So the Canadiens draw the mighty Capitals in Round One, and everyone will quite rightly say that regular season match-ups mean nothing in the playoffs. Fair enough.
But throw the 2-1-1 regular season record against Washington out the window and just look at how the Canadiens played against this team in those four games. They competed in each and every one, save for maybe the 4-2 regulation loss on Jan. 5, but even that was a one-goal game late into the third.
The Capitals are a fine offensive machine, no question. They have the league's most exciting player, most offensively dynamic defenceman, and two supporting players that would be the best on just about any other team. It's a daunting challenge.
But the playoffs are all about challenges, and I'm not willing to write off the Canadiens in this one just yet.
I'll spend the next couple of days breaking it down, but this post was more to announce that I'll be hitting the road to cover the series for CBC.ca as a playoff blogger for a third straight year. Very excited about it, but it means this blog might not be quite as full as it should be in the midst of a playoff series. I'll still check in here very regularly, and will provide links to my work for CBC and The Canadian Press so you can check out what I'm up to.