Tonight is must win for Caps

April 26, 2010 | Paul Hoke

I’m going to do something that I hate doing…I’m going to….assume in this blog.

I’m already breaking out in hives because I’m ASSUMING that the Washington Capitals will defeat the Montreal Canadiens tonight and advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. I’m doing this because, in my opinion, there is no alternative.

The Capitals can, in no way, shape, or form, allow the Habs to force a Game 7. Not with the disgusting Philadelphia Flyers waiting, and well rested.

So I’m going to assume that the Caps do what they should have done last Friday night, and eliminate the inferior Canadiens from the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. To be fair, the Canadiens are a good team. There isn’t as much of a difference between the top seed and the bottom seed in the NHL as there is in other playoff brackets in the other 3 major sports. The Canadiens field a fast, aggressive squad that gives a “bend but don’t break” Caps defense fits. And Jaroslav Halak is exactly the kind of goal tender that the Capitals hate. When he gets hot, as he did Friday night, they can’t beat him. Which is I didn’t want to see the New Jersey Devils in the second round. Martin Brodeur is the best goalie this side of Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy, that I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I didn’t want to see him in the postseason. But while I give Montreal their due, the Capitals are simply the better team. No way this series should have gone six games. But here we are. And here it ends. It has to.

We all remember what happened last year when the Caps slept-walked through the first 4 games of the opening round against the Rangers. By the time they woke up, it was 3-1, and they had to battle back to force a deciding 7th game. It took a lot out of them. It showed when, after going up 2-0 on Pittsburgh, they folded and lost that series in 7 games. This series needs to, and will, end tonight. Ovie will score a power play goal, with Eric Fehr and Nicholas Backstrom putting up a goal each while Mike Knuble adds a late empty netter for a 4-2 Caps victory. Write it down, that’s my prediction. That is also…here it is again…assuming that the Caps are much more disciplined then they were Friday night. Stupid penalties are becoming the bane of this team, as much as stupid motion penalties have killed the Ravens over the course of the last few seasons. That can’t happen tonight.

Then, we have the pleasure of hosting those stinking idiots from that stinking city to the north. God, I hate the Flyers. And this series scares me. Philthy has “dark horse” written all over them. With the Canadiens out of the playoffs, the Flyers would become the lowest seeded team remaining. And that simple fact makes them dangerous. I shudder when I think that they dispatched the #2 seeded Devils in relatively easy fashion and have been resting up and laying in wait while the Capitals struggle to put the Habs away.

Have I mentioned that I HATE the Flyers?

I hate Chris Pronger. I hate Kimmo Timonen. I hate Brian “Bobby” Boucher. I even hate Bobby Clarke, and he hasn’t seen the ice since I was in elementary school. But I digress…

The fact that these rat finks are sitting comfortably, waiting for the Great 8 and the boys to polish off Montreal makes tonight a must win. And I’m going to assume that they do because I’m already in my “Anti-Flyer” mode, as if you couldn’t tell.

So when my son and I sit in front of my 55 inch television tonight, we will once again Rock our Red for the Caps. And even though my wife will have me switching back and forth from the game to CBS’s Monday lineup, what we will see, in the end, will be a 4-2 Capitals victory, and an end to the pesky Habs.

Because the alternative, is too ugly to think about.

Go Caps!!!!! Rock the Red!!!!!