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February 6, 2011

Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators: Two Teams That Never Gave Up

At the beginning of the season very few people would have picked the Caps and Predators to be in the playoff running. The Caps have not been in a playoffs since 2002 and for those that don’t pay the Caps much attention, they wouldn’t think that the Caps would have a chance. The Predators, a team that generally does well went through all type of turmoil about whether or not they would be moved from Nashville and they lost four of their best players. Whenever a team losing several key players, they are not expected to make it to the playoffs.

Well, you might be amazed at what you can do if you try. The odds were against both of these teams and no one had them picked for anything. They weren’t discussed in the beginning of the season as being teams that would make any impact of be a factor in the playoffs. Very few people believed in the Caps and Predators, but the most important people, the teams and coaching staffs did.

Bruce Boudreau and Barry Trotz have got to be number one and two in the running for coach of the year. The Caps and Predators have played with heart throughout the last few weeks of the season. These two teams came out and made up for lost time at the end of the season. Now they will both step into the playoffs where the slate is wiped clean and they have the momentum of fighting their way into the playoffs to reinforce their desire to win.

The Predators strung together a team that could win games by getting a little bit of something from every player. Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont lead the offensive side of the team while Dan Ellis and Chris Mason fought to hold their team games by guarding the net. The Owners hung in there with Trotz and he was able to find the right glue for team.

After changing head coaches early in the season and bringing in a coach that had never coached in the NHL. The Capitals were one of the teams in the league that looked like they would play hard like they have the past few seasons but not necessarily make the playoffs. However, the Washington Capitals had different plans.

There are many great talented players in the NHL and there are a good number of great ones. Alexander Ovechkin is one of the great ones that comes to play every night. The fire in his eyes is maintained through every game. In his three seasons in the league he has missed one game. He comes out and plays physical, scores goals and plays until the last minute of every game. He is not the captain but he is a role model for other players and he celebrates the goals of others as enthusiastically as he does his own. He plays with that love and joy that many lose after years of playing the game. I think that Ovechkin truly loves the game of hockey.

These two teams that have truly earned the title of “Cinderella” are what hockey is all about. Two teams that believed even when there was nothing to believe in. I think that most of us, even if our favorite team is in the playoffs, will be pulling for the Caps and Predators.

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