Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Breaking Down Round Two: New York vs. Washington

I want to be a part of it...New York, New York!
As we learned late Thursday night with the result of the Rangers’ game seven, the Washington Capitals will face off against the Blueshirts in the Eastern Conference semifinals.  It will be the third time in the last four seasons that the Caps have played the boys from Broadway in the postseason.  Read on for my breakdown of the series, broken down piece by piece.

Forwards: The rangers have a very deep and balanced forward corps, just like the Bruins.  Lately, however, their best forward, Marian Gaborik, has been struggling on a line with speedy rookie Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards.  If this line continues to play at their decreased level, Washington’s top unit of Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, and Alexander Semin matches up very well.  New York’s second line – Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, and rookie sensation Chris Kreider (who was playing in college three weeks ago), has the edge over Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, and Troy Brouwer.  The Caps have the edge on the third line, however, as Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, and Matt Hendricks have proved to be a great shutdown unit with some pepper and can control play against Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust, and a struggling Brandon Dubinsky.  The Caps’ super effective fourth line of Keith Aucoin, Joel Ward, and Mike Knuble also should outclass Mike Rupp, Artem Anisimov, and John Mitchell.  It is important to note that the Rangers are currently missing center Brian Boyle, one of their best players, due to a concussion.  If he returns, things get a lot more interesting, but because of the shutdown ability I saw in the first round, I give the Capitals the advantage here.

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