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Game 7 experience not necessarily advantage

The Washington Capitals are becoming quite accustomed to playing in Game 7s. They've played in three of them over the past two seasons and are 1-2. Their only win was 2-1 over the New York Rangers in last season's Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

"Well we're 1-2 in Game 7, so how can it be an advantage?" Coach Bruce Boudreau said during his news conference earlier this afternoon. "We've been through it and wish you didn't have to do it, but if you do, you just go out and do it. To say if it's an advantage of disadvantage, I don't know."

The Capitals' two Game 7 losses came against Pittsburgh, 6-2, in last season's Eastern Conference semifinals and to Philadelphia in overtime, 3-2, in the conference quarterfinals in the 2007-08 season.

Before that, the Capitals' last Game 7 was a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh in the conference quartefinals in the 1994-95 season.

By Gene Wang  |  April 27, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Neither is our power play...

Posted by: Firepelosi | April 27, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Should put Mcphee on the bus out of town with boudreau if we dont win tomorrow.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | April 27, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

CHOKING DOGS!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 27, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Just to let everyone know...I DON'T CARE ABOUT HERSHEY!!!!

I WOULD TRADE HERSHEY LOSING EVERY GAME FOR THE REST OF THEIR EXISTENCE for the Caps winning the Stanley Cup this year!

Bring up Perrault, Alzner and whoever they think might help. We need to take care of business...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Man I've got a bad, bad feeling about tomorrow night. Trying to stay positive but the simple fact that we even find ourselves at this point isn't a good sign. This team's lack of killer instinct will be our downfall (again.) Come on guys. Dig deep, get us a win, and let's put this nightmare series behind us.

Posted by: geester1 | April 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I blame goal #2 on Varly. He has to make that save. Goal #1 was a bad bounce on a blocked shot. It happens. Goal #3, is a tough one to put too much blame on anyone. The shot was from a decent distance out, but it was a great shot so the shooter does deserve some credit. It was a saveable shot too, not easy, but saveable.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 27, 2010 1:41 PM |

Goal #3 shouldn't have happened. Period. I think it was ShaMo, but why the hell are you letting someone walk in on the rush like that? Stupid, lazy defense.

Again, watch how our defenders collectively defend the rush and handle a forecheck. Then watch how other team's defenders collectively defend the rush and handle a forecheck. Night and day.

@lyle

Yes, but that's why you have your Islanders to fall back on, right?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 27, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I have an awful feeling about the game tomorrow.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree, I would love nothing more than to see Boudreau bench Green and bring up Alzner. What's it gonna hurt at this point?

Posted by: geester1 | April 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And I do give Maxim credit for a completely luckily placed slap shot. It was a good shot.

A good shot that should have been deflected away by our defender who was defending him.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

This series is like the whole season as a game. Start off slow, come roaring back only to let the other team back in it, only to turn on again. Can they turn on or will they waltz through another game and then it is to late.
This team for what ever reason, does have a focus problem, like team A.D.D., it needs to be pushed before it starts to react and play.

Posted by: RichC3 | April 27, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

i can't stand Lapierre. It would be nice to see one of our players run him over at some point.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 27, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a good feeling either.

I was thinking who can they have come in and speak to them, like a legend who knows how to win...?? Answer: nobody. The caps have never had anyone....

Even the Cane's have Ron Francis and the Lightning have Andreychuck...

Like I said when I started...I have a terrible feeling about all this...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 27, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Green co-founded So Kids Can, a fundraising initiative that benefits youth-focused organizations each year. He donates $100 for every goal he scores and $50 for each assist and the figures are doubled during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So, Green has been tanking games to save money??

(relax, I'm obviously kidding)

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 27, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@ Lloydchristmas - Does my good feeling override your bad feeling?

Please say yes.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 27, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

they don't need a pep talk.

If you can't get fired up for a playoff game much less a game 7, you SHOULD lose.

They need to have 40+ hits and 40+ shots. Do the work and the results will follow. From the drop of the puck the Caps need to just run over the Habs. And no freaking Flash!

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 27, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Alzner recalled.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | April 27, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I have a moot feeling. If the Caps choose to defend better, it becomes a good feeling. If the Caps choose to defend like they have been, it becomes a bad feeling.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I look at it like this; The last 10 games or so of the season the Caps coasted. even Ovie Said "I hit no one in those last games" So they start the playoffs slow and out of sync. Over the last couple of games they have stepped up big time, but Montreal has been playing with the "nothng to lose" attitude. So here we are ta game 7. The Caps will crush them and take their momentum and Lesson learned not to discount anyone onto round 2 and beyond.
God I hope that's true!

Posted by: Iceman10 | April 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually feeling good about tomorrow night mainly because I don't think we will lose 3 in a row especially with the game at home. I am guilty of negativity towards this team and their effort. Someone needs to check Mike Cammalleri. Bruce gets the last change, why don't he stick Belanger or someone else on him? I would go back to Theo, put Erskine in for Poti and put Walker in for Flash. I also like the idea of Knuble and Laich on the 1st pp together. Someone mentioned that earlier. I don't agree with an optional practice when you are going into a game 7 with a 1 for 30 pp. Just call a short practice and work on the PP.

Posted by: StanleyCap | April 27, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

I agree completely about Hershey. Who cares about Hershey, the Caps should do whatever benefits them the best.

MP could be a useful addition not only because of his tenacious play, but he plays a different style than the other Caps centers and the Habs would be forced to alter their game plan slightly.

Belnager has played fine. He is a solid 3rd line center who has played decent to good throughout the series.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 27, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame, an awful shame they are in this predicament. Who really cares if they win tomorrow night, they have already proven they are not a cup contender. Id rather see them tank in the first round than to lose another series to Pittsburgh in the Eastern finals.

Green is the biggest choke artist of all time, Shulz is a pansy and his plus minus is a joke. The Caps have let Lappierre and Hal Gil bully them all series. They have been smart and not retaliating, but when do you draw the line and stand up for yourself and punch somebody in the mouth???

We will see if the Caps have any heart, even the tiniest bit of heart tomorrow night when they need to suit up and punch the Habs directly in the jaw... I want to see nothing short of an old fashioned mollywhopping.

Posted by: brandontedder1 | April 27, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@Stanleycap - the only thing I disagree with is putting in Theo. I'd stick with Varly.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 27, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

why is that all of VArly's softies are excused with the coach and the crowd posting here? at least 2 of the 3 were softies.

Posted by: doughless | April 27, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

More shades of playoff's past......

I have tickets to tomorrow's game but am not going. If they win, then I'll just have to live with myself for watching it at home and "missing it live" - but will take solace in not having to deal with a 1+ hr metro/drive home; if they lose, I'll feel better than I would if I had to walk out of there, sit on the metro and stew...just like last year against Pitt when I decided not to go.

I feel that being a fan of this team for 30+ years entitles me to be negative - an improbable cup final in 1998 doesn't remedy, nor does it excuse, the futility of this franchise and the countless $$$ that I've spent over the years hoping that God really didn't hate Caps, and that it was just unfortunate luck - both remain to be seen.

For the new - and casual - Caps fans, this team is the best there is in the league and this series is a fluke; the savvy Caps fan knew it right away when those "comments" were made last month by a certain Columbus Blue Jacket, and if I were he, I would have my cell phone fully charged tomorrow so I can respond to all those callers who wnated me to go on the record for why I was right when I said that Caps "play the wrong way."

I'm done. 'Sorry for runing your day but take this with you: What is the purpose of 121 regular-season points when you're obviosly not primed to take the next step?

Posted by: Dave28 | April 27, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@StanleyCap

Amen brother, toughness is on short supply lately and since Flash hasn't done a whole lot, put Walker in, sub Erskine for Jeff Schulz, and ask Donald Brashear to sit on the bench in street clothes. Also, offer Chimera or Corvo $10K each to the first one that knocks out Lappierre and have Brads pick on Cammileri the entire game since they are about the same size.

Posted by: brandontedder1 | April 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

I'd say 1 1/2 were softies (the third goal being in between a softy and a pretty good shot). But I think the Caps should put Theo back in to shake up the team like when a goalie change is done during the game. Varly definitely did not play good enough to ensure he can't be pulled.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Caps win tomorrow night, and all you loser bandwagon fans jump back on for the ride... If you don't believe in the Caps don't watch the game, don't even cheer for them...Crawl back to your hole you came from before the Caps became relevant in DC..True Caps fan all the way!

Posted by: CapsBaby | April 27, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@brandon

Shultz is a pansy comment got me laughing,thanks! im gonna go home and molly-whop my wife! god i love her.....
LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!

Posted by: bigBinMd | April 27, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Coach you have home ice advantage. Make it work for you. The other team did last night.

Would you really rather play game 7 on the road?

Geezy peezy I'm starting to have my doubts about Boudreau with comments like that.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 27, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Dave28

If Caps win tomorrow night I hope you never make it to Verizon Center again, old school fan or not your negativity is not what is needed..I am a old time fan as well, and knew we would have trouble with the Habs, but once we get past them I bet the rest of the playoff we will be just fine...What if this was game 7 of Eastern Conference Finals, would you still come out and cheer for the Caps, probably b/c you aren't a true die hard fan, thats why you will be sitting at home for the game....No true fan would act like you ever... You go to the game to support the team!

You dont want tickets, ill take them off your hands I know some true fans who would love to go!

Posted by: CapsBaby | April 27, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@lyle
save that bs until after game 7!

Posted by: boomer44 | April 27, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Uh. Guys. No one has done any choking so far. Montreal was the toughest for us matchup wise. We just have to win. They have to expend huge amounts of energy coming from 3-1 down and do it on the road. We are in this.

Posted by: pdo3 | April 27, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@ Dave28...with you all the way on your comments. I was one of the 'original' season ticket holders...108, row M...I also feel that this team was not built for the playoffs. This is a 'run-and-shoot' squad, no defense, very little 'grit' and no toughness. These little Habs are skating circles around our Caps and grinding it out. They're taking 'liberties' because they now realize there's no retaliation. Doesn't even seem like we have 20 guys giving 100%. And as far as a 'defensive system'...what system??? If a PLAYER realizes we play 'the wrong way', then certainly other teams' GM's realize it also, and they're now taking full advantage of it.

Posted by: scmonty1 | April 27, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We had Halak figured out earlier in the series: shoot high, and crash the net for rebounds. Last two games, we've basically done neither. Why not? Grrr.

Doing my best to keep my chin up, but man, if we go 1-3 to an 8 seed at home during round 1, we don't deserve to win.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 27, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Also, I really hope we go back to Theo in goal for game 7 - just a gut feeling I have. A change in net could do us some good, to exorcise the bad vibes of these last two games, and plus, Theo basically got us here, and we need to show up Wednesday and just blow these pesky Habs out.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 27, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

It is all psychology: when you think you have nothing to lose, you play like crazy. Guess what? The Canadiens have something to lose (unlike Cammalleri's comments). Just like Game 2 when it dawned on them they were about to take a commanding 2-0 lead, they melted like jellyfishes. Same psychology will be at play in game 7: they now must be thinking "we can win this" -- they will melt. It might be 4-0 Caps after the first.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | April 27, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Before that, the Capitals' last Game 7 was a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh in the conference quartefinals in the 1994-95 season"

That loss in 94/95 came after the Caps were up 3-1 in the series.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | April 27, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't get spooked by irrelevant statistics. So what if we lost to Pittsburgh in '94/'95? This is a different team. A wacky, heart-attack-causing team, but one that's perfectly capable of winning tomorrow. I predict they'll do just that. We all knew that Montreal was going to be tough, right?

Posted by: ladysuz | April 27, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Montreal likely would have taken every other Eastern team to 7 games or had beaten them, so we can't be too frustrated. Patience.

Posted by: pdo3 | April 27, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@soaringcaps

WOW! With fans like you, Hershey should drop the Caps, and NOW! Yes, you read that right. The Caps are nothing without the Bears at this point. How can you diss the team that has the best history in the AHL? We've won cups under the Avs, Caps, Flyers, etc. We had more cup wins before the Caps were invented than they've participated in since! Hershey will always be around, and will continue to thrive, with or without. All those Caps that make up the best of the team (except Backstrom, and maybe Semin) have come up through Hershey, and learned HOW TO WIN! Laich, Flash, Green, Steckel, on, and on, and on.

You'd do better to advocate dropping Ovechkin for a chance to win now. Lord knows he can't win when the time comes!

Posted by: Bears4ever | April 27, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I am SO PISSED that we are even in this situation. How ON EARTH can our CAPS have let this stinking team hang with them. We have a TON of more talented people. If they can't be used properly by the coach or the system, then he'll need to go. I tip my hat to what Coach has accomplished in the regular season, but this team has not been ready to play in this series and it is HIS job to make that happen. This is becoming a pattern, and not a one time thing. Shape up, or ship out I say

Posted by: kpj104 | April 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

the problem with this team is that they have too much talent. If you paid attention, especially at the end of the year, they would sleep the first two periods and then turn it on to win in the third. Sadly, this approach doesn't work in the playoffs, and whomever (Umbarger?) said it, defense is what wins in the playoffs. Although I hope not, I fear this is the end for the Caps this year; and if blame is to be placed it goes to the Coach for tolerating this type of play and to McPhee for not shoring up the D in the past several years. This team still could win it all, but just as easily lose it all. We will see tomorrow.

Posted by: festus75 | April 27, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Game 7 experience may not be necessary but composure is absolutely necessary. The last 2 games have definitely rattled the Capitals. More than anything, I think they need to prepare mentally.

Posted by: jackblob | April 28, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

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