The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New Jersey Devils last night in Newark, officially punching the ticket for the Washington Capitals into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They won it in overtime with a sensational goal by Sidney Crosby. The Caps have five games left and seem to have figured out their lines in preparation of going into the post-season:
8 – 92 – 43
65 – 19 – 77
10/63 – 20 – 13
18 – 83/72 – 25/39
9 – 2
6 – 74
44 – 29/28
Can these line combinations send them pass the second round? Can they pass the first? I believe they can, and here’s why.
The top six forwards are solidified, they will only rotate amongst each other because they are the best offensive weapons on the Caps. The only two I could see rotating in are Brett Connolly and Shane Gersich. Depending on how Connolly performs in the first 3-4 playoff games, I could see whoever on the 3rd line and the other one the healthy scratch. The fourth line will rotate based on the opponent and needs of the team, for example: if the Caps end up playing the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, we could see 18-83-25 because of Devante Smith-Pelly‘s ability to lay the body to match the physicality of the Broad Street Bullies. If they play the Pittsburgh Penguins, we could see Alex Chiasson in for his power forward style.
I don’t see the defensive pairs moving too much, however, they could change based on temporary chemistry and play. Michal Kempny and John Carlson are a good opposite balance of defense and offense blue line play. If the Caps want more attack from the back two, I could see Christian Djoos in Kempny’s spot with Carlson. The third pair will most likely stay Brooks Orpik and Djoos, but we could see Jakub Jerabek in depending on the performance of the defense.
That’s my take on the upcoming post-season. I’m crossing my fingers, checking my calender, and planning out my “uniform” and dinner for the ultimate fandom experience from my couch. I believe Caps can pull it off this season, as long as no one holds anything back. Everyone needs to put everything they got on the table. Guys like Jakub Vrana and Andre Burakovsky could make a huge impact for the team if they start clicking come playoffs. As always, follow us on Twitter @InColdPlacesDC and my personal handle @Jurky88 for Caps updates and insight. Have blessed day, and go Caps!
New guy Shane Gersich will play his first game in the NHL tonight. He will be Rocking a Red Capitals sweater for the first time. We hear his parents and brother are here and we can only imagine their excitement.
We had a chance to watch him this summer during Capitals camp. We loved his speed. He had that certain something that made us think he would be staying.
He seems cautiously excited for his first game:
We had an inkling yesterday that Shane Gersich was getting really close to making his NHL debut. So we asked him to describe his emotions and about how the college-to-pros adjustment has gone so far. #Caps#CapsRangerspic.twitter.com/8tOWJ6f6Ug
It took a while but the Caps announced his official contract and he joined the team for practice in Montreal last week.
The Washington Capitals have signed 2014 #CapsDraft pick forward @shane_gersich9 to a two-year entry-level contract beginning this season with an average annual value of $925,000. Gersich will report to the Capitals today in Montreal. #ALLCAPS
That makes five new debuts for the Caps this season. Some have worked–some need a little more work. Coach Trotz wants Shane to have a good time tonight and enjoy the moment. Expect the rookie entry skate and be ready with that Rocking Welcome!!
Washington Capitals complete the road trip with three wins, a four-win streak, and ready to win at home! #caps
Playing away from home wasn’t a problem for the Caps, who faced three teams before meeting again with the fans in the hometown. Their attack has been more deadly and the defense looks more solid, though it does still need some additional caution. But anyhow, it’s a great improvement compared to the last few months. The team has been able to improve its season stats, with 240 goals. Combined with the 223 goals against, the Caps now hold a +17 goal differential. Continue reading “Rock the Road! Capitals Win All Three Games Away as Their Attack Gets More Deadly”
The Capitals needed a full team effort tonight. We thought they would come out really strong. The first two periods dragged on and on. It took a couple periods to bring it with Brett Connolly finally getting the Caps on the board. And eventually most players had a shot or block to get the win.
Dmitry Orlov is having a pretty good year. #caps need him, Osh, and Ovi to keep it up for the playoffs.
Anyone else loving how Orlov’s playing these days?
The unfortunately-mustachioed defenseman has really stepped it up these last few weeks, and while there are stats that back this assertion up, you don’t need to refer to them to see that he’s en fuego. Oh, what’s that you say? You don’t believe this fan-girl who gets the vapors from just about anyone wearing a Capitals uniform? Fine. Here’s some of those stats: Continue reading “Orlov? More like Or-Love!”
On Thursday and Friday, the Washington Capitals beat the New York Islanders in back-to-back games. Both games raised a lot of attention with the past rivalry these two have with each other. We knew this was going to be an interesting couple of games after renowned instigator Cal Clutterbuck speared Tom Wilson in the “goods” after the whistle, resulting in a minor penalty. Caps made sure to keep their game composed and beat them on the scoreboard, which they did in fashion 7-3 in Brooklyn. One of the biggest upsides from that game was that T.J. Oshiefinally broke his curse and scored a goal (twice!). That was his first one since January 31 against the Arizona Coyotes. Glad to see him back on the scoring train again! Philipp Grubauerheld his own too with 35 saves on 38 shots. He has been incredible for the club, stepping in while Braden Holtby isn’t doing to hot. Best backup in the league!
Friday’s game was no different, physical and a lot of tension in Capital One Arena this time. Clutterbuck went at it again, stirring the pot. Wilson would respond early to the physical play, but recipient Ross Johnstondid not appreciate the ‘love tap’. They dropped the gloves and set the tone early. This continued throughout the night. Holtby made his appearance after a small reset and came up with a win, saving 22 of 25 shots. This game did not come so easy for both Evgeni Kuznetsov (upper-body)and Matt Niskanen (lower-body), who were hurt last night. Niskanen returned to the game a few minutes after taking a hard shot to the leg from Ryan Pulock at the point. He seemed fine for the rest of the match. Kuznetsov, however, did not return to the game. He was in obvious pain in the wrist/hand area. He was slashed in the hand by Thomas Hickey and tripped up by Jaroslav Halak, sending Kuzy crashing into the boards hand first. Losing him for an extended period of time would be a crushing blow to the Caps lineup. We are hoping for the best and waiting on the word.
As always, we will continue to provide information and insight on Twitter @InColdPlacesDC. Follow my personal handle @Jurky88 for opinionated insight as well. Thanks @hockeykot for excellent gif. work every game for all of us fans. Go Caps!
Although as of late we’ve been riding the gravy train of awesomeness (Ovi’s 600th goal! The good games we played against Winnipeg and the Islanders!) there’s been so much talk about Holtby’s troubles with his headspace, and Oshie’s drought that makes the Sahara look like the Everglades, and why in God’s name does Djoos keep getting scratched…. I could go on.
As fans, this is what makes sports interesting. I mean, yeah, we like hockey because it’s a fast-paced game that engages people from all walks of life, but we also love to just talk about it. We love to analyze what makes our team work (and what doesn’t…), who’s hot, who’s not, which trade was awful, and why ad infinitum. Continue reading “Remember Guys: They’re Only Human”