Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Caps vs. Bruins, March 8th

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!

It’s Revenge Saturday…for the Boston Bruins (how often in the last few years could we have said that of any opponent?). The Bruins will be looking to reclaim some of their collective manhood after being beaten and beat up in the Verizon Center school yard, 10-2, last Monday. We chronicled Boston’s recent performance here, a reminder that this can be – and still is – a dangerous team. We’ve got the Monday result here, and the week that was Boston goaltending here, for those of you looking to relive, as it were, a fun night and to revel in the misfortune of others.

It’s a big weekend for the Caps, with the Bruins still five points up on the boys and tomorrow’s opponent – the Pittsburgh Penguins – with the second best record in the East (by virtue of having more wins than Montreal). But the Caps have been equal to the task lately, going 4-1-0 in their last five. Since NBC will be covering the Penguins visit tomorrow, we decided to sit down with the guys covering the game to get their take on the Caps, their chances today, and their shot at the playoffs…

Mike Emrick…you’ve been at this for 27 years and have seen it all. You get to see a great like Martin Brodeur every night covering the Devils. But have you ever seen a player with the skill, toughness, and flair for the dramatic as Alex Ovechkin.

ME: “I was watching Ovechkin the other night – the child of Mikail…a former professional soccer player, and Tatiana…who won Olympic gold for the Soviet Union in Montreal in 1976 and in Moscow in 1980 – and he was skating in on Tim Thomas, a native of Flint, Michigan, and a former Catamount at the University of Vermont, where he was a three-time all-ECAC – ECAC stands for ‘Eastern College Athletic Conference' – selection and finished his career atop the Catamount record book in games, with 140, wins with 81, and minutes played with 3,950, and…what was the question again?”

Pierre McGuire…you’ve done it all in hockey – played, coached, served in the front office, written about it, provided commentary on it. Do you think the Caps have a chance to overtake the teams in front of them for eighth place or to catch Carolina for the Southeast Division title and a top-three seed?

PMcG: “Down here from inside the glass between the benches, I have to say you can’t count the Caps out, but if they only had Sidney Crosby, they’d never lose a game…”

You mean adding Crosby to this roster?

PMcG: “No, just Crosby…if it was just The Kid and coach Bruce Boudreau, they’d never lose; they’d be spending the whole game in the other team’s end of the rink.”

Mike Milbury…the Caps added Sergei Fedorov, Cristobal Huet, and Matt Cooke at the deadline. They gave up Matt Pettinger, a prospect, and a couple of draft picks. Good moves?

MM: “Good, but they could have been so much better. First thing I would have done is trade Varlamov and Semin for a couple of forwards only I would have thought would work out…”

You mean, like when you traded Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo to Florida for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha?

MM: “Exactly…then I’d have moved that Neuvirth kid for a forward who won’t play another three season’s worth of games for the rest of his career and a low draft pick…”

Like when you traded Tommy Salo for Mats Lindgren and an 8th round pick?

MM: “Now those would have been trades…”

That’d be one word for them…Ed Olczyk, you were a hometown #3 overall pick of the Blackhawks in 1984, played in both Toronto and New York, coached Sidney Crosby. You’re somewhat acquainted with the pressures of the limelight and being the hometown icon. What do you make of the situation with the Caps’ local icon – Olaf Kolzig?

EO: “….hmmmmm [goofy smile]”

Uh, Ed?...

EO: “oh, sorry…I was just thinking about Sidney…he’s dre-e-e-e-amy.”

Guys, you have any advice for the Caps today against the Bruins?

ME: “When the Caps take the ice at TD Banknorth Garden today, an arena, by the way, in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts that is named after its sponsor, TD Banknorth. TD Banknorth – perhaps ironically – is a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of Toronto-Dominion Bank, although it traces is own history to the Portland Savings Bank, which was established in 1852, which coincidentally is the year in which Chris Chelios, as legend has it, played his first organized hockey game. What was the question again?”

PMcG: "Well, the B’s will be buzzing today, no doubt. When you’re wearing the black and gold – the same colors that Sidney Crosby wears, by the way – you can count on a maximum effort, unless they come out flat, in which case they won’t.”

Won’t what?

PMcG: "…what?”

Won’t what…you said they won’t. Won’t what?

PMcG: “that’s right.”

Whatever…Eddie, can Alex Ovechkin reprise his three-goal, five-point night from last Monday?...

Ed?....ED?!...put the picture of Sidney down for a minute, okay?

EO: “…sorry.”

Mike, how about the Caps…think the new guys can make a difference today?

MM: “Without an Oleg Kvasha or a Mats Lindgren-type player out there, it’ll be tough. I think they struggle today…”

Well, if Mike says it, it has to be…well, “true” isn’t the word we’d have been searching for…

Caps 4 – Bruins 2.

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