Caps-Pens: Vegas Odds, Fiery Quotes
Quick second-round notes while daughter sleeps. And thanks to Reader Sam for the above image, which should not imply that I'm anything other than an impartial Web journalist hoping for boffo traffic and fine vegetarian dining in Western Pennsylvania.
At some online books, the Penguins are actually better bets to move on to the Finals than the higher-seeded and home-iced Capitals. According to Bodog, the Caps are 9-4 to win the East, behind the Pens (7-4) and the Bruins (6-5). Bodog has the Caps as the fifth-best bet to win the Cup right now, at 13-2, whereas at this site they're tied for the third-best odds, just ahead of Pittsburgh. Over at Vegas Insider the Caps are 4-1, just ahead of the 9-2 Pens.
More interestingly, over at BetOnline, the most likely series outcome is Caps in 7, followed by Pens in 7 and Pens in 6, in that order.
This is a strong, strong Cooley interview with Bog friend Jimmy Traina, and while there's tons of gold, there's also a Caps question. Here's Cooley's call on this series: "I don't know enough about hockey, but I didn't think they played hard in Game 1 and 2 [against the Rangers], so I think they'll come out and play much harder." Burn!
According to ESPN.com's Scott Burnside, in this series Ovie is Groucho, Malkin is Harpo, and Crosby is....Tom Mix? Clearly I'm repping Freedonia, but who the bloody heck is Chico, and I'm not talking Harlan. John Tortorella? Simeon Varlamov? You can't a fool a me, there ain't no Sanity Claus. Chico does sound like a hockey nickname, actually; if Joey Cheek played puck, he'd definitely be Chico. Also, Semin is so clearly Harpo it's not even funny. Make Malkin Zeppo or something.
/lost every reader under the age of 73.
StubHub would seem to indicate that this is the choicest of the second-round matchups. Big surprise. Here are the average re-sale prices, courtesy the company, of second-round tickets. Nice to see at least one item costs more in Pittsburgh than D.C. or L.A:
Vancouver Canucks: $248
Pittsburgh Penguins: $199
Boston Bruins: $171
Washington Capitals: $151
Chicago Blackhawks: $149
Carolina Hurricanes: $149
Anaheim Ducks: $125
Detroit Red Wings: $115
Baseball Latches On
The Bowie Baysox are encouraging fans to Rock the Red at Sunday's game. Seriously. "Come show off your Capitals pride." You could plausibly argue that no team is as equally supported in P.G., D.C., NoVa and Baltimore as the Caps. Maybe D.C. United, I guess.
Someone apparently passed Ovechkin and Crosby fairly similar cue cards for the pre-Game 1 statements.
Crosby on Ovie: "Do I wake up hoping to see Ovechkin fail? No, I don't. He's a guy I play against and he's a great player and we're competitive against each other but, you know what? There's an element there where the media puts us up against each other, and that's just the way it is. We're not best friends, but a lot of that is made up."
Ovie on Crosby: "We're not friends, we don't call each other every day, but when we see each other we just shake hands, 'What's going on?' ask each other, something like that, nothing serious." (Via OFB)
And all the supporting stars got their cue cards, too.
Mike Green on the headliners: "It's good for the rest of us. You know, they're good at dealing with the spotlight anyways, so it just takes a lot of pressure off the other guys and we can just play."
John Erskine on the stars' rivalry: "I think they're making a bigger deal about the whole Crosby-Ovechkin thing. Like, for us, it's just they're a good team, it's a good series. It's not Ovie vs. Sidney Crosby."
Chris Clark on the same: "We're playing a game. We're playing each game as it comes. We're gonna gear up for that game, for that shift, and if they're out on the ice against each other, so be it. They're two talented players and they'll work hard against each other, but if not, it's two teams playing each other."
Dan Steinberg, if he were a Cap: "Honestly, I can't wait to see what these two cats get up to next. Hopefully one of them uses his stick to paint FAIL in red on the small of the other dude's back. This series isn't about the Pens and the Caps, it's about them two dudes, plus the media. Also, that other guy smells worse than three-day old pads."
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