Blog Entry

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

Posted on: April 12, 2010 12:32 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2010 11:56 pm

No. 1 Washington Capitals vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens

Wes Goldstein's Take

The Capitals will win if: They just show up. No, really. Washington is that much better than the Canadiens on paper and the Caps know it. But they were in a very similar situation last spring against the Rangers and ended up on the brink of first-round elimination before storming back to win three straight games. Chances are things will be different this year. Washington, particularly captain Alex Ovechkin , seems to be on a mission this season, and all that fire power will just be too much for the Canadiens to handle. There are still some questions about Washington's ability to defend. But the Caps are bigger and stronger than Montreal, and at least at this point in the playoffs, what happens in their own end shouldn't be much of detriment to them.

The Canadiens will win if: The hockey gods decide to play a cruel trick on anyone who has watched their opponents play this year. Montreal essentially backed into the postseason and lost its final game to put an exclamation point on the effort. The Canadiens were generally not much better this season than a couple of teams that didn't make the Eastern Conference cut, although they are not devoid of talent. Mike Cammalleri , Brian Gionta , Scott Gomez and Tomas Plekanec provide a fair amount of offense up front and Andrei Markov quarterbacks one of the NHL's best power plays. Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak has enjoyed a breakout season in goal and has shown the ability to steal a win for the Canadiens. But not four.

Regular Season Recap

Washington: 54-15-13, 121 points (1st, Southeast Division)

Montreal: 39-33-10, 88 points (4th, Northeast Division)


Date Location Time
Apr. 15 at Washington 7 p.m.
Apr. 17 at Washington 7 p.m.
Apr. 19 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Apr. 21 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Apr. 23 at Washington * 7 p.m.
Apr. 26 at Montreal * 7 p.m.
Apr. 28 at Washington * TBD
* if necessary


Season Series
Tied, 2-2
Date Result
Nov. 20 Montreal 3, Washington 2 Recap
Nov. 28 Washington 4, Montreal 3 (SO) Recap
Jan. 5 Washington 4, Montreal 2 Recap
Feb. 10 Montreal 6, Washington 5 (OT) Recap


Stats Comparison
Statistic WAS MON
Goals For (Avg.) 3.82 2.56
Goals Against (Avg.) 2.77 2.66
Power Play 25.2% 21.8%
Penalty Kill 78.8% 83.0%


Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2010 9:30 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

I made my picks last night and took the Caps to sweep this series 4-0.

Since: Aug 30, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2010 6:23 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

First poster nailed it. As a Habs fan I think we have like a 5% chance to upset the Caps, but it just goes to show you how incredibly good Wes is to fail to bother mentioning that the season series here is 2-2. The Capitals are much more talented at nearly every position except goalie, but somehow tied 2-2.

Caps will win, but if Halak gets hot, he seriously could steal this. Slovakia wasnt supposed to sniff a medal let alone play damn close to getting one. Halak CAN carry a team.

Since: Jan 5, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2010 6:06 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

Yeah I'm right there with you Snyder.  I've been a fan for over 20 years and have been crushed too many times to be cocky. I think most would agree if the Capitals play the way they did during their 14 game winning streak then they will make it far in the playoffs.  If the Caps get shaky goaltending and poor defense, they will find themselves heading home for the summer early.  They cannot afford a slow start to the playoffs like last year against the Rangers. 

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2010 4:32 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

NHL playoffs:
Will Alex Ovechkin and the Caps stumble against the Habs in Round 1? 

Ummm how bout NO THEY WONT. Do i really need to throw in a DUH in this reply. Who writes this stuff?? This is just stupid.

Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2010 3:34 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

As a long time Caps fan (22 years) I am not taking anything for granted when it comes to the playoffs.  Yes the Capitals have a better team but we shouldn't be discounting the fact that Montreal has guys that can score and any team can pull off an upset.  I just don't want the Caps and fans to fall into the trap of thinking this will be an easy cake walk of a series.  If you do that then you open yourself up for potential heartbreak.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2010 12:52 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

Caps in 4. Just cant see Montreal having any chance in this one. The scary thing is that Washington only needs an average performance from Theodore/Varlamov because the score so much. The Canadiens could still one if Halak stands on his head, I just don't see it.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2010 10:24 am

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

...this coming from a Pens fan...

in all seriousness, one of the losses to MON was Neuvirth's NHL debut, and the other came with a controversial call reversing a WAS goal, which would have sealed the win. I don't see how MON matches up well at all with WAS..

But hey, as a Washington D.C. homer, I've learned to not get my hopes up with any of our teams.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2010 2:27 pm

Preview: No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Montreal

Yes, the Capitals should be the favorites in this one, but don't act like the Canadiens have no chance.  Don't say "all the Caps have to do to win is show up."  That's hog wash.  They played 4 times this season, and they split it 2 wins each (and all 4 games were close).  Total points means nothing at this point. 

The Canadiens had a weak season relative to the Caps.  There's no doubt about that.  But sometimes certain teams match up better against others.  Maybe the Canadiens match up well against the Caps, but not as well against other teams.  I think this will be a 6 or 7 game series.  Nobody gave the Rangers a chance last postseason, and look, they almost beat the Caps.

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