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Caps' nemesis Daniel Briere hangs up his skates

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Caps' nemesis Daniel Briere hangs up his skates

Daniel Briere, a veteran center and notable Capitals nemesis, is retiring after a career of 17 NHL seasons. The announcement was released by the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, the team in which he played for the longest.

Briere, 37, was drafted in 1996. Over the course of his career, he played for Arizona, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Montreal and Colorado.

“After taking a few weeks to think about it, it’s time to hang them up and spend a little more time at home with the family," Briere said in a statement. “I’ve been very, very fortunate to have a chance to play with some great organizations, but at this point the family becomes a priority."

Breire is best known in Washington for his rivalry with Alex Ovechkin and the Caps. On Dec. 2, 2006, Ovechkin hit Briere from behind and sent him tumbling head-first into the boards. Ovechkin was fined $1,000 for the hit.

Later that month, Briere exacted a measure of revenge by spearing Ovechkin where the sun don't shine. He has been persona non grata in Washington ever since.

In 2008, the Caps reached the playoffs for the first time since 2003 and met Briere and the Flyers in the first round. Briere had six goals and five assists in seven games including an assist on the series-clinching overtime goal in Game 7 to end the Caps' season.

Briere was always a prolific playoff producer with 116 points in 124 playoff games. He also finished with 696 points in 973 regular-season games.

With his retirement, Briere won't be around to mess with the Caps anymore...unless he goes into coaching.

RELATED: Re-examining the Caps' need for a third-line center

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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