Pun­dits are feel­ing bullish on Cap­i­tals’ Cup chances

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY SCOTT ALLEN scott.allen@wash­post.com Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/ dc­sports­bog

While the Cap­i­tals in­tend to “stick to the script” in Barry Trotz’s sec­ond year at the helm, Cap­i­tals fans are prob­a­bly best served to fol­low owner Ted Leon­sis’s ad­vice when it comes to the script be­ing writ­ten by var­i­ous pun­dits for Washington’s sea­son.

“Face it; em­brace it. Re­cir­cu­late the pix­els, and then hit delete,” Leon­sis wrote of colum­nist RobMcKen­zie’s pre­dic­tion in Abu Dhabi’s English-lan­guage news­pa­per, The Na­tional, that the Cap­i­tals will win the Stan­ley Cup.

Leon­sis, who has blogged about other “jinx pix­els” of late, called it an over-the-top jinx. There have been plenty of state­side jinxes of the Cap­i­tals lead­ing up to the NHL sea­son, which be­gan Wed­nes­day. Here’s a sam­pling of peo­ple pre­dict­ing Alex Ovechkin and Co. will do big things in 2015-16.

NHL.com: Four of nine ex­perts think the Cap­i­tals will win the East; three of those ex­perts pre­dict Washington will win the Cup.

ESPN: Five of 11 ex­perts pre­dict the Cap­i­tals will rep­re­sent the East in the Stan­ley Cup fi­nals. Three pre­dict Washington will win it all.

Puck Daddy: Both ex­perts who pre­dict Washington will win the East— JenNeale and Ryan Lam­bert— also pre­dict the Caps will beat Bruce Boudreau and the Ducks for the Stan­ley Cup.

Sports Il­lus­trated: Two of SI’s four ex­perts pre­dict the Cap­i­tals will reach the Eastern Con­fer­ence fi­nals. Mike Blinn, who says BradenHoltby will el­e­vate his game and turn into an “un­solv­able Ru­bix [sic] cube be­tween the pipes,” pre­dicts the Cap­i­tals will win the Stan­ley Cup.

Grant­land: SeanMcIn­doe lists the Cap­i­tals among his Stan­ley Cup con­tenders but of­fers this bold pre­dic­tion: “Chok­ers no more: The Cap­i­tals fi­nally hit their post­sea­son stride and cap­ture the Metro crown. (Then choke in the con­fer­ence fi­nal.)” Ouch.

NBC Sports: One of four ex­perts picks the Cap­i­tals to win the Stan­ley Cup.

SB Na­tion: Three of 10 pan­elists pick the Cap­i­tals to win the East. Only one, Travis Hughes, pick Washington to win the Cup.

USA To­day: None of the 10 mem­bers ofUSA To­day’s power rank­ings panel pick the Cap­i­tals to win the Stan­ley Cup, but Tim Camp­bell, Bob Duff and Adam Vin­gan pre­dict Washington will win the East.

Sport­sNet: Six of 16 ex­perts pre­dict the Cap­i­tals will win the East, and three of those ex­perts pre­dict Washington will win the Stan­ley Cup.

The Hockey News: Ducks over

Cap­i­tals.

CBS Sports: Chris Peters ranks the Cap­i­tals hisNo. 2 Stan­ley Cup con­tender af­ter the Light­ning.

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