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Game 4: Caps @ Flyers

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

I was going to call this post "The Audacity of Hope," but that title apparently was taken by some elitist or something.

Anyway, I'm going to make this short and sweet.

In the comments to OFB's tribute to Broadway morning post yesterday, b.orr4 pointed out that in the history of the NHL Playoffs in best-of-sevens in which the team without home ice advantage had a 2-1 heading into Game 4, that team has won just over 60% of the series, to which I responded by geeking out and quoting Han Solo ("Never tell me the odds").

But sixty percent? That's it?

Think about where the Caps have been this year. Take a look here and check out how many days all year the Caps' chances of making the playoffs were as good as 40%. Hell, as late as March 20, the Caps' chances of making the playoffs were just 17%... and we obviously all know how that turned out.

I've said ad nauseum that this team plays best with its back against the wall, which is where it is now. Couple that with the fact that they have been absolutely dominated and yet still "in" every game against a team they've beaten three times since Thanksgiving (twice on the road) and there's certainly - on paper - reason for measured optimism.

The Caps haven't played their best game yet, not by a long shot. The Flyers have. Probably twice.

Don't stop believin'.