Caps v Habs in Round 1 of Cup Playoffs

The Washington Capitols now know that the first stop on the road to the Stanley Cup is in Montreal.  The number 1 seeded Caps will meed the eighth seeded Habs in a best of seven series in the first round of the NHL Playoffs.

Coach Bruce Boudreau and his squad have learned over the past two seasons what the playoffs are about.  And after playing back-to-back seven game series last year, eventually going out at the hands of the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins, they know how important a good start is in order to stay fresh and have some gas in the tank in the later rounds.  They will want to smother the Canadiens early.

First Round Schedule (Home Team, Date, Time, TV Network):
Game 1: @ Washington, Thu. 4/15, 7 p.m., TSN & Versus
Game 2: @ Washington, Sat. 4/17, 7 p.m., TSN & Versus
Game 3: @ Montreal, Mon. 4/19, 7 p.m., TSN
Game 4: @ Montreal, Wed. 4/21, 7 p.m., TSN
Game 5*: @ Washington, Fri 4/23, 7 p.m., TSN & Versus
Game 6*: @ Montreal, Mon. 4/26, 7 p.m., TSN & Versus
Game 7*: @ Washington, Wed. 4/28, TBD, TSN
* = if necessary

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NHL Award Predictions

With the 2009-2010 NHL season wrapping up this weekend, here are my predictions of award winner at the NHL Awards Night in Las Vegas on June 18th.

Stanley Cup
Awarded to: NHL Playoff Champion
Holder: Pittsburgh Penguins
Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks

Prince of Wales Trophy
Awarded to: Eastern Conference Playoff Champion
Holder: Pittsburgh Penguins
Prediction: Washington Capitols

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl
Awarded to: Western Conference Playoff Champion
Holder: Detroit Red Wings
Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks

President’s Trophy
Awarded to: Most Points in Regular Season
Holder: San Jose Sharks
Winner: Washington Capitols

Hart Memorial Trophy
Awarded to: League MVP
Holder: Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitols)
Prediction: Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitols)
Also Running: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres), Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks)

Vezina Trophy
Awarded to: Best Goalie
Holder: Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)
Prediction: Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres)
Also Running: Ilya Bryzgalov (Phoenix Coyotes), Martin Broeduer (New Jersey Devils), Craig Anderson (Colorado Avalanche)

James Norris Memorial Trophy
Awarded to: Best Defenseman
Holder: Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
Prediction: Mike Green (Washington Capitols)
Also Running: Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings), Chris Pronger (Philadelphia Flyers)

Calder Memorial Trophy
Awarded to: Best Rookie
Holder: Steve Mason (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Prediction: Tyler Myers (Buffalo Sabres)
Also Running: Matt Duchene (Los Angeles Kings), John Tavares (New York Islanders), Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings)

Jack Adams Award
Awarded to: Best Coach
Holder: Claude Julien (Boston Bruins)
Prediction: Dave Tippett (Phoenix Coyotes)
Also Running: Joe Sacco (Colorado Avalanche), Terry Murray (Los Angeles Kings), Cory Clouston (Ottawa Senators)

Lady Bing Memorial Trophy
Awarded for: Sportsmanship
Holder: Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Redwings)
Prediction: Brad Richards (Dallas Stars)
Also Running: Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)

Conn Smyth Trophy
Awarded to: Playoff MVP
Holder: Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Prediction: Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)

Art Ross Trophy
Awarded to: Points Leader
Holder: Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Leaders: Henrik Sedin – 107 (Vancouver Canucks) and Alex Ovechkin – 106 (Washington Capitols)

Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy
Award to: Most Goals
Holder: Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitols)
Leaders: Alex Ovechkin – 48 (Washington Capitols), Sidney Crosby – 48 (Pittsburgh Penguins), Steve Stamkos – 47 (Tampa Bay Lightning)

NHL Plus-Minus Award
Awarded to: Highest +/-
Holder: David Krejci (Boston Bruins)
Leaders: Jeff Schultz – +44 (Washington Capitols) and Alex Ovechkin – +43 (Washington Capitols)

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award
Awarded to: Highest Save Percentage
Holder: Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)
Leaders: Tuukka Rask – .930 (Boston Bruins), Ryan Miller – .928 (Buffalo Sabres)

William M. Jennings Trophy
Awarded to: Team Least Goals Against
Holders: Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez (Boston Bruins)
Leaders: Martin Brodeur – 186 (New Jersey Devils) and Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask – 194(Boston Bruins)

Not Listed: Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy (Perseverance, Sportsmanship, Dedication), Lester B. Pearson Award (Outstanding Player as voted by Players Association), Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward), King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Humanitarian Leadership), NHL Foundation Player Award (Community Service), Mark Messier Leadership Award (Leadership), NHL Lifetime Achievement Award, Scotiabank Fan Fav Award (Fans’ Favorite Player)

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