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Thursday Caps Clips: Round 1, Game 1 Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Game 1 is finally here and we've got previews, story lines, matchups, players to watch and more.

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Bruce Bennett

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Previews of Game 1 against the Rangers from Vogs, NHL.com and PuckBuddys, and be sure to check out our SB Nation pals - or for the next four to seven games, our mortal enemies - over at Blueshirt Banter and friend of the blog ScottyHockey.
  • Notes and assorted whatnot from yesterday out at Kettler:
  • Maturity, experience, and some excellent coaching of late have turned Alex Ovechkin into a captain worth following. [WaPo (Wise)]
  • That last one doesn't exactly comes as a surprise to Brett Hull, who knew that Adam Oates would be the perfect coach for Ovechkin. [NHL.com]
  • Interesting graphic on where Alex Ovechkin's goals go in compared to where Henrik Lundqvist gives up the most goals. [ESPN]
  • Ovi for Hart! [CSNW]
  • Ovi for Hart... runner-up! [CBC (30 Thoughts)]
  • For Martin Erat, a postseason run with the Caps presents a new opportunity and a fresh start. [WashTimes]
  • The "good old days" weren't so good in the eyes of the Caps, because they lacked postseason success - and the Caps are looking to put that all behind them. [WaPo, WashTimes]
  • Speaking of the good old days... relive each and every heartbreaking one of 'em. Because as a Caps fan, you're a masochist, just like the rest of us. [WashTimes]
  • Previewing the series on the eve of the opener:
    • In general. [WashTimes, AP, THW]
    • While some teams limp into the postseason, the Caps and Rangers both head into the playoffs blazing hot. [NBCW]
    • Top five story lines to watch. [WaPo]
    • But let's be honest, one of the more entertaining story lines to watch in this one will be the juxtaposition of Adam Oates' calm demeanor and John Tortorella's... Tortarella-ness. [CSNW]
    • In fact, it's almost impossible to find an article about Oates that doesn't include the words "respect", "trust" and "communication". Here's two more words: "Jack" and "Adams". [NHL.com]
    • The Caps will need Steven Oleksy (who is making his NHL playoff debut) and Jack Hillen (veteran of two playoff games) to be stalwart against the Rangers. [CSNW, WashTimes]
    • Alex Ovechkin is one of a handful of players with something to prove this spring. Also, the sky is still blue. [SI.com]
    • Be afraid of the Caps' power play, Rangers. Be very afraid. [WaPo]
  • Checking in with the New York state of mind:
    • John Tortorella can't wait to get this series started. Aww, isn't that sweet? We missed you too, Torts. [Newsday]
    • Forget about Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist - the one to watch in blue will be Derek Stepan, who is quietly having a heck of a year. [NHL.com, NJ.com]
    • But also... don't forget about Rick Nash. [ESPN NY, WashTimes]
    • So how will that Nash- and Stepan-led offense fare against the Caps' defense? [NJ.com]
    • With Marc Staal and Ryan Clowe just a few of the names on the shelf at the moment, one thing the Rangers lack heading into this series is depth. [ESPN NY, CBC, Blueshirt Banter]
  • Get out the crystal ball, it's prediction time:
    • Rangers in seven. And the Caps in six. And the Caps in six. And the Ranger-...oh, you get the idea. [Puck Daddy]
    • Caps in six. [CSNW, Peerless]
    • Rangers in six. [NJ.com]
    • Michael Wilbon doesn't just pick the Caps to win the series, he thinks they're going all the way to the Finals... and losing to his ("his") Blackhawks. We'll take it. [DC Sports Bog]
    • The Caps get Wilbon, the Rangers get... a video game. Eh, it's a push. [SI.com]
  • Peerless makes his picks for each of the Eastern Conference series. Well, with the exception of one, that is. Cliffhanger!!1 [Peerless]
  • ...oh. Never mind. [Peerless]
  • Wrapping up the countdown of the Caps' two best games of the season. [CSNW (Raby)]
  • There really is nothing like the NHL playoffs, and sometimes the first round is just as good as - if not better than - the Finals. [Globe and Mail]
  • Congrats to the Reading Royals, as they beat the Florida Everblades to earn a ticket to the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals. Bring on the Cyclones! [Caps Outsider]
  • The feature story on Alex Ovechkin in this week's Sports Illustrated came very close to being the cover story... whew. [DC Sports Bog, Ted's Take]
  • So just how much do injuries impact a team's performance? A look at the walking wounded around the League and where they ended up last season. [EotP]
  • The Caps are ready to go. The Rangers are ready to go. Are you? Find out with this handy checklist. [Caps Outsider]
  • Looking at where the owners of playoff-bound teams spent their money in the last election. Because...reasons. Or something. [Philly.com]
  • A collection of Caps fan t-shirts that should never, ever be made. Although... I don't know, that "Get Well, Laich's Groin" one isn't so bad. [Caps Outsider]
  • This autographed Caps' car - to say nothing of the pictures of giggling players signing it - has to be one of the cooler (and pricier) keepsakes. [WaPo]
  • Finally, happy 34th birthday to Jason Chimera. If you need a way to celebrate, Jason, we have a suggestion...