Who the Penguins play next round will be determined by the winner of the Washington Capitals vs. the Montreal Canadiens game tonight. If the Capitals win we play Boston, if the Canadiens win we play the Canadiens. I’m not so sure that I would rather play the Canadiens. Having them eliminate the Caps in the first round is very enticing, and we do have a winning record against the Canadians during the regular season, but their play of late is making me re-think wanting to play them just so the Capitals are eliminated.
Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau’s has lost control of his team and of his mind. Montreal is a number eight seed that has a chance to eliminate his #1 overall “President’s Trophy” winning team tonight and when you look at the two teams on paper it should have never come to this. Watching Boudreau look over at his goaltender Semyon Varlamov and call him a “stupid f*@k”(you can read his lips in the video below) for causing a penalty at the end of the game the other night pretty much sums up it up. How do the players respect him for that? You really have to wonder if the Caps get eliminated in the first round if Caps owner Ted Leonsis will keep Boudreau around.
If the Capitals win the Penguins might have to face them in a later round and the Penguins record against them was horrible this season though when you look at the regular season games the Penguins played against them this year they really didn’t fare that bad all things considered. One of the only games that the Penguins played against Washington with a healthy squad was on February 7th and the odds were stacked against the Penguins before the game even started.
The Penguins played the Montreal Canadiens at 2PM Saturday February 6th and had to fly into Washington after that game for a game with the Capitals less than 24 hours later. There was one big problem. Washington was hit with over a foot of snow and the airports were closed. So the Penguins had to fly into New Jersey then hop a bus that night from Jersey to Washington through the snow storm all the while the Capitals slept in their comfy beds with visions of sugar plums and all that crap. The Pens were winning the next day until the middle of the third period when the trip the night before hit them and they ended up losing in overtime.
How the Capitals look on paper is very deceiving. The Capitals had the best record in the league because they played in the worst division, a division that they were the only team to make the playoffs, it is that simple. It is the same reason their players were able to run up the numbers all season. They are a poorly coached team with a less than average goaltender and not having the low level teams in their division to push around in the playoffs is bringing out their true colors.
The Canadiens have a great coach that has led them this far, they have a great goaltender and have team speed . They are the team I would fear more if we had to play them leaving me at 50/50 who I want to win tonight.