Shattenkirk To the Caps: Good Trade?

At around 10:00 last night Caps’ fans Facebook groups were buzzing with the news of Kevin Shattenkirk being traded to the Capitals from the St. Louis Blues. Shattenkirk is a depth defenseman which was one of our greatest needs as we get closer to the playoff games. This isn’t the first important Blues player we’ve picked up, previously our very own Tj Oshie is a former Blues player. We unfortunately lost a first round draft pick in 2017, a conditional second round in 2018, Zach Sanford, and Brad Malone for Shattenkirk and gained former Hershey goalie Pheonix Copley, who will once again play with the Bears. This is a high price for Shattenkirk and Copley, and my  big question is: is it worth it?

Shattenkirk has 11 goals and 31 assists this season with the Blues and a career of 66 goals and 218 assists. That would seem bad if he wasn’t a defenseman; however, he has nearly doubled the amount of goals of our highest scoring defenseman, John Carlson, has racked up. While +/- is a very outdated stat he has a -11 stat however his team has altogether a -3.33 +/- average vs our average of +16.7. While his +/- isn’t glowing his Corsi is above many Caps defenseman including, Chorney (32), Alzner (103), Schmidt (122), Orpik (127), and Orlov (157). Corsi represents the amount of shots on goal, saved shots, and missed shots all added together Shattenkirk has a corsi of 162.

How’s Sanford though? Sanford has scored two goals and gotten one assist in 26 NHL games with the Caps. he has light up the net 11 times and gotten 5 assists in 25 games down at Hershey. He is a very good prospect and could have an amazing future; however, he is still a rookie. I don’t know how much he could have done for us because right now the only way you can tell is the probabilities.
I  think this is a good trade. We have many good offense man and some good defense but we needed the depth that he will add. We’ll see tonight against the Rangers. But anyway what do you think guys think?

Shattenkirk to Caps Strengthens Cup Run; First Look Against NYR Tonight

Opinion Piece by Chris Cleveland

Kevin Shattenkirk to the Caps means it really is Stanley Cup or bust this year. As the trade deadline winds down, the Washington Capitals shocked us all and made what could be the trade that puts them over the top and finally brings the Cup home to DC. The Caps sent their 2017 first round pick, 2018 second round pick, and Zack Sanford to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Kevin Shattenkirk.

I know Shattenkirk very well. Actually I am a huge Blackhawks fan as well and they had to deal with Shattenkirk constantly. The guy is a darn good defenseman and has one of the best slap shots I have ever seen. He drove me crazy with the number of goals he has scored on the Hawks and I am super happy he is now with the Caps. Another really appealing thing about him is his ability to create plays and set up his teammates. The part I really like about him though is his age. He is only 27 and can really provide a major boost to the Caps blue line–something that has been lacking in the playoffs . The Mike Weber experiment last year which was a complete failure. This; however, is going to be a totally different story.  As one of the best D in the league, Shattenkirk is going to be one of the key pieces of the Caps cup run this year.

sanford-called-upEven though we did give up a lot for him, like Zach Sanford,  it is going to be worth it in the end if we bring home the Stanley Cup this year. My final reason for liking Shattenkirk is he is a magician on the power play. He has scored so many power play goals against the Hawks from so many different angles and he loves the one timer from the point too. I also don’t think the Caps are done trading yet. I could really see us trading off Stan Galiev and Nate Schdmit together for a depth forward who has won a Cup before. You know, someone like Patrick Sharp? Here is my best guess at what the Caps D pairs will be from as we head to the final run for the Cup:

Carlson Alzner

Niskanen Shattenkirk

Orpik Orlv

Thoughts?? Are you more hopeful now about the Caps getting all the way to the finals this year? Think we need more change?

 

Featured Image by NHL

Lucky Number 13

Last night the Caps tied the franchise record for consecutive home- wins at 13. It was a low scoring game with the final score being 2-1. Tom Wilson scored early in the 1st period while Justin Williams scored the game- winner late in the 3rd.

It was also the Caps “You Can Play” night and Holtby was showing off his rainbow stick during warm-ups

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Some Bears players also made an appearance, Riley Barber and Aaron Ness:

Tom Wilson is always such a ham, and we’re okay with it.

Kuzy is a family man, and his daughter is adorable..

Some of the bad guys too:

BUT

WE WON!!!

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Photos By Mel

A “Zebra” in the East: Capitals Fall to the Red Wings and Then Rangers

After the bye week for the Capitals, things weren’t as the expected for return. The  Red Wings who ranked last in the Eastern Conference and 27th overall opened a 2-0 advantage, saw the Caps raise in the game and tied in in the third. However, The Rangers managed to win in the shootouts and accomplish the “zebra” in the east, a Brazilian expression used when the leader loses to the last placed team. In this case, the league leader losing to the last team in the conference.

The Caps began strong and fast, with Ovechkin and Backstrom having some good chances at the first minute of the game. But in the first half of the first period, the Red Wings converted a power play and took the early lead. The Capitals, by other side, didn’t capitalize any. The Red Wings extended their lead to  2-0 in the second, but the Caps could prepare the ground with Sanford’s second NHL career goal, making it 2-1 before the third. With less than five minutes in the third, Winnik tied the game and the tie would be extended to the shootouts. The Caps had their opportunity to win, but wasted some chances, including with T.J. Oshie, but the six-game win streak came to an end.

One of the reasons we can appoint is the special units. The Caps suffered a PPG and couldn’t capitalize any of their own. Some people say about the “rust”, since the team just came back from the bye week. Burakovsky suffered a hand  injury against the same Detroit Red Wings last week, when the Caps have won by 6-3 at Verizon Center and his presence could make some difference today.

The good side is the Caps demonstrated strength and that they’re able top manage and search results in the adversity, but still improve about decisive moments, like winning in OT/SO. By the way, they’re still unbeaten in 12 games at home. This team can be mortal if they rise in the right moment.

The next opponent was our a rivals, the New York Rangers in the Big Apple the following day. The Caps had some struggles here too. Lundqvist had 31 saves while Grubauer had 28. The final score was 2-1 Rangers. Let’s hope by the time they meet the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday at 8 pm. 

Hello Caps; 1st Practice Photos After Bye Week

Man has this been a lonnnnggggg week with no Washington Capitals Hockey. Most of the players enjoyed their week off catching some rays. Two separate  groups of players and their families traveled together, as we saw from Lauren Oshie and Tom Wilson’s Instagram posts:

Friday they were back at Caps Kettler Iceplex for a hard practice before hopping on the plane to play the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. They were a happy, tanned bunch.

Zach Sanford and Jakub Vrana have joined the team from Hershey to fill in for Andre Burkovsky. Andre skated this morning by himself…we just missed getting you the photo! You remember Zach, he recorded his first NHL goal in the last game?? Coach indicated today that he will be back in the lineup on Saturday. Vrana’s status is a bit up in the air, but we are glad he is here.

 There were skills exercises and passing and speed drills. And of course there were lots of laughs and smiles.For us, it was watching a team that has learned how to read each other and that are closer than any Capitals team we have ever seen.

 

As our friend @capsyapp said in response to our video of the players taking shots at the net…and making them:

Saturday will show if the vacations together and the workout today will produce another victory against Detroit. For now, we are staying positive and have every expectation that this team is different and that they won’t miss a beat–or the net!!

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watermarked362017-02-17-1120We’ll be watching Saturday at 2pm on CSN when the Caps and Red Wings meet again to see if today’s practice and tomorrow’s morning skate gave them enough time to shake off the rust.

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Tips for Dealing with the Bye Week


This week we are all struggling through the bye week. This is the first time bye weeks has  been enforced. I, as well as many Caps fans, are agonizing through Capitals withdrawal. I have a few tips that have made the bye week more bearable.

The timing for the bye week is very unfortunate in that we don’t have football anymore and baseball hasn’t started yet.


Do:

Watch NBCSN anytime that hockey is on. I know Pierre can be annoying, as is Milbury, but this is the only hockey we can get. There are teo games tonight: Blues vs. Red Wings with puck drop at 7:00 PM. At 10:30 there is a game between the Panthers and the Sharks.

Focus on the Wizards or any other basketball team. Sports always makes sports absences better. The next game is tomorrow at 7:00 PM. 

Read up on the Hershey Bears. The players playing on the Bears could be our future.
Watch Goon, Slapshot, Mighty Ducks, Mystery Alaska (etc.) these movies are good for dealing for days without hockey.

Watch Caps goals and replays on youtube, The Goal is a good one to watch.

Read articles about different NHL teams or the Caps.

Root against the Penguins, Flyers, and/or Rangers

Eat ice cream, ice creams always makes things better.
  

Don’t:

Count down the days it makes the bye week feel longer. 
Root for the Penguins (that’s a given!)
Also don’t cheer Crosby on. 

I hope these suggestions makes the bye week more bearable. Remember Saturday isn’t that far away. Also this is a chance for us to take a step back and look at the other teams to see how they’re doing. especially the teams we might be playing in the playoffs. 

Washington Capitals Top Week 6-4 Over Ducks (A Few Photos)

Saturday night in Washington DC the Capitals downed the Anaheim Ducks in their last home game before the mandatory ‘bye week.’

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The Ducks are in a pretty good position in the Pacific Division, sitting in third place just behind their rivals the LA Kings. Goalie John Gibson has been having an ok year with a .918 save percentage and he was solid against the Caps with 33/39 saves.

The Caps; however, were having no losing at home taking the game 6-4.

The Caps played without an injured Andre Burakovsky. Zach Sanford made the drive from Hershey to fill in for Burky, first with season ticket holders on Friday night and then scoring on Saturday–his first NHL goal and the go-ahead goal to win it for the Caps.

Other stars of the night for the Caps were the Daniel Winnik with a goal and an assist. TJ Oshie got the boyz started with his goal; Nick Backstrom, Tom Wilson, and Marcus Johansson would also record goals for the team. Ten players total had points on the board before the night was over.

Rocking the Hometown: Capitals Win all Four: Streak Totals 12

The Washington Capitals had a four-game homestretch and won all of them. In total, they’re 12 games undefeated at Verizon Center and 11 of those with five goals or more. The Caps won the first two games with shutouts, by 5-0 over the LA Kings and Carolina Hurricanes.  In the last two, the Capitals scored six goals for the win.

It’s important to note how the offensive and defensive players are doing their jobs. If a team wants great achievements, all of their members must work well and harmoniously. And the Caps have got that. The top-six and the bottom lines are scoring and adding points to their totals.

watermarked432016-11-17-0815The Caps are now the second team with the most goals at 192. Their rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, are leading by 193. But the gap was even bigger last month when the difference was around 20 goals. The defensemen are still doing a great job, keeping the team as the one which suffered fewer goals, with 121.

The goaltending? Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer noted a shutout each. Holtbeast got his 14th straight win, tied for the second-longest by a goalie in NHL history.  In the season, Holtby has 29 wins, ranking third.  img_7194 The first place is tied between Sergei Bobrovsky and Devan Dubnyk.

In their last game against the Ducks, the Caps won by 6-4. With the first goal, scored by TJ Oshie, he recorded  400 points and Nick Backstrom, with the assist, reached 700 points. Backstrom is ranked second in points, with 60, tied with Sidney Crosby. The leader is Connor McDavid, with 61.

The Caps have reached an important mark. They tied a record with the Boston Bruins as the team in NHL history to score 5+ goals in 11 straight home games. The Bruins’ 1970-71 roster, which reached the record, featured three Hall of Famers: Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr and Johnny Bucyk.

The Caps head into bye week leading the NHL and as the only team to reach the 80’s, with 84. After, they head into a three-game road and the first foe is the Red Wings, at Feb. 18.img_7629

Happy Belated Birthday from Brazil, Bonzai!

Our favorite Slovak Caps ever turned 49 last Tuesday, Feb. 7. I wanted to write about it at the day, but some obligations changed my plans.

bondra

Drafted in 1990, Peter Bondra is one of the Caps legends and my favorite player ever. In 1,081 games played in the NHL, he recorded 892 points, with 503 goals and 389 assists.

Before Alex Ovechkin, the right-winger used to be the Caps’ player with most goals and points (472 and 825, respectively), but is still as the Caps’ player with most shorthanded goals in a season (6 in 1994-95, tied with Mike Gartner). He holds the records for most shorthanded goals in a career (32) and most game-winning goals in a season (13 in 1997-98) during the same season the Caps won their first (and only) appearance in the Stanley Cup. They lost to the Red Wings by 4-0.

As a Washington Capitals player between 1990-2004, Bonzai has spent 14 of his 18 years in the league.

Hockey is, slowly, becoming popular in Brazil nowadays. But it was in 2000, when the Capitals had that eagle and Capitol logo, that with a lack of internet and video games, became my hockey source of time. I was a lonely hockey fan and I choose my favorite team and my favorite player. The Caps’ eternal #12 was the fastest and the top overall in the team, with 90.

As his favorite Caps fan, at least in Brazil, it’s with so much happiness I watch him attending to a lot of the Capitals’ events, like the Alumni game in 2011. Last year, he surprised a Caps British fan. Another great reason was recently, when he provided great help to Fatima Al Ali, a female hockey player from United Arab Emirates to visit the US as part of “Hockey is for Everyone”.


I have no words to describe the satisfaction that the choice I made when I was six years old still brings me happiness 17 years later.  Seeing your childhood hero being as great person as he was as a player, that he’s still so present in the fans’ memories, the Caps itself as an organization, and making such a difference in other people’s lives is inspirational.

Caps Wins Keep Coming; Red Wings & Caps in Photos

Photos by Mel Abernethy

Once again the Washington Capitals skated off the home ice winners with a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. This time 11 players recorded points. Brett Connolly continues his trend, with a third night of finding the back of the net and it the fifth game with a point.

Before the start of the game, fans were happy to welcome Fatima Al Ali from the UAE, who dropped the ceremonial puck. She was warmly welcomed and she seemed to inspire the team!

A great game starts with a great warm-up:

img_7646  The Red Wings gave the Caps a run for their money with Andreas Athanasiou (72) scoring twice on the Caps — he seems to like scoring when playing the Caps! Henrik Zetterberg (40) would score the third and final goal for the Wings. Oh yeah, and the crowds enjoyed whooping old friend Mike Green (25).

The Caps outshot the Wings 31 to 17.  Marcus Johansson, Brett Connolly, TJ Oshie (2), John Carlson, and finally Nick Backstrom all added to their scoring records.

The game ended with a win for the Caps but not without some players getting banged up. Connolly was tossed around but looks to be ok. Andre Burakovsky not so much. He will be out until mid-March with a hand injury. (Read more here)