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Poll: Rangers or Canadiens?

With a 4-2 victory over the Lightning last night, the Caps clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and hit a few other milestones as well.

Now comes the tough part: waiting to find out who'll get the No. 7 seed and visit Verizon Center to kick off the first round next week. Last night's results narrowed it down to either the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Rangers. So here's one last Would You Rather-style poll while we wait for results:


The Caps have earned the day off in Ft. Lauderdale but your hardworking beat writer doesn't get that luxury -- he's moved on to some playoff preview items. We'll have some Frozen Four goodies a bit later, so keep an eye out.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 10, 2009; 10:46 AM ET
 
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Next: Caps Take the Day Off in Florida

Comments

Avery pictures belong in the Urinals.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 10, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Definitely the Rangers. Don't want Theo having any mental issues with his former team.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: FancyDan | April 10, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I had to go with the Rangers, just for the spectacle of Boston/Montreal. I don't deny that getting the Canadiens would make things a little easier for us, but I think we'll be okay either way, and I'd prefer that the first round not be a cakewalk. We've had too much cakewalk lately.

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

Either freaking one...

Posted by: numero94 | April 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

MSG has really bad ice.

I think we would benefit from a nice sheet up in Montreal.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 10, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz: i was thinking the exact thing. Montreal's been so weak, it might be better for the caps if the 1st round is a real prep for whatever team they face in the 2nd (knock on wood :)

Posted by: honed | April 10, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Definitely the Habs. Sans Markov & Schneider, that's definitely the path of least resistance. NY is definitely better with their deadline pick-ups.

Posted by: thomas20 | April 10, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

plus, i could actually make it up to nyc for games...

Posted by: honed | April 10, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

thomas20, Schneider had a second opinion and apparently isn't going to miss any time.

Posted by: koalatek | April 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@honed: I'd so hop a train to NYC for a couple of playoff games.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 10, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

after watching the highlights of the BOS-MON game on nhl network last night, I had to vote for the caps to play the rangers just so I could see a habs/b's playoff matchup. that was nasty.

Posted by: GusDaMan | April 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Montreal is the team that everyone wants in the first round.

The Rangers and 'Canes are very hot right now, and Carey Price has a hard time stopping beach balls.

Posted by: kolbkl | April 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I love that someone posted about preferring the Habs because of the bad ice at MSG. We've won a lot of games on our terrible sheet, haven't we?

I'd rather play the Habs for one reason and one reason only.

Lundqvist.

The Habs have been inconsitent all year and Price has been mediocre at best. This is the playoffs. You win games 1-0 and 2-1; goalies often make the difference. And the last thing I want to do is face a guy like Lundqvist.

Posted by: sinbin | April 10, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@koalatek: Yes. Schneider is probably playing injured but he did play last night, and he tallied for Montreal if memory serves. I was in favor of MTL with Schneider out, but him being in makes the whole question much more of a tossup.

Given that and what I saw last night, I can go either way, but think that MTL/BOS is a better matchup, so if we get the Rags, we get the Rags. It's all good. Like I said last thread, give me PIT/PHI, CAR/NJD, MTL/BOS, and WSH/NYR.

Sonyask, I don't think our matchup will fly completely under the radar - the Avery/Ovi matchup will probably grab some attention. Whether it does or not, I totally agree that the other matchups are going to be great stuff.

So, that said, who do you guys want to see in the West? Me, I'm looking forward to Anaheim/Detroit and Chicago/Vancouver.

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

Probably a stupid reason on my part but here goes:
Carey Price was the goalie for the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2007 when they beat the Bears in the Calder Cup finals. BB was our coach, Greenie and some of the boys were on that Bears team. It's a revenge thing...I want Carey Price to lose.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 10, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Habs. A hot goalie in the opposing net can end your playoff run quickly. I'd rather take shots at Price than Lundqvist in the 1st round.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The Rangers and 'Canes are very hot right now, and Carey Price has a hard time stopping beach balls.

Posted by: kolbkl | April 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The Rangers are hot? They are 5-4-1 in their last ten and are the only team confirmed for the playoffs with a lower goals scored than goals given up.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@GusDaMan: I watched parts of the game while waiting for WSH/TBL to start, and at intermissions. Holy moly was that game nasty. At one point there were three guys in the Montreal box and four in the Boston box, and there were visible holes on the Boston bench after what amounted to a line brawl.

I'm with you. I'll give MTL to the B's just for the entertainment value.

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

I would like to see Pittsburgh overtake Carolina for the 5 seed. The winner of philly Pitt would play Boston in the 2nd rd. The caps would play the winner of NJD and Carolina.

Posted by: srobert1117 | April 10, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

GOOD MORNING ALL- if you are in the playoff brackets and you haven't received an email from me yet you need to email me. I keep getting 1 returned but I can't tell who it is. I just sent out the sample bracket so check your emails (this is the way it went last year). If you have any questions call or email. Also if anybody else is interested in joining email me at this name at yahoo.com. Take care.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 10, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Malkin's post game comments:

"One game left, it's OK," Malkin said of the scoring title. "I think it's too much points (for Ovechkin to catch him)."

And if Ovechkin gets four points in his final game, at Florida on Saturday?

"I will score two. I will," Malkin said of the Penguins' season-ending game at Montreal.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 10, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This is freaky! The captain of that ship that was hijacked looks almost exactly like me!

Posted by: Greg S. | April 10, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

FancyDan: Mental issues? I would think that would make Theo play better.

koalatek: What's so weird about that is that the Canadiens said Schneider would need surgery on his shoulder and would miss the rest of the regular season including the playoffs. So he goes from needing surgery and now he's fine and can play. If he really is hurt he should not be playing.

BTW, can't wait for Tarik's playoff previews! :D

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The Habs, absolutely. Theo will have a ton of extra motivation when facing them. Also, Ovie loves playing in Montreal.

Not to mention it would be nice to for once face a team in Round 1 that the general Caps fan base doesn't abhor.

Also the Habs probably guarantee the Thursday/Saturday schedule which I personally prefer. :)

Posted by: CapsChick | April 10, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I get into this argument with my dad all the time. If I could pick anybody for first round(fantasy wise) I would say screw it Bruins or Sharks. Go giant hunting from the get go.

I remember growing up and worrying about who we would draw because the caps were an "eh" team. This is a new era, the caps are one of the premier teams in the league and have to be ready to take on all comers to solidify it.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Rangers are 5-4-1 in their last 10. I wouldn't call it very hot.
I prefer Mon simply because Price is an average goallie at best. However Mon has potent quick attack that can expose our weakness in goal and slow D. Rangers have problems scoring goals, however they have good goalie and solid D which may expose our lack of a guy who stands in front of opposing goaltenders.

Posted by: fizhe | April 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, any updates on Gordon and Clark?

Posted by: Andoy | April 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Habs. Avery will throw off Theo who is questionable at best.

Posted by: PWA_FCVA | April 10, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Moose, the Rangers are hot. Seen 'em play recently? Records aren't everything, Tortella's gotten them going. And Lundquist has got a hot hand right now....they need to get worn down before I'd like to see them.

Posted by: kolbkl | April 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Don't care.

Just happy its not Pittsburgh! And that the Caps wouldn't play the Flyers until the conference finals.

Posted by: ams1986 | April 10, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Anything can happen in the playoffs so Im not saying the Rangers would be an easy out...but...

They will think the gates of hell opened up, by the way their D will get burned by the Caps offense.

The Rangers D is a bunch of slugs, and Torts style usually has them waiving a white flag by the 3rd period.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I want the Wednesday/Friday games pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee.. I have a prior engagement on Saturday that would force me to miss it. If there is a Hockey God, Please allow Wed/Fri games...

Amen

Posted by: numero94 | April 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

...the Avery/Ovi matchup will probably grab some attention. Whether it does or not, I totally agree that the other matchups are going to be great stuff.

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


IMO OV/Avery wouldn't even be a topic. OV really doesn't react to trash talkers. Did you see him just tell that big goon in Atlanta to "F" off as he skated around him? Avery would probably target Theodore. Especially if he sees how upset Theo got about that shot into the net after the whistle yesterday.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 10, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't think either team can beat the Caps right now, the Caps are their own worst enemy in either of these match ups. Stay focued and limit penalties and either team is not out match. Although I think the Habs would be slightly easier, that matchup would deprive us of a Habs-Bruins series. Based on the highlights from last night's game I think that one would be hot (there was a serious snarl between them).

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | April 10, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Caps can take either team. Don't matter. I do agree that a Habs-Bruins series is more fun, but not because one team is weaker than another against us.

I'm with ya numero94 -- I've got something Sat night too. Wed-Fri please.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Personally, don't care who we play... I lean towards to Habs because Ovie owns the Bell Centre and Price is a headcase.

Looking at the scenarios for 4th place on down...

PHI plays NYI Sat @ 2,lets assume they win.
PHI then has 99 points to CAR 97 and PIT 97 with 1 to play.

PIT goes to MTL
NYR go to PHI
CAR goes to NJD

I predict PHI will beat NYR and secure 4th and PIT will knock off MTL in OT. CAR will beat NJD.

Making the final 5...
PHI 101
CAR 99
PIT 99
MTL 94
NYR 93

I'd love to see CAR lose in Jersey, but they have everything to play for since the PHI/NYR game isnt until Sunday. PHI/PIT first round be nice.

Posted by: JSchon | April 10, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Its not Pittsburgh. I'm happy.

Posted by: raymitten | April 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: Probably true. I don't think anyone on the team has reacted to chirping a whole lot this year, though.

@JSchon: It lives. Whoa. :) I'd like to see CAR lose in NJ too, because it might knock their confidence down a peg. Anything that might help.

@Sonyask: Agreed. If we buckle down and do it we can handle either team. Habs/Bruins is more fun for all, but if the Habs jump to 7th (and they might yet), that's fine too.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 10, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1:
I'd have to agree - if Avery is going to target anyone it will probably be Theo (he seems to have a thing for keepers, anyway). I would guess that Semin would be his next target - it is no secret that Semin is prone to take emotional penalties (although he has gotten a lot better about that). Avery is a punk but he's no dummy - any time that Semin spends in the box is good for opposing teams.

RE: Habs vs. Rangers, I think the Caps are fine either way. I believe they would do better against the Habs (given MTL's recent record/injuries and how well we've played against them these past two seasons), but I would enjoy the Rangers match up just to see the antics of Avery and Torts live and in person and to see more of the BOS/MTL drama. In either case the Caps are the better team and it will be very exciting!!!

Posted by: Boo- | April 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Kittypawz, you have to be kidding. Schneider being in or out is making/breaking your decision on if you want the Habs or not?

Schneider ON the ice is much more of a liability defensively then him being off the ice. We do have to watch his retarded slapper from the point though. But isolate that part of his game, and that is all Schneider has.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Haha the Canadiens are perceived as weak... Bring on King Henrik and the Rangers!

Posted by: sroessle | April 10, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Avery is undoubtedly going to work his magic against us.

I have a fear that it's going to work very well against our inexperienced team.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
Are you trying to start another Avery debate? ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | April 10, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

You mean Dino?

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon

If both NY and Montreal lose in regulation, NY has more wins and will have the #7 spot.

Posted by: numero94 | April 10, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
LOL!! :-) That or anything else about the guy. Boy, if we do end up playing the Rangers, can you imagine how much Avery talk there is going to be in this place?!? Talk about a debate ...

Posted by: Boo- | April 10, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: I'm not, actually. Schneider makes the Habs' PP go - notice how much better their PP got when he came on board?

However, it's not my sole reason, just a reason to hesitate on the Habs given how many stupid penalties we seem to take. The clincher was watching Habs/Bruins last night. That's too entertaining as a playoff matchup to pass up. There was some serious snarl in that game, as Sonyask puts it (and rightly so).

The other reason that occurred to me this morning is that we seem to do better against teams we view as a challenge. I don't want the guys thinking a series is going to be cake, because that's a fast reciple for an early tee time. :(

Posted by: kittypawz | April 10, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, if Avery just played his role without all this media grabbing stuff (having rules invented after you, thomas incident, throwing water bottles incident, phaneuf's gf incident, etc...the list goes on), then I would just love/hate him as much as any other pest who the caps have to play against. Like I've said earlier, I am a big fan of Ott and other pests out in the West (mainly because we don't have to play them.) But a big "F you" to Hartnell and pests in the East.

Unfortunately, Avery feels the need to do all this dumb extra stuff and go up and beyond the call of pest tactics.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

What makes you think we will, Phil? This team has ignored chirpers all year long.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 10, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I completely understand him making their PP work. But like I said, that is all he is. A puck-moving point PP shooter. On 5v5 defense and defense in general, he is a pylon for Ovie, Semin, etc.

He's like Mike Green on the PP with Bryan McCabe defense. LOL.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

What makes you think we will, Phil? This team has ignored chirpers all year long.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 10, 2009 12:41 PM |

Avery does more than chirp.

He's going to pull some more of his stunts. Throw his gloves off, then say he doesnt want to fight to draw penalties. Mess with Theo a little too much. Throw a cheapy in there to get us riled up.

an effective pests does more than chirp. and, as much as I hate to admit it, an effective pest Avery is.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 10, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

They still re-seed, right?

So if Boston beats Montreal, the Caps beat NY, Pittsburgh beats Jersey, and Philly beats Carolina, Washington would draw the Flyers in round two.

I think.

-----

Just happy its not Pittsburgh! And that the Caps wouldn't play the Flyers until the conference finals.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 10, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

If only Dino had Avery's scoring touch......just kidding....just kidding...

@JSchon....where you been hiding? When all this Green for Norris talk was heating up, all I could think about it you defending giving MG his contract over the summer, and telling alot of nay sayers why they should and what he would bring to the club.

You were right.....he is worth every penny...for the record I was on your side.

Not being cocky or anything, we need to give any team we play their props......but that being said, we should not be "scared" to play any team in the league.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 10, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone point out that when the Capitals faced the Avalanche, didn't we lose that game? So I see a valid point about not facing the Canadiens if it means that it'll mess with Theo's head.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 10, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

My peace on Green...

It was a travesty he didn't get invited to the ASG. If he is not on every ballot as a top 3 defensemen, revoke that writers privileges immediately. If he doesn't win the Norris its because too many old school are still voting and they will give it to Chara.

Green's year is historic any way you slice it. No one has put up these numbers in years and this isn't the golden age of hockey scoring when Paul Coffey was around and putting up 100 points. The kid is only 23.

He is the most important Capital not named Ovechkin, and its pretty close 1a, 1b.

I don't care about his defensive short comings at this point in his career, he makes this team go, without him Boudreau's system is pedestrian.

Posted by: JSchon | April 10, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

JSchon

What you said. I thought his contract was overgenerous and that his defensive skills were - well - not really skills to put it nicely.

I don't agree with my assessment of his contract any more. While his defensive skills are less than good (I'm thinking about average or a little less), all those points make up for a lot of defensive brain cramps.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 10, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see 7 new trophies for the Capitals mantle by the end of the season. Only 1 is a given.

Posted by: JSchon | April 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Moose, the Rangers are hot. Seen 'em play recently? Records aren't everything, Tortella's gotten them going. And Lundquist has got a hot hand right now....they need to get worn down before I'd like to see them.

Posted by: kolbkl | April 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Actually I see them play all the time since I live in Southern CT and they are one of the worst offensive teams in the league and are very inconsistent. Their PP blows as well which is a good thing because the Caps take penalties like there is no tomorrow. The only thing good about them is Henrik and if he continued his hot streak, there is too much offense on the Caps and no enough for the Rangers to overcome. Henrik can steal a couple games but not 4.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 10, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

tiebreakers:
7/8 seed:
if tied: nyr over mtl based on wins
for mtl to overtake nyr
mtl win and nyr loss or ot/so loss
or
mtl ot/so loss and nyr reg loss

4/5/6 seed:
if phi/car/pit all remain tied (at 97, 98 or 99 pts):
car gets 4 seed based on more wins
pit gets 5 seed over phi based on more wins

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Last Year it was FRI-SUN start....

What do you think is the most likely set up

THURS - SAT?
WED - FRI?
or FRI - SUN??

I doubt it will be WED - FRI

Posted by: DCSPORTS | April 10, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I heard on the radio this morning that the Rags are 8-1 in their last 9 at home.

I vote Habs.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Caps would be better off facing MTL - goalies are everything in the playoffs and NYR is one of the few teams with a battle hardened one, which outweighs the fact that his cruddy team doesnt help him out much. *IF* he gets in OVs head you are gone in round 1. Big question marks hang over BOS, WSH, PHI and MTL goaltending in the playoff context.

Despite public statements to the contrary, PITs motivation to win in MTL is questionable, especially given that PHI has a gimme at NYI then an extra game (vs NYR?) and CAR has the slumping NJD and must own the tiebreaker vs. PIT since they are ahead of them in the standings now. PIT would rather go to NJD and let red hot CAR and nasssty PHI beat the hell out of eachother in R1.

Posted by: Penguin68 | April 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Rangers-> No immigration foulups in NYC and Don't want the fans in Theo's head

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette, thinks the Habs would prefer to take on the Caps.


His reasoning, goaltending.

Posted by: akus2 | April 10, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@raymitten: I totally agree. Anything but the drama of more Caps-Pens games...

Posted by: nicko | April 10, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I could go either way here. Let me ask all you guys this, Is King Lundqvist hands down better then Carey Price? If so in that case I wanna face Montreal! Also, how do you guys think Jose stacks up against Lundqvist? A hot Goalie in the playoffs makes life so much easier. I dont want any team coming into Verizon Center and stealing a game. Caps are due for a long Postseason run, and we're gonna be lights out at home. Mark my words fellas. We just gotta stop giving up so many 2 on 1's

Posted by: vikingsman28 | April 11, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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