First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton on the latest sports news

Apr 15, 2010

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

With the Caps and Habs squaring off in Game 1 of their first-round series tonight, what else could we talk about today but hockey? How will Jose Theodore perform? How important IS goaltending in the playoffs, anyway? Is being a No. 1 seed the kiss of death? (In hockey, I mean. I think we already know the answer in college hoops.)

Let’s predict how the series outcome and give Tracee ideas on what to see and do in Montreal. (And let’s tell Tracee not to refer to herself in the third person while we’re at it.)


One of the fun things to do is speak English loudly and slowly to everyone you encounter. They love that.

Really? I'll have to try that! Thanks!

Good morning everyone! Playoffs are actually happening in our fair city, tonight. Feels good, right?

Any intertest on the series down there?

I'm assuming this question comes from Montreal, aka "up there"? Yes, quite a lot of interest down here, actually. Give us your series prediction, why don't you?

Good morning, Tracee. I realize today should be all about the Caps, but I'm hoping you'll answer one Redskins question: It seems that Haynesworth getting traded is a fait accompli. What can the Redskins reasonably expect in return? Detroit's number 2? Detroit needs a DT. Haynesworth is a proven stud, and he's guaranteed "only" $9 million over the next two years...far cheaper than an unproven rookie they'd pick with the #2. For a cash strapped franchise, wouldn't this be a good trade for both teams? Likewise, what do you think the Skins would get from the Titans? Thanks Tracee.

And because this is Washington, our next question reverts to the Skins. Well, this is what separates us form the Canadians.

Detroit's No. 2 is a possibility. It wouldn't be a bad deal for either team but perhaps the Lions want a player with a little less baggage.

The Titans have the No. 16 in the first round and then don't have another pick until No. 77. So there's not a lot of fodder there. Doesn't mean it won't happen.

All the lower seeds won last night. In which series (if any) do you think we'll see a first round upset? Please don't say Washington/Montreal.

I don't think all the lower seeds won. Detroit lost to Phoenix and they're the 5 seed, right? Trying to remember off the top of my head. That's the lower seed I'd like to see in an upset, the Wings.

How about Sens over Pens? Or is it more important to beat the Pens again in the playoffs? Discuss.

Tracee, Hope you don't mind another football question. After all it IS Washington. So do you think the Alouettes can win their third Gray Cup this year?


(Thanks for the laugh, although it's the GREY Cup, because it's Canada, and they spell funny.)

I have been a Caps fan since the late '70s and I can not remember being this excited for the start of any actually any sport (maybe the Redskins in early '90s would come close!) What is the one thing the Caps need to be very careful of to ensure they make a nice, long run in playoffs and hopefully bring Lord Stanley's Cup to DC?

Alex Ovechkin's health springs immediately to mind.

I think goaltending will be important in particular for the Caps. Boudreau has been pretty good at playing the right goalie at the right time and he'll have to keep that up. I don't think one goalie will start every game for the Caps, and that's somewhat against conventional wisdom.


If the Nats' Jason Bergmann came in as goalie relief for the Caps, would he become the first goalie to give up 5 goals on only three shots?

Ouch! But yes....

Yes, a hot goalie is important in the playoffs, but the officiating can be more critical to what teams win. In the past it seems that the officials called less in the playoffs. If this occurs in Cap/hab series, could favor the caps as there will be less penalties. Your thoughts

Agree about fewer calls favoring the Caps. It seems officials call fewer penalities in all sports in the postseason; I wonder if someone has done a definitive study on that.

I am also intrigued as to why the game changes so much in the postseason in hockey. The NBA game doesn't change in the playoffs; the only difference is that more people watch it. I'm no hockey expert but I'm interested in this. Tarik's story in the Post today deals with that question.

I was struggling with the question of whether I want Pittsburgh to win or not as I was watching some of that game last night. In the end, though, I was happy they lost. I simply cannot root for them. Would it be sweeter for the Caps to go through the Pens and win the Cup? Yes. Will I be fine if we can avoid them? Also yes.

That is a very Zen attitude to have; good for you. I felt the same way when Kansas had to play Carolina in '08.

Up here is Toronto actually - Unfortunately, we're out :( I see Ovie's Team taking this in 5. It's a great team and my favorite to watch. I'll be watching tonight.

Oh, Toronto. The first Canadian city I ever visited. No, wait, that was Windsor. I'm sorry for your Leafs but must admit I've seen enough of the giant maple leaf on the jersey for this year, thanks to the Olympics.

Caps in five. There is our first prediction, from Toronto, no less. Caps fans, what say you?

While it would give me great pleasure to see Ovi deck (oops, check) Crosby a few times, it would even better to see the Pens lose in the first round. Are you in Monteal now? If so, do the Habs' fans have confidence in Haslak?

I am not in Montreal and haven't been able to get through all the stories on the website yet, so I can't answer that. The Montreal Gazette has, uh, a LOT of coverage. Not surprising, very impressive.

Also, don't order BBQ chicken unless you like pieces of rotobird dried to within an inch (or centimetre, or whatever they use up there in Canuckistan) of its life. And the fries? Don't get me started.

No pomme frites, no bbq chicken. Got it. Wish I had paid more attention in French class.

I have been there about 15 times in last 30 years for the Forumla 1 race. Montreal has the best bagels in the Americas. Great resaurants of every type and all different cuisines. The Metro is the example for DC. This isn't for Tracee but Montreal has the most attractive and hot ladies. Also they have the best strip clubs in North America. Montreal was much better experience when the Canadian dollar was in the dumps. Now its almsot at par with the US dollar.

Wait, better strip clubs than the Windsor Ballet? Oh my.

Formula One is an experience unlike any other. Used to have it in Detroit, of course.

I personally am fine with the Penguins losing before we face them. Not that I am afraid for us facing them but I'm even more fine with them losing early. That said, I am quite nervous for the Capitals.

You're my kind of fan. I'm the same way about the Jayhawks, which is probably not the parallel you'd like to hear.

Some are calling for the Caps to exorcise demons by going through the Pens to get to the SCF. I say nuts to that.

The most important "demon" to exorcise is winning the stinking cup. If getting rid of the Pens and Devils in the first round provides an easier path to the finals for the Caps I say go Sens! Go Flyers (although that last one freaking hurt!).

So clear the decks and get the monkey of their backs, says you. Got it.

Re: "a hot goalie is important in the playoffs, but the officiating can be more critical."

You must be a long-suffering Caps fan. Anyway, Washington has a very good chance to win the Cup this year but it will be ten times greater if they go through Pittsburgh along the way.

An advocate of the "beat Pittsburgh along the way" method.

You are correct in that The Desert Dogs (#4) beat the Red Wings (#5), not a lower seed upset. I also briefly had that thought this morning. Plus a 5 beating a 4 isnt much of an upset. Go Caps!

Thanks. Wings making their 19th straight playoff appearance, I believe. Impressive. I still have a soft spot for them from my Detroit days. No, a 5 beating a 4 isn't a terribly big deal. Flyers beating the Devils -- that would be big.

I went to a Caps/Habs game at the old arena and told a friend sitting next to me that there wouldn't be many fights as the Habs were known as a skating/passing team. So the puck gets dropped and hadn't even hit the ice and a Caps player starts hitting the Habs player next to him. So much for my prediction. And the kid in the next row was wearing a Habs yarmulke.

Awesome. I'm guessing you mean The Forum, or do you mean the Cap Centre?

Hi, I read all the comments and what I'm sensing is that your male comentors think this girl is making it up or poor BB, those young girls just throw themselves at him. I guess when it was reported that she had blood near her below regions that it just a drunk girl having fun. Stop and think...if this was your sister, your cousin, your friend...and sure she was drunk...would you want this guy preying on her and thinking because he's BB, anything goes? As the DA said, grow up. All of you. Thanks for the rant space.

Oh, we're all about the rant space here.

Gotta run. Thanks, everyone, for your questions. Join me again tomorrow!

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinons and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from geneology to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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