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Postby Bob 0119 » Tue May 12, 2009 9:20 am

Secondary Stars—While the star players of both the Penguins and Capitals have had their moments to shine during this series, the unlikely secondary scoring lines have also had the opportunity to show their stuff on the big stage. Before this season Tomas Fleischmann and Viktor Kozlov had never recorded playoff goals. Now both have multiple goals in the playoffs (Fleischmann-3, Kozlov-4) with Fleischmann recording a goal and Kozlov two last night. However, no star has shone brighter than David Steckel in the series against Pittsburgh . In six games he has three goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime last night. Not only has Steckel found a nose for the net, but he has also established his presence in the faceoff circle, winning 54-of-85 (63.5%) of the faceoffs he has taken – including the draw that led to his winner last night.



Hershey Bears Update

Washington’s AHL affiliate will face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for Game 7 of their series at 7 p.m. tonight in Hershey. The series is currently tied 3-3.
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Postby MDSKINSFAN » Tue May 12, 2009 10:16 am

What an amazing game last night. The Caps fought through terrible penalties to win it too. It seemed that if a Cap player even got close to a Pen all the Pen had to do was raise his arms and the ref would call it. Finally beat the Penguins in OT! :lol:

Can't wait for game 7. The crowd in Verizon is going to be going crazy. LETS GO CAPS!
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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed May 13, 2009 8:21 am

Seven again – Verizon Center hosts its third Game 7 in the past two years tonight as one of the most special events in sports has seemingly become routine in downtown D.C. This is no ordinary game, however – the superstars involved and the high level of play through six games could make tonight’s Capitals-Penguins game the most eagerly anticipated Stanley Cup playoffs matchup in the U.S. since the New York Rangers played Game 7 for the Cup in 1994. Washington , which has won seven of eight win-or-go-home games under head coach Bruce Boudreau, is less concerned with the big picture and more focused on reaching the Eastern Conference finals.


Note of the Night

Close as a blade – So far in this series three of the six games have gone to overtime, five have been decided by one goal and 92% of the time the teams have been tied or separated by one goal. Both teams have led in each of the six games and both have held a lead in the series. This marks the fourth time the Capitals have played three overtime games in a series and first since 1998.



Five More Notes No Media Person Should Be Without

Just win, baby – The Capitals have gone 7-1 in win-or-go-home games under Bruce Boudreau (including the final game of the 2007-08 regular season). Alex Ovechkin has nine points (5g-4a) in those eight games.



Seventh heaven – This is Washington 's third Game 7 in the last two years; entering Tuesday night's games, no other NHL team has played more than one Game 7 in that time. The Capitals are 1-1 in Game 7s in that time, losing to Philadelphia last season and beating the New York Rangers this year, both at home. In their history the Capitals are 2-5 in Game 7s, 2-4 at home and 0-2 against Pittsburgh . On the whole, the home team has won 63% of the Game 7s in NHL history.

Washington 's Game 7s

4/28/09 vs. NY Rangers W, 2-1

4/22/08 vs. Philadelphia L, 2-3 OT

5/18/95 at Pittsburgh L, 0-3

5/1/92 vs. Pittsburgh L, 1-3

4/30/88 vs. New Jersey L, 2-3

4/16/88 vs. Philadelphia W, 5-4 OT

4/18/87 vs. NY Islanders L, 2-3 4OT



Star power – Alex Ovechkin is averaging more than two points per game in this series and has already set the Capitals record for points in a playoff season (20) and points in a series (13). It's the most points by any NHL player in a playoff series in six years (Doug Weight had 13 for STL vs. VAN in 2003). Ovechkin leads the NHL in points, is tied for the league lead in goals, ranks first in shots and stands first in plus/minus rating (+11, the best by a Capital in playoff history). Ovechkin has points in each game of this series and goals in seven of the last 10 games overall (10 goals in that time). He has a hand in 13 of Washington 's 20 goals in the series and has points in 10 of the 13 playoff games this year. He has had multiple-point games in 10 of the 20 playoff games he has played in his career.

Caps Record, Points in a Playoff Season

20 Alex Ovechkin, 2009 (10g-7a in 12 GP)

17 Joe Juneau, 1998 (7g-10a in 21 GP)

Adam Oates, 1998 (6g-11a in 21 GP)

John Druce, 1990 (14g-3a in 15 GP)



Caps Record, Points in a Playoff Series

13 Alex Ovechkin, 2009 vs. PIT

11 Mike Ridley, 1992 vs. PIT

John Druce, 1990 vs. NYR

Dino Ciccarelli, 1990 vs. NJ



Star of David – David Steckel, who scored eight goals in the regular season, has three in this playoff series, including the overtime winner in Game 6. Steckel has also excelled on faceoffs, winning 54-of-85 (63.5%) in the series, and has been a key member of the Capitals' penalty killing unit, ranking third among NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time per game for the playoffs (4:02).



Ancient history – Washington is seeking to beat Pittsburgh in a playoff series for just the second time in eight attempts. In three of the previous series that the Penguins have won the Capitals held a two-game series lead at some point (either 2-0 or 3-1).
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Postby langleyparkjoe » Wed May 13, 2009 8:26 am

Crap dude, i'm so nervous it's ridiculous :|
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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed May 13, 2009 8:31 am

That's twice now that I've gotten the feeling the Capitals are reading my stuff. Here's what they put out this morning in their Caps today article;

Caps Today wrote:
Just win, baby – The Capitals have gone 7-1 in win-or-go-home games under Bruce Boudreau (including the final game of the 2007-08 regular season). Alex Ovechkin has nine points (5g-4a) in those eight games.




Here's the excerpt from my blog "Rockin' the Red, Wearin' the Worry" posted yesterday;


Bob 0119 wrote:
They need to play hard, aggressive, mistake-free hockey for 60+ minutes. Don’t worry about this being the final game. Don’t worry about what you are going to do next win or lose, worry about the Penguins. As my wife likes to say “just win baby!”



Coincidence? You decide...
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Postby JansenFan » Wed May 13, 2009 9:01 am

RIP 21

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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed May 13, 2009 9:19 am

Bob 0119 wrote:That's twice now that I've gotten the feeling the Capitals are reading my stuff. Here's what they put out this morning in their Caps today article;

Caps Today wrote:
Just win, baby – The Capitals have gone 7-1 in win-or-go-home games under Bruce Boudreau (including the final game of the 2007-08 regular season). Alex Ovechkin has nine points (5g-4a) in those eight games.




Here's the excerpt from my blog "Rockin' the Red, Wearin' the Worry" posted yesterday;


Bob 0119 wrote:
They need to play hard, aggressive, mistake-free hockey for 60+ minutes. Don’t worry about this being the final game. Don’t worry about what you are going to do next win or lose, worry about the Penguins. As my wife likes to say “just win baby!”



Coincidence? You decide...



Here's the "other time" that I mentioned.


Here's an excerpt from my blog Hating the Penguins written April 29th, 2009

Bob 0119 wrote:
Pittsburgh is going to think they have home ice throughout the playoffs, because that’s what they’ve been used to. They are gonna expect Verizon Center to be filled with their roaming bands of Gypsy fans, but when they get in there and see a sea of 18,000 people all wearing red…they’ll know they aren’t at home, and they certainly aren’t welcome.

Puck drops at 1pm Pittsburgh; bring your A-Game


And here's what they wrote on April 30th, 2009

Caps Today wrote:
Your ‘A’ Game – While individual rivalries grab the spotlight in Capitals-Penguins series previews, there is an interesting parallel behind the bench as well. Both Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau and Penguins’ boss Dan Bylsma were in-season promotions from their franchise’s AHL affiliates and led their teams to the playoffs as first-year NHL coaches – Boudreau last year and Bylsma this season. The coaches, who will appear on separate media conference calls this afternoon, each got their first taste of the longstanding Capitals-Penguins rivalry with those AHL teams. Washington ’s affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are long-time rivals as well – in fact, they meet in the second round of the AHL playoffs with a series that starts just six hours after the Caps and Pens face off at Verizon Center Saturday.



Surely it could be coincidence, but I'd like to believe that they read and liked my stuff!
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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed May 13, 2009 9:27 am




That's awesome. We're either really in sync with the Caps writers, or they are digging our stuff and using it as inspiration! Either way works for me!

I guess everyone saw that Hershy beat Wiltbury/Scrotum in their Game 7?

So far the Caps have mirrored Hershey at every step. Everytime the Bears won or lost it was matched by a Caps win or loss.

The Bears were behind 3-2, just like the Caps they forced a game 7, and won it last night.

Here's hoping the trend continues!
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Postby Cappster » Wed May 13, 2009 9:54 am

Bob 0119 wrote:



That's awesome. We're either really in sync with the Caps writers, or they are digging our stuff and using it as inspiration! Either way works for me!

I guess everyone saw that Hershy beat Wiltbury/Scrotum in their Game 7?

So far the Caps have mirrored Hershey at every step. Everytime the Bears won or lost it was matched by a Caps win or loss.

The Bears were behind 3-2, just like the Caps they forced a game 7, and won it last night.

Here's hoping the trend continues!


I didn't know the Bears had one until I read your post. I hope that the Caps do mirror their AHL affiliate tonight. I also want to see us take a three to love goal lead in the 1st period. I want to blow the penguins out of the water!
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Postby Deadskins » Wed May 13, 2009 10:04 am

Cappster wrote:I want to blow the penguins out of the water!

Did the ice melt?
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Postby Cappster » Wed May 13, 2009 11:11 am

Deadskins wrote:
Cappster wrote:I want to blow the penguins out of the water!

Did the ice melt?


Penguins do swim in water....
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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed May 13, 2009 12:52 pm

Seriously, do we want to get beat by this guy?

Image

I applaud the Penguins for openly welcoming homosexuals into their organization.

Have you seen his pathetic "playoff growth?"

You can't even call it a beard. It looks like he's got crap around his mouth.
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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed May 13, 2009 2:21 pm

I knew I had written something about Varlamov prior to the season, but I couldn't find it for a while.

I finally found it here

I was covering the rookie game between the Flyers and Caps at Kettler last September. Varlamov looked great, but I hedged my bets based on the fact that he was up against rookies.


Bob 0119 wrote:
5) Simeon Varlamov looked really sharp in his only period (each of the rookie goaltenders got one) I don’t know if he’s good enough to make the roster, but he’ll certainly make a great call-up if necessary.



He was my very first official interview, I've been kinda proud of that here lately!

The interview was a challenge (as we had to speak through an interpreter) but I was one of only two people talking to him. Now I bet you couldn't get near him (I haven't been to any of the playoff games)!
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Postby Gametime33 » Wed May 13, 2009 3:54 pm

Actually Bob,

A rabid fan (also a single mom) was on Channel 4 (DC area news channel) and got her jersey autographed by Varlamov.

It was at Kettler after practice, and another couple scored tix to tonight's last hurrah in this great Caps-Pens series.

Kudos for a job well done on your last write-up.

"I don't talk to him. He is a very poised hockey player. That will serve him well in his NHL career. We're lucky to have him on our side."

-Bruce Boudreau on communication between himself and rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov.

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Postby Gametime33 » Wed May 13, 2009 4:06 pm

JansenFan,

I hope the Caps don't score quickly. Not in a game of this importance.

The refs will want to keep it close.

Besides, the Caps don't play with a sense of urgency if they have a comfortable lead.

Varlamov is holding steady despite the puck beat down he has been getting.

Clear it boys. Defend your offensive zone like you are on your last legs.

Prediction stays the same from last night.

Caps: 5 Pens: 3

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