Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Stop, You're Making Us Blush

It's always fun to see ESPN's "experts" weigh in on different hockey-related subjects - it's more fun when they're nice, even glowing, in their discussions of the Caps. Observe:

1. Which player do you think will be one of the out-of-nowhere role players who surprises everyone in the playoffs?

Scott Burnside: I would keep an eye on Tom Poti. The veteran in Washington has put some injuries behind him and moves the puck well. He plays in the shadow of Mike Green now, but that's not a bad thing.

E.J. Hradek: I think Capitals forward Brooks Laich and Red Wings forward Johan Franzen could be two under-the-radar type players who can be surprisingly big contributors in the coming weeks.

Barry Melrose: That's a good question. I think you'll see players like Mike Grier of San Jose as well as a fan and team favorite like Ian Laperriere of Colorado step up, players who play a hard style that's perfect for the playoffs. Steve Ott of Dallas is another one; he gets under people's skin. In the East, look for Scott Hartnell (Flyers), Matt Cooke (Capitals) and Nigel Dawes (Rangers) to score big, timely goals.

5. Which arena will have the most electricity in the first round?

Burnside: It's hard to believe I'm writing this, but the Verizon Center in Washington.

Hradek: The Bell Centre just ain't the Forum, but the place will be nuts when the Habs take the ice to face the Bruins. The atmosphere will be nuclear! The Verizon Center in D.C. should be jumping, too.

Melrose: The Shark Tank. It's the loudest building in the NHL. All of the first-round arenas will be great; Washington will be unbelievable. But with all of the optimism and the team's strong finish to the regular season, San Jose will be rockin'.
They also go on to say that Sid will go further than Ovie in the playoffs, but that's neither surprising...nor necessarily wrong. As much as I love our boys, the Penguins are a Cup favorite, the Caps a Cinderella story - and if both win the first round they'll probably have to face each other.


DrCapsFan said...

If Boston beats Montreal, the Penguins would play the Bruins and the Caps would play the remaining team. That would be the only way both could win and not play one another in the 2nd round.

CapsChick said...

Yup, you're right, sorry about that - I meant to say they'll *probably* have to face each other. Thanks!

Carol in NoVa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol in NoVa said...

And I see someone beat me to my "unless the Habs lose." So, instead, I'll say "figure the odds that the Habs will lose to Boston." Then again, the Pens do have to get past Ottawa (yet another "figure the odds") and I have a friend who's a Pens fan who isn't believing that the Pens will win.