EASTERN CONFERENCE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ROUND 1
#2 Boston Bruins vs. #7 Washington Capitals
Top Players: Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tim Thomas
The defending Starley Cup Champians are at it again.
Winners of the Northeast, the Bruins are fortunate to have retained most of the cup team and have remained one of the best teams in the league. The chemistry this team possesses is unquestioned and proves to be their greatest strength. Leadership is spread throughout the team and comes from not only captain Zdeno Chara, but Patrice Bergeron has proven to be a defensive forward with the second highest points on his team.
Grizzly Bears: With the injury of back-up goalie Tuuka Rask back In March, Tim Thomas and the entire Bruins fan base let out a large expletive knowing the worst was ahead of them. The Bruins made a quick fix by bringing in Marty Turco from an Austrian league. The problem is that they picked up Turco after the trade deadline, therefore, exempting him from playing in the playoffs. Thomas’ backup for the playoffs is Anton Khudobin. Although Coach Julien promises his goalies are both more than capable of taking on the Capitals, there is little evidence of Khudobin’s ability to play in the NHL. Beantown fans cross their fingers in hopes Timmy Tommy can hold off those darn Capitals until Rask is ready to suit up.
Top Players: Alex Semin, Alex Ovechkin, Dennis Wideman, Nicklas Backstrom
As Brooks Laich predicted, the Capitals are in the playoffs (Ryan Miller, please promptly remove your foot from your mouth). Led by a Gruesome Twosome of Russian Alexs, the Capitals enter the playoffs in the 7th, narrowly avoiding their 1st round opponents of last year, the Rangers. The Caps started the season with a franchise record 7 straight wins and fell to complacency, injury, and coaching changes. With Dale Hunter at the helm, the team has experienced line-up changes on a nightly basis while their coach searches for winning combinations. The Capitals pulled off a 4-1 win against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers to finish off their season and look strong and determined for Thursday.
Does Sasha REALLY care?: The problem the Capitals face is their ability to emulate a Katy Perry song like no other in the league. One day they are beating some of the most talented teams in the league and others they are losing to teams who won in tonight’s Draft Lottery. With postseason play comes higher expectations and to maintain the play necessary to beat last year’s cup champions, there needs to be consistent effort from the Capitals. There is no room for sloppy play and careless errors or they will once again exit the playoffs in the 1st round.
Upperhand based on 11-12 regular season: Capitals (3-1)