Friday, April 11, 2008

Game 1: Flyers @ Caps

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

It's finally here. Not just Game 1 of the Caps/Flyers series, but the Caps' "next" playoff game.

1,827 days later, the Caps have another playoff game.

Let that soak in for a second.

Now think back just 141 days ago to November 22, 2007, Thanksgiving Day, a day that started like this and ended like this (with this, of course, in between).

One day later, the team was on its way after an overtime win in Philadelphia.

The Caps, to be sure, aren't "just happy to be here." They know their work is far from done. But considering what they - and we, the fans - have been through over the past five years, no one would find fault with basking in the moment just a little bit.

When the puck drops, however, all of that is forgotten, and the focus is on the task at hand. One period, one game, one series.... one Cup at a time.

35 comments:

Rage said...

Amazing how far we've come from Thanksgiving. This has been the best run of a sports team I've followed since the Skins won the Super Bowl back in '91.

It seems to me that if the Caps can work out any jitters, they should be able to really take it to the Flyers.

I can't wait for the game tonight.

Tyler said...

Now, with all the silliness over who has bigger muscles over, with all the photoshopping out of the way, hopefully the focus becomes hockey. (Did someone say 'Caps' merchandise sales in Russia?' Oh. Sigh.)

Here's the on-ice thing that should concern Caps fans:

WSH PK vs. PHL PP. The Caps' PK is in the lower third of the league, the PHL PP is in the top third. WSH has gotta stay outta the box.

JP said...

Discipline and health - whoever has more of those two things wins the series.

And the Photoshopping is far from over.

Tyler said...

You mean you liked my photoshopping of Whiny Diver's sweater? ;-)

JP said...

I gotta say - and this might get my Caps Fan Card revoked - I think Eric Staal is a whinier, divier player than El Sid.

But yes, I did like your handiwork.

~Mark said...

I'm nervous, but I have this sense of optimism that this team is better than that orange team, when they come to play. I don't think getting up for this game will be a problem. I am pumped, and imagine the adrenaline will continue to build as the hours pass. LETS GO CAPS!

Tyler said...

Eric Staal had all that soft Ontario sod on which to practice his diving...

Tyler said...

If a playoff series comes down to how pumped the fans for one team are... NYR in a sweep.

Rage said...

I'm in NYC and I'm not hearing a ton of buzz about the Rangers. It's pretty much status quo.

So until they get to the conference finals, I'm not sure "pumped" is the right word for them.

Tyler said...

Ah, I was making a joke about how they filled 35% of the Devils' building.

Rage said...

Oh, so "pumped" means "buying cheaper tickets in a nicer stadium because their boring opponent has no fans despite winning because they [the opponent] are so god damned boring."

In that case, yes, they are definitely pumped.

dmg said...

Tyler,

not just top third - the Flyers PP was second in the NHL this season. But remember this: the Capitals PP was 6th overall, despite not getting going until Boudreau took over, now features Fedorov and the Flyers were 3rd in the NHL in PIMs, so it cuts both ways.

JP,
I have to agree with you. I think that since his rookie season Crosby hasnt been too much a whiner or diver, especially given how much abuse he takes.

rananda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rananda said...

tonight should be great. hope the caps come out flying and arent too nervous or tentative. i think ovechkin can set the tone with a high energy first shift. i have a post up about the line matching we may see:

http://imbroglioh.blogspot.com/.

Brunella said...

"The Caps, to be sure, aren't "just happy to be here." They know their work is far from done. But considering what they - and we, the fans - have been through over the past five years, no one would find fault with basking in the moment just a little bit."

I am very much basking in the moment. And not just a little bit. It's this weird euphoria from last weekend that hasn't faded yet. (A loss to the Fly-droppings will likely kill it dead. But that's for another day.) I'm very confident about tonight. (The fact that Morrisonn is back is a factor.) Call me daffy but there it is.

JP said...

I'm less confident about tonight, Daffy. I absolutely hate the role of favorite for this team, and I think tonight might be a perfect storm of inexperience, rust and overall let down.

And that could be fine. This team is at its best with its back against the wall, so a 1-0 deficit certainly wouldn't be the end of the world.

Of course, a 1-0 lead would be a helluva lot nicer.

JP said...

Btw, if you all want to come over for Games 3 and 4, I just got this delivered yesterday.

It's a little bit money (and it's even rocking a little red of its own!).

ted said...

@JP

I'm with you on the underdog role; however, while the media may pronounce them as favorites to win, do the players actually look at the games that way (in this series). My guess is that they look at it as the next step in their quest, but I don't think any one of them will be taking the Flyers lightly (unlike SJ did with Calgary in the first 10 minutes).

JP said...

@ Ted: Hard to say, but we've seen this team once or twice this season seemingly believing too much of their own positive press. It hasn't been a big problem, obviously, but it has popped up before.

JP said...

Oh, and be sure to check out The 700 Level's interview with Al Morganti. Good stuff.

Scott said...

So here's my dilemma for the day - West coaster and I don't get off work till 5 or 6. Game starts 4pm my time. All season I've been DVR'ing and watching when I get home (without knowing the outcome ahead of time). That's tough tonight and we have dinner plans so it might be midnight before I can start it (or worse, tomorrow AM). Should I follow the score online?? wait till I get home!?!

Maybe I'll figure out a way to get off...or find some work to do next to the sports book

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know of a decent bar where people will be watching the game in Arlington?

Tyler said...

Morganti's good. Too bad he doesn't have enough pizazz for national TV.

ToddM326 said...

Call me crazy, but I think we will see improved play from Eric "I Score Big Goals" Fehr during this series. If not, I think that we need to continue to get scoring from players not named "Alex".

Time to put away the razors gentlemen!

JP said...

@ Todd: Fehr will have to crack the lineup first - he'll be a scratch tonight, along with Schultz, Laing and... um... oh yeah, Brent Johnson (remember him?).

sonia said...

i am SO excited. i told my boss i had to go home for a "family emergency" (i work weekends). the way i see it, this is an emergency, and i am going with my mom. see? it's not a lie! LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Brunella said...

"...I just got this delivered yesterday."

Holy cow! (It's gi-normous!!) The blogging business must be treatin' you mighty durn good. I'll be there! I'll bring the champagne and we can crack the bottle over the corner of the thing. Christen it, you know?

I can also very easily imagine a perfect storm of inexperience, rust and overall let down too. For the first ten minutes or so, yeah. And then they will just go to 'work'. Work it, work it, work it until they bury the Fly-excrements.

By jimmiy I'd very dearly love to see Eric Fehr do something heroic. He's been shooting quite a bit lately. Bear down, boy!!! It's coming.

JP said...

Apologies, Sonia, but that reminded me of a joke...

The company hires a new employee. He was supposed to start work on a Monday, but instead of showing up, he calls his boss. "I'm sick," he says. The boss excuses him.

The guyn shows up Tuesday morning and works throughout the week, greatly impressing everyone with his diligence and ability.

The next Monday, he once again calls his boss. "I'm sick," he says. The boss reluctantly excuses him, but notices that this is the second Monday in a row.

Once again, the man shows up Tuesday morning and works throughout the week, even faster and better than the previous week.

The following Monday, he calls his boss again. "I'm sick." The boss excuses him, but decides to call the man to task on Tuesday.

Tuesday comes and as soon as the man shows up, the boss calls him into his office.

"What gives?" asks the boss. "I can see you're a hard worker, but you've only been here three weeks and you've called in sick every Monday."

Man says, "Well, my sister is in a bad marriage and I go over to console her every Monday morning before work. One thing leads to another and we end up making love all day long."

"Your sister!?!" says the boss. "That's disgusting!"

Man says, "Hey, I told you I was sick."

Bowler said...

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Semin-Fedorov-Cooke
Fleischmann-Laich-Gordon
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

is what Tarik says will go tonight, so no Eric Fehr. If I'm Big Bo I might want his size instead of Flash's tonight. Oh well.

dmg said...

JP, your tv costs more than my net worth.

Oh, the joys of being a graduate student...

Soulie said...

For eveyone looking for a good hockey bar, get thee to Bugsy's in Old Town Alexandria. You'll meet fans of every team, and just great, knowledgable hockey people. Bryan Watson owns the place, and played for the Caps.

Also, check out Channel 4's sports news tonight. Look for yours truly, the stunningly handsome bearded man giving out red-meat answers to softball hockey questions. Let's Go Caps!

Debcapsfan said...

Longest damn day ever.
Sheesh.

sonia said...

and that, JP, is the class that keeps me coming back here. :)

Chemmy said...

Game 1 as a Capitals fan, let's get it done!

Go Caps go!

Scott said...

i can't wait to watch this game...

I decided I'm leaving early.