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Today's the day: Caps open playoffs against Habs

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)


Game 1
Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center, 7 p.m.
TV: Versus, Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 1500 AM

Post playoff madness, condensed:

*We like to chat about the Caps: Tracee Hamilton, 9:30 a.m. | Tarik El-Bashir, 2 p.m. | Gene Wang, postgame.

*The beautiful game is about to get ugly (in a good way). Story »

*Scoring goals is nice, but preventing them is key. Sortable chart »

*Caps are No. 1, with a target on their backs. Story »

*Mike Wise: The Caps have some "unfinished business" from last season's heartbreaking playoff conclusion. Column »

*Here's how GM George McPhee and owner Ted Leonsis rebuilt these Caps. | Interactive graphic »

*Jose Theodore gets a "stinger" on the knee but is just fine for Game 1. Notebook »

*D.C. Sports Bog offerings: Mike Knuble on being like cattle | Ovechkin's wheels | Ovie is a "train on ice."

*Complete coverage here »

After the jump, everything that everyone on the Internet says about the Caps:

*Someone tell the Caps: We got the five keys to the game right here. (RMNB)

*It's a long road to Lord Stanley. Baby steps. (Ed Frankovic)

*John Carlson might be nervous. (ESPN)

*Free(?) advertisement for the Caps' new app. (OFB)

*The kids are alright. (ESPN)

*Practice photos. (Caps in Pictures)

*Everybody thinks the Caps will advance. (Puck Daddy)

*Mike Green does the math, says he feels "150 percent." (Examiner)

*Fight song? Sure, why not? (Hockey Chronicles)

*Green: Gotta sweep one. (Fanhouse)

*The favorite is the favorite for a reason. (CapsBlog)

*120 points = magic number. (Peerless)

*Best matchup: Ovechkin vs. Markov. (Japers' Rink)

*Ladies and gentleman, your dark horse: Jason Chimera. (Hockey News)

Here's what the other guys are saying

*Want tickets? Tough luck. (Gazette)

*Oh, I guess we're still talking about that Plekanec-Theodore thing. (Gazette)

*Theo is the Caps' key to it all. (Globe and Mail)

Last night's playoff-opening games

*Avs 2, Sharks 1: Stewart's goal with 50 seconds remaining vaults Colorado in Game 1.

*Coyotes 3, Red Wings 2: Power-play propels Phoenix to Game 1 victory

*Sens 5, Pens 4: Surprise! Pittsburgh drops opener

*Flyers 2, Devils 1: Boucher backstops Flyers to Game 1 win

More from the morning skates, so stay tuned.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 15, 2010; 6:04 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals-Canadiens Q&A with Tracee Hamilton, Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Next: Video: Gretzky talks Caps playoffs



Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, you beat me to it Rachel.


Posted by: ludeman95 | April 15, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

I swear I'm going to get some work done today, but sometime before 5:00 I'm putting on the red jersey and I'll probably walk over to Chinatown from Farrugut for some food, drink, and then a great game.

Like last year, we're starting the playoffs on my birthday, though since we were playing the Rags we had to play game 2 on Sunday for NBC, while this year we get to play Sat night for CBC.

There are much bigger differences, fortunately, since we ended up dropping those games. We stumbled and bumbled into the playoffs last year. Theo was looking very questionable; our passing stunk; we couldn't get the puck out of the zone; and our skill guys were playing nothing but cute with the puck. Schultz was playing the third line. Flash, Laich & Fehr were just not as good. Kozlov was our first line right wing not Knuble. The Caps would have to have a stunning turnabout in play for the worse this year if they wanted to resemble the one that entered the playoffs last year.

This year? It's different.

Posted by: Justafan | April 15, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, you beat me to it Rachel.


Posted by: ludeman95 | April 15, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

I have been a fan since sitting in my parents' laps in 1974. I remember when they first went to the playoffs, and I was at game 3 of their only Stanley Cup Finals. But right now, I am giddy. Work will get what they can out of me today, but I am am focused on sitting my butt down in front of the game tonight with several children explaining the importance of this playoff season.

Go CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: crooks_c | April 15, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

That is a friggin' sweet shot of the boys hopping the boards. Look at the intensity on their faces. 12 hours from now we'll be standing for the national anthems. Let's go Caps!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 15, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

crooks_c, I too remember those first few very lean years and still have the certificate the Caps gave out for their first home playoff game (has a picture of Langway on it), it is proudly framed in my living will get nothing out of me today...I will be hitting refresh on this site and enjoying the day with other Cap fans!! Can't wait for tonight, the whole family will be gathered in front of the television rocking the red from our living room since we can't afford to be there live!

Posted by: PhilR | April 15, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

LETS GO CAPS!! Can't wait!!

Posted by: mrszilla | April 15, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Tonight's game is going to be SICK! Verizon center will be a circus. Lets go CAPS!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 15, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Sitting in my classroom...students working on an assignement...the teacher I am subbing for is having them watch Miracle today! I am going to be a useless teacher today! Go CAPS!!

Posted by: capscoach | April 15, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Times have definitely changed. I was just talking with a friend of mine last night about the day the Caps unveiled their new jerseys with the Eagle prior to the 1995-96 season. It was $5 to get into the event in which the entire team was introduced. Everyone in attendance received 2 free tickets to the home opener against St. Louis. That was the game that Juneau received a pass at center ice with three seconds left and made his way down the ice to beat the 1st period horn for a goal. Carey won the Vezina that year but choked in the playoffs.

As a lot of us have said though, these are not the Washington Capitals of that era. We did have a 52 goal scorer in Bondra, who was a blast to watch by the way, but besides him only 1 other player had over 20 goals and that was Steve Konowalchuk with 23. Goals were very hard to come by back then so we relied heavily on our defense. It wasn't shabby considering we had Tinordi, Johansson, Cote, Gonchar, Witt, and Reekie back there. They had to play "Caps hockey" which was really boring at times, even for fans of the Caps.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 15, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse


CBC isn't carrying the Caps games - they have the Pens/Sens in Canada. Its TSN that is doing the Caps/Habs in Canada and RDS in French language. Those networks are not picky about the Saturday night - usually in the season they are forbidden from doing Saturday night because thats CBC's hockey night.

It actually appears to have caused a stir in Montreal that the National broadcaster is not doing fact they are doing two US based teams Colorado/San Jose for some reason.

The Caps have a Saturday night game for one reason - The Wizards had a game last night...and apparently NBC is also not interested in showing Montreal.

Lets Go Caps...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | April 15, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Reposting from very early this morning:

The Bears just won 4-3 over Bridgeport in OT. Joudrey had the GWG and was first star; Matty P was second star. GO BEARS!Posted by: wocoliz | April 14, 2010 9:58 PM
I was at the Bears game tonight. Very, very, very fortunate to come out of there with a win. The Bears played like crap. Coach French's assessment was "played very poorly in the first and below average in the second and third." Can't blame Holtby for the goals. Two were weird bounces and the other was a defensive breakdown. In fact there were defensive breakdowns all night. The power play sucked. Bad passes, weak shots, slow skating. Take your pick. And the Bears third goal, the one that tied the game, should not have counted. Appeared to be hit in by Matty with a high stick. Bridgeport protested, but since we don't have video review in the AHL, the ref let the goal stand. I guess he felt bad about some of the borderline penalties he had called on the Bears earlier in the game! Anyway, the Bears pulled out a win that they really didn't deserve, and they better fix a few things by Friday or it could be an embarrassing series for the defending champs.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 15, 2010 12:24 AM |

Posted by: tess2201 | April 15, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the word on the Bears, Tess. Along with every favorite losing last night in the NHL and the start of last years' Rags series, they should all add up to a cautionary tale for the Caps -- come out flat you can get clobbered. I don't expect that will happen tonight. In fact, it's going to be wild.

Posted by: Justafan | April 15, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Good article on "How Caps Were Rebuilt" except under Carlson they don't mention that the first round pick used for him came from Philly for Steve Eminger and a #3 pick.

I will watch tape-delay starting around midnight after getting home from CA. Yes, I have arranged my relocation schedule around the Playoffs. At least I'm home for entire 1st Round.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 15, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Love this quote from Ovi in one of the ESPN articles:

"We just have to be a group of guys that is a family."

Cohesion counts, and he's breeding it.

Posted by: Justafan | April 15, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

From the, "Give Credit Where Due" dept, it was a very good article by Mike Wise with all the Brooks Laich quotes. I've been a fan since mid-60s in Detroit (FWIW, if anything) and the article definitely captures the spirit of hockey.

I understanding criticism where someone is hanging off the bandwagon, but Wise apparently has bought himself a permanent seat on the train. There's always room for another true fan.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 15, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

The real season begins tonight.

Our record is 0-0.

16 wins to the Cup.

Home ice.

Let's do this.

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

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | April 15, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Glad to finally hear Wise is a fan. Yes, he seemed to do some reporting and it wasn't bad at all. @tominfl1, in what far-flung state will you be watching the game tonight?

Big props to Russian Machine Never Breaks for a great post -- worth the read:

Go Caps!

(Justafan, formerly Sonyask)

Posted by: Justafan | April 15, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I will watch tape-delay starting around midnight after getting home from CA. Yes, I have arranged my relocation schedule around the Playoffs. At least I'm home for entire 1st Round.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 15, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 -- missed that one. Enjoy!

Posted by: Justafan | April 15, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Formerly Sonyask: I get back in Orlando 11:30 tonight. They are recording the game and then we will all watch starting around midnight. So, by about 2:30 Friday morning, I'll be "caught up." Our old house settles on the 29th so I will be back in CA for good starting the 30th. Just about start of Round 2. The dang Residence Inn (home for awhile) doesn't get Versus (who would think?). Sports bars are an option but not so easy during the week - games start at 4 pm PT. I'll have to scramble.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 15, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1, man that's a chore. There's always the internet but the absence of HD's a btch. You'll find a spot.

If I could get any work done today I'd say that after work I'll be at VC, but in any event I will be at VC tonight and Sat, then it's home Mon and Wed. If the Caps need to play next Friday I'll be back there again too.

Posted by: Justafan | April 15, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Congrats Ovi.

For anyone wanting to knock the award their is an award that only Canadien athletes are eligible for called the Lou Marsh award. It's not specifically for hockey players but it is only for Canadiens.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 15, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

That's 210 points hopping over the boards...

Posted by: saintex | April 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I may actually require a straight jacket after reading all this stuff...

...anybody know where I can get a time machine that will jump me to about 7:07pm EST?

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 15, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

By the way...not sure if its been said...

But wearing black (like the fans in LA are going to do) is NOT good for the game. If the puck goes up in the air, players will lose it in the dark background.

I remember at the old building, it was so dark...players complained all the time that they would lose the puck in the dark building when it's above the boards...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps: Good point, that's why I always wear a polka dot shirt when I play ping-pong.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 15, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"I may actually require a straight jacket after reading all this stuff...

...anybody know where I can get a time machine that will jump me to about 7:07pm EST?

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

@wtf_e_fehr: I had a friend offer to freeze me (ala South Park) on Monday and wake me up Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately there is no more snow and I don't fit in our freezer.

Posted by: eorr53 | April 15, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

replace Redsox and yankess with Caps and rest NHL

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | April 15, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse


Freezing! Ha, did'nt think about that! That would have saved me a few days of PAINFUL ANTICIPATION!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | April 15, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Lets Go Caps...Lets Go Caps...Lets Go Caps!!!

Posted by: Pedro01 | April 15, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I hope we don't change our style too much.
The other teams can but that will make them change their own intrinsic style.

At the end of the day - the name if the game is score more than other guys.

We have done that more consistently these 82 games than any1 else.

So much of hockey is down to the bounce of the puck.
I'd rather have our overly skilled players calm those bouncing pucks vs their 2nd line grinders any day. I like those odds!

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 15, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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