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Tuesday Caps Clips: Bring on the Leafs

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Maple Leafs come calling on Thursday to kick off the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here's what you need to know.

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NHL: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Congrats to prospect forward Beck Malenstyn, who signed a three-year ELC with the Caps. [Caps Today, NoVa Caps, RMNB]
  • #CapsCats wasn’t just any game for Garrett Mitchell. [WashTimes]
  • Get to know... Auston Matthews. [Rink]
  • Get to know... Jake Gardiner. [Rink]
  • [Braden Holtby’s] focus now is on being the same goaltender in the upcoming playoffs as he has been all season. No more. No less. [NHL.com]
  • You again? Alex Ovechkin and Leo Komarov have played with and against one another for years. They’re looking forward to this next tilt. [Toronto Sun]
  • Apparently the Caps have more players than just Ovechkin and one or more or all of them could be problematic for the Leafs. [canoe.com]
  • Ah, but the Leafs’ “young guns” could be problematic for the Caps... [WaPo, theScore]
  • ... and the kids aren’t scared of the two-time Presidents’ Trophy winners. Not even a little bit. Nope. Nope. Nope. [CSNMA]
  • Regardless, ultimately they’ll regret losing that last game to Columbus, because that Ottawa matchup would have been better for them. [THN]
  • Scouting reports and previews:
  • Round One previews. [AP, Stars and Sticks, NoVa Caps, NHL.com]
  • Head-to-head stats. [NoVa Caps]
  • “Key number - One. That's the total postseasons in Alexander Ovechkin's career in which he's scored more than five goals. (Weirdly, he's scored exactly five goals in five different playoffs.) If the Leafs are missing two of their three defensemen on the right side, Ovechkin may crack that five-goal mark by the second intermission of Game One.” [Down Goes Brown via Vice Sports]
  • Lucky Leafs are lucky... [The Star (Damien Cox advisory)]
  • ... and subject to the Power of Positive Thinking. [The Star (Bruce Arthur advisory)]
  • Why the Leafs will win Lord Stanley's Cup: "From forwards Auston Matthews to William Nylander to Mitch Marner to Nazem Kadri to goalie Frederik Andersen, the Maple Leafs are ready to win it all, and ready to win now. And they will... Add to that the way [coach Mike Babcock] has convinced his team, including the rookies, to play defense and to mature as players without the puck, something especially tricky with youngsters. But he has done it, and his team has responded and will in the playoffs, ahead of anyone's predictions to bring the Stanley Cup to Toronto in the process.” [NHL.com]
  • Why the Caps will win Lord Stanley's Cup: "This is the season the Washington Capitals will finally win the Stanley Cup. You probably have read that before, but his time it will happen. With a more balanced attack, there's less of a need for Ovechkin, who had 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season, to carry the offense. The Capitals are as deep at center as they've ever been. On defense, the trade for Kevin Shattenkirk on Feb. 27 has given them arguably the deepest top six in the League. This season, there's no need for the Capitals to flip [a] switch. Since a season-worst four-game losing streak from March 6-12, they've been building their game so it's exactly where they want it to be heading into the playoffs, and it will end with them winning the Stanley Cup." [NHL.com]
  • Why your team won’t win the Cup this year. [USA Today]
  • Does winning back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies set the Caps up for success? [THN]
  • If Cheerless and Fearless moved to Toronto, they’d sound a lot like this. [PPP]
  • Here’s a roundup of Canadian radio hot taeks. [MLHS]
  • X-Factor: Shattenkirk. [NHL.com]
  • Leafs’ X-Factor: Komarov. [NHL.com]
  • Injuries could be a concern for Toronto. [HB]
  • Predictions:
  • Caps in 5. [Stars and Sticks, NHL.com (video), Puck Prose]
  • Caps in 6. [N/A]
  • Caps in 7. [N/A]
  • All of ESPN picks the Caps. [ESPN (and again)]
  • If you're looking to round out a fantasy roster, John Carlson could be a good choice. [Dobber Hockey]
  • The Rink has its very own Bracket Challenge, and everyone is invited to join in (you too, lurkers!) [Bracket Challenge]
  • For something completely random, take a photo tour of Magnitogorsk with the Gagarin Cup. [KHL.ru]
  • For something rather infuriating, here’s the story of the end of funding for Joe Juneau’s hockey programs for Inuit kids in Arctic Quebec. [Globe and Mail]
  • Finally, happy 29th 39th birthday to Ben Clymer, happy 66th to Ron Jones, and happy 47th to Trevor Linden.
  • Don't forget: Check back frequently today as we'll have plenty of previews, profiles and more coming your way.