Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 5/11/12

The two most exciting words in all of sports: Game Seven. Both teams leave everything on the line, knowing that only one tiny mistake can end an entire season. On Saturday, the top seeded New York Rangers will take on the seventh seeded Washington Capitals for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals, one step closer to every hockey player’s dream of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup high above their heads.

The Capitals have played a large role in what has been a postseason full of upsets. In the first round, the Caps knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in seven games. Many expected these same Caps to have no chance against the Henrik Lundvquist led Rangers, but Washington continued to shock the world. Young goaltender Braden Holtby has matched Lundvquist’s play this series, and these aren’t the same Caps of the past.

Earlier this season, the Caps were known as a team that was going to score a lot of goals, but give up nearly as many. This led to a ton of regular season wins, but failure postseason after postseason. Just a few weeks into the 2012 season, Washington fired coach Bruce Boudreau for the more defensive minded Dale Hunter. Although this resulted in the Caps losing more regular season games, this is the most promising playoff run they have had in the Ovechkin era.

As a result of this newfound identity, I am picking the Capitals to win game 7. Realistically, Washington is one stupid Joel Ward penalty from already being in the Eastern Conference Finals. In addition, every time the Caps have needed a big game, Holtby has answered the call. Look for a very physical game with a lot of big hits, blocked shots, and incredible goalie play. When the final horn sounds, MSG will be stunned as they look at the scoreboard and see Washington 2 New York 1 after a double overtime game winning goal for the Caps. You heard it hear first.


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