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Who do you want to face in the first round?

View Poll Results: Who do you want to face in the first round?
Boston 84 53.85%
Carolina 3 1.92%
Ottawa 12 7.69%
Washington 12 7.69%
Philadelphia 45 28.85%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-31-2008, 12:40 AM
  #26
le_sean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Ovechkin is the most elite player in the NHL.. and when you focus so much on watching one player, it lets Washington's other lines go to work.

With a legit #1 goalie.. Washington, IMO, has become a Top-10 NHL team. And with so little between the top teams to the mediocre teams these days.. almost anyone could "upset" anyone.

To think that Ovechkin and the Caps can't beat us would be crazy. To think that Ovechkin and the Caps can't get to the Stanley Cup Finals would be crazy as well.

Ovechkin has scored over 26% of the Captials goals.
Ovheckin has picked up a point on 47% of the Capitals goals.

And it's not like the Caps don't score goals.. they are a Top-10 scoring team in the NHL.

Ovechkin can win games by himself. With the help he is getting this year, it's a bit easier. By adding a #1 goalie at the deadline.. the Capitals are a deadly, deadly team.

Aside from the San Jose Sharks (what the hell!?!).. the Capitals have been the best team in the league over the past 10-15 games.

Since gaining Huet, Ovechkin has posted 27 points over 15 games.
LOL ok.

Please tell me who on the Caps can shutdown the Kovalev line. Brooks Laich? Shaone Morrisonn? You do realize the Habs have a good team, right? There's a reason why the Caps are fighting to get 8th place in the weakest division in the league while the Habs are fighting for 1st playing a pretty decent division.

Let's look at their top players compared to ours. Sure Ovechkin is better than Kovalev, but Kovy has won a Stanley Cup and as we have witnessed he is a monster in the playoffs. Ovechkin has no experience.

Plekanec is better than Backstrom, A. Kost is better than Semin, Koivu is better than Kozlov, Higgins is better than Laich.

So now that the Habs forwards are better than the Caps forwards, let's look at defence.

Markov, Komisarek, Hamrlik

or

Green, Poti, Pothier

That is not even comparable.

So now defence is out of the way. To me the forwards and defence are very one-sided in favour of the Habs.

Now goalies. Huet has not proven anything and neither has Price. Price has proved to get the best of any challenge thrown to him in his career, I have never seen that from Huet. So really it could go either way, but I know how Huet loves to crack under pressure, I'd rather have Price.

So really Montreal is better at every aspect of the game except for top player. There really isn't any question about it.

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Old
03-31-2008, 12:41 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
Those guys have a combined 6 games of NHL playoff experience.
I don't buy the whole playoff inexperience thing. You're either good or you're not. Period.

Smolinski, Brisebois and Dandenault are all playoff veterans, yet I'd trade any of them for jackstrap sweat from any of the 6 players mentionned in the previous post

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03-31-2008, 12:42 AM
  #28
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Yes, I have a bad feeling about Washington. Last thing I want is end up opposite a hot Washington team led by an energized Ovechkin and Huet with something to prove. That team is the anti-Ottawa -- they have been pretty hot ever since their coach was changed after a brutal start.

But consider the other problem. The refs don't do it consciously, but the hyped-up team always gets the better calls. Now picture the idea of Ovechkin in the playoffs... Washington would climb up the Hype Totem Pole in a hurry, at least until they got that match-up with Pittsburgh. No conspiracy theories, but the leaning would definitely go Washington's way. I doubt Montreal could buy a call.

That said, rationally, it wouldn't be a terrible matchup. Montreal is 2-0-2 against them with one shutout... Not exactly a terrible record. Yeah, they did not have Huet, but still. What people forget to mention about the infamous four-goal Ovechkin performance (also known as "Montreal forgets to play defense") is that despite Ovie's heroics, that game went to overtime. Everyone in the media kept saying Montreal got "crushed" in a game that went to overtime. Go figure. :shrug:

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Old
03-31-2008, 12:43 AM
  #29
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[QUOTE=le_sean;13365240]LOL ok.

Please tell me who on the Caps can shutdown the Kovalev line. Brooks Laich? Shaone Morrisonn? You do realize the Habs have a good team, right? There's a reason why the Caps are fighting to get 8th place in the weakest division in the league while the Habs are fighting for 1st playing a pretty decent division.

QUOTE]

Fedorov.

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03-31-2008, 12:44 AM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esticallice View Post
I don't buy the whole playoff inexperience thing. You're either good or you're not. Period.

Smolinski, Brisebois and Dandenault are all playoff veterans, yet I'd trade any of them for jackstrap sweat from any of the 6 players mentionned in the previous post
It does make a difference because none of these guys have played more than a full 82 game season. They could get tired. Not only that but this is a 7 game series, line-matching is MUCH more important and Ovechkin has never experienced it. If Phaneuf and Weber can shut him down for once important game I think Markov and Komisarek can do it for a 7 game series.

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Old
03-31-2008, 12:44 AM
  #31
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I am not scared of any team with Huet on it.

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03-31-2008, 12:45 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Esticallice View Post
Fedorov.
Uh, no. He is not physical at all and one player cannot shutdown 3 guys.

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Old
03-31-2008, 12:45 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
Those guys have a combined 6 games of NHL playoff experience.
Maybe those guys, but team wise.. it's not much different between Washington and Montreal.

Montreal - 564
Washington - 445

Now, Dandenault accounts of 100 playoff games and he likely won't play (unless these injuries suck).. but anyway.. Washington has plenty enough of playoff experience.. and Ovechkin will be great no matter what.

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Old
03-31-2008, 12:46 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Yes, I have a bad feeling about Washington. Last thing I want is end up opposite a hot Washington team led by an energized Ovechkin and Huet with something to prove. That team is the anti-Ottawa -- they have been pretty hot ever since their coach was changed after a brutal start.

But consider the other problem. The refs don't do it consciously, but the hyped-up team always gets the better calls. Now picture the idea of Ovechkin in the playoffs... Washington would climb up the Hype Totem Pole in a hurry, at least until they got that match-up with Pittsburgh. No conspiracy theories, but the leaning would definitely go Washington's way. I doubt Montreal could buy a call.

That said, rationally, it wouldn't be a terrible matchup. Montreal is 2-0-2 against them with one shutout... Not exactly a terrible record. Yeah, they did not have Huet, but still. What people forget to mention about the infamous four-goal Ovechkin performance (also known as "Montreal forgets to play defense") is that despite Ovie's heroics, that game went to overtime. Everyone in the media kept saying Montreal got "crushed" in a game that went to overtime. Go figure. :shrug:
What would scare me with referees is they often seem to give advantage to small market teamsin the playoffs, as if Bettman had given them specific instructions. Not saying it is like that but it often looks that way.

On top of that I suspect NHL referees hate Carbonneau with passion, use voodo on us and worship Satan.

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03-31-2008, 12:48 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Maybe those guys, but team wise.. it's not much different between Washington and Montreal.

Montreal - 564
Washington - 445

Now, Dandenault accounts of 100 playoff games and he likely won't play (unless these injuries suck).. but anyway.. Washington has plenty enough of playoff experience.. and Ovechkin will be great no matter what.
And Fedorov accounts for 162 of those and he is clearly passed his prime. And if you count Kolzig that's another 40+ games and he's not going to play. Well he might once the Habs chase Huet.

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03-31-2008, 12:49 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
It does make a difference because none of these guys have played more than a full 82 game season. They could get tired. Not only that but this is a 7 game series, line-matching is MUCH more important and Ovechkin has never experienced it. If Phaneuf and Weber can shut him down for once important game I think Markov and Komisarek can do it for a 7 game series.
Still not convinced, I still think a young hungry team shouldn't be taken lightly just because of absence of playoff experience.

And we have no idea how Komi's injury will hold up, even if he looks like the hockey version of Terminator.

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03-31-2008, 12:49 AM
  #37
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As close as they are I personally think they're setting themselves up for a massive heart break. I'm not worried.

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03-31-2008, 12:51 AM
  #38
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I doubt they will make it to the playoff, even if they do, we will probably see a Ovechkin vs Crosby battle. Habs will probably face Boston or Philadelphia in the first round.

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03-31-2008, 12:51 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esticallice View Post
Still not convinced, I still think a young hungry team shouldn't be taken lightly just because of absence of playoff experience.

And we have no idea how Komi's injury will hold up, even if he looks like the hockey version of Terminator.
I think NEXT year they will win their division and be scary, but I don't think they are much of a threat this year. I'm not saying every game is going to be 8-0 Habs, but I don't think Washington has what it takes to beat the Habs 4 times.

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03-31-2008, 12:52 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
...
I never said the Habs don't have a good team. I'm one of the few that thought we had a playoff team from the get go..

I also think we have a team that is a lot better than Washington's.

Our forward core > Washington.
Goaltending is a wash.. it's equal.
Defense, we have a better core because of experience.

However, one game-breaker like Ovechkin can change the course of a game at any time. And he's proved that recently.

Also, Washington with a #1 goalie at the start of the year would be fighting for first in the conference, IMO. When you have a goaltender battle between Kolzig who has been on the decline for 2-3 years and Brent Johnson who is a decent backup on a mediocre team.. you have a problem.

I just think that people are underrating the Caps because they weren't a good team for most of the season (which had a lot to do with terrible goaltending).

ADD: This is without talking about Nylander missing half the season and the fact that they have the premiere shutdown centre in the league now.

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03-31-2008, 12:53 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
And Fedorov accounts for 162 of those and he is clearly passed his prime. And if you count Kolzig that's another 40+ games and he's not going to play. Well he might once the Habs chase Huet.
Fedorov is past his prime mostly for offense IMO, but as a shutdown center he can still do the job. We are talking about one of the best, if not the best all-around player of all time (he even was a D at some point of his career). I think he fills a big hole in their teams and since he's with them, Washington suddenly got much tougher to beat (even when Huet wasn't in goal).

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03-31-2008, 12:53 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
And Fedorov accounts for 162 of those and he is clearly passed his prime. And if you count Kolzig that's another 40+ games and he's not going to play. Well he might once the Habs chase Huet.
Add in Brisebois & Dandy, who if healthy, aren't everyday players and theres 187. It works both ways.

Fedorov may be past his prime, as far as his offensive game goes.. but his defensive game is still very, very good.

No to mention, since joining the Caps, his offensive spark has picked up a bit.

Also the Caps will only get BETTER if they make the playoffs. Michael Nylander (37 PTS in 40 GP) is due back.

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03-31-2008, 12:57 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
I think NEXT year they will win their division and be scary, but I don't think they are much of a threat this year. I'm not saying every game is going to be 8-0 Habs, but I don't think Washington has what it takes to beat the Habs 4 times.
I'm not gonna argue that we can't beat them, because that's not what I'm saying. We can beat these guys. But they scare me and I wouldn't bet all my money on it.

Teams I am most afraid of facing, in order:

Pittsburgh
Ottawa
Rangers
Washington

Teams I think would be easy wins:

Philly
Boston
New Jersey (yes, you heard me)

Without Koivu & Streit though, I think our chances of beating most of the above teams get much slimmer.

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03-31-2008, 12:58 AM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Add in Brisebois & Dandy, who if healthy, aren't everyday players and theres 187. It works both ways.

Fedorov may be past his prime, as far as his offensive game goes.. but his defensive game is still very, very good.

No to mention, since joining the Caps, his offensive spark has picked up a bit.

Also the Caps will only get BETTER if they make the playoffs. Michael Nylander (37 PTS in 40 GP) is due back.
But in the end it comes down to philly and boston winnig one, and washington losing one, and its over

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03-31-2008, 12:59 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
Add in Brisebois & Dandy, who if healthy, aren't everyday players and theres 187. It works both ways.

Fedorov may be past his prime, as far as his offensive game goes.. but his defensive game is still very, very good.

No to mention, since joining the Caps, his offensive spark has picked up a bit.

Also the Caps will only get BETTER if they make the playoffs. Michael Nylander (37 PTS in 40 GP) is due back.
**** forgot they also have Nylander.

This team replaced their crap pretty quick from last year

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03-31-2008, 01:01 AM
  #46
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You have to wonder how much they have left in the tank though.

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03-31-2008, 01:06 AM
  #47
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But in the end it comes down to philly and boston winnig one, and washington losing one, and its over
Not true.

Boston could finish 1-2 (93 PTS)

Washington could finish 2-0-1 (93 PTS) and still make it.

If Washington loses a game, they are pretty screwed.. but it's still not impossible.

There are FIVE teams that Washington could catch.

Ottawa, Carolina, Boston, Philly, and the Rangers.

There is a decent possibility that one of those teams could finish out the season getting 2 pts or less.

If Ottawa goes 0-3, Washington could finish 2-1 and they'd make the playoffs. The Sens go 1-2, Washington goes 3-0.. the Caps are in.

Washington's best chance in Ottawa, IMO.. but I could easily see them closing out the season with 3 wins .. so it's up to the Competition.

You have to remember, a lot of those teams play each other too. Washington players Carolina. The Bruins play the Sens. Philly plays the Rangers.

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03-31-2008, 01:20 AM
  #48
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The Caps are 33-17-7 since Boudreau took over. They are 12-3 since Huet and Fedorov entered the lineup, and they really should be 14-1. In one of those losses, Backstrom accidentally shot the winning goal past Huet with 30 seconds left. In the other game, the referee called a double minor for an imagined HS to give the other team a 5-3 PP for the last four minutes of the game, during which they scored two goals to tie and take the lead. Otherwise, the Caps dominated both those games.

Fedorov has been a major improvement for their second line because he encourages Semin to be more responsible defensively, and covers for him when he is not. The second line was around -20 when Fedorov arrived and has remained about the same since. It isn't scoring much, but it is no longer bleeding goals like it was before Feds arrived. The Caps probably lost 30% of their games before the trade deadline due to irresponsible play on the second line.

The Capitals first line with Ovechkin is +26, but as mentioned above, their second line is -20 and their third and fourth lines are around -5. The simple reality is that the Capitals are not a complete team. They only have one line that consistently scores more goals than it allows. Limit that line to one goal and you'll win the majority of the games against the Caps.

Nylander will not be back for the playoffs.


Last edited by KenAF: 03-31-2008 at 04:57 AM.
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Old
03-31-2008, 02:00 AM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Tricolore View Post

Price > Huet.


The Canadiens are better in every aspect. The only thing Washington has that could hurt us is Ovechkin. He won't win 4 games out of 7 by himself.
Future maybe, but right now it's Huet > Price !!

Price has done nothing right now to prove that he is better than Huet, sorry.


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03-31-2008, 02:14 AM
  #50
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Should the Caps finish 8th, I think the Pens or Habs would absolutely demolish them. 5 games max.

Should they finish 3rd, I think they'd be demolished by Ottawa (0mg season sweep...like that even remotely matters) or the Rangers but would fare better vs the Bruins or Flyers.

So in other words, while I love the whole ra-ra Cinderella aspect of them pushing for the playoffs, I don't think they've got much of a shot. (Both to make them or succeed in them)

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