The NBA Conference finals are under way and before we get into predictions we quickly recap the Raptors vs. LeBron series, then jump into can the Rockets win, and discuss what it would take for an Eastern Conference team to win the NBA Finals…hint, “a miracle’ is a good guess. LP, Canada, and Joe discuss all things NBA and then LP and Joe jump into the C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS! The Capitals are just two games away from playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup and DC is so excited it’s hard to describe! Nationals are streaking, Caps are streaking, Redskins rookies are looking good in minicamp so far… this is an exciting time in DC Sports!…did you see ManCity put up 100pts to win the EPL too?! So much to discuss, tune in and share!
The Capitals have done it! They went behind enemy lines and brought home one of the biggest victories in DC sports history beating the Pens in overtime sending them to the Eastern Conference Finals! What a game, what a series, what a win, and DC is going nuts! LP, FP, and Joe discuss it all. #ALLCAPS C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!
There are a few core reasons Defeating the Curse came to life. Three out of the four professional sports teams in the Washington DC area are good. Above average. For the most part, free of any drama. Hell….all their uniforms and color schemes match. However…they all face one very big hurdle; The second round of playoffs. For the Capitals it has always been at the hand of the Penguins. 9 out of 10 post seasons were ended by the Penguins. More importantly during the Ovechkin era. Sidney Crosby is the Lex Luther to Ovechkin’s Superman. The thorn in his side. One of the core reasons we created this damn site.
I have nothing new to tell you all about this series. Unless you want to hear generic coaching jargon that we as fans tell ourselves and that commentators shove down our throats. However, since I need to make this a somewhat respectable post I’ll lay out the things everyone already knows:
1) The Capitals cannot lose games at home. Game 1 is THE must win game. It sets the tone for the series. We lost against the Blue Jackets this year….we also did it last year…against the Pens. The difference this year? We get to face a Penguins team that looks a little worn down from their last series (thank you Flyers) and are playing without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin (again, thank you Flyers).
2) Control the power play and the penalties. Look this game is going to be chippy from the start. These two teams hate each other. Add in the fact that its the second round, and the Capitals are going to be tested. We all saw in the first round how the pointless penalties hurt us. They’ll kill us against the Penguins. They are the best team in the NHL during a power play. The emotions must be kept in check. The two times we beat the Pens this year, we didn’t give them a chance to capitalize on a Power Play. That needs to carry over in Round 2.
3) Ovechkin (and all the play makers) need to score. The knock is Ovechkin is amazing during the regular season and disappears in the playoffs. So far this year he has shown up, at least in round 1. Ovi had 5 goals in the first round. Sidney had 6. Our starters played great and got their shots, the Pens took even more. They have a deep roster. That deep roster is VERY good at scoring. Crosby, Malkin and Kessel are amazing players. Guentzel during the playoffs is basically a sorcerer who wills shots into the goal. We cannot let up on our shots on goal and keep pressuring.
4) Holtby….Or Grubauer? Obviously you stick with Holtby for the start of this series. He is proven in the playoffs. He saved us in round 1. Against the Pens however…he struggles. That’s the team that started his slump. They are the ones who can play head games with him from last year. Grubauer came in against the Pens, with the Metro Division on the line and played an amazing game. Don’t be surprised that if Holtby sturggles, another switch comes from Trotz.
There you go…you all just read about the Capitals and none of your minds we’re blown. I said nothing that you didn’t already know. No special revelations were made. No keys to the game you didn’t already know. Win at home. Don’t make costly mistakes. Stars play like stars. Goalie stop puck. So what is the trick? How do you come into this series excited? How do you root your team on in a situation they’ve seen themselves in over and over and over again? I don’t have the answer. Nobody does. But damn it all if this isn’t gonna be one hell of a series and exciting to watch! May this finally be the year that Crosby forgets his skates and the Capitals beat the Pens!
The Washington Capitals have now won 3 straight! Starting the series down 0-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets the Caps have flipped the momentum of the series based on a Nicklas Backstrom OT goal. FP, Joe and LP on an emergency Pod to discuss after a game 5 win. Has Coach Trotz played the right cards with in series adjustments? Should Holtby have started game 2? Would have made a difference? The DTC crew discusses in depth. During the second half of the Pod Joe, LP and FP discuss the Wizards game 3 win and what that means for the rest of the series? Whether the series begins to turn or not hinges on a huge game 4 in D.C. #Caps #ALLCAPS #DCFamily
Here we go…The recap to game 1 of the NHL playoffs between the Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets. A game that should have been a 4-1 victory for DC turned into an oh-so familiar sloppy 4-3 OT loss. Blown leads, sloppy on the PK and questions at goal keeper.
Blown Leads: First and foremost we must all thank the heavens we have Kuzy. Two goals in 30 seconds is no easy task. For anyone. Sadly his heroics couldn’t help the Caps as they went from up 2-0 to losing 4-3. The Caps who constantly found themselves losing face-offs, sloppy on PKs and horrific net-front managed to keep their lead for a while…they even extended it 3-2 thanks to DSP who badly needed to score a goal. Then the mistakes happened…
Sloppy Penalty Kills: Burakovsky got called for a pointless tripping in the offensive zone. Power Play Blue jackets. The Caps who aren’t the best this year at PKs (15th) had plenty of chances, 3 to be exact, to kill the PP. The Blue Jackets, who quite frankly suck at power plays (25th) found a way to keep the puck in play, stay in the offensive zone and charge ahead for the tying goal. This was hands down the reason the Caps lost game 1. However that won’t be the discussion…
Goalie Questions: Gruby got the start because he earned it. Holtby down the stretch was struggling. Coach Trotz did what many figured he would do and play the hot hand. Gruby didn’t lose this game. We just covered how struggles at the PK cost us the game, how the defense net- front was non existent. However Gruby is not proven in the Playoffs. He did play sloppy, giving up four goals on 27 shots. He played glove down over his pads when he’d set up for a shot. Maybe it was nerves, but he did not play well. Enter Braden Holtby. The same Holtby who IS proven in the playoffs. When you have a goalie who currently boasts the second-best playoff save percentage (.931) in NHL history, and started in all but one of the Caps playoff games since 2012, you question immediately if he should get the start before Sunday’s game 2.
1) Coach Trotz’s record in the post season is now 19-31. Much worse than Boudreau at 24-19. During the regular season Trotz is calm, cool and collected. During the post season he looks clueless.
2) Jay Beagle is Missed. Columbus won 33 faceoffs to the Caps 27. Even at 80% the Caps need him back or this series will be lost.
3) Defense as a whole is struggling. They loose battles, make terrible cross ice passes to the other team, and are soft in their own zone. Kempny going out changed the game. Having only 3 top 4 defensemen and playing Orpik and Jerabek more hurt the Caps and allowed the Jackets to come back.