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Playoff Pick 'em: Capitals (1) vs. Smurfs (8)

There are far more intelligent previews for this series here [BTN], here [BB] and here [Japers']. So I will just toil in the petty derision of a rival instead, reflecting the nature of resource wars in the 21st century:

2010-11 Guy G-A-Pts Cap Hit
Gaborik 22-26-48 $7.50M
Moulson 31-22-53 $2.45M
Frolov 7-9-16 $3.00M
Parenteau 20-33-53 $0.60M
Avery 3-21-24 $1.94M
Martin 5-9-14 $0.85M
Gilroy 3-8-11 $1.75M
Hamonic 5-21-26 $0.88M

That cherry-picked table is somewhat unfair and quite simplistic (but that's what petty rival-slurring is all about, isn't it? And if we really wanted to be unfair, we'd point out Ranger draft pick and Islander property Al Montoya's EV Save % is .929 while Henrik Lundqvist's is .930).

Point is, being able to throw money around isn't an automatic route to happiness. The Rangers' best players -- who more closely align with the Isles in compensation -- are testament to that.

Make your picks in the poll after the jump.

Was-slim_medium Nyr-slim_medium
Capitals (48-23-11) vs. Rangers (44-33-5)
Season Series: 2 NYR Reg. W, 1 NYR SOW, 1 Was Reg. W
SBN Fanatics: Japers' Rink | Blueshirt Banter
Wednesday, April 13 at Washington, 7:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS (JIP)
Friday, April 15 at Washington, 7:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Sunday, April 17 at New York, 3:00 p.m. NBC (HD), TSN
Wednesday, April 20 at New York, 7:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
*Saturday, April 23 at Washington, 3:00 p.m. TSN, NBC (HD)
*Monday, April 25 at New York, TBD TSN
*Wednesday, April 27 at Washington, TBD TSN

Islander Factor: Tom Poti...John Erskine...Bryan McCabe...surely others

Amusing Headline: "Red-Hot Gaborik Could be Key." Wow, that's a lot of ifs.

The season series includes two absolute demolitions of the Caps, 7-0 and 6-0. The second one was in February, long after the Capitals' mid-season course correction when they shifted to a more conservative defensive style. Still, the fact the Capitals did that and rallied to again take the Eastern Conference's top seed is impressive.

So do you go with the team that's better, hotter, and generally more consistent? Or the team that had the Capitals' number and has Henrik Lundqvist, who can erase the edge the Capitals have and be the difference in a long series? And how much does Ryan Callahan's injury affect things?

Heart Says: Rangers swept in three games.

Head Says: A long battle, but the media-friendly circus side stories of Torotorella snapping, Gaborik slumping, and Avery being Avery mean the Rangers don't get it done. Capitals in six.

Seriously though, is this the kind of thing where you'll be tuning in, or looking away? Or looking away until it's safe to tune in?

LHH Full Playoff Bracket Pool: In WebBard's FanPost

Previous series polls: Penguins-Lightning series | Red Wings-Coyotes series | More coming today and tomorrow...