Caps Daily Glass Bump: Jan 97h Pregame Info
Today is the official half-way point in the season and the Capitals hope to continue their latest streak. Much of that will depend on Braden Holtby who is largely responsible for the number one position the Caps hold. Without a doubt, this will be all about the goalie matchup as Henrik Lundqvist, who is still barely winning half of his games, keeps working to better his lackluster season. This is the third match with the Rangers this season with each team taking a win and each team wanting a ‘W’.
All Eyes on Ovechkin and the New Guy
All the buzz right now is about Alex Ovechkin being three goals from another major milestone. Should he get a hat trick at Madison Square Gardens, he will celebrate his 500th NHL goal. Sweet as it would be to celebrate with him at home, many of our Caps friends think it would be even sweeter to do it in front of the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs one too many times.
Let’s not overlook that he plays his career 800th NHL game today! Congrats Ovi!!
And then there is the new guy: center Mike Richards (wearing the #10) is practicing with the team but the general consensus is that he is not game ready yet. Trotz said he simply “needs a little time.” No time frame for when he plays but it won’t be NY and it won’t be too soon.
Taylor Chorney – plays his 100th NHL game tonight!
Looking More and More Like Hershey
The Caps called up yet another Hershey Bear player, shifting him through the revolving door between Pennsylvania and Washington. The team find itself in a place they never thought they would be: three injured players who are critical to the success of the team and now down two players tonight for suspensions. This is not the same team that was on the last nine–game winning streak. For that reason, much of the success tonight will depend on Holtby and the defense holding back the Rangers and working the other end of the ice in front of Lundqvist.
Paul Carey is up and Ryan Stanton down. Carey, Boston College alumni, signed a two-way, one year-contract in July 2015. Since then, he has registered 23 points in 35 games with 14 penalty minutes.
Jay Beagle had hand surgery Sunday, according to the Washington Capitals and has been placed on the injured reserve list. Up to six weeks before his return. He has missed four games.
John Carlson is still day-to-day but could play against the Rangers on Saturday. No confirmation one way or the other at posting time. He has missed 6 games. He skated for a short period during practice on Friday and coach said he will warm up and then decide if he plays.
Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. He has missed 26 games and there is no timetable for his return.
Suspension Report: Who knew we would actually need this category??
Marcus Johansson, who been playing the third line center for the last several games, will sit out two games for an illegal head hit to New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey during the game on Thursday. He will be eligible to play January 14th against the Canucks at home.
Zach Sill was suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety for two games for boarding Boston Bruins Adam McQuaid on Monday. He is eligible to play again against Senators at home on Sunday.
Goalie to Goalie
Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (26). His 1.90 goals against average (GAA) is currently third in the league. Backing him up in the net is Philipp Grubauer.
Henrick Lundqvist has won every other game for his last five games played. He is 2.49 GAA and has a save percentage of .920. He has won 18 of his 33 games in the net this season.
More Milestones Coming:
Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 22 goals and is three away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL.
Jason Chimera is four assists away from an NHL career 200 assists.
Braden Holtby, with 127 career games won is two wins games away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.
Michael Latta is three games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.
Sunday Morning Skate: 10:15 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex
Jan 9 Ottawa at home 7 pm CSN, TVAS, SN and 106.7
Jan 11 Day off
Jan 14 Vancouver at home 7 pm CSN SN360 and 106.7
Jan 15: Caps likely to have practice at XX before departing for Buffalo