Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Game Six...Caps vs. Flyers

The last road trip to Philadelphia for this year…

And as we contemplate this last, hopefully best trip to the Mistake on the Schyulkill, we’ve invited some famous coaches to offer some inspirational words as the Caps look to force a game seven…

First, we have former player/coach of the Charlestown Chiefs, Reg Dunlop…Reg, the Caps will be in hostile territory tonight. How do you prepare the boys for that kind of game?

Reg Dunlop…"It's their rink, it's their ice, and it's their f*ckin' town. But tonight we got our fans with us! They spent their own dough to get here, and they came here to see us! All right, let's show 'em what we got, guys! Get out there on the ice and let 'em know you're there. Get that f*ckin' stick in their side. Let 'em know you're there! Get that lumber in his teeth. Let 'em know you're there!"

Coach Norman Dale…going into the opponent’s rink can be intimidating for a bunch of kids who haven’t experienced such a thing at this level…what do you tell them?

Next up, we have Coach Bill Yoast, formerly of the T.C. Williams Titans…Coach, it’s going to be a hard-hitting game tonight…what would you want to say to the Caps before they take the ice?

And finally, perhaps the greatest motivator in the history of professional sports…Coach Vince Lombardi. Coach, you have some thoughts on winning…

Coach Lombardi..."Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

"There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

"Every time a football player goes to play his trade he's got to play from the ground up - from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

"Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization - an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win - to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't think it is.

"It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there - to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules - but to win.

"And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

"I don't say these things because I believe in the 'brute' nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

And that is what it’s about tonight. As for the game, this will be the 17th “game six” in Capitals history. Here is how the previous 16 break down…

What is interesting to note here is that each of the last four games six went to overtime. We don’t care if the game is 60 minutes or 60 hours (which would necessitate a rescheduling of game seven), just so long as the Caps come home with one more game left to play.

They will…

Caps 4 – Flyers 2.

And, for those of you needing a dose of spark to get a current Capital chopping down a Flyer...

Broad Street....uh, what, again?

"I'm pretty sure I was pushed into [Huet]. I was going hard to the net.
I'm sure I stopped at the top of the blue [crease] and got pushed in.
I thought there was some favor in their aspect tonight.
Whether it is me or the black jersey, I'm not sure."

-- Scottie Upshall

"Their whining certainly helped, I guess..."
-- Danny Briere

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Their coach has complained
since the start of the series on that stuff. And then
they get two power play goals, and that ends up
being the difference in the hockey game."

-- John Stevens

Hey, find it surprising you're being whistled for penalties? You've been doing it all year:

And do note, there is more of a gap in PIMs between first-place Philadelphia and second-place Carolina (288) than between Carolina and last place New Jersey (209). Philly is more than a little acquainted with the penalty box.

This won't be easy, though. The Flyers are 16-2 in playoff series when holding a 3-2 lead. They lost in 2000 to New Jersey after holding a 3-2 edge in games, and before that in 1988... Washington.