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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 Tale of the Tape: Washington vs. Columbus

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 Tale of the Tape: Washington vs. Columbus

The Washington Capitals face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Series marks the first time the two teams have faced off in the playoffs, and should provide the D.M.V. an infusion of fresh hatred.

We've already previewed the series as a whole and provide a rundown on the biggest X-factors to watch for in the Capitals-Blue Jackets series.

Now it's time to take a look at the two cities to see which one comes out on top.

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Washington D.C. vs. Columbus Tale of the Tape:

Named After: George Washington (WAS) | Christopher Columbus (CBJ)

Founded: 1790 (WAS) | 1812 (CBJ)

Metro Population: 6,216,589 (WAS) | 2,078,725 (CBJ)

Iconic Landmark: Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, The White House, U.S. Capitol Building (WAS) | Buckeye Stadium (CBJ)

NHL Playoff Appearances: 28 (WAS) | 4 (CBJ)

Stanley Cup Final Appearances: 1(WAS) | 0 (CBJ)

Stanley Cup Championships: 0 (WAS) | 0 (CBJ)

Most Famous Celebrity: Dave Chappelle (WAS) | Beverly D'Angelo (CBJ)

Greatest Local Athlete: Kevin Durant (WAS)| Jack Nicklaus (CBJ)

Greatest Olympian: Katie Ledecky (WAS)| Jesse Owens (CBJ)

Most Famous Pro Wrestler: Dave "Batista" Bautista (WAS) | Randy "Macho Man" Savage (CBJ)

Most Famous Musicians: Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye (WAS) | Lil Bow Wow, Rascal Flatts (CBJ)

Famous Eatery: Ben's Chili Bowl (WAS) | Schmidt's Sausage Haus (CBJ)

Best Beer: 3 Stars (WAS) | Land-Grant Brewing Co. (CBJ)

Major Headquarters: The entire United States government (WAS) | White Castle (CBJ)

Iconic Botany: Cherry blossoms (WAS) | Buckeye nuts (CBJ)

Weirdest Statue: Those random colorful pandas | Arnold Schwarzenegger (CBJ)

Famous Zoo Animals: Giant Pandas (WAS) | Captive Gorillas (CBJ)

Worst Problem: Traffic (WAS) | It's in Ohio (CBJ)

The Capitals vs. Blue Jackets first-round 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series gets started with Game 1 on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. (Channel Finder)

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Capitals welcomed on White House visit to celebrate Stanley Cup

Capitals welcomed on White House visit to celebrate Stanley Cup

WASHINGTON – The Capitals made their long-awaited visit to the White House on Monday to celebrate their 2018 Stanley Cup. 

Players, coaches and team owners and executives surrounded President Trump and the Stanley Cup, which stood on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The event came just 16 days before Washington begins its defense of the Cup when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin on April 10. 

“We welcome most importantly the entire Capitals team,” President Trump said. “They're winners. They know how to win and I think you're going to see that starting in a little while.”

The Capitals arrived at The White House at about 2 p.m. for a 45-minute tour of the West Wing. After that, they waited in the Roosevelt Room until summoned to the Oval Office to meet Trump, who lauded their 2017-18 season, noted their win over the rival Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round and asked “How are they doing?”

Trump asked captain Alex Ovechkin, defenseman John Carlson and owner Ted Leonsis to say a few words. He ribbed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. And, no, the team was not fed fast food as some of the college championship teams have been in recent months, especially during the 35-day government shut down in December and January. 

All Capitals players still on the team and eligible to attend were there save for goalie Braden Holtby and forward Brett Connolly. Devante Smith-Pelly, who scored the game-tying goal in the decisive Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, is in the minors with AHL Hershey and previously said he would not attend.  

A clean-cut Ovechkin was compared to Babe Ruth by Trump for his combined 64 goals last year between the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs. Trump also said daughter Ivanka is a big fan of the Washington captain. Ivanka Trump was in attendance. President Trump compared Carlson to Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr, but Carlson, who was born in Massachusetts, knew better than to let that comparison to the Boston sports legend go. 

“He’s a LOT better than me,” Carlson said. 

“My speech is gonna be much easier than it was in the [championship] parade,” Ovechkin said, referencing his profane, entertaining ode to the fans last June 12. “But thank you very much for having us. It's huge honor for us to be here and meet you personally. We're gonna try to do it again. We have same team, experienced team, very good group of guys and we're gonna try to do it again.”

After select media members were let into the Oval Office for a photo opportunity, Capitals players and staff took individual photos with the President and were able to have brief conversations with him. Players were given souvenir pens and candy. 

"You brought the Stanley Cup home. Thousands of adoring fans greeted you. They were all over the place,” Trump said. “And I have a feeling you're going to be doing it again. You're champions. You have a champion's heart…and I just want to wish you a lot of luck. In Washington that's all that they want to talk about. They don't want to talk about anything else. I can't get the subject on to anything else, so you've got to win quickly because we've got to get back to work.” 

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Michal Kempny takes White House tour on crutches, Todd Reirden declares his injury 'long-term'

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Michal Kempny takes White House tour on crutches, Todd Reirden declares his injury 'long-term'

The Capitals visited the White House on Monday in the traditional trip afforded to the Stanley Cup champions. Among the players in attendance was injured defenseman Michal Kempny. A picture from the Oval Office showed Kempny in the background with crutches.

This is the first we have publicly seen Kempny since he was injured in Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kempny was engaged with Lightning forward Cedric Paquette after the whistle. Kempny fell awkwardly on his left leg as Paquette forced him to the ice and had to be helped off the ice and down the tunnel. He did not appear to be putting any weight on his left leg at all on his way to the locker room.

There is still no definitive timetable for how long Kempny may be out, though Reirden said Monday after practice that, “It's going to be a long-term injury.”

The delay in getting a timetable is over treatment options. It is still being decided how best to treat Kempny’s injury and until that decision is made, there is no timetable to give. Reirden indicated surgery was a possibility.

“That's what we're going through right now: Different options and what the right thing to do is,” he said.

Both Reirden’s update and the fact that Kempny remains on crutches several days after the injury is a pretty good indication that this is not going to be a short-term issue. It appears the Caps should prepare for not having Kempny for at least the start of the playoffs, if not longer.

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