Caps Ice the Devils for First Place!!!

Photos by Brittney Marcum

it was a good night in DC at the Capital One Arena. The Capitals we love came back to play the kind of game we get excited about. They took and kept the lead, ending with a win of 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. ANNNDDDDD the lead in the Metro Division.

Tom Wilson moved to the third line and Devante Smith-Pelly stayed on the top line. Andre Burakovsky was a healthy scratch, probably because he is under-performing again, along with Madison Bowey.  Chandler Stephenson was back after illness. The starting lineup:

Ovechkin Backstrom Smith-Pelly
Vrana  Kuznetsov  Oshie
Connolly  Eller  Wilson
Stephenson  Beagle  Chaisson

Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Carlson
Djoos – Chorney Continue reading “Caps Ice the Devils for First Place!!!”

Caps Fans Whoop it up For Marcus Johansson

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Marcus Johansson is now a New Jersey Devil.

It still isn’t right..right?

Before the game he had this to say:

He met up with some old friends…

He played well tonight – no surprise. He had one assist on the Devil’s first goal.

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The Caps acknowledged his time with the team, and we wiped away a tear ’cause we still miss him, and his dad Lars. We will never forget the kindness shown by Marcus and his entire family and watching playoff games at Front Page with the Swedes…

Time to move on now…but he will always have a special place in our hearts.

Poor Play from Oshie and One Reason Why

Editorial by Chris Cleveland

TJ Oshie has not been playing all that well and I think I know what’s up with him. Ever since coming back from his concussion he just hasn’t been right. I was at the game where he got concussed and you could tell it was bad right away. He wasn’t even really moving and for he was down for a long time. Continue reading “Poor Play from Oshie and One Reason Why”

Inside The Caps Opponent : Bruin’s Jake Debrusk

As the Bruins head into DC Thursday,  the Caps take on a Bruins club that hasn’t beaten them since March of 2014. They will be facing an energized team that has won five straight games and 14 of the last 18 (one loss was vs Capitals). Boston has been reaping the benefits of newcomers Charlie McAvoy and 2015 1st round pick Jake Debrusk.

Although Debrusk may not be in the Calder race alongside blue-chip defenceman and teammate McAvoy, he is proving to be a very useful wrench in the B’s toolbox. Even though Jake does not have the physical presence his father Louie who played in EDM, TB, PHO, and CHI, his competitiveness and hard work below the hash marks is a commodity much sought after in today’s NHL. The Edmonton, Alberta native is an effective two-way player who can burn you on the transition and makes great plays in the high traffic areas

The 6′, 183 pound winger, Dubrusk, made quite an impression in his first game as he scored and registered an assist for two points in his debut, with father Louie and family in the stands.  TV cameras showing hulking tough guy Louie with tears in his eyes is one of the NHL’s better moments of the season thus far. With eight goals and 11 Assists in 31 games, he’s been involved in some big goals for the Bruins, including three GWG’s. Though head coach Bruce Cassidy had the young player in the press box on a couple of occasions,  he is not in any doghouse. Think more teaching and watching from a different perspective. I believe more NHL coaches should do that with young players when needed.

Let’s hope the Capitals can contain his energy and look to extend their dominance over the Bruins again.

Go Caps Go

Inside The Caps Opponent : David Desharnais

When the Capitals head into Madison Square Garden tonight as they resume the schedule after the Christmas break they’ll be taking on a Rangers team that also is riding a two-game losing streak. While their are many familiar faces in Manhattan, David Desharnais is new to the 2017-18 Rangers and has continued to carve himself out a nice NHL career as he’s closing in on 200 career points. The diminutive forward is versatile and his ability to move up and down the lineup has made him a valued asset in the league. Averaging 0.5 pt/game for his career, Desharnais who has has also skated for the Canadiens and Oilers (scored playoff game winning goal vs Sharks) is a playmaker who can dart in and out of the traffic areas and looks to the snipers to finish off. He’s recorded four assists in his last five games but has only registered one goal and one assist in 20 career games vs the Capitals. Continue reading “Inside The Caps Opponent : David Desharnais”

A Caps Fan’s Guide to Vegas

A month ago I made the last-minute decision to fly to Vegas for the Caps first ever game against the newly established Vegas Golden Knights. I have to say that I was a little nervous as I had never been to Vegas. So if you are anything like me hopefully this post will help you out if you decide to make the trip (which I would highly recommend for anyone at least once.)

The Airport:

When you get off the plane and head towards the terminal, you immediately know you’re in Vegas. There are slot machines and Liquor stores right there in the baggage area so you can get a head start before you even leave the airport. There are several different areas to exit for taxis etc.

The Hotels: 

I stayed at The Luxor which is towards the very end of the strip, making it a little bit cheaper than other options. Would I recommend it? Not necessarily. It was a nice enough place but the room smelled old and felt a little on the dirty side. For a place with a casino and so many bars you would think the room would have at least a mini-fridge, that was not the case. There was no fridge, no microwave, and a key for me- no late night room service. Me being me I decided to explore the other hotels for myself, which was pretty easy because from the Luxor you can take pedestrian bridges and tunnel type areas to get to neighboring New York New York, Excalibur, or MGM Grand.

There is also a tram that runs up and down the strip but I chose to travel by foot or taxi instead. So my conclusion was that the closer you got to the busier part of the strip, the better the hotels got. My favorite by far was The Bellagio which is about a 20-30 minute walk from my hotel at the other end and a 15 minute stroll to the T-mobile Arena where the Knights play.

The inside was decorated beautifully and the inside didn’t smell of smoke as soon as I walked in which is a huggeee plus for me. They also had several amazing smelling restaurants, and who could forget the iconic Bellagio Fountains out front of the massive hotel? 10/10 from me for sure, and worth the few extra bucks to splurge.

Hockey Stuff: 

The Knight’s practice facility, City National Arena at 1550 S Pavilion Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89135 is around 20-30 minutes in a car- or twice that length by bus. The facility itself is absolutely beautiful and gives Kettler a run for its money. Once you get there and go in the main entrance head to the right and the Knight’s rink will be there, along with their team store/ pro shop. One thing you all might be interested to know is that there is a full bar at the top of the practice rink.. the food is delicious and worth the drive alone.  I took my Nikon DSLR in and got some excellent shots of Schmidt and the whole team.

T-Mobile Arena:

The arena is so close to the strip you can walk there after a day of exploring. If you go through New York New York and follow the signs to T-Mobile and The Park you will end up right on the walkway to Toshiba Plaza directly outside the main entrance. The doors open 90 minutes before game time giving you PLENTY of time to explore the new arena and get whatever food you want before puck drop. The seats are comfortable- WAY more so than Capital One Arena..

The Caps or  away team will warm-up in the 9-13 sections end of the arena and ushers are really great about letting you know where you can and cannot stand to watch the warm-ups. We stood all the way in front behind Holts and only had to scoot over when those that owned the seats walked in. Overall a really great arena! You can park in any of the casino lots nearby- New York New York is the closest if you’re looking to be in and out.

 

I hope you enjoyed my guide and let me know if you have any other questions, I will answer them the best I can!!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Inside The Caps Opponent : Alex Tuch

Amongst the many new things the Capitals will see and do over their first “roadie” through the bright lights of Las Vegas and T-Mobile Arena is a Golden Knights team which has surprised anyone who was “betting” on them to miss the playoffs .. no pun intended.

Among a familiar face in old friend and former Capital’s Nate Schmidt, the Caps will see a new one in big winger Alex Tuch. The hulking forward was taken 14th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 draft and was subsequently dealt to Vegas last June during the expansion draft and player movement spider web. With size and skating ability, Tuch can be a hard guy to contain at times and while still a rookie, the ceiling is high for the former NCAA product. His 14G’s and 14A’s for 28pts (37 gms) led Boston College as he became the first freshmen in 42 years to accomplish that feat.

Leaving for pro hockey in April of 2015, he has shown a knack for scoring at every level. While he may be a longshot for rookie of the year, there is no question, this player is in the league to stay. He is a contributing player to a Golden Knights team that has to have everyone’s attention by now. With 7G’s and 8A’s so far in 29 games this season the Caps will not be surprised by Tuch as advanced scouting will have been sure to flag him for his strength, which is get to the net. Tuch had registered a point in 5 straight games until being stalled on a current 4 game pointless streak.

The Caps will have their hands full with the likes of old FLA foe Jonathan Marchessault, sniper James Neal and others, but Tuch has the capability to make even more of a name for himself at any given time.

.. I also sense a Flower in the building… it’s a presence I haven’t felt in…

Go Caps Go

 

p.s.  Check back later for more photos from the game as Brittney is in town and will have more Smiling Nate, Caps Road Crew, Caps Fan Club in Vegas and, we hope, winning Caps. Here’s a Nate preview if you missed it…

The Many Faces of Nate Schmidt…

As you all know by now, I made the trip to Vegas to see our favorite Nate Schmidt. I met up with the wonderful Caps Road Crew to yesterday to see the Vegas Knights practice, and well, to say it was a success would be a huge understatement… Just take a look at these photos we snapped when he saw us in the stands with the masks of his face on.

The entire practice Nate was all smiles and his teammates were more than happy to give him flack about it.

If you liked these photos- stay tuned for more coming later!

Inside The Caps Opponent : Clayton Keller

If you didn’t know who Clayton Keller was before the Capitals played the Coyotes at the Capitals One Arena back on November 6th, you should now. Scoring his 11th goal beating Holtby low stick side, he out waited the Vezina trophy winning goalie after freezing him with a nice no look shot on a 2 on 1. One minute into the game and he looked quite comfortable in shooting the puck. The 7th overall pick in 2016 could be a outside contender for rookie of the year as he’s been a sign of positivity for the desert dogs through an otherwise disastrous season thus far. The Coyotes sit dead last in the NHL standings with only 19 pts and 7 regulation wins so far. And it’s only Christmas break .. wow.

Keller, who stands  5’10’ and weighs in at 168 lbs,  is a speedy player who thinks quick and can score highlight reel goals.  First garnering some national attention at the 2017 World Championships as an 18 year old, the shifty center registered 5 G’s and 7 pts in eight games to help Team USA to a Gold medal. The NHL rookie of the month for October has levelled off since his torrid start where he had 11 G’s and 17 pts in the teams first 17 games. Since then he’s scored 1 goal and 9 assists in the last 19 games.

The Caps have shown great team defence in neutralizing the oppositions speed as we’ve seen vs Edmonton and Toronto in the past and will look to contain Keller and the other dynamic forwards like Max Domi to prevent high opportunity scoring chances by forcing them outside and collapsing in front of the Caps net. I feel Keller will have a couple scoring chances where Grubauer (I assume he’s playing) will be called on.

Go Caps Go

Dmitry Orlov: Canidate for Caps’ Goal of the Year

Dmitry Orlov may have potentially scored the Washington Capitals’ goal of the year. A very Alex Ovechkin-like goal, Orlov came roaring down the right side on the rush on Dallas Stars’ defenseman John Klingberg. Orlov pulled a backhand toe drag on the puck between his legs and made him look silly, turning him inside-out and forcing him to stumble hard. Always quite embarrassing for a defenseman when that happens. Orlov then went to bury it short-side, top-shelf on Ben Bishop for a highlight reel goal. Orlov’s face said it all in his celebration, “Did I really just pull that off in an NHL game???” It is still way too early in the season to declare it the goal of the year, but this will definitely be one of the top plays for sure. I personally think it will, unless someone pulls a Connor McJesus on someone while going bar-down on the goalie. We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Here is a video of the goal just in case you missed it, or you just want to re live this over and over again like I do.