Capitals Player Season Recap: Nicklas Backstrom

One of the most underrated centers in the NHL today, Nicklas Backstrom has been a crucial part of the Capitals’ organization for many years. Drafted in 2006, “Backy” has been a playmaking machine for the club and a serious lifeline for goal scorers like Alex Ovechkin and Jakub Vrana.

Backstrom accumulated 74 points this season (22g, 52a), putting him 2nd on the Caps’ list for most points behind Ovechkin. This post-season, Backstrom has the most goals for the Caps (5) and the best face-off percentage (52.69%). He continues to help drive this team to its best form and this season he did not disappoint. His vision on the ice has always been something that sometimes gets overlooked, but blows our minds when we notice it.

As a top six elite centerman for the Caps, Backstrom holds his team and himself to a high standard. In his season exit interview he stated, “Even if it sucks right now, I feel like we’re going to come back stronger and more prepared. That’s our goal and we got a good team.” He has the perfect mindset for a leader of the Washington Capitals, train hard and come back stronger next year for a harder run at glory.

Capitals Gave Fans Some Great Memories

Alright so the 2018/19 season didn’t go the Capitals way, but man did the summer of 2018 and the season of celebration that followed give fans memories that will last a lifetime. The best were those that included fan time with the Stanley Cup! Continue reading “Capitals Gave Fans Some Great Memories”

Capitals End of Season Signals Lots of Changes

The end of the Capitals season signals a time for the management to take a close look at the team and what is needed for next season. We at FiCP are doing this too. We are all looking at what worked, what didn’t, and how to do better next season. We feel inspired! Continue reading “Capitals End of Season Signals Lots of Changes”

Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes

A player’s jersey is probably one of the most noticeable items that they wear, but what happens to those jerseys during the time that they are being worn is generally not well known. Most players wear three sets of their home and road jerseys and two sets of the alternate jersey over the course of a season with a few extra jerseys worn for only one game for special occasions (milestone games, Jerseys off Our Backs, one game jersey auctions and agreements with hockey card companies, which cut them up and insert them into cards). Continue reading “Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes”

Player Season Recap: Alex Ovechkin

Ever since he was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2004, Alex Ovechkin has ignited the hockey community in the DMV in so many ways. He has proven himself to be a world class, one of a kind hockey player. He has surprised us all with insane highlight reel goals and brought home the Stanley Cup. His game has grown tremendously since game one of his career and the franchise owes everything to our great captain.

Parade ovi stanley cup

Ovechkin has proven time and time again he can contribute in many ways other than scoring and hitting. This regular season he has totaled 38 assists for the Caps; 4th highest on the team behind Evgeny Kuznetsov (51), Nicklas Backstrom (52), and John Carlson (57). He’s been looking to pass the puck to make the play rather than go for the snipe as he usually does, disregarding the fact of earning his 8th Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy with 51 goals. He has been playing on different parts of the ice, like screening the goaltender in the offensive zone and playing the high-point man on the umbrella power play. This regular season he has accumulated 89 points (51g, 38a) in 81 game and in the playoffs he accumulated 9 points (4g, 5a) in all 7 games of the series with the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Ovechkin had yet another great season and carried his stellar play through into the post-season, there’s nothing he should be ashamed about. He continues to shoot the puck and distribute checks to better his team through each in-game situation. Goalies continue to study and learn his shooting/scoring tendencies each season. Ovechkin also continues to evolve his own game, finding new/old creative ways to beat them. At the prime age of 33 and turning 34 in September, he isn’t getting younger and must stay up to par in this fast-paced league. He stated in his season exit interview he stated, “I have to be better” at everything. He mentioned his shooting, passing, even his fight with Andrei Svechnikov all has to better moving forward. He’ll train hard this off-season to seek another crack at reuniting with Lord Stanley’s Cup and don’t be surprised if we see another successful season from the Great Eight.

John Carlson: Still One of the NHL’s Best Defenseman

John Carlson is a key component to the Washington Capitals’ success. He has become an elite defensemen in the NHL with a history as a two-time AHL Calder Cup and one-time NHL Stanley Cup champion. The defenseman was invited to the All-Star Games twice (2010 and 2019) and in the 2017-18 season he held the League record for the most points by a defenseman in the regular and playoff season.  Carlson is one of the most experienced and capable players on the Capitals roster. Continue reading “John Carlson: Still One of the NHL’s Best Defenseman”

Decade of Excellence – Thankful Even After Defeat

The Capitals have been eliminated from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs earlier than any Caps fan had hoped. Whether the craziness of this year’s playoffs with all division winners being eliminated in the first round makes it any easier is up for debate. For me personally, I’m disappointed that hockey in the District has come to an end for the season and I have to wait over five months for it to begin again. Continue reading “Decade of Excellence – Thankful Even After Defeat”

The Kuznetsov Concern Was Real

All through the playoffs fans and the media covering the Washington Capitals expressed concerns about Evgeny Kuznetsov’s performance. By the time the Caps exited the playoffs it was clear that they were right to be concerned.

Maybe if they made it to the second round the Caps would have seen a resurgence in his performance. In game seven he finally got a goal. Sure he had five assists in the series but that isn’t why the Capitals signed him to a rather hearty contract last summer.

In the exit interviews on Friday, he acknowledged that his play was inconsistent. He didn’t want to talk about next season- he had some spicy comments about that!

Even the man who makes the real decisions about the team, GM Brian MacLellen basically said that beyond the top line, the team lacked the desperation they had last season. The GM was clearly aggravated that some of the best players didn’t show up and play at their highest level in the playoffs. Specifically, when asked about Kuznetsov he said that he was frustrated by the performance of a potential top ten player and his lack of consistency. It is going to take a special touch to motivate a strong-willed player like Kuznetsov. It isn’t clear if Todd Reirden is the one to do that.

It will be interesting to see how he performs when he is back on Russia’s team in the IIHF Worlds and if we see the old Kuzy show up. For now, he isn’t going anywhere unless he wants to move. Given that he just bought a couple pieces of property in McLean, Virginia it is doubtful he wants to be anywhere else but on the Capitals roster.

A Gloomy Goodbye to Capitals

Friday was clean-out and meet the press day at MedStar Capitals IcePlex for the Washington Capitals whose season ended earlier in the week. This is never a pleasant time as the players are asked a series of embarrassing questions about the loss and their performance. This year it was no different than any other year except maybe the summer of 2018. Continue reading “A Gloomy Goodbye to Capitals”

Hurricanes and Islanders First Night Battle

The NY Islanders did that great thing and swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in round one. The Carolina Hurricanes took seven games to defeat the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. The two meet in New York Friday night for the first game of round two. The puck drops at 7 pm on NBCSN. Continue reading “Hurricanes and Islanders First Night Battle”