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!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Under Pressure

"This is our last dance, this is ourselves..."
Wednesday’s game with the Boston Bruins will be another in a long line of game sevens for the Washington Capitals in their history.  Some have ended well.  Others, more recently, have not.

The numbers against the Caps are daunting heading in to the game, and everyone knows it.  Boston won three game sevens last spring, including the final game of the Final, en route to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1972.  They became the first team since the lockout to go seven games in the first round and win the Cup.  They “own” game seven, if you will.

Washington is 1-3 in game sevens in the Alex Ovechkin era, with the lone victory coming in the first round of the 2009 playoffs against the Rangers on home ice.  All three game seven losses came against a lower seed.  And the Capitals have never won a game seven in franchise history when leading a series 3-2 and falling in game six.

But for this incarceration of the Capitals, there are many that feel that this game seven, and this year, could be different.  And for good reason.  Washington matches up very well against this Bruins team, and they have played them very tight.  So tight, in fact, that according to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first playoff series in NHL history in which the first six games have been decided by one goal. 

Dale Hunter, despite his unorthodox personnel decisions and controversial bench management, has finally gotten his roster to go for what he’s selling.

"Bruce was here 20 games and Dale's been here 60,” said veteran winger Mike Knuble to ESPN’s Scott Burnside earlier this week.  “It's taken every bit of that 60 games to get everybody to buy in."

The result has been a team that some expected to miss the playoffs carrying the defending Stanley Cup champions to a seventh and decisive game.  Even when Washington made the playoffs, the conventional wisdom was that the big, deep, talented Bruins would wipe the floor with the Capitals and their rookie goaltender, Braden Holtby.  But that hasn’t been the case.

There are, absolutely, reasons to believe.

However, it’s not because the Capitals are the underdog.

Read the rest of this article here.

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