So it's 30 hours before puck drop in the next Game 7, and I thought it would be fun to review the Bold Predictions we and the staff made prior to the start of the series. I realize that there's still a game's worth of action that could decide all of these one way or another, but let's be honest: if the Caps lose, there's no way I'm going to want to do this; and if they win, there's no way anyone is going to want to read this. The time, as they say, appears to be ripe. Or as ripe as it's going to get, anyway.
So, after the jump, the predictions and the results.First, the staff:
JP: I predict that Michal Neuvirth will get a win.
Not looking so good on this one. About the only way this happens is if Holtby is injured and Neuvy has to replace him. I'm sure we'd all take the win, but we hope it doesn't happen.
Dingdingdingding! We have a winner.
KE: We will see Jeff Halpern suit up for at least one game.
BH: Mike Green will have two power play goals.
Half way there, Becs, and I'm sure we all hope this one works out for you. Nice work on being at least half right.
Pepper: Holtby will score an empty-netter.
Hey, you never know. The Rags have pulled Lundqvist early enough for him to have a chance, and if they have a 2-3 goal lead with 3 minutes left...unlikely to happen, but how awesome would it be if he did? Full marks for optimism and creativity on this one.
Now, on to we, the numerous, the commentariat:
6. Bold prediction: Dmitry Orlov will see some playing time.
Nope. And the D has been much better than I anticipated, too. The FUWides/60 has gone down noticeably (knocks wood, tosses salt, mutters brief prayer to the merciless god of sucky D)
6. 3 goals this series from Caps D not named Carlson or Green.
Yeah, not looking good on this one. It would take a minor miracle for this to work out, as Carlson and Green have three goals (I think that's right?) between them.
6. Bold prediction: The Caps will score more than 4 goals in one game.
One more chance to make this one come true. If they do, the odds of having more bold predictions to sort out from the NJD series is looking pretty good. I'll file this one alongside the Holtby ENG prediction. Nice if it happens, not holding my breath.
For this round, I’ll call the opposite. A six-game series has the Caps wrapping it up on home ice, but a seven-game series takes us back to the Garden and me no likey.
[Awdward silence. People start glancing at their watches and edging towards the door.]
6. Dale Hunter throws Torts into the wall and seperates his shoulder
But only after he warned him to tell his players to stop going after Backstrom’s head.
Actually, that's the end of the bold predictions from the cheap seats, so I'll wrap this thing up by pasting D'oh's monster analysis from the same discussion thread all the predictions came from. It's not so much a bold prediction, but it does a great job of giving us an analytical framework to sort through the series to date.
One of the ways I look at playoff rounds is to consider the following:
Playoff teams all have star offensive forwards, role players/grinders, stud defensemen and depth defensemen.
To win a series, you’ve got to win one of the match ups therein:
Can your stars beat their studs and checkers?
Can your studs and checkers hold their stars in check?
Can your role players take advantage of their depth defensemen?
Can your coaches match lines to take advantage of their depth defensemen?
Can your depth defensemen avoid getting exploited (too much)?
Against Boston, the answer to #1 was. . . sorta. Ovie and Semin didn’t break out, but they did enough.
The answer to #2 was a definitive yes.
The answer to #3 was a qualified yes (when it mattered, they did).
The answer to #4 was . . . Hunter tried at home, but it didn’t seem to work. Thankfully, Julien also tried and failed.
The answer to #5 was . . . not really, and it almost cost the Caps the series.
If the Caps’ studs and checkers can hold the Rangers’ stars in check (and Gaborik has been a no-show in several series now), while the Caps’ role players take advantage of guys like Del Zotto and Bickel, the Caps could hold their own in this series. If Ovie, Backis, and Sasha find a way to produce against Girardi/Staal and Callahan, this could go the Caps’ way.
1. Push, slight edge to the Rangers.
2. Mostly. Slight edge to the Caps here.
3. Chimera has a bit, other than that, no.
4. At home, yes. On the road, not so much
5. Mostly, with a couple of glaring exceptions.
Tight series, no clear victories, it must mean another Game 7. Which of D'ohs battles do the Caps win to come out of this thing on top? Bold prediction: AO scores a natural hat trick in the first period and the Caps roar to victory.