Two years ago the Washington Capitals won the President’s Trophy with the best record during the 2009-2010 NHL regular season. They then were bounced out of the playoffs in seven by the number eight seed Montreal Canadians. Last year the Caps were the number one seed in the NHL Eastern Conference. Although they ousted the New York Rangers in five, they were swept in the second round by the Tamps Bay lightening four games to none.
The Washington Capitals are the poster boys as to why the NHL regular season means absolutely nothing expect for one thing. That one thing of course is to quality for the playoffs. Once a team qualifies for the playoffs, all bets are off. Case and point: The Washington Capitals squeaked into the post season in their last game this year. It looked for the longest time that they weren’t going to make it. Instead, they climbed to the seventh seed and played last year’s Stanly Cup Champs, Boston Bruins. The Caps shocked the hockey world by taking out the Bruins in seven games.
The Caps entered the second round ready to play the number one seed New York Rangers. On paper, and by the standing, the Rangers should have swept the Caps. But instead, the Caps split the first two games in Manhattan, lost in triple overtime three days ago in DC, and beat the Rangers 3-2 at Verizon Center today in Chinatown.
The Caps are now in the best two of three series with New York. They will play Monday night in the Big Apple. The Caps will need to steal another game in New York to win the series. In other series, New Jersey has a two to one game lead against Philadelphia. In the Western Conference, there are two shockers. The Phoenix Coyotes are up three games to one against the Nashville Predators. The biggest shocker of all however is the LA Kings who are up three games to none against the St. Louis Blues. The Kings are 5-0 on the road in these 2011-2012 playoff season, and 7-1 overall.
NBC/NBCSN/CNBC and the NHL Network have done a great job of covering the games this year. My wife and sons may sue me for abandonment. I have now watched all or most of all of 50 games.