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Morning Reading List: The Second Season

(Washington Post Photo Illustration)

Be sure to check out our new playoff section, where you can find all the latest Caps news, videos, photo galleries and check out our Caps Playoff Central on your mobile phone.

Finally the playoffs commence for the Capitals as they host the Rangers in Verizon Center tonight for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. This team isn't drastically different in makeup from the one that reached the postseason last year, but it is much better prepared to cope with the increased intensity of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Barry Svrluga looked at the unique sense of home the Capitals' five Russian players have created for themselves here in Washington.

Mike Wise believes that a lengthy playoff run happens if, and only if, the Capitals get consistency in goal from Jose Theodore.

Sally Jenkins offers a simple two-word plan to combat Sean Avery: Ignore him.

Don't forget, Tarik will be online at 2 p.m. to talk about the upcoming series. Submit your questions here. Also, for all of you who will be near a computer come game time, don't forget to join me on another Caps Insider Live Chat.

From your neighborhood D.C. Sports Bog:

  • The story behind everyone's favorite late-game video montage: Unleash the Fury.

  • Take a trip down memory lane to the last time the Caps and Rangers faced each other in a series, when John Druce was loose.

  • Donald Brashear and Matt Bradley talk about what exactly makes the playoffs so much more intense than the 82-game regular season.

  • For those looking for a way to express their dedication to the Stanley Cup playoffs, it is beard and mohawk season.

You can also check out the Post's full slate of previews for the first round.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun also examines whether Jose Theodore is indeed the goaltender who can lead the Capitals through the playoff labyrinth. (He also breaks down the series in the accompanying video).

If you missed it yesterday, colleague Corey Masisak breaks down the task facing the Caps' power play against the league's best penalty killers.

Steve Kolbe Takes 5 with Mike Green.

Here is a playoff breakdown from The New York Times that suggests perhaps the most attention in the first round should be paid to Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals as they take on the Rangers.

It's official, President Barack Obama has been invited to Verizon Center for a playoff game.

Nearly lost in all the playoff hubbub was yesterday's draft lottery. The New York Islanders are now proud owners of the No. 1 overall pick, presumably for John Tavares or Victor Hedman.

Through the Rangers' Looking Glass
Word out of New York is that the defensive pairing of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi will oppose Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals' top line.

Chris Drury skated yesterday and it's looking like he will be ready to go tonight. Here are what the Blueshirts' lines looked like.

The Rangers have been focusing on ways to beat the Capitals at their own puck-possession game.

The Hockey News' Jay Feaster offers some suggestions on how to eliminate the distraction that is Sean Avery.

Scott Gomez is one of the 10 players whom TSN's Darren Dreger believes is on the hot seat for this postseason.

In the System
The Bears head back to the Spectrum to begin their first round playoff series against the Phantoms on Thursday. And don't forget about Bear Tracks.

When Game 1 arrives, Michal Neuvirth will be Hershey's starter in goal after a whirlwind season that took him from the Czech Republic to ECHL, Hershey and Washington.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 15, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wise: Postseason Hinges on Theodore
Next: Poti Will Be a Game-Time Decision



Posted by: ludeman95 | April 15, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Maggie the Monkey picked the Rangers. :-(. Perhaps add a link to the TSN predictions.

Posted by: rbluesw | April 15, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there has ever been a more anticipated opening to a Stanley Cup Play Offs in DC. I really enjoyed the Caps coverage on WPL yesterday with Katie and Smokin' Al. I DVR it everyday and fast forward to the Caps stuff. I'm nervous and excited amd ready to go right now. Is the Green Turtle open yet?

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 15, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Tonights the night! What more needs to be said?

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 15, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

From previous post: jmu_capsgirl, thanks for the info on Neuvy. I'll be sure to check it out. =)

"Varlamov's sample of games is small, but it shows a glimpse of what a good goalie is capable of playing behind the same defense.

Posted by: ranndino"

Varly struggled in the game against the Buffalo Sabres, behind the same exact defense that Theo normally faces.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

tickets available for saturday's game. 415 J. caps shoot twice.

Posted by: ralph4100 | April 15, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

LETS GO CAPS!!! Everyone wear Red. Even if your friends dont have Caps gear..get them Red. Thats all that matters.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 15, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Tarik picks Capitals in 5.

I'm a bit surprised. But I hope he's right!

Posted by: Cerealman | April 15, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

That graphic is hilarious. So psyched tonight for how loud the VC is going to be. Let's do it!

Posted by: AMHV2772 | April 15, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Steinbog also has a great interview with John Druce that's worth reading.

Posted by: Section117 | April 15, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

cant wait the vc is gonna be crazy!!!! LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!

Posted by: TracyMD1 | April 15, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Tarik's new camera is coming in handy. I had no idea the players came predressed for practice on the metro.

Posted by: cappies | April 15, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Katie & Tarik -- Do you know you can't get to the Capitals Insider page from the new, revamped Capitals page? Least I couldn't.

Got my ticket, got my red. Leavin work around 5:00 and can't wait. Play crisp Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | April 15, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

An interesting new Caps page set-up for the playoffs but could it be any more difficult to find the Insider page?

@cappies, and I hate trying to get in the Red Line at Metro Center and these yuks all have their big faces against the window taking up all the seats. Move to the middle of the car. Apparently on the top six scorers and JT ride the Metro...the rest must have to walk.

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Entirely psyched. Got my Game 3 tickets today, I'm hoping that it'll be a quiet night in the Garden for that one until the Redden boo-birds come out.

Posted by: KurtNYC | April 15, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@rachel and jmu:

Here's the Patriot News article about Neuvirth, as well as other Bears playoff stuff.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 15, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see what sort of nervousness, if at all, the Caps exhibit tonight. You know they will come out jumping hard, as they do in any big game. The question will be whether or not they will be jumpy, I think, and need some time to settle down into solid play. If they come out high energy AND passing and defending tightly, then we should be in for a good night.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 15, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

If it's true that Ovi and the boys put red streaks in their hair, Tarik needs to put that new camera to use and post photos.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 15, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

the amount of work that i am going to get done today would be zero, plus i am leaving around 2:30. LETS GO CAPS!!

Posted by: _stevo | April 15, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Didn't the Caps play the Rangers in the 1994 Playoffs? 1990 was the last time the Caps won a series with the Rangers.

Posted by: madflava | April 15, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

does anyone else see Brooks, Green, Semin and Theo trying to do "Blue Steel" in the picutre?

Posted by: superpaqman | April 15, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

totally Blue Steel. Of course, they may look angrish because they see the tourists messing up platfrom flow at Metro Center.

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Ovie and maybe Theo are the only ones wearing their correct jerseys. Semin's has a 1 on the shoulder and Fedorov's has a 0.

Posted by: koalatek | April 15, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@koalatek, do you think the jerseys is BB playing mind games? maybe Feds will be wearing Brad's number and sneaking in on the fourth line, and Semin will be apparently wearing Clark's jersey and join him?...very sneaky.

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It's looking like I might have a spare ticket for tonight's game in 426 row N. Let me know if interested, cost is $12. Gotta love the STH discount.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 15, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@steve_R...are they only charging me $12 for my first round seats? They didn't really say and I was assuming it was way up from last year. How do you know?

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Could not agree more with Jenkins,ignore Avery as I said yesterday, dismiss him with a wave of your glove ala cindy

Posted by: RichC3 | April 15, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Great Balls of Fire!!!
Obama has been invited to the game!!
Now we have a game to see. I sure hope they interrupt the game many times and that they tell us about his Colgate smile and the first dog and by all means I want to know what he thinks of OV. Goody, goody, goody!!!

I think Tariks colleague at the Times and I have seen different PPs. I could have sworn that I have seen Semin on that unit.

Sally Jenkins have a good point about Avery. I think a lot of fans are missing it. That guy is not only a good player but a very savvy guy. During my boxing career I used to love to get my opponent mad at me, for then I could manipulate him like a matador with a raging bull.

I can't wait for the first game, I'm intrigued with the new Rangers since they got Tortorella - I remember when he took Tampa Bay to the SC, they were a mediocre team during the season and barely made the playoffs. This guy can coach. On paper we have got the superior team, but at times I feel like BB is asking some of our European players to change their natural ability to play the game - if they don't get Lundqvist to move side to side they will no score much.

Posted by: opita1 | April 15, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Saintex, depends on section and row that you're in, there was a flyer in the STH renewal package that broke down cost by section and round of the playoffs. My seats are normally $10 regular season, bumped up to $12 for the first round, and to $19 for the Cup finals.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 15, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

To everyone at the Post. Great coverage today. Nothing like opening the paper and seeing article after article of hockey coverage. Makes the morning coffee even better. Keep it up!

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 15, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@Steve, I'm an upper corner holder and my normal was $16 so I guess it'll bump up to about $18 for the first round. I guess I should read my paperwork....

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Is it 5 o'clock yet?

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 15, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

How the heck are we supposed to focus on work today? I can't even sit still! LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: capsfan26 | April 15, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank god for "Pay as We Play". I would hate to have to buy all 4 rounds at once considering I sit in 102 (1st round = $144, finals = $219).

Posted by: koalatek | April 15, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

They might as well show the Caps game on the screen at the Nats game tonight....

Posted by: SA-Town | April 15, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

saintex: As a fellow 413er, I can tell you that your prices are 19/22/25/28 per seat, by round. (I'm not 100% positive on those because I don't have the sheet in front of me, but they are within $1.)

Rock. The. Red.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | April 15, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@greg, that's pretty good news - I can handle it. I managed a front-row club in 203 for tonight so I'll be in heaven. Back to my 413 crowd on Saturday afternoon.

Let's tape it up and kick some...

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

This should be a holiday!!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 15, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Still no pics... Come on, Tarik! Put that nice camera to use!

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 15, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

New post from Tarik...but still no pics.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 15, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R: I'll buy that extra seat, if it's still available...

Posted by: hpavela | April 15, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I have to brag that I have it worse than you guys and gals. I'm in Los Angeles and boarding a red eye tonight. Gonna' catch Game 2 on Saturday with my cousin. Ratchet up your anxieties and futile efforts to sit still a thousand fold, to even imagine what I'm going through. And there's that whole plane ride I gotta' sleep through. =P

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 15, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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