Capitals

Capitals

Let's just be honest: My pick to win the Capitals-Penguins series has gone back and forth over the last six games. And I bet I speak for lots of fans when I say that. But I also speak for NHL analyst Barry Melrose, apparently. 

Melrose famously predicted the Caps would win the Stanley Cup all season, only to reverse course and pick the Penguins after the first round of the playoffs. 

Fast forward two weeks to this morning and a lot has changed. Washington dug itself a 2-0 series hole, only to rebound with three wins in the next four games, including back-to-back victories in potential elimination games. 

The Capitals beat the Penguins in Pittsburgh last night to force a Game 7 at Verizon Center.

And surprise! Barry's back on the wagon. 

He told the Sports Junkies this morning that he's leaning Caps again, with a caveat. 

It's going to be crazy because I never would have expected Pittsburgh to lay an egg like they did last night, but this is why you have a Game 7. The Caps have a Game 7. They earned it, it's in their building. They've been the better team the last two games by quite a bit, you can argue they've been the better team all series. The only thing I can say is Holtby's got to be as good as Fleury. If Holtby's as good as Fleury, I would think the Caps will win this game by the last two games with how good they've looked and how poor Pittsburgh has looked.

 

He also told the Junkies that he doesn't expect the Penguins to repeat Monday night's poor showing in Game 7. 

Melrose also caught flack from his colleagues after going on ESPN this morning to switch his pick back to the Capitals. 

I understand wanting the experts to be correct from the start and never waver, but what person with at least one working eye and one working ear watched the first two games and thought the Capitals were going to pull it out?

Hoped, maybe. Didn't tell everyone you changed your pick, maybe. But if your life or your mom's life or your dog's life depended on correctly predicting the winner of Caps-Pens after Game 2, you would have picked Pens. 

If gangsters tied you to a chair after Game 2 and said they'd cut your arm off unless you made the right pick, you'd go Pens to win. Big dudes are standing over you with a meat cleaver, so don't deny it. 

But now, the Capitals look like the team to save your arm. And if the gangsters let you change your pick before Game 7, you do it!

So don't be hard on Melrose. He's just trying to keep his metaphorical arms, or something.

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