Shanoff's WUC: Habs, Tiger, Bucks, Mets, Fins

Today's Calls: Jaroslav Halak vs. Alexander Ovechkin, Tiger Woods vs. Quail Hollow, Brandon Jennings vs. the Hawks, Mavs vs. San Antonio fans, Mets vs. Braves, Tim Lincecum vs. the N.L. champs, Colt McCoy vs. Tim Tebow, Mark Emmert vs. a college football playoff and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: "We didn't win when we have to win." ↵

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↵That's a shocked Alexander Ovechkin -- the NHL's best player, the captain of the East's No. 1-seeded playoff team ... now attached to one of the biggest choke-jobs in hockey history. ↵

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↵• Chalk it up to the Caps' mental block with big games. ↵

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↵• Chalk it up to Montreal's brilliant Jaroslav Halak and the "Hot Goalie Theory." ↵

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↵• Chalk it up to residual Canadian mojo from the Olympics. ↵

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↵• Chalk it up to an entirely wacky bracket in the NHL's East. ↵

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↵• If you were an embittered, redded-out Caps fan, you could even chalk it up to Ovie's controversial non-goal in the 3rd -- although that's hardly an excuse. ↵

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↵In the end, it was more than an 8-seed topping a 1-seed -- that's been done 8 times before since 1994. ↵

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↵If you like your ignominy to be unique, the Caps became the first playoff top-seed to lose a 3-1 series lead over an 8-seed. Three straight wins for the Canadiens, including last night's shocker in D.C. ↵

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↵For the Habs, a miracle that ranks up there on the litany of big moments in the storied franchise's history. ↵

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↵For the Caps -- and for Ovie -- disappointment and humiliation. Ovie may still be MVP of the league, but this series loss now defines his career. ↵

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↵Tiger at Quail Hollow: Even though there is General Admission, don't expect fans to heckle Woods. (But all it takes is one!) ↵

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↵NBA Playoffs: Tyreke Evans might be Rookie of the Year, and Stephen Curry might get all the love, but Brandon Jennings has led his team to the brink of a huge upset -- Jennings had 25 in the Bucks' shocking Game 5 win in Atlanta, which included Milwaukee outscoring the Hawks 30-18 in the 4th quarter. That puts the Hawks on the brink of elimination. It's not quite Caps-level, but it would be big. ↵

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↵The Nuggets might have won a must-win Game 5, but they will have trouble in Game 6 without Nene. (To be fair, he only played 12 minutes last night before exiting with the injury; Denver still won without him.) ↵

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↵Tonight: Spurs can close out the Mavs in San Antonio; Blazers can force a Game 7 against the Suns. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵• Mets are the new Braves. ↵

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↵• Braves are the new Mets. ↵

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↵• Hard-luck ND for Lincecum ↵

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↵• Hoodie Watch: Maddon-Belichick BFF ↵

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↵• MLB's most surprising: Livan! ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: James Shields (12 Ks) ↵

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↵NFL Draft: Colt McCoy might have the most long-term upside of any of the drafted QBs (per Florio), but Tebow will have the biggest impact as a rookie, when he will get critical situational snaps, earn big 1st-downs and produce TDs -- immediately. ↵

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↵Jeff Ireland-Dez Bryant: Fins owner Steve Ross is under some pressure to punish Ireland. Bryant has accepted Ireland's apology -- that might not be enough. ↵

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↵Complaint Dept: Dwight Howard had to know that griping about the refs on his blog would draw a fine from the NBA. Hope he felt better for that $35K he paid. Remains to be seen whether the refs will be influenced -- one way or the other. ↵

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↵Non-Scandals: Apparently, the 2006 Florida football team did more than light up Ohio State. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I do not expect the NCAA to lead that charge." -- New NCAA president Mark Emmert, on a college football playoff. (Brian Cook has great analysis.) ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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