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2010 NHL Playoffs: Capitals vs. Candiens Game 7 Notes

Image (1) Capitals-thumb-250x200-10439.jpg for post 1299

Here are some news and notes from around the blogosphere leading up to tonight’s momentous Game 7.

First, let’s start off with owner Ted Leonsis. He’s an opinionated fella, and the Capitals’ fan sense of “us against the world” persona starts with him. With a post full of one-word descriptors, here’s what he had to say about tonight’s game:

Rise above it.





Wish us lotsa luck and good fortune.

Lotsa love back at you.

Go Caps.

More after the jump.

Ted Starkey of the Washington Times says that the Capitals are facing one heck of a ugly end to one incredible season.

During the last few weeks of the regular season, Washington turned in some of its worst efforts against teams playing for their playoff lives, unable to match their opponent’s intensity.


Now, there is no more room for error for the Capitals if they want to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive, as they must turn in a good 60-minute effort on Wednesday, or head home as victims of one of the largest upsets in Stanley Cup playoff history.

Because we all really wanted it here is Barry Melrose’s advice for the Capitals, passed along by Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Blog:

“You watch Detroit play with Holmstrom, you watch Philly play, you watch Vancouver play, you watch Pittsburgh play, you watch Boston play. Boston, not nearly as talented a team as Washington, but they just put a man in front of the net and they made [Ryan] Miller’s life tough every time he sees the puck or wants to see the puck.

“Washington’s got to get to that mentality. It’s not gonna be pretty goals that beat the Montreal Canadiens. It’s gonna be tip-in goals, deflection goals, rebound goals that beat the Montreal Canadiens.”

I actually agree with Melrose here. The Capitals were able to get under the skin of Halak in Game 2 and 3 by crashing the net and not letting him get comfortable in the crease. It’s something they’re going to have to duplicate again tonight.

Also from Dan Stenberg, these thoughts from Bruce Boudreau:

“I think you’re gonna see a great hockey game with both teams willing to do anything it takes to win,” Boudreau continued. “Both teams are in a Game 7 in a hard-fought series where you’ve got one guy playing when he pulls his teeth out, other guys on Montreal playing definitely injured. That’s what character is....

“We’ve played 10 games against ‘em, and every game has been exactly the same way. The only surprise is is that the media makes it that because we ended up so far ahead of them, that there should be a surprise. It’s no surprise to me or the group that’s on the ice now.”

I’m not exactly surprised by what’s happened in this series, because of how well the Habs played the Capitals in the regular season. What I am surprised by is how the Capitals keep waiting to turn it on, and turn it on, and here they are in a Game 7. Again.

According to Habs Inside/Out, Jaroslav Spacek is a game-time decision for the Canadiens:

Canadiens defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, who has missed the past three games with a virus, skated this morning with his team and will be a game-time decision for tonight’s Game 7, according to head coach Jacques Martin.

Finally, defenseman Karl Alzner is set to make his NHL playoff debut tonight for the Washington Capitals, replacing Tom Poti who will miss the game after being hit in the face with a puck in Game 6. Here’s some thoughts by Alzner, courtesy of Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider:

“When I did get the call I was like, ‘That’s kind of strange,’” Alzner after the morning skate at KCI. “Because there were still [other defensemen available] here. But [maybe his history with John Carlson] is what they were thinking about. I’m happy that they did.”