Well at least the Rangers had good weather on Sunday for their first golf outing of the off season. Hope you enjoyed your short stay in the playoffs Ranger fans. Your summer fun starts early again at the hands of the Washington Capitals, and in 5 games just to smear it in a little deeper.
Capital fans could not be happier, not only do the Caps make it on to the second round but get the bonus of an early series end to get players healthy. Dennis Wideman will hopefully make his post season debut with the Caps and Mike Green, who needs to learn how to block a puck without taking it off the head, can use the extra time off as well. This series victory also puts to rest any questions about the decisions made to change the team’s focus from offense to defense. Both George McPhee and Bruce Boudreau do not get enough credit for making this happen. McPhee was not even mentioned for General Manager of the Year which I think is complete bullshit. Not only did the Capitals win the Southeast Division (AGAIN) and finish the season with the #1 seed in the East (AGAIN) but used the defense first mentality to grind down the Rangers and win a tightly contested playoff series. It would be nice if the NHL, and some of the talking heads, finally recognized the Capitals as one of the best franchises in the league.
I might also add the Hershey Bears, the Capitals top affiliate, have won 3 Calder Cups in the past 6 years which means the Capitals have been built from within its organization. Washington did make late season moves to get Arnott and Wideman, but most of the roster is built with players who came up through the system.
Now the Capitals can sit back and wait to see who they play next. Personally I do not think Capital fans care which team we see in the second round. There is not one team in the Eastern Conference playoffs that scares me going forward. Montreal plays a similar style of hockey and after the series loss last year it would be nice to have the chance for revenge on both the Habs, and their classy fans who enjoy booing the American Anthem.
I am pretty certain the Capitals would enjoy that opportunity, but if Boston takes care of business that revenge will have to wait. It seems Buffalo and Philly are going to kill each other in their 7 game series so one would think the winner will be extremely tired and skating on fumes for the next round.
That leaves, dare I say it, Pittsburgh. Hey Tampa, do us Capital fans a favor and loose this series so we might get the chance, once and for all, to beat those bastards in the playoffs. The past two years we have OWNED them in the regular season but the regular season means nothing. It has been nice to see Sidney Crosby in the owner’s box with his hand on Mario’s knee, looking into his eyes with that please take me now stare thanks to David Steckel in the Winter Classic. Penguin fans are still crying about that hit.
I just hope he gets cleared and can lace em up if the Caps get a chance to play the Penguins in the playoffs. The only thing worse than losing to those guys again would be beating them without Mrs. Crosby. I can hear them now, sitting out in front of the unemployment office, crying how the Caps would never have won if Crosby and Malkin were playing. Well let’s hope to hear those excuses. Let’s hope for another classic Capitals/Penguin match up in the playoffs!
Regardless who we see in the next round it’s nice to be moving on up, in the east conference, toward that big Stanley Cup in the sky.
—–Sean the Caps Fan