway mark.

''There was never a word of 'We couldn't' or 'We won't' or 'We can't,''' said Boudreau, who will likely be a candidate for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach. ''It was always pushing through and believing in ourselves. I just hope I wake up tomorrow and look and 'We are in.' This whole season's been a dream.''

Happy Birthday – To Capitals goaltender Olie Kolzig, who celebrates his 38th birthday on Sunday.

Hog
Posts: 4716
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:20 am

Postby GSPODS » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:24 am

Steve Spurrier III wrote:Image


Now, all they need to do is to have "I'm On The Outside, Looking In" playing on the main page of their website.

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 1539
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:54 am
Location: St. Louis, Mo

Postby Sir_Monk » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:35 am

Image


Dialed In for the Long Stretch

By Thomas Boswell
Sunday, April 6, 2008; Page D01

A Capitals story that shamed most hockey fairy tales, a dream that seemed almost too silly to speak for months, came true in the pandemonium of Verizon Center last night. A team that was the worst in the NHL on Thanksgiving day, but climbed and clawed for months, finally reached the playoffs on the last day of the season with a 3-1 victory over Florida.

This Story
Coming All the Way Back
Game Summary: Capitals 3, Panthers 1
Thomas Boswell: Dialed in for the Long Stretch
D.C. Sports Bog Excerpt: Scarlet Fever Breaks Out Among Playoff-Bound Caps -- and Their Fans
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story
For 134 days, the Capitals fought to have their playoff destiny in their hands. For months, they slowly crept up the standings until finally this Washington team found itself in a place it had imagined for so long yet always wondered if it could actually reach. On the 135th day, before a sellout "red-out" crowd of jubilant hysterics, what once seemed the stuff of fiction suddenly became the reality of the moment: Win and you're in, lose and you're out. Convincingly, decisively, they won.

"We just saw history. To push that hard for that long when you had to keep winning, week after week, that's the greatest thing I've ever been around in hockey," said Capitals General Manager George McPhee, shaking his head just moments after the Capitals' 11th win in 12 games as Verizon Center shook with cheers.

"We'd win and feel good for an hour. Then we'd look up and we hadn't gained any ground. We were still alive, but not in. It was like that for I don't know how many weeks," said McPhee, who fired coach Glen Hanlon, who started the season 6-14-1 and hired minor league coach Bruce Boudreau on Thanksgiving, then traded for goalie Cristobal Huet, brainy center Sergei Fedorov and left wing Matt Cooke before the deadline.

"When Bruce arrived, nobody believe in us -- a done team, no future. But he believed," said Alex Ovechkin, who will now almost certainly be voted most valuable player after his 65 goals have translated into team success. "Now, everybody knows we are a very good team. My dream was to go to the playoffs. Right now, we're there. But it's only one step. We don't have to stop. It's only the beginning for this team."

Certainly, the Phone Booth faithful have caught the playoff fever for more than two months. With four minutes left to play, they began booming, "M-V-P" for Ovechkin. A minute later, they took up the chant for Boudreau, bellowing "Bouds" over and over. To his credit, Boudreau had no clue at first that the cheers were for him, reacting as though he had missed some crucial action on the ice which the crowd had seen. Never did he crack a smile, wave or show that his heart was swelled with pride after 33 pro years, most of them in bush league towns.

Is Boudreau basking in the glory? Hardly. "I just stay in the house," he said afterward. "If I see myself on TV, I turn it off. Like a lot of guys, I wish I could lose 30 pounds. Give the credit to the players. I'm happy to be here. That's my reward." His reward should also be in the words of his players who appreciate the way he allowed the team to open its playing style, be more aggressive and creative, and make the most of Ovechkin's vast ability.

"First of all, Bruce is a great guy," grinned the gap-toothed Ovechkin.

Just as important, with so much ground to make up and so many disappointments, so many temporary missteps along the way, Boudreau has kept his team's focus narrow -- one game at a time or even one shift on the ice.

"Keep simple things simple and go from there," said Fedorov, who was the best player on the ice in this clinching game, scoring a slap-shot goal but also checking and passing as if he were 10 years younger than his age of 38. "We took one game at a time, otherwise, we would have been thinking about everything that all the other teams might be doing. Then you don't have any energy left. Bruce kept us focused. When a team gets into good habits, everybody wants to keep playing exactly that way. It becomes addictive."

Even Boudreau admitted he had never seen a team at any level of hockey maintain a playoff push for such an incredible length of time, much less finish that run with an 11-1 streak when nothing less would suffice.

"I kept telling tem, 'Don't add pressure by figuring it all out. Just keep winning,' " Boudreau said. "But, no, I've never seen anything like this -- not this long at the end of the year."

And right down to this one last season-ending contest: win-and-in, lose-and-you're-out.

"This team has already played the equivalent of two playoff series. This was a Game 7 ," said owner Ted Leonsis, who blew kisses to the crowd with two minutes left to play. After a long brutal rebuilding process, which tore the Caps down to their foundations, Leonsis can now say of his fan support, "We've awoken a sleeping giant here. . . . I tried to give a UPS driver a $20 tip this morning and he gave it back."

Perhaps the most relieved man in Verizon Center was McPhee, the team architect whose future was on thin ice when this 135-day trek began. "It's tough to keep telling people to be patient, that there's a plan. . . . We looked for players who were talented, gritty, high character. . . . We can finally exhale. I've been telling people that some day we'd wake up and have a good team. I think that morning is tomorrow morning."

By every objective measure, that seems to be true, especially because, as Southeast Division champions, the Caps are suddenly a No. 3 seed with a first-round home-ice advantage.

Are the Caps now a team that has found its style, learned to maximize the abilities of its superstar and banded behind a balding humble and utterly authentic coach? Or, after such a sustained forced march, will they be out of gas in the playoffs?

For the moment, let that question pass. What the Capitals have accomplished deserves its own praise. In many arenas in many sports, the scoreboards play those sport-movie clips to get the crowd riled up. Every actor from Gene Hackman in "Hoosiers" to Al Pacino and Tom Cruise is invoked to scream and yell at some fantasy movie team. How ironic. No matter how decent the acting, it's all fake -- just Hollywood.

What Capitals fans have been watching since November, and especially in the last three amazing weeks, is the genuine article, the completely deserved and totally-real happy ending. After this victory, the Capitals lingered on the ice, taking in the cheers, preparing to give their game-used jerseys to winning fans in an end-of-season ritual. However, Boudreau was allowed the last word to the crowd.

"These are the coolest guys in the world," said the coach, who, fortunately, lacks an iota of cool in his entire sincere body. "We always believed, honest to God. Maybe nobody else did. But we did.

"In the playoffs, whoever we play is in for it. We're going to give 'em a tough battle."

After years of taking it, the Capitals may finally be ready to start dishing it out.
Bruce has the authority. When Bruce makes the decision, it's a Redskins decision.

Fire Bruce Boudreau

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 1539
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:54 am
Location: St. Louis, Mo

Postby Sir_Monk » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:40 am

Now, all they need to do is to have "I'm On The Outside, Looking In" playing on the main page of their website.


Or they could change the Stanley Cup Playoff logo to read 2009. :lol:
Bruce has the authority. When Bruce makes the decision, it's a Redskins decision.

Fire Bruce Boudreau

||||||
Posts: 1836
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 2:55 pm
Location: Below the Appalachian Trail

Postby EA7649 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:33 pm

The Flyers Capitals match up is going to be a good one. Obiviously facing the Capitals was the best case scenario no offense I think the Penguins are a little tougher than you guys and we would have been playing them in the play-offs if we lost to them today. Now since the play-offs are set in stone I believe this match up will go deep into the series because of your stud Ovechkin. The Flyers are more balanced team with 8, 20 goal scorers and stud Briere. The key to this series is

1) Marty Biron performace in play-offs (Just came off back to back shut outs to Devils and Penguins 2 highly ranked play-off teams.)

2) How Ovechkin plays with the spotlight on him.

3) Flyers power play has been horrible the need to improve that.

Hog
Posts: 4716
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:20 am

Postby GSPODS » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:53 am

On Friday, the League’s top point- and goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin makes his NHL postseason debut as the Washington Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers.

National network television coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided in the United States by NBC and VERSUS and in Canada by CBC, TSN and RDS.

NHL Radio on Westwood One will distribute live coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to radio stations across North America. Every game can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio.

VERSUS begins its coverage Wednesday with a doubleheader featuring the Ottawa at Pittsburgh (7 p.m., ET) followed by Calgary at San Jose (10 p.m. ET).

NBC Sports will start its playoff coverage Saturday, April 12, featuring Nashville at Detroit (2 p.m., ET), and will continue coverage Sunday when Philadelphia travels to Washington to play the Capitals (2 p.m., ET). NBC will continue weekend afternoon coverage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs in addition to prime-time coverage of the Stanley Cup Final.

Hog
Posts: 4716
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:20 am

Postby GSPODS » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:19 am

Game 1 - Friday, 7 p.m. at Verizon Center (Versus)

Game 2 - Sunday, 2 p.m. at Verizon Center (NBC)

Game 3 - April 15, 7 p.m. at Wachovia Complex (Versus)

Game 4 - April 17, 7 p.m. at Wachovia Complex (Versus)

Game 5* - April 19, 1 p.m. at Verizon Center (NBC)

Game 6* - April 21, TBD at Wachovia Complex (Versus)

Game 7* - April 22, TBD at Verizon Center

* if necessary

Junior Hog
User avatar
Posts: 11246
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 3:18 am
Location: Mayo, Maryland

Postby Jake » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:12 pm

LET'S GO CAPS!!!! God I wish I was there right now!!!!
RIP Sean Taylor 1983-2007
RIP Kevin Mitchell 1971-2007
RIP Justin Skaggs 1979-2007
RIP Sammy Baugh 1914-2008

RIP JPFair
RIP VetSkinsFan

#60 Chris Samuels: 6-time 6-time 6-time 6-time 6-time 6-time Pro Bowl left tackle!

and Jackson
Posts: 8384
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:37 am
Location: Charles Town, WV

Postby JansenFan » Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:43 am

It was looking rough going into the third, but Green and Ovie stepped up. Ovie's one on three goal was outstanding.
RIP 21

"Nah, I trust the laws of nature to stay constant. I don't pray that the sun will rise tomorrow, and I don't need to pray that someone will beat the Cowboys in the playoffs." - Irn-Bru

Hog
Posts: 4716
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:20 am

Postby GSPODS » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:00 am

The Caps showed they have a heart bigger than their game. And they showed they have game. When Ovechkin only takes one shot for the entire game, which was one incredible steal and shot by the way, and the rest of the team carries the load, these Caps look poised for a deep run in the playoffs.

I hereby request a HTTC emoticon.

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 1539
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:54 am
Location: St. Louis, Mo

Postby Sir_Monk » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:30 pm

Its hard to find anything positive about the game tonight. I'm not sure if you call what the Flyers played "the trap" but they did a great job taking away the middle of the ice.
Bruce has the authority. When Bruce makes the decision, it's a Redskins decision.

Fire Bruce Boudreau

and Jackson
Posts: 8384
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:37 am
Location: Charles Town, WV

Postby JansenFan » Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:06 pm

The Flyers put a body on anyone that touched the puck. They had the Caps skating backwards most of the night. That being said, the Caps had ample opportunities to put up a few goals, and they seemed to hit Martin Biron square in the chest pad. The Caps aren't going to miss those shots every game. Missing them allowed the Flyers to play their beat em up beat em down style of play.
RIP 21

"Nah, I trust the laws of nature to stay constant. I don't pray that the sun will rise tomorrow, and I don't need to pray that someone will beat the Cowboys in the playoffs." - Irn-Bru

The Punisher
Posts: 2593
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:34 am
Location: Manassas

Postby Bob 0119 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:35 am

I've been gone for a week, did I miss anything? :D

I got married on April 5th at 4pm. The Caps secured their playoff berth later that night...cetainly one of the happiest moments of my life.

I've included a pic, you'll notice, I'm wearing my Caps hat! (no I didn't wear it during the ceremony)

Image

So we are 1-1. That's okay. they say it's usually not good to sweep a team in the early rounds anyway. Big game tonight. We'll see how they respond.

Return to Washington Sports Teams