Shawn Matthias, of the Florida Panthers, scores against Jaroslav Halak, of the Montreal Canadiens.
You know Ovechkin, Backstrom, Theodore, Green without even saying their first names. Can you name a Canadiens player?
The diehard hockey fans may be able to but the average fan probably couldn't pick a Canadiens player out of a lineup.
Gill, Markov, Gionta!
Those are the team captains, by the way...
Even though we don't know much about the Habs, don't underestimate them. Hockey is different than other sports. The No. 8 seed has knocked off the No. 1 seed four times in the past 10 years.
The Canadiens also have a difficult goalie decision to make. Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak, who started 14 of the last 17 games? Price faced the Caps in all four of the teams' meetings this season.
The Canadiens squeeked into the playoffs while the Capitals have been on cruise control for the past few months.
Last year the Caps almost lost to the N.Y. Rangers, and the team's inxperience showed. This year, it's a different team and the time is now. The Stanley Cup is the goal and anything less than a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals would be a disappointment. So expect the Caps to cruise into the second round and watch out for a potential rematch with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As for round one, don't forget to rock the red Thursday at the Verizon Center as the Caps' quest for the Cup begins...