Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick Prediction

Rather than publishing the 2000th series preview post, I will spare anyone who is actually reading this and just let you know my prediction for tonight's game. Based on my previous posts and feelings about the lines, the goalie, and the coach, you can probably guess.

Rangers will win, 5-2. Ovi and Laich will score for the good guys, while the Blueshirts will get two from Dubinsky, one from Gaborik, one from Drury, and one from a grinder.

Over the past three years, the Caps have not allowed less than 4 goals to open the playoffs. Huet allowed 4 in an opening win against the Flyers in 07-08, Theodore allowed 4 in a loss against the Rangers in 08-09, and Theodore allowed 6 goals in an overtime loss to the Canadiens last year. Neuvirth has nowhere near the experience these two guys had, past their prime as they may have been during their time with the Capitals. The Rangers have also decimated the Caps this season, outscoring the team 15-1 in their last three matchups (7-0, 6-0, 2-1). And again, Neuvirth is the worst goalie the team has (though better than many other starters in the league). Boudreau is also not putting forth our most offensively talented forwards (see my thoughts on benching Fehr in yesterday's post), and are without Dennis Wideman for at least the entire series against the Rangers. This is the Caps' hardest Eastern Conference opponent, and the line combos are simply not built for a win. Even without Callahan, Frolov, and Boogaard, the Rangers are still a potent threat with Marion Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Mark Staal, and Chris Drury.  Unless Semin wakes up, and Boudreau shuffles the lines into an arrangement with Laich playing alongside Arnott and Semin, I don't see a scenario where the Caps can win.

Series prediction: Rangers in 5.

Help me Ovi, you're my only hope.

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