Groundhog Day

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel

I’m starting to feel like that guy Phil, who was played by Bill Murray in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day.” Phil would wake up to the strains of Sonny and Cher on his radio/alarm clock every day, and then he would go through the day, which was exactly the same as each one that had preceded it. So it is with the Capitals. After Sunday’s day off, the Caps have had three practice days (Monday’s was optional) here at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Afterwards, the locker room is opened up to the scribes, their electronic counterparts and those of us who dabble in a bit of both. Usually, we’ve got games to talk about. But the Caps haven’t played since Saturday’s series clincher against the Rangers. One thing I thought to ask a few guys about today was this: after being involved in four Game 7 situations in the last three years, what goes through your head when you sit down to watch two other teams in a Game 7? “I hope it goes to five overtimes,” says Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. “I hope it’s really hard-hitting, and all of those things. That’s what you’re looking at. Then you’re watching on how they’re playing, whether they’re doing this or doing that. You’ve just got to keep it in your mind for when we finally know what’s going on.” “I’m just glad I’m not in it,” says Caps defenseman Mike Green. “I think that we’re very fortunate to be in the position we are in now. We’ve been in that situation before. It’s obviously fun to play in those games, but when you can close a round a little bit earlier than a Game 7, it’s a lot less pressure on you.” “Honestly,” says Caps forward Brooks Laich, “I’ll never understand what they go through, but I almost feel like a parent watching. Because it’s totally out of your control and it’s so exciting. I just have the vested interest in that one of these teams [is the one] we’re going to play and I just want to find out who it is. “But parents who watch, and they have a kid in the game, I can’t imagine what they go through at home. They must be in and out of their seat all night long and pulling their hair out. For me, it’s exciting, maybe more so than the average fan because I’m involved. “The series have been really exciting. I say it all the time, but this is the funnest time of the year. Every time I come to the rink, I’ve got a smile on my face. You’re zipping around town and there’s a buzz around town and you’re having fun. This is a special, special time.” Those are the words of a man who didn’t stay up for the Canucks-Hawks game. “I didn’t watch it,” admits Laich of Game 7 of the Vancouver-Chicago series. “I actually went to bed because I knew that was going to be a long time and I didn’t want to be up until one or two in the morning watching. I was laying in bed and I woke up at I think it was five in the morning or something, wondering, ‘Who won that game?’ I reached over and checked my phone quick so I could find out who won the game, and then I watched the highlights this morning.” “Like I said, just an amazing round one. And it will be capped off tonight.” We don’t know who the Caps play next or when the Caps play next. They could play as soon as Friday, or their rest could stretch a bit longer. They’d prefer the former. “Let’s play,” declares Laich. “I’d love to play Friday.”

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Special Delivery

January 14, 2013

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau mentioned yesterday that he believes special teams will be a key factor in the second-round playoff series between his Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The guy has seen some hockey in his day, so I’m betting he’s right. The Lightning were shorthanded 35 times in their


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