(Photo from Yahoo)
This is it. Judgment day, for the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Nothing that has happened prior to this game matters. The Presidents’ Trophy? Irrelevant. The wins or losses in the regular season and the playoffs? Irrelevant. Powerplay struggles? Irrelevant. Nothing that has come before matters. Tonight, we have two teams playing 1 game. 2 goalies, 12 defensemen, and 32 forwards. Before this night is over, one team will be going home, and the other team will advance to the next round. It all comes down to this. 3 periods. 20 minutes a period. 60 seconds a minute. 1 hockey game.
You’ve probably already know the team’s current condition. Struggles, all of which irrelevant now. I won’t spend time reviewing these. No, today is all about today. The past and the future can wait, it is time for the present.
Tarik El-Bashir reports that the forward lineup could look like this, but nothing is set in stone, of course…
1st Line Ovechkin – Backstrom – Knuble 2nd Line Laich – Morrison – Semin 3rd Line Chimera – Belanger – Fehr 4th Line Walker – Gordon – Bradley
- Karl Alzner has been called up by the Caps, and is prepared to play his first NHL playoff game. He, as of now, doesn’t know his partner on defense, but John Carlson says he expects to play with Alzner.
- Alzner is here because Tom Poti suffered an injury when he took a puck into his eye. He is out.
- Semyon Varlamov appears to be set to start tonight.
- Varlamov just turned 22 yesterday – Happy Birthday Varly!
I might add that Jaroslav Halak has been in a pressure situation before this year. He was the starting goalie for the Slovakian Olympic team this past Winter Olympics. He managed to take his country’s team, which has never had strong goaltending, all the way to the bronze medal round, upsetting Team Sweden along the way. However, when push came to shove, the Finns managed to beat the Slovaks, 5-3, to win the bronze. Halak was decent, but couldn’t finish the job.
Anyway…. for some good karma, how about some videos….
One year ago to the day, former Capitals player, now in the KHL, Sergei Federov scores the game-winning goal for the Caps to eliminate the NY Rangers in Game 7. (Sorry the sound is muted, you can un-mute it if you wish by pressing the button.)
The same post-season, Semyon Varlamov absolutely robs Sidney Crosby…. I watch this save over and over, and still cannot believe it actually happened.
Finally, THE CAPS RAP!
Whatever happens tonight, I hope you enjoy the game!