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Caps' first round schedule set (updated)

Here's the Caps' first round schedule:

Thursday, April 15, 7 p.m., Washington, Versus
Saturday, April 17, 7 p.m., Washington, Versus
Monday, April 19, 7 p.m., Montreal, Comcast SportsNet
Wednesday, April 21, 7 p.m., Montreal, Comcast SportsNet

If necessary:

*Friday, April 23, 7 p.m., Washington, Versus
*Monday, April 26, 7 p.m., Montreal, Versus
*Wednesday, April 28, TBD, Washington, Comcast SportsNet

Update:I was informed late last night that Comcast SportsNet will carry all of the first round games because Versus is not exclusive in the first round.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 11, 2010; 10:06 PM ET
 
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Next: For Green, playoff wait finally over

Comments

Good to see no afternoon games for the Caps in the first round.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 11, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!!

Posted by: ludeman95 | April 11, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I like you, Tarik

Posted by: BigBoutros | April 11, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

CBC probably wants the Saturday one for HNIC

Posted by: casser | April 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Excellent schedule for the Caps. Wed & Sat nights are going to be rockin

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Here's what the Western Canadians say:

Canwest News Service looks at the opening round matchups:

No. 1 Washington Capitals vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens — Congratulations, Canadiens. Your collapse in the final two weeks of the season means you’ve lost the chance to play a defensively-minded team in the playoffs. Instead, you’re running into the twin Russian Alexes (Ovechkin and Semin), Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and the rest of the explosive Capitals. The Capitals have a question mark in goal, but the Canadiens have question marks everywhere, including their own net, where Jaroslav Halak suddenly looks shaky. The Capitals have too much talent for the Canadiens to contain and Montreal doesn’t have enough scoring threats to challenge Washington’s defence. Prediction: Capitals in 5.

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Toronto Globe & Mail:

Washington Capitals (No. 1 seed) v. Montreal Canadiens (No. 8)

This series will last a game or two longer than it should because the Capitals’ goaltending, in the hands of Jose Theodore or Semyon Varlamov, is not up to scratch. While the Canadiens looked to be an upset special a month ago thanks to their goaltending, Jan Halak reverted to ordinary for the last couple of games of the season. Not a good thing when you’re facing Alexander Ovechkin and company.

Pick: Capitals in six.

(seems like a pattern developing, Caps goaltending, blah, blah, blah... Halak hasn't been "ordinary" in their playoff run, though, he's been horrible)

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Remember Montreal has the second ranked power play. We need to be disciplined.

Posted by: albinosquirrel1 | April 11, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Remember Montreal has the second ranked power play. We need to be disciplined.

Posted by: albinosquirrel1 | April 11, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes but as I said in the last thread it is only 12.5% in the last 11 games.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 11, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling ... I might be getting "sick" about halfway through class on Thursday night. :)

Posted by: Cerealman | April 11, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris Stevenson is quick to throw Halak under bus!

Washington Capitals (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)

The first post-season meeting between these two franchises will feature two rocking buildings and a clash of styles in an offensive coach in the Caps’ Bruce Boudreau against a defensive mind in Montreal’s Jacques Martin. Lots of good story lines, too. The Caps’ Alex Ovechkin against friend Andrei Markov of the Habs - who should match up often - and the return of goaltender Jose Theodore to Montreal. The Canadiens will give the Caps a good run, but don’t have the horses on the backend to contain the Caps’ firepower. What’s the over-under on how many games before we see Carey Price in the Montreal net?

Washington in 6.

Who said we have monopoly on goalie controversies?! ;-)

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 11, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh fudge, 4 games on Vs., including the first two?

I don't get Versus in HD! >:O

Anyway, I say bring it to the Habs. Let's close this one down early and get some rest going into Rd. 2.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 11, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

No CBC Coverage, TSN all the way up north.

Posted by: CapsNut | April 11, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Interesting the Pens have their first 6 games on national TV. No other series has more then 5 total and the NJ/Philly series has none on VS or NBC. Some much for the league showing all the playoff teams off on national TV.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 11, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

ment to say so much for the league showing all the playoff teams on national TV. This is why the league struggles with TV, they don't market all of their teams even the good ones.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 11, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I have a problem with them picking favorites in 6 games....its lazy - they do it to not insult either team.

Its either going to be catastrophe (or close) 7 games OR a domination 4 or 5 games.

Usually 6 gamers are upsets. Surprising ones. Like Ducks over Sharks last year.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 11, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I am confused. Doesn't the President's trophy mean that all playoff games will be here at Verizon?

Posted by: caraveli | April 11, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Sonuva...I DON'T HAVE VERSUS!!!

@#U#@%*U%@!@(@#)!!!!

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 11, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I have a problem with them picking favorites in 6 games....its lazy - they do it to not insult either team.

Its either going to be catastrophe (or close) 7 games OR a domination 4 or 5 games.

Usually 6 gamers are upsets. Surprising ones. Like Ducks over Sharks last year.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 11, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

C-A-P-S


I wonder if can I sign up for Versus HD for just the next few months... Not enough regular season games on there to be worth it to me.

Posted by: butcherbaker | April 11, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

well we're stuck with VS till next year... it's just a casualty of the lockout.

Bettman says they will get a much bigger deal after next year so we shall see

Posted by: joek443 | April 11, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Sonuva...I DON'T HAVE VERSUS!!!

@#U#@%*U%@!@(@#)!!!!

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 11, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like it is time to find a good bar. If you are in the DC area I am sure it won't be hard to find the game.

Posted by: icehammer97 | April 11, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

On RCN, I picked up Versus and other hockey features for about $4/month

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Montreal advantages:

- PK
- overall special teams (PP + PK)
- defense
- goaltending
- speed (the Caps may have some fast players but the Canadiens are smaller and faster, overall)
- officiating? (let's hope we get good, unbiased referees)

Washington advantages:

- PP (by a slimmer margin than their PK advantage)
- offense
- 5-on-5 play
- size
- talent
- scoring depth
- home ice advantage
Montreal is the team best-suited to take advantage of our biggest weakness. They are small and quick so our defense needs to be sharp positionally and we need to make use of our size advantage by taking it to them, physically. If we get caught out of position or give them too much space and allow them use their speed and skill, we will end up giving up too many chances or taking too many penalties, forcing us to rely on our EC playoff team worst penalty kill.

Agree/disagree?

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 11, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I think its silly to put officiating in there.

Of course in general they ahve the goaltending edge, but I'm not so sure they're outdoing us on the goaltending front in recent play.

As for the others, the size, talent, and depth weigh very heavily toward the Caps side.

Posted by: Justafan | April 11, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

That's why I put the question mark after officiating.

I am always trying to talk down the conspiracy theories but I figured I'd throw it in there for the sake of discussion. I agree with you and don't think it will be a factor.

I'd have to give Montreal a distinct advantage in net regardless of who did what down the stretch.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 12, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I do generally agree. However, the Caps are the team best suited to take advantage of Montreal's greatest weakness which has been 5-on-5 play. The Caps have consistently been the best team 5-on-5. That should bode well for the majority of the game.

Also, Montreal draws very little penalties (near the bottom of the league). That means while the Caps PK may only go 75-80%. They are only going to give up 2 to 3 PKs per 60 minutes.

In addition, considering the 5-on-5 advantage for the Caps you would think the Habs would draw a small amount of penalties while the Caps would draw a considerable amount.

Like any series, the beginning will be huge. If the Caps can get out to a 2-0 lead I could see the Habs fold under the pressure in Montreal. The Montreal fans would be all over them.

Getting out in front early is always big in the playoffs, especially when the Caps can take advantage of the home crowd.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 12, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

You're right, they have the goaltending edge. I like the fact that they're questioning their goaltending though, particularly when we start the series at home.

Posted by: Justafan | April 12, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin will be devastated if he loses to another Canadian team after that Olympic meltdown by Team Russia.

It's a team sport so I'm not putting it all on Ovechkin's shoulders. Let's just hope that the entire team rises to the occasion.

I think that a lot of this series will come down to mental toughness. If we can handle the pressure of expectations, we should be able to move on to Round 2 with a ton of confidence.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 12, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Great post and I agree with pretty much every word of it.

You're right, I should've emphasized our advantage at even-strength.

If we avoid taking too many penalties (which will hopefully be the case for the reason you stated combined with the fact that the Caps have been disciplined this season), we should be able to put a lot of pressure on them at even-strength.

In theory, I think that we will need good defense and goaltending while they'll need great and sometimes outstanding defense and goaltending if they want to have a chance to pull off the upset.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 12, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of what they did during the regular season, I think that it's key that players like Morrison, Fleischmann, Belanger, Green and Schultz do not succumb to the pressure and play timidly.

If those guys play with confidence and intensity, I think that we will be in good shape. I'm pretty sure that most of the other guys will bring it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 12, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

You can also throw Corvo into that list of players in my previous post.

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 12, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Remember, the Habs are 3-4-3 over their past 10 games. If they had held off the Leafs Saturday night, they would have been in 7th, not 8th place. Haven't we all bemoaned teams (like ours last year) who come limping and without momentum into the playoffs???

Let's be thrilled with the season these Caps have give us - I've been a fan for over 20 years and this has been an unbelieveable ride - and have confidence that the team and coaches know what they need to do to get past this first round!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 12, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

I am SOOOOO sick of hearing that our goaltending is a question mark.Has anybody been watching theo for the last,O say,25 games.He hasnt lost since january,hes playing the best he has in years,and now he gets to play against his old team and get some revenge.Then theres varly.Yea hes looked shakey since coming back from IR,but he seems to turn it up in the playoffs.So stop questioning our goalies,and believe in whoever plays between the pipes.Cause no matter who it is,I'll feel pretty dang good and confident about our chances and goin all the way!So support our goalies,and our team and lets go win this thing.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | April 12, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

CSN said that every game of this series can be seen on CSN.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 12, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Predictions for Game 1 lineup??

Posted by: adamkatzen | April 12, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I like that the boys can watch some games at home on Wed night. Good way to get your mind right and prepare for the intensity level that is to come in game 1.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 12, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

No afternoon games. No problem. The boys will be more rested and should play better.

Go Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 12, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

$100 to his charity if Theo pitches a shutout in Montreal. Who's with me?

Posted by: psujohn | April 12, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli

No such luck. No home field advantage for all games. Just for all playoff series.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 12, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@psujohn, I'm in!

Posted by: vafan3 | April 12, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Caps in 5!

I'll be at the DCU game Saturday evening. It's going to kill me to miss Game 2. I guess I'll be listening to Kolbe while seated at RFK.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

IMO I think the starting lineups may look like this...

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Fleischman-Laich-Semin
Fehr-Belanger-Chimera
Laing-Gordon-Bradley

Green-Morrison
Corvo-Schultz
Poti-Carlson

There are so many combos with the depth they have and I wouldnt be surprised if Walker fits in here somewhere as well with his grit. I believe Carlson deserves a start over Sloan, Erskine, Poti. Unless this series gets nasty, Erskine and Sloan shouldnt see the light of day until round 2 when you potentially could play the Flyers or Pens or Bruins.

Posted by: robostop10 | April 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

CBC is betting on Crosby being a ratings grabber over Montreal (Ottawa struggles to sell out even against TOR and MTL and even then half the crowd are Leafs/Habs fans) and that nobody sees MTL lasting very long.

Price's problem is between his ears (a change of scenery may be the tonic for him), and Halak was not good against a Leafs team that is not exactly an offensive machine.

Posted by: jcurrin | April 12, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

There usually isn't any exclusive national games on Versus until the Conf. Finals unless they specify it and that only usually happens late in round 2.

BRING ON THE BLEU, BLANC, AND ROUGE!!!! Step 1 of the 4 part saga to Lord Stanley's Holy Grail!!!!!!

Posted by: BBDwrestling | April 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see CSN picked up all of the first round games....it's annoying having DirecTV but no access to Versus due to a squabble. Pittsburgh definitely got the easier draw by dropping to 5th and playing a finesse team in Ottawa. If they had finished 2nd or 3rd, they would have had a much more physical and competitive first round matchup against either Philly or Boston.

Also, that would mean the Caps and Pens would meet in the second round if both advance. I'd have rather have played them in the conference finals rather than the second round like last year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

To wizfan89:

Ummm, Versus has been back on DirecTV for about a month now. Check channel 603.

Posted by: AnnandaleAnnie | April 12, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Guess wizfan has been too busy watching the Wizards push for the playoffs.

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 12, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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