Rangers-Capitals matchups


Here are my position by position matchups for the Rangers-Capitals series.

To enter the predictions contest, please use the previous thread below.




Capitals — Not many teams have the skill up front that the Capitals possess. Alex Ovechkin, though having a down season (32 goals, after scoring 52, 46, 65, 56 and 50 in his first five seasons), is the most dangerous player in the series. But the Capitals have loads of talent around him in linemates Nicklas Backstrom (65 points) and ex-Ranger Mike Knuble, and on other lines — Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, ex-Devil Jason Arnott — and some grinders like Matt Bradley.

Rangers — Didn’t have a single player with more than the 24 goals or 54 points Brandon Dubinsky scored. Second-leading scorer Marian Gaborik had the worst year of his carer (22 goals), and third-leading scorer Ryan Callahan, a do-everything guy for the Rangers, is out with a broken ankle. But the Rangers have a lot of their trademark grind up front in Dubinsky, Brandon Prust, Brian Boyle, Ruslan Fedotenko, Vinny Prospal and captain Chris Drury, just back from knee surgery, who will have to replace some of Callahan’s minutes, blocked shots and penalty kills. Their more skilled guys will have to step up — not only Gaborik, but Artem Anisimov and rookie Derek Stepan, plus Wojtek Wolski, Erik Christensen and, if he plays, Mats Zuccarello.
EDGE: Capitals.



Capitals — Mike Green, their best offensive D-man, is expected to return from a concussion caused by Stepan earlier in the season, but Dennis Wideman (10 goals, nine of them on the power play) is questionable with an injury. The Capitals D has improved in the second half of the season, after coach Bruce Boudreau put in a more defense-conscious system.

Rangers — Marc Staal and Dan Girardi will get the assignment of handling Ovechkin and Co. Staal, particularly, raises his game in these games and relishes the challenge — Ovechkin didn’t score a goal against the Rangers this season. Rookies Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh have been as good as the first pair down the stretch. Maybe better.
EDGE: Even.



Capitals — Boudreau named Michal Neuvirth his Game 1 starter. Varlamov relieved Jose Theodore in the ‘09 series and shut down the Rangers as the Capitals came back from a 3-1 deficit to win. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the Capitals using both. Neither is playoff-proven.

Rangers — Henrik Lundqvist. End of story. He’s one of the best goalies in the league, and he’s playing the best hockey of his career in starting the last 26 games to get the Rangers into the playoffs. Nobody’s more motivated, and the spread-out nature of the series should ensure that he’s well rested.
EDGE: Rangers.



Capitals — Washington’s power play was, surprisingly, just 16th in the NHL at 17.5 percent this season, in part because of Ovechkin’s output (seven PPGs), in part because of Green’s injury. The Capitals use their skill as a weapon on the penalty kill (85.6 percent, second in the league), aggressively hunting the puck and forcing opposition point men to be wary of an odd-man breakout.

Rangers — their power play only seemed to be the worst in the NHL, though it was actually only 18th at 16.9 percent. But it wasn’t good. There is no real QB, though they rented a shooter in Bryam McCabe, and with Gaborik’s struggles, the power play is terribly inconsistent. The Rangers ranked 10th in penalty killing (83.7 percent) and actually scored more short-handed goals (11-7) than Washington, with Prust scoring five.
EDGE: Capitals.



Capitals — Bruce Boudreau, revealed to be a foul-mouthed but smart coach during HBO’s reality show “24/7” showed some guts by implementing a better defensive scheme during the season as the Caps struggled. But he really needs to win this series.

Rangers — John Tortorella might not win the Jack Adams as coach of the year, only because the Rangers finished eighth on the season’s final day. But nobody did a better job than he did while sticking to the plan to build for tomorrow while trying to win today. And he’s won a Stanley Cup, in 2004, with Tampa Bay.
EDGE: Rangers.



Capitals — Ovechkin should be motivated to atone for his season production, and he sure gets pumped for the Rangers. In the ‘09 playoffs he brazenly sat on their bench while they practiced, this year be challenged and fought Dubinsky at center ice. But does Washington have the jam to win a series under this pressure, after been elminated in Game 7 losses at home three years in a row (two in the first round, one in the second round), including a 1 vs. 8 first-round series in which it led 3-1 against Montreal last year? Will negative thoughts creep in with a Game 1 loss, or any type of adversity? Not to mention a bad outing from either goalie?

Rangers — Good playoff teams win on the road (the Rangers won 24), play a grinding, physical game and block shots (all of those things being Rangers staples). The Rangers are together and resilient, they have answered almost every piece of adversity with a strong bounceback. They have played their best against the better teams — they beat Washington three times; in the final month beat Philadelphia, Boston and Pittsburgh twice each; and beat each of the top two teams in the stronger West, Presidents’ Trophy winner Vancouver, and San Jose, plus defending Cup champ Chicago.
EDGE: Rangers.


PREDICTION: Rangers in six.

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  1. Carp

    Thank you for picking Rangers in 6!

    To everyone else who picked Craps – F U! Thanks!

    Btw, do I post my prediction in the original prediction thread? :)

  2. Hey, TR is back! Happy belated natal day, man!

    Intangibles, baby. This team has them in droves.

    I propse Drury makes a ‘special’ pizza for Ovenchicken and delivers it to him personally before the game.

  3. Huge Wussyman---your '03 1st round pick on

    they should use the same formula that worked last time vs Caps in the playoffs. except they ran out of gas. cycle the puck behind the Caps net, keep it 200 feet from Henrik. they have a little more offensive punch now, and should be able to get one more goal in the final few games to hang on, and this time Henrik will not wear down like he did then.

  4. LMAO at natal day! Does anybody here know more about players outside the NHL than TR? Answer = no.

    But Carp still = Monster, of the Prust variety!!!

    I am exhausted beyond belief. Must fade to black….but hey, here’s my prediction….1,000 posts and $1,750 for Carp on the Go Time thread tomorrow!!!! LGR! and TA!…snooooooooze

  5. Wow carp picking the rangers in 6. obviously no cally hurts big time.

    i will do the standard and pick rangers in 7.. have no idea why… if the series is low scoring as it should the rangers absolutely have a chance…

    if the caps lose this year they will blow things up big time.. hope the rangers just get on a run. heard mcguire on fat boys show today, he said AA and stepan are big question marks fo rthe rangers. IF AA and Stepan play well the rangers have a chance..

    i keep gilroy in there tommorrow and I go with avery over Zucc. I am not the avery fan but give him a game, see if he can play smart and tough. If avery falters put Zucc in game 2…

    the rangers need to get pucks to net and not try to be cute, no back passes, cross ice dishes etc. Be what they are pplumbers, keep it simple, keep it in deep, and look for rebounds…

  6. the big question is what kind of goaltending Washington has. If Neuvirth or Varlamov have a great series then we don’t stand a chance as we don’t have the offensive weapons to consistently put up 3+ goals a game.

    While the Rangers certainly can win the series, the big key to the limit those double/triple defections that always seem to find their way into our net which is going to be tough given how the team loves to block shots. Also the PP needs to take advantage since Washington has a huge offensive advantage against us.

  7. Solid matchup analysis, Carp! I like the breakdown of each team’s intangibles. The Rangers are going to be huge challenge for the Caps…

    If Drury is going to step up and fill in for Cally, he’ll also have to score some PPGs. Ryan Callahan had 10 PPGs!

  8. Oleo

    Who said the Rangers will have to score 3+ goals? Craps strugled to score all season long and we saw how down the Craps get on themselves if things don’t go their way… So if Rangers can get on Craps case early this could be a pretty short series for the Craps

  9. Yeah, I expect him to play well. He’s finally healthy and skated well on Saturday…If he has a good postseason, I doubt NYR buy out his contract like some people here think…

  10. They shouldn’t buy out his contract, regardless.

    Yeah, he’s a Betts with a fat ass paycheck. Nothing you can do aboot that. He’s not a liability like Avery, so might as well keep him on the 4th line. It’s only one year, after all.

  11. Ria (the silent bonehead) on

    I just looked to see what game is on versus and noticed they have a versus alternate channel listed is that new ? Does anyone else have it on their cable system?

  12. I do wonder if Avery is even going to play…LOL!

    Torts may go with EC and MZA over him!

  13. Great analysis Carp. I enjoyed reading it. Though I’m afraid you might be a bit optimistic by giving this series to the Rangers (despite my doing the same in the competition). The Rangers are great at responding to adversity, whether it be bouncing back from a bad game or filling in for an injured comrade. But I think this might just be too much for them. Regular season does not a playoffs make, and the Capitals are just the better team. And while the Rangers will respond well with Callahan out of the lineup, the fact of the matter is he’s still out of the lineup. I cannot share your optimism. But LGR!!!!!

  14. And yeah, Drury is like an expensive Blair Betts…the biggest difference is that Betts, unlike Drury, doesn’t injure himself and limp off the ice after every shot he blocks…Betts also can’t flip a pizza for his life :P

  15. I want him to play more too…but even if he plays 4th line minutes, I think the experience will be good for him…he will definitely be used on the PP.

    He won’t hurt us like Avery will…and, I think he’s more productive and creative than EC…but Torts loves EC…

  16. That crap about Drury limping off after blocking a shot has got to be some of the most asinine stuff I’ve ever heard. I remember hearing it quite a bit, often from some people who’s opinions I generally respect. I don’t byfuglien get it.

  17. It was a failed attempt at a sarcastic joke, ddeb…I like Drury…I do remember reading that a lot too and that’s why I posted it…

  18. It’s officially game day gang! T minus 18 plus hours.

    Just need to grab some sleep, put in a work day and then it will be game on.

    See you all for the game!

  19. Do people really complain aboot that? I thought it was all sarcasm. I’m usually sarcastic aboot it!

    I don’t think Torts necessarily loves EC over MZA, if that’s what you meant. It just works that he’s a center, as opposed to MZA.

    And for what ever moronic reason, Butt-Chin plays better with him there.

  20. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    beard email sent out….yikes!!! And I hope I posted my picks on the appropriate thread!!

    Who the hell is this TR guy??

    Night assens and LGR!!!

  21. Here’s my Western Conference Picks
    Van over Chicago 4-2
    Ducks over Sharks 4-3
    Phoenix over Detroit 4-1
    Kings over Nashville 4-3
    Van over Ducks 4-2
    Phoenix over Kings 4-3
    Van over Phoenix 4-2

    Eastern Conference repeated from the other night
    Rangers over Caps 4-2
    Flyers over Sabres 4-3
    Habs over Bruins 4-2
    Tampa Bay over Pitts 4-3
    Rangers over Flyers 4-3
    Tampa Bay over Habs 4-3
    Rangers over Tampa Bay 4-3

    Just think. What a coincidence, but in 1994 when we won our last Stanley Cup Vancouver
    was the 8th place team and we were the 1st. The year of 111111. Very spooky

  22. Good morning everyone! Can’t wait for game time! We will all be on pins and needles all day waiting. Let’s go Rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    I can’t believe you picked the Rangers…welcome aboard.
    Lets Go Rangers.
    doot doot doot do-oo
    doot doot doot do-oo
    doot doot doot do-oo
    doot doot doot
    Potvin sux

    11 hours or so and the fun begins…

  24. Good playoff game day one and all!

    Remember when the first round was 2 out of 3? That was over before you could say Matts Zuccarello Aasen.

    Nice article about Hank, Carp!

  25. Prediction: Chris Drury wins Conn Smythe trophy while leading the Rangers to The Cup.

  26. Game will be on. I will be in the basement. Rangers 4-Caps 3. OT goal anisimov.

    Game 2 Rangers 5 Caps 2.

    Caps fans implode. Caps go ba ba boom. In comes Varlamov. Rangers 3-Caps1

    Game four Caps win an OT gift—some freaky bounce thing off a ranger d-man. Let’s pick on girardi for fun. This blog goes ape-carcillo.

    Then Game five Rangers 4-Caps 1.


  27. Good GAME DAY morning, boneheads!

    Let the playoffs begin! We waited too long for this…

    Marji’s nails are ready, we are good to go.

  28. That’s where I disagree with Carp- the defense. I’ll give it to the Rangers Green will have to show he is ready to play after almost two months of recovery. And Wideman is a very underrated two way D-man. Not having him will hurt. But where I think we have an edge is our second pair. Knowing Bruce, he will use his home ice advantage to get OV away from Staal- Girardi pair. But he will have difficulties avoiding them and McD-Sauer. And I believe, given that those two guys are oblivious in terms of playoff pressure, they may be as efficient at playing against him and Co. as anybody. Torts needs to make sure he tells them to just go and have fun.

  29. In terms of Drury. I’m always the one to say that it makes sense to buy him out after this season from a salary cap point of view. But after his clutch goal against the Devils, I think it could change. He has a chance to redeem himself big time. That could be his year. A couple of years ago he played with one hand, scoring the GWG against the Caps. This year, the team is very young and most of the guys have very little to no PO experience. That’s when the team needs his calming presense and maybe occasional scoring. And he does that, he will stay next year.


    Just my $.02, but I think some respect, if not love, should be shown to the guy wearing the C. The team respects him and that statement is not conjecture but fact. If he’s earned this squads respect, the least fans can do is try and understand why prior to internet bashing because its the flavor of the day. He played a great game against the Devils (was there a more pivotal goal scored?) and is OUR TEAMS CAPTAIN.

    Outside of that little rant, I’m really excited to see if Hank’s ready to start stealing some games. The long series is wonderful for his conditioning and I have to assume our top 2 d pairings are going to be FIRED UP.

    Agreed that Wooly and Stepan need to have big series and I’m also looking for the vets to post gaudy numbers (relatively)… guys like Prospal and McCabe will need to lead by example.


  31. I believe that Sauer can shut down Ovie. I believe it. I know Staal can – but if the home ice advantage gets Ovie out there on his own and against Sauer – Sauer can absolutely shut him down. I don’t know if McMonster can shut him down at this point but he can skate with anybody and he can cut down on odd-man rushes.


  32. Agree, Dudley. It’s his chance to prove something.

    So Neuvirth said he could outplay Hank.
    This just in- Stepan thinks he can outscore Ovechkin.

  33. Carp – did you put the “intangible” category in there just to make us smile?

  34. The key to this series is going to come down to the Rangers playing their game and earning their “Black-and-Blueshirts” nickname. While they will miss Ryan Callahan, the Rangers have shown a tremendous ability to face adversity and turn it to their advantage – a key factor to have in any playoff series.

    As Steve Somers would say, “The Rangers in 7.”

  35. Elisha Cuthbert is trending #1 on yahoo this morning. That means Aves will do something stupid if he plays tonite.

  36. Does anyone know what channel the game is on in the DC area – specifically, comcast of montgomery county? My channel lineup has a western conference game on versus and the wizards on comcast sports net.

  37. Gonzo Grabby on

    i really want avery in to at least start the series stuart. like u said, see if he does ok and doesnt take any stupid penalties. there is no shootout so thats a big plus for gettin aves back in. torts has to let him go back to distracting other teams players. imagine how easy he could piss off their young insexperienced goalies? i know he only has 3 goals, but lets face it, i know we need goals from everybody, but mza over avery isnt gonna win this series. gabby is the only guy im worried about. if he does squat, we are lucky to get this to 6 or 7. hank had to absolutely steal 3 of our wins in the last series, and yea maybe we have a little better offense, and if gabby had a season like he did last year, we wouldve ben in 4th or 5th. this could be his last chance on this team. i think he will amp it up over a christensen or mza for the playoffs.

  38. Nice post Carp!

    Caps have said Wideman will be out for all of round one, but it’s the playoffs, so who knows. He just got out of the hospital yesterday! Capitals also have a young “shutdown” pair in Carlson and Alzner, so I would agree with Carp that we have the D advantage.

    The Capitals could also bring up Braden Holtby to start in case they don’t like either of the two guys they have on the roster now. It’s nutty what they have with young goalies there. I didn’t realize how much the Capitals’ offensive numbers are down.

  39. Gonzo Grabby on

    ohh and rangers in 7!!! we arent beating them in less. theyre too good. doodie was right and a longer series helps us. we can wear them down and with our record of 28-0 after leading going into teh 3rd period, i have much more faith that we can hold them off unlike years past. but damnit to hell, gaborik has to show up or its caps in 5. sorry guys. thats not my pick, cuz i think he will show up, but he has to dominate and be our ovechkin. he can be just as effective as ovie when hes being sneaky and getting in behind the d and sniping. i do like hes been better defensively, cuz if u cant score, ya gotta play d or do something so at least it shows hes trying. but what worrries me is his shot. it has been god awful. off target and pretty flat this whole season.

  40. Adam – go put on your Callahan Jersey and go to the Arena and get a ticket. I am sure they are showing the game there.

  41. Gonzo Grabby on

    its early banj, and i just got up. so maybe u can cut me slack on that one lol.

  42. Can we get a new post? I hear the Rangers are at the Capitals tonight……..wink wink

  43. Could be worse, today I found out that someone layed a deuce in one of our conference rooms! It’s great working for professionals.

  44. pumped up ready to go. lets shock the world.

    16 wins is what it takes. lets start tonight with number one.

  45. Lol, they sent security into the room, they took pictures. Not sure if they outlined it with chalk.

  46. Gonzo Grabby on

    i think boudreau shouldve started varlamov. i think since he has playoff experience, and especially since hes beaten us in a series, he wouldve been a better choice. torts is a better coach and have faith he will contain his emotions this time. he was as much a distraction as avery, maybe more last time, so goosfraba torts!!

  47. I truly cannot get a definitive feeling 1 way or another about this series, but if I had to bet, I find it difficult to bet against the much more powerful Capitals. For starers, I think the regular season record is meaningless, especially from a Ranger offensive output perspective. I do believe for the most part, the Rangers will be able to keep the score down, but that may be more dependent on which Lundqvist shows up (the guy that struggled on and off thru 2/3s of the year or the guy who shut the door the last 1/4 of the year). My biggest concern is the lack of top end skill on the Rangers that will result in far more often than not the Rangers being kept to the perimeter, which means the bulk of their shots will be from far out with too many rebounds swept away by the Caps defense. That means minimal goals. And frustrating entertainment if you’re a Ranger fan. I sure hope I’m wrong!~

  48. Gonzo Grabby on

    ilb!!! haha ive got pre playoffs butterflies just liek banj said! and i spell “the” -“teh” for along tiem now. wait, tiem? liek? ok those are just insexcusable!

  49. Carp – Great analysis. I agree with every point, except I’m leaning to give the Rangers’ D a bit of an edge over Washington.

    Rangers in 7, I say…If you thought the season was bad, I bet this series sends most of us reaching for the Alka-Seltzer.

    ilb2001 – I don’t think Wideman is playing. I know Green is back, and possibly Poti. Still, there’s nothing about Washington’s D that bothers me. As for Drury, he picked a great time to live up to his reputation. Let’s hope he’s ready to do the same thing for the rest of this month and next. If Drury regains his scoring touch and Gaborik comes alive, Boudreau is gonna be looking for a new job in a couple of weeks.

  50. Phil- I know Wideman isn’t playing, that’s one of the reasons I gave us advantage.

  51. I really expect Drury to be out to prove something in this series. He is rested and in need of redemption. I hope he can pull it off and be a big factor in our upset of the Caps.


  52. Marji, I’m not looking. We do have a C(r)aps fan in our office. He’s wearing his OV jersey today. Against Verizon dress code.

  53. I know it’s easier said than done, but I think we all should stay loose…Look, most of us felt that it would’ve been great to get in the PO just for our young core to get some PO seasoning. They are in, now I’m less worried. I’d like them all to go out, enjoy it and stay loose. Get some invaluable experience and see where it gets them. Does anyone know how many PO games all of our guys played combined? Excluding Drury, he must’ve played in more than a 100.

  54. CARP – I can’t believe you picked the Rangers – you da man! I know you aren’t a Rangers fan, but you are coming dangerously close to sounding like one for the past few weeks! Did you see the Biron video journal clip (sorry if its been discussed) – he’s pulling a George Costanza and not growing a playoff beard. I think all Rangers read your stuff!

  55. Last 16 games, Rangers 11-4-1. Of those losses: Isles, Thrashers, Ottawa…3 of the suckier teams. That means they beat some real teams in those 16. It also means this team best when backs against the wall and they are playing someone worthy.

    Yes, I know Cally is gone for a while and that 16-game record was due in small part to him. That sucks. But this team is all about adversity and grinding it out. I just hope we can keep it from becoming a track meet.

    Maybe Drury steps it up. I will say he is well rested and not banged up (ex the injuries) from fatigue of 82 games.

    Need a split in DC.

    I cannot really concentrate today. Not sure that changes until about 10 hours from now. Drop the Byfuglien puck already.


  56. BANJ-really? A Caps fan? That must be his stuff in the conference room. I think he was reading too many articles about Hank’s PO prowess last night….

  57. I bet my buddy is at works in his O-V jersey also. I am rockin’ my lucky new Rangers hat. Let’s do it!

  58. ilb, he’s a real jerk. He doesn’t talk to anyone. All he does is sigh(loudly) when he overhears us taliing Ranger hockey.

  59. Wideman is not that good defensively. He was brought in to help fill Mike Green’s absence. The best shutdown D the Caps have are Carlson and Alzner.

    I’m still amazed that analysts fail to notice that the Rangers and Caps goals against totals were nearly identical and many of the players of the Rangers have been used to a more defensive style for longer than just this season (or the 2nd half of the season as it is for the Caps). A large reason for the Caps change in style is due to the 7-0 blowout at MSG back in December and they ultimately sacrificed a huge amount of offense in order to play tighter on D.

    If the Rangers can score early and force them to open up, I think the Caps will be vulnerable to counterattacks.

  60. I know, unfortunately, living in central NJ, the Star Ledger is the best choice for a daily newspaper, but ceratinly not for coverage of the Rangers. Luckily I get my Rangers news from many other sources. I e-mailed to complain when they first stopped covering them and got back the stock reply about costs, etc. yadda yadda yadda.

  61. Just remember guys- this year we have two of our beloved fellow boneheads watching over our team this year. Maybe this year is fate:)

  62. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Bring on the pain… Rangers win rangers win rangers win…. And I don’t mean the clowns in Texas.

  63. Visualize this:

    Game 7: Pens – Bolts.

    Cindy tries a comeback, hoping to inspire the team ala Willis Reed.

    Early in the first period, Cindy takes a vicious elbow to the head from Lecavalier – career is over.

    Mary-O and Bettman are hospitalized for dehydration caused by uncontrollable crying.

    Versus goes bankrupt without Cindy to star in their commercials.

  64. Buenos días, Carp! So psyched for the Beard Extravaganza! I’ll send you my BEFORE picture after I have a few more cups of coffee.

    Happy birthday, TR! It’s my man’s bday today too.

    Soooo ready for playoff hockey! ¡VAMOS RANGERS!!!

  65. Headzo Del Headzo on

    Mornin’ heads!!

    Lets do it Rangers!!!!

    I got sucked into a work dinner tonight which makes my blue blood boil! I’ll communicate with Linda via espn to convey my rants for youse guys.!!




  66. I don’t know why, but I have a hunch that our guys are going to take down Washington in six.

  67. Doodie Machetto on

    Why the Rangers will beat the Capitals:
    1) Henrik Lundqvist. Also, the scheduling of the games gives him some rest. Neuvirth is starting for the Caps, and is untested in the NHL playoffs, although he was good in the AHL playoffs.
    2) Season Series. Two blowouts and no goals for Ovechkin. Plus Dubi beat his Byfuglien Aasen!
    3) Undefeated when taking a lead into the 3rd period
    4) #5 in Goals Against/Game
    5) #7 when trailing after two
    6) #1 in hits, Capitals #12.
    7) #4 in Blocked Shots
    8) 3rd lowest in giveaways
    9) Rangers are a good road team
    10) No Dennis Wideman. And although Mike Green is returning, he is a notorious playoff underperformer.
    11) As underdogs, there is less pressure, which allows the team to be loose. We have seen at times this season that pressure sometimes cripples the team (look at the Atlanta game). Meanwhile, a lot of pressure and expectations on the Capitals. They are the overwhelming betting favorite. They closed the season with the best record over the last 20 games, are first in the conference for the 2nd straight year (last year the runaway President’s trophy winners), 2nd seed the year before, but have yet to reach even the conference finals with this group. Also, they bowed out to an 8 seed last year, and for each of the last 3 years, the team that beat the Capitals made it to at least the Conference Finals (with the Penguins actually winning the Cup in 09). In fact, they have won exactly the same number of playoff series as the Rangers have since the lockout. They made some serious moves at the deadline to bring in a #2 center and a good puck moving defenseman. With Philly stumbling and Pittsburgh not having Crosby, there is a real expectation for them to make it to at least the Conference Finals. That’s a lot of pressure.
    12) #5 in SHG

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    Why the Rangers won’t beat the Capitals
    1) First, the Rangers are well documented in making average goaltenders look amazing. Second, Boudreau isn’t hesitant to switch goaltenders like he did with Theodore for Varlamov. If Neuvirth struggles, you better believe Varlamov will be in. Varlamov has beaten us once. Varlamov’s numbers are also better than Henrik’s (except for the shutouts). Finally, basically this exact Capitals team beat Lundqvist two years ago after trailing 3-1.
    2) Those games were a long time ago. The Caps closed 16-3-1 since the last game against the Rangers. Also, Ovechkin has heated up, is good in the playoffs, and is due against us.
    3) Capitals are 90.6% when taking a lead into the third, and never lost in regulation
    4) #4 in Goals Against/Game
    5) #2 when trailing after two
    6) Teams 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 11 in hits all missed the playoffs.
    7) #7 in blocked shots
    8) Every time the Rangers give it away, doesn’t it seem to end up in the net? Caps also #8 in takeaways.
    9) Lowest # of regulation home losses in the league (only 8!) Only Vancouver earned more points at home. Also, they earned the same number of points as us on the road, while we are the worst home team in the playoffs.
    10) No Ryan Callahan
    11) #2 PK
    12) Rangers #18 when scoring first, Capitals #1 when trailing first. They are also the only team that has actually won most of the games it has played when trailing after the first period.
    13) Capitals #7 in 1 goal game winning percentage
    14) Alex Ovechkin is going to have to be the face of the NHL while Sid the Skid is out. Expect a lot of BC calls to go their way.
    15) Faceoffs
    16) No Ryan Callahan
    17) No shootouts in the playoffs

  69. Doodie Machetto on


    Game 1 will decide the series. If we win, it will make the Caps nervous and we will be able to grind out a long series win. However, I think that they are going to just be too good for us.

    Caps in 5.

  70. oh, the word after “BELIEVE” got censored? i didn’t even spell it the right way and still? lol well…you get the point

  71. CCCP, I see “Believe, B then a little box with a red x in it. What’s that supposed to be?

  72. Some interesting stuff Doodie, but I have to disagree.

    I just asked the magic 8 ball if the Rangers would win tonight and it said NO WAY. But, when I asked if they would advance to the second round it said YES.

    So there you go…

  73. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Oh crap – versus has switched coverage to the red wings.. They will join the ranger game, in progress, after it ends…..hooray….might get the last period on DVR

  74. it supposed to be “Believe in a little box with a red x in it” lol

    it supposed to say “believe beetches!” :P

  75. Lundgvist plays average, Rangers lose

    Caps goalies play average..Caps can still with fire power that could wake up.

    The Pressure is on Lundqvist…he will respond well.

  76. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    It’s funny seeing some articles saying the Rangers “backed into” the playoffs. While I understand the sentiment, had Carolina lost ANY game other than the last one, then it would have been that the Rangers “took control of their destiny.”

    Kind of funny how that works.

    Oh well…not making any apologies about being in. Let’s do this!

  77. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Well my astrologer correctly put the rangers in the playoffs…. And since the rangers’ rising sign is libra, and Pluto is in their 4th house, and boogaard’s moon is as large as Jupiter… It virtually spells victory for tonight…. The stars are aligned… Her prediction, and she us never wrong, rangers 23 craps 1

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