April 14, 2010

Stanley Cup Betting Preview: Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals



#8 Montreal Canadians
(39-33-10, 88 pts)

#1 Washington Capitals
(54-15-13, 121 pts)

Montreal Canadiens

How They Got Here: The only team more upset than the Rangers about New York’s shootout loss on the final day of the regular season was Montreal, which went from the #7 down to the #8 seed in the playoffs. However, the Habs shouldn’t complain, as they are one of the few teams in the NHL playoffs that scored fewer goals (217) than they allowed (223) this year.
Player To Watch: There aren’t many Canadiens with more playoff experience that C Scott Gomez has from all of his years with the Devils. This is a man that knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. He led the team in assists with 47 this year, and Gomez is going to have to step it up even more so if Montreal is pulling off the colossal upset.
Goalie Outlook: The decision whether to play G Jaroslav Halak or G Carey Price is going to be an interesting one. Neither had great numbers this year, as Halak had a 2.40 GAA while Price had a 2.77 GAA, and Halak has allowed 11 goals in his L/3 starts. Either way, the task at hand of stopping the Capitals is nearly impossible.
Key To Victory: Pray you catch the Caps sleeping four times? There really doesn’t seem to be any other way that Montreal is going to be able to knock off Washington, especially at the Verizon Center. Either Halak or Price is going to have to have the series of their lives to advance.

Washington Capitals

How They Got Here: The Caps had the best record in the NHL for the majority of the season, and it’s thanks to an offense that is just a lot of fun to watch. Washington was averaging over 4.0 goals per game around the Olympic break, and finished the year easily as the top scoring team at 3.8 goals per game.
Player To Watch: LW Alexander Ovechkin had every right in the world to be called the Richard Trophy winner this year even though he only scored 50 goals, one shy of both Pittsburgh’s C Sidney Crosby and Tampa Bay’s C Steven Stamkos. Why? Ovie pulled off the stunt in just 72 games. He’ll be the focal point as always for a deep Caps run into the playoffs.
Goalie Outlook: Does it really matter who is between the pipes for Washington with an offense this good? G Jose Theodore may have a 2.81 GAA this year, but he did win 30 of his 47 appearances, which is a tremendous ratio.
Key To Victory: Just keep doing what you’re doing. There’s no reason for Washington to struggle with Montreal. It’s hard to see how anyone is going to find a way to knock a team out of the playoffs that tallied 121 points in the regular season as long as they don’t press the self-destruct button at any point.

The Final Word: This is just a David vs. Goliath matchup. Yes, playing in Montreal could be difficult, and Washington may drop a game north of the border, but in all likelihood, this won’t ever be a contest.

Capitals in 4

Personal Story: Interview With Former Director for Transnational Threats on National Security Council Roger Cressey

O’Reilly Factor (FOX News) May 22, 2003 | Bill O’Reilly Bill O’Reilly The O’Reilly Factor (Fox News Network) 05-22-2003 O’REILLY: In the “Personal Story” segment tonight, as you may know, I have been very critical of former attorney general, Janet Reno, because evidence suggests that she simply would not investigate major corruption during the Clinton administration. Now, ABC News is reporting that Ms. go to website national security council

Reno may have stopped an FBI operation designed to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. The year, 1998, under President Clinton.

Joining us now from Washington is Roger Cressey, former director for Transnational Threats on National Security Council. Mr. Cressey, What say you about the report?

ROGER CRESSEY, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL: Well, Bill, the short answer is Janet Reno doesn’t have a veto authority over that type of activity. Janet has one vote at the table when the principals meet on issues like this, but she doesn’t have a veto. I think what the story says is this was a joint FBI-CIA operation and, in effect, it would have been the CIA that would have had the veto authority over this.

O’REILLY: Well, according to the report that we have ABC News, the FBI put together this operation. Now, you know how the FBI and the CIA get along, OK? So, I don’t know, I’m not there.

But, if it was an FBI operation, Janet Reno could have shut it down because she shut down a number of operations that were involved with President Clinton getting money from the Chinese military for a campaign, Johnny Chung, shut them down by various — various degrees. You know what I mean? And that’s very well known.

So it — it doesn’t strain credulity to think that she might have interfered with the FBI’s participation in the bin Laden situation here.

CRESSEY: Well, I can’t speak to the other episodes, but I do know the counterterrorism portfolio, and the way it works on counterterrorism policy is that all the principals come together when there is a plan that passes the test for their consideration.

O’REILLY: Right.

CRESSEY: Their job then is to review it, see if they have all the intelligence that they need, is the operational plan sound from a variety of perspectives, and then decide whether or not to re — to send it to the president.

O’REILLY: All right. But here’s — here’s my scenario. ABC News is usually pretty good…

CRESSEY: Usually.

O’REILLY: … on these kind of stories, all right? You know, they — they don’t make them up. And they got — they got a source here. Jack Cloonan, former FBI agent, is now ABC News consultant. He works for them, OK?

CRESSEY: Right.

O’REILLY: Got to take that into consideration, all right?

CRESSEY: Sure.

O’REILLY: Now he says flat out this happened. Now I have a tendency to believe Mr. Cloonan, and I’ll tell you why because Reno wouldn’t make this call on her own, no way she does that.

She was a puppet attorney general, one of the worst attorney generals that the country’s ever had, maybe the worst. She took her orders from Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton was very hesitant to do any of this kind of stuff, and I spoke to the president myself about this, all right, and he claims that he was very aggressive in hunting Usama bin Laden, but he was not.

We know he didn’t in the Sudan, all right. We know that he was very, very cautious in launching any military action on foreign soil, particularly after Somalia, all right.

So I’m believing this report from Cloonan.

CRESSEY: Well, look, Jack’s actually a very good FBI agent, and I don’t doubt his intentions here, but, you know, here’s the bottom line when it comes to finding bin Laden in Afghanistan prior to 9/11.

You needed actionable, predictive intelligence about where he was on a given day in order to put together an operation that then could be successful, and whether or not Attorney General Reno killed this plan is really immaterial.

The real issue is did we have the type of actionable intelligence…

O’REILLY: Well, we’ll never know. We’ll never know.

CRESSEY: We will never know.

O’REILLY: But I don’t think that’s the real issue. See, what I think the real issue is is that the Clinton administration, for at least six years out of the eight that they were in office, knew that al Qaeda and Usama bin Laden were threats to this country. Yet they were very, very hesitant to take proactive action against him and al Qaeda for a variety of political reasons. And I don’t think you would deny that, would you? here national security council

CRESSEY: Actually, I would deny that on counterterrorism. I mean I served in both the Clinton and the Bush National Security Council staffs, and the issue was always what type of information do we have that would allow us to…

O’REILLY: All right. But wait a minute. If you’re going to deny that…

CRESSEY: … go after these guys.

O’REILLY: … how do you then square the Sudan government telling us, the press and everybody else, hey, we would have handed this guy over to you, and you didn’t want him? How do you square that?

CRESSEY: Well, there’s a couple of points there.

One, the person who was the agent of the Sudanese government had his own agenda. There was never any compelling evidence given to the administration saying that was going to be the case.

So you can’t just take this one individual’s word at face value. He had his own agenda there.

And trust me, if there were…

O’REILLY: Backed up by the Saudis. They backed it up.

CRESSEY: No. Actually, they did not.

O’REILLY: Well…

CRESSEY: There was conflicting signals there, and the Saudis, as you well know, Bill…

O’REILLY: All right. Now…

CRESSEY: … sometimes speak out of both sides of their mouth.

O’REILLY: To be — that’s truth. To be fair, in hindsight, after 9/11, it’s a lot easier to make these charges, and I can’t prove it…

CRESSEY: Absolutely.

O’REILLY: … but I’m just saying, hey, there might be something here.

Mr. Cressey, thanks very much. Very interesting.

CRESSEY: Thank you.

O’REILLY: When we come back, the most controversial story of the evening by far. An Arizona man may spend the rest of his life in prison for possessing child porn. Right back with it.

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