2010 NHL Playoffs: Capitals vs. Candiens Game 7 Notes

Capitals.jpgHere are some news and notes from around the blogosphere leading up
to tonight’s momentous Game 7.

First, let’s start off with owner
Ted Leonsis. He’s an opinionated fella, and the Capitals’ fan sense of
“us against the world” persona starts with him. With a post full of
one-word descriptors, here’s what he
had to say about tonight’s game:

Rise above it.





us lotsa luck and good fortune.

Lotsa love back at you.


More after the jump.

Starkey of the Washington Times
says that the Capitals are facing
one heck of a ugly end to one incredible season.

the last few weeks of the regular season, Washington turned in
some of its worst efforts against teams playing for their playoff lives,
unable to match their opponent’s intensity.


Now, there is no more room for error for the
Capitals if they want to
keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive, as they must turn in a good
60-minute effort on Wednesday, or head home as victims of one of the
largest upsets in Stanley Cup playoff history.

Because we all really wanted it here is Barry
Melrose’s advice for the Capitals, passed
along by Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Blog:

watch Detroit play with Holmstrom, you watch Philly play, you
watch Vancouver play, you watch Pittsburgh play, you watch Boston play.
Boston, not nearly as talented a team as Washington, but they just put a
man in front of the net and they made [Ryan] Miller’s life tough every
time he sees the puck or wants to see the puck.

“Washington’s got
to get to that mentality. It’s not gonna be pretty
goals that beat the Montreal Canadiens. It’s gonna be tip-in goals,
deflection goals, rebound goals that beat the Montreal Canadiens.”

I actually agree with Melrose here. The Capitals were able to get
under the skin of Halak in Game 2 and 3 by crashing the net and not
letting him get comfortable in the crease. It’s something they’re going
to have to duplicate again tonight.

Also from Dan Stenberg, these
thoughts from Bruce Boudreau:

“I think you’re
gonna see a great hockey game with both teams willing
to do anything it takes to win,” Boudreau continued. “Both teams are in
a Game 7 in a hard-fought series where you’ve got one guy playing when
he pulls his teeth out, other guys on Montreal playing definitely
injured. That’s what character is….

“We’ve played 10 games against ’em, and every
game has been exactly the same way. The only surprise is is that the
media makes it that because we ended up so far ahead of them, that there
should be a surprise. It’s no surprise to me or the group that’s on the
ice now.”

I’m not exactly surprised by what’s
happened in this series, because of how well the Habs played the
Capitals in the regular season. What I am surprised by is how the
Capitals keep waiting to turn it on, and turn it on, and here they are
in a Game 7. Again.

According to Habs
, Jaroslav Spacek is a game-time decision for the

Canadiens defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, who
has missed the past three
games with a virus, skated this morning with his team and will be a
game-time decision for tonight’s Game 7, according to head coach Jacques

Finally, defenseman Karl Alzner is set to
make his NHL playoff debut tonight for the Washington Capitals,
replacing Tom Poti who will miss the game after being hit in the face
with a puck in Game 6. Here’s some thoughts by Alzner, courtesy
of Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider:

“When I
did get the call I was like, ‘That’s kind of strange,'” Alzner
after the morning skate at KCI. “Because there were still [other
defensemen available] here. But [maybe his history with John Carlson] is
what they were thinking about. I’m happy that they did.”

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    Francis, Kurri, McKenzie named to Hockey Hall of Fame committee

    Ron Francis
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    The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee added some big names on Tuesday — most notably, a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers.

    Ron Francis (inducted in 2007) and Jarri Kurri (2001) have been appointed to the committee, the Hall announced. Longtime hockey scribe and hockey insider Bob McKenzie was also named; together, he and Francis and Kurri will replace an outgoing trio of Lanny McDonald, Mike Emrick and Peter Stastny.

    Francis currently serves as the GM in Carolina while Kurri holds the same title with Jokerit of the KHL.

    More, from NHL.com:

    McDonald resigned his spot on the committee to become chairman, while the terms of Stastny and Emrick expired.

    The Hall also announced Eric Duhatschek, Michael Farber and Bill Torrey were reappointed to the selection committee for a further three-year term.

    The next big meeting for the new members of the selection committee comes in late June, when everyone gathers to consider candidates for the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame.

    The announcement for new inductees will be made on June 27. As we’ve written about in the past, the list of first-time eligible entrants isn’t exactly overwhelming, so this could be the year some “passed over” candidates get in.

    Among those in that category? Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick, to name a few.

    Related: Poll: Who should be in the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame?

    Suter admits to ‘saying stuff I probably shouldn’t have said’

    Ryan Suter
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    For the Minnesota Wild, today was a day for damage control.

    Try to act surprised, OK?

    “We’re obviously on the same page,” defenseman Ryan Suter told the Star Tribune. “It’s a story that shouldn’t even be a story. I think the heat of the practice yesterday, I was just saying stuff I probably shouldn’t have said.”

    In case you missed it, what Suter said was that he shouldn’t be playing with a left-shot defenseman like Jonas Brodin.

    “I don’t know what [the coaches are] thinking,” said Suter.

    But in addition to that — and this was the really eye-opening stuff — Suter effectively questioned how head head coach Mike Yeo was reacting…

    …to the latest bit of adversity the Wild were facing.

    “Now’s when you need leadership more than ever,” said Suter. “It’s easy to be a coach and a leader when things are going good.”

    The Star Tribune has more on what everyone was saying today, so be sure to click on the story.

    Yeo, predictably, downplayed Suter’s remarks, chalking them up to a “guy that when you ask him to do something, he might tell you his opinions, but nobody will go out there and do it better than him.”

    The Wild take on the Blackhawks tonight at United Center (on NBCSN).

    Oh, and Suter will, indeed, skate with Brodin against the defending champs. Those two have only been together a bit this season, but they were a frequent pairing last season.

    Expected pairings (shoots)
    Ryan Suter (L) – Jonas Brodin (L)
    Marco Scandella (L) – Jared Spurgeon (R)
    Nate Prosser (R) – Matt Dumba (R)

    P.S. — This is why the Wild were hoping for better things from young Dumba.

    Goalie nods: Dubnyk looks to turn tide for slumping Wild

    WINNIPEG, MB - OCTOBER 25: Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild blocks a shot on goal in second period action in an NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on October 25, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
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    Devan Dubnyk will look to snap Minnesota’s three-game losing streak tonight and, at the same time, look to bump a slump of his own.

    On a personal two-game losing streak — and having lost five of his last six — Dubnyk gets the call in Chicago when the Wild take on the ‘Hawks at the United Center.

    After a banner ’14-15 campaign that culminated with a Vezina nomination, Dubnyk has failed to match those (admittedly high) standards this season. Though his record is OK — 11-7-2 — his GAA (2.55) and save percentage (.909) leave plenty to be desired. He’s also given up three or more goals in four of his last five starts, including four goals against both the Penguins and Bruins in mid-November.

    For Chicago, Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.


    Cory Schneider‘s in net for New Jersey as the Devils host the Avalanche. Colorado played last night — a 5-3 loss to the Isles, in which Semyon Varlamov allowed four goals on 27 shots — so it has yet to name a starter. Safe money’s on Reto Berra in the second of a back-to-back, though.

    Mike Condon, back in the No. 1 role with the injured Carey Price out six weeks, goes for Montreal against Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky starts for the Blue Jackets.

    — It’s Steve Mason versus Craig Anderson as Ottawa invades Philly. Anderson, now the full-fledged No. 1 with Andrew Hammond (concussion) out, went 6-2-2 in November with a .925 save percentage.

    Linus Ullmark goes for Buffalo in Detroit, while the Wings counter with Petr Mrazek.

    Mike Smith‘s back in goal for the Coyotes after Anders Lindback started on Saturday. The Preds are likely to go with Pekka Rinne.

    — Good matchup in St. Louis tonight, as veteran Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo goes up against one of the best young ‘tenders in the game in Jake Allen.

    — The Flames are going back to the Karri Ramo well tonight when they host Dallas. With Kari Lehtonen still hurt, Antti Niemi looks likely for the Stars.

    — No confirmations out of Los Angeles yet, but Jacob Markstrom is likely for the Canucks while Jonathan Quick is likely for the Kings.

    — No confirmations out of San Jose-Pittsburgh, either. But since neither team played last night, it’s likely both No. 1s, Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Jones, will be in net.

    More injury trouble for the Rangers — Klein out 2-3 weeks

    Kevin Klein, Gustav Nyquist

    As if losing Derek Stepan wasn’t going to be hard enough, the New York Rangers will also be without defenseman Kevin Klein for the next little while.

    Klein has a “strained oblique,” the club announced today. The 30-year-old suffered the injury early in yesterday’s 4-3 win over Carolina. He’ll be out 2-3 weeks.

    Klein, a right shot, has spent time paired with Marc Staal, Keith Yandle and Ryan McDonagh this season. The way Dan Girardi and Dan Boyle have struggled (see: here and here) on the right side, you could make the argument that Klein was the last defenseman they could afford to lose. (You may not win the argument, but you could sure make it.)

    With Klein out, Dylan McIlrath will get back into the lineup tomorrow in Brooklyn.

    Currently, the Rangers have just six healthy defenseman on their roster.