Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gameday Preview: Playoff Edition, Round 1 Game 5

Who: If you don't know this by now...get out.
Where: Verizon Center - ROCK THE RED!
When: Today. 1:00. Be there or be square.

So it all comes down to...
So this is for the whole ball of...
So we're hanging on by a...

So here we are. Backs against the wall, down for the count, TKO, washed up, done for, kaput - any other metaphor you can think of for being just about finished.

But if there's one thing we've seen from this team, it's that they play their best when they're cornered. They play their best when no one thinks it can be done. They play their best when it counts the most, when everyone has counted them out, when all their fans are counting on them.

They know what they need to do. We know what they need to do. The Flyers have been the better team in this series but the Caps are the better team period. And it's not because I say it's true or the dozens of NHL analysts said it was true prior to the playoffs - but because we've seen it.

Minimize the mental lapses. Minimize the turnovers. Maximize the talent this team has, not just in #8 but all through the lineup, up and down the bench...every single person in a Caps sweater.

As for the fans? The Phone Booth needs to rock from start to finish, not just to boost the team's energy but to give them the ovation and celebration they deserve. If this afternoon's game is the end of the line so be it. But let's give our heroes an atmosphere they'll never forget. Let's make them feel the support of 18,277 in the stands and many, many more in living rooms everywhere.

It's been a hell of a ride, but if this is the end...let's go out singing.

Because there is the chance that it's not the end after all.

Bring it home, Al:

It all comes down to today. Either we heal, as a team, or we're gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play, till we're finished.

We're in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me. And we can stay here, get the sh*t kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta inch at a time.

The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch.

On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches, that's gonna make the f**king difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying!

I'll tell you this: in any fight, its the guy who's willing to die who's gonna win that inch.

Now I can't make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now, I think you're gonna see a guy who will go that inch with you. You're gonna see a guy, who will sacrifice himself, for this team. Because he knows, when it comes down to it, you're gonna do the same for him.

That's a team, gentlemen. And, either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.

Now, what are ya gonna do?
Say it with me, kids: UNLEASH THE FURY!

Nickname time - see if you can spot the theme...

Philadelphia Flyers
19-Scott "Demon Spawn" Hartnell 48-Daniel "Magical Spearing Troll" Briere 40-Vinny "666" Prospal
9-Scottie "The Horror...THE HORROR" Upshall 17-Jeff "Fiend" Carter 22-Mike "Gollum" Knuble
20-RJ "Hades" Umberger 18-Mike "Satan's Handmaiden" Richards 15-Joffrey "The Possessed" Lupul
25-Patrick "River Styx" Thoresen 34-Jim "Nosferatu" Dowd 24-Sami "Bane" Kapanen

5-Braydon "Poltergeist" Coburn 44-Kimmo "Wicked Witch of the West" Timonen
2-Derian "Orc" Hatcher 6-Randy "Misery" Jones
21-Jason "The Blob" Smith 26-Jaroslav "Darth" Modry

30-Antero "Dr. No" Niittymaki 43-Martin "Rosemary's Baby" Biron

Washington Capitals
8-Alex "Superman" Ovechkin 91-Sergei "The Legend" Fedorov 25-Viktor "Batman" Kozlov
21-Brooks "Han Solo" Laich 19-Nicklas "Underdog" Backstrom 28-Alexander "The Flash" Semin
24-Matt "Daredevil" Cooke 39-Dave "Greatest American Hero" Steckel 10-Matt "Captain Planet" Bradley
87-Donald "The Incredible Hulk" Brashear 15-Boyd "Flash" Gordon 14-Eric "Captain Canuck" Fehr

26-Shaone "Spider-Man" Morrisonn 52-Mike Green "Lantern"
3-Tom "Iron Man" Poti 23-Milan "He-Man" Jurcina
4-John "Captain Klutz" Erskine 44-Steve "Invisible Kid" Eminger

37-Olie "Our Hero" Kolzig 38-Cristobal "Faster than a Speeding Bullet" Huet


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