The Caps took an optional skate this morning at Air Canada Centre in Toronto in prep for a 7 pm game against the Leafs. They are there and we are here…so we give you some shots from previous practices to tide you over.
Tidbit for Tonight
The Leafs have a pretty incredible PK streak going. They haven’t let the opponent score on the PP in five games. They currently rank fifth in home powerplay percentages and have successfully held back the Caps in the past. Let’s hope we are ready for their defense should we pull in a PP.
Toronto Press has pegged hometown boy Tom Wilson as an “enforcer” and the “best agitator” in the NHL. All this to mean that Tom will have to watch his back as the Leafs are likely to try and draw him into some fights to get him off the ice tonight. Not that he doesn’t already have a target on his back!
The Caps did not have practice this morning as we have an early start for today’s game: 5 pm at the Verizon Center. The Caps have back-to-back games with a matchup in Toronto Saturday night, so the team will not have practice Saturday, and are scheduled to have Sunday off. They will return to Kettler Monday.
The Bolts have headed north after a hard-fought OT-Shoot-out match against the LA Kings. Undoubtedly the match to watch is that between goalies. Ben Bishop is proving he is every bit the net beast as Braden Holtby (6’2”, 217lb). Bishop had 37 saves through overtime. He’s a big guy himself (6’7”, 214lb) who fills up the net. He has a save percentage of .929 and a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 1.99 compared to Holtby’s 9.24 save percentage and 1.95 GAA. Bishop ranks third in GAA while Holtby owns the second spot in the league behind Henrik Lundquist.
Holtby or Bishop? Who will stop more shots?
What to Watch for Tonight
Coach Trotz celebrates his 1,300th game tonight.
Justin Williams: Two points to go to reach 600 career HNL points.
John Carlson will play is 400 consecutive game tonight.
Karl Alzner is three games away from 400 consecutive games.
The Washington Capitals sent fans home Wednesday evening celebrating a third consecutive win. From the first goal coming just 1:12 minutes into the game, to the 5th and final goal in the third period, it was a night of hits, penalties, and new milestones. Andre Burakovsky returned to the line-up, taking Stanislav Galiev out as a healthy scratch. Holtby was in the net and made it through warm-ups without incident (here’s looking at you J Will)!
The First Period started off with a bang as Justin Williams took a shot from John Carlson and converted into a goal (assists Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov). Jets Bryan Little would win the faceoff against Michael Latta, leading to the Jets first goal of the night. About seven minutes later the Jets Andrew Ladd would score their second goal, 1-2 Jets. Not to be outdone, Alexander Ovechkin made good on a power play opportunity from his office to end the second all tied up (2-2), with a little help from his friends, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom.
The Second Period began with the teams on even footing and a chance for either team to take the lead. At 6:24 into the game Tom Wilson was drawn into a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with Jets player Anthony Pelusco. The penalty started 4 on 4 but would evolve to a 4 on 3 as Ovi was sent to the box for a hooking call. With Jay Beagle, John Carlson, and Chorney’s help, the Caps extinguished the Jets engines with no scoring. And then a thing of beauty happened: Nate Schmidt passed to Nicky who tipped it in for his eighth goal of the season. 3-2 Caps! Do you remember that player we used to love watch—you know Mathieu Perreault? Well Matty P said thank you to the Caps for the trade by scoring at the 13:53 mark for his second goal of the season tying the game up again (3-3). And then Kuzy did that thing of magic he is becoming known for as he rounded the net and dropped the puck to Orlov and just like that scored his third goal in a row! 4-3 Caps.
The Caps started The Third Period with a lead they were determined to keep. There was a lot of activity in front of the net with Washington outshooting the Jets. The Russian domination of the team showed through again as Kuznetsov backhanded a pass from Marcus Johansson to seal the deal. 5-3 Caps. The phone booth was roaring with excitement and nothing else seemed to matter after that. In fact, Holtby kept our company out of the net for the rest of the night. Even with an empty net and an extra man, Winnipeg couldn’t come back.
The visiting Winnepeg Jets did their best to steamroll Holtby but he was having none of that with 23 saves. The best part of watching the Caps play is the complete team effort to score and keep the lead. Coming up the Caps will need to find a way protect Tom Wilson from targeted fights and avoid giving the opponents the edge. That said, they are playing a physical game and the defensemen are clearly playing a more offensive game—compliments to Coach Trotz for steering them in a new direction. The fourth line continues to develop with Michael Latta, Tom Wilson, and Brooks Laich with a combined total of five shots on goal, plenty of hits, and scoring chances. We now have a winning streak as we prepare to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
Ovechkin had seven of the Cap’s 15 shots on goal in the first period (NHL)
Backstrom has had seven points in the last five games. (NHL)
Holtby surpassed Henrik Lundqvist for NHL wins and is .01 behind King H in goals against average in the NHL.
Carlson surpassed the Rod Langway Caps record for points scored by a D-man (CSN)
Don’t forget to get your Caps Canine Calendar at the game Friday. Find them in the store and Section 104.
Special thanks to @capsYapp and @btwntheblueline for feeding us info while we are out of town. Photos by Brittney Marcum (IG: @bamitsbrittney93) It takes a Caps Community!!
As the new kids on the block, we had to ask ourselves that very question. And obviously, we think not. There are some great blogs out there, each with a different style or way of presenting information. On this Thanksgiving Day eve, we are thankful for the bloggers who have come before us and paved the way for quality reporting on social media.
JAPERS Rink is the big daddy of us all. Hosted by SB Nation, they provide daily coverage of Caps practices and games. If you follow them on twitter they also link you to all the articles written about the Caps. One-stop shopping at its best. Then there is Russia Machine Never Breaks. They have been writing all things Russian players since 2009. They were the first blog we ever followed and probably who inspires us the most to just have fun covering hockey. They are the best place to go for translations of articles and what Russian players really said! And then there is the blog that got us started and through which we found our own style. NoVa Caps provides a forum for fan to write articles and share their passion. They also recap games and repost nifty articles. Also new on the scene is Washington Capitals Loyal Fan Club Page over on Facebook which reposts great articles from all the outlets and bloggers. Continue reading “Is There Such as Thing as Too Many Caps Blogs????”
CSN’s Washington Capitals Emmy Award winning reporter, Jill Sorenson, met with the Fan Club on Saturday, November 21 to talk all things Caps before our game with the Colorado Avalanche. Jill talked about her journey from NBC sports anchor and reporter with George Michael at WRC-TV from 2000 to 2004 to WTTG-TV (Fox), before joining CSN in 2005. Today Jill leads CSN’s coverage for SportsNet Central and contributes to Capitals Pregame Live and Postgame Live coverage. She can often be seen near the Zamboni reporting before the game and has a reputation for some of the best interviews with players and coaches. She said she got her start reporting out in Minnesota, “where hockey is everything.”
Jill talked a bit about the impact of social media on reporting. She said for the beat reporters who are there every day, “twitter is very important” especially for breaking news. The challenge for her is to balance her responsibilities with CSN for SportsNet, other shows, and other sports coverage and making sure that fans get the information they want and need. She “gets a lot of her news from social media” too.
She spoke about how she got where she is today covering sports. She was an English and Spanish major in college because the college lacked a specific journalism program. Jill interned with a studio in Minneapolis and was advised by a sports producer that it didn’t matter what she majored in, just that she could communicate. She said she chose English as a major to sharpen her skills as a writer and the internships provided her with the experience she needed to advance in broadcasting. She was an athlete growing up and though she thought she would “be writing for Sports Illustrated or something” she interned with a news station and fell in love with it. Today she still loves writing and whenever the opportunity arises, she will write her own short pieces. Continue reading “Caps Fan Club Welcomes Jill Sorenson”
The Caps squared off against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday with Jason Chimera facing his hometown team. Former Caps player Matt Hendricks –Hendy-retuned to the Oilers tonight. It was good to see him again…right??? Before the game even started we had a near catastrophe when Justin Williams tumbled on top of goalie Braden Holtby during pre-game stretches. All was good though as Williams got up laughing.
Here are the highlights of the game, along with more great pictures.
Today we wish our dynamic center a joyous Happy Birthday! Nicklas Backstrom turns 28 today. It’s hard to believe that one of the original Capitals Young Guns is inching closer to 30!
Nicky was drafted by the Caps in in 2006 and with every passing year he has continued to develop into one of the top scoring centers in the league. He ranks first on the Capitals franchise assist list (427) and fifth in franchise points (572). Nickey consistently earns an average of one point per game per season. He has played for his home country of Sweden in three World Championships (2007, 2008, 2012), two World Junior Championships (2006, 2007) and two Winter Olympic Games (2010, 2014) capturing a silver medal in 2014. This one-time carpenter comes from a family of hockey players. No doubt he will be celebrating today with his partner Lisa, their beautiful baby girl, and his visiting family. Best wishes to you Nicky!
The Caps practiced at Kettler Iceplex this morning in preparation for their match with the Edmonton Oilers at 7 pm tonight. The line-up appears to be the same as that for their last game on Saturday:
Michael Latta (see photo above) was the only player working on faceoff drills. Given his 88 percent win on the faceoff last game, we can expect to see more of him in the faceoff spot tonight.
Looks like we caught coach explaining to Andre Burakovsky that he is going to get a little more time to “clear his head.”
Stanislav Galiev gets the nod again tonight–in for Burky.
T.J. Oshie is back in the lineup tonight–did we ever doubt he would be? After a maintenance day to recover from some hard hits Friday, Oshie was back on the ice at morning skate.
And then there is Nate Schmidt…does this guy ever not smile? Today we saw that behind that smile is a man with some power. Note the broken stick and his ever so sheepish look.
And lets not forget, today is Nicklas Backstrom’s 28th birthday. We wish him well and a night full of points!
Coming into the game tonight the Caps are 13-5-1 against the Oilers 7-12-1. Caps are 21-10-2 at home against the Oilers. This is the second and last meeting of the season for these two teams. Should be a fast-skating night to see if now that the Caps know they can score first if they have figured out how to win two in a row! Stay tuned for highlights later tonight.
What to Watch for Tonight:
John Carlson: One point away from passing Rod Langway’s record of 202 for eighth place in goals earned by a Cap’s defenseman.
Justin Williams: Three points to go to reach 600 career HNL points.
Welcome to a new blog for fans of the Washington Capitals that promises to bring you great photos and articles about all things hockey. Not only will you find the best pictures of your Capitals players but watch for pictures of the Hershey Bears and local hockey teams in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region. We will be hitting the road to bring you stories about fans traveling out of the area and of your favorite team on the road.
We are big fans ourselves and we our at most most Caps=related events. If we can’t make it, we would love to have some of you follow the events for us. Just let us know you are going and we can collaborate. If you have that special photo with a Caps player, let us know and we will share it with other fans. If there is a story you would like us to write on – just send us a comment and we will do our best.
We are here because we have so much fun being a part of the Caps community and that love has spread to a general love of hockey in the DMV. We hope you will catch the Red Rocking Spirit with us as we travel meet with friends from cold places.
Saturday night (Nov 21) in Chinatown would be the first cold night of the season in the Nation’s Capital and a night for a big win for the Washington Capitals as they snowed over the Colorado Avalanche.
The First Period was full of excitement. The Caps finally broke through and scored first against the Avs. Mike Vogel tweeted out that the last time they scored first was when Justin Williams lit the lamp—just as he did Saturday. At 7:15 in the game, Captain Alexander Ovechkin showed the world he is back with a rocket goal that put the Caps up 2-0. In rapid succession John Carlson racked up the third goal for the night with a snap shot assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. With 42.1 seconds left in the first, Nate Schmidt fired one in to end the first period 4-0 Caps.
The Second Period started a bit sluggish with the Avs Cody McLeod getting the upper hand on Braden Holtby. The Caps failed to score on a power play opportunity four minutes into the period. After a knock down fight between Michael Latta and Chris Wagner, the Caps failed again on their second power play opportunity of the period. The Avs would bounce back on a one-man advantage after Kuztnezov found himself in the sin bin for closing his hand on the puck. The second period would end with the Caps maintaining a two-point lead (4-2).
The start of The Third Period was delayed because of a problem with the goal light behind Braden Holtby. The Caps would have another chance to score on the power play after a tripping call on Nathan MacKinnon. This time Kuzy made good on the man advantage with assists by Chimera and Niskanen. (5-2 Caps). . The other highlight of the period was a sweet wrist shot by Dmitry Orlov: his first goal of the season! And the magical goal scored with the disappearing puck is sure to be part of the weekend highlight reels. It seems only Orlov and the ref knew where the puck was. Holtby would let one more slip by him bringing the score to 6-3, but still with a good Caps lead. Finally, Karl Alzner would seal it all up with his second goal of the season at 16:16 with a little help from his friends Oshie and Ovechkin. Caps take the win 7-3.
The night was amazing; Lots of scoring, lots of fights, and lots of screaming by the fans. The Caps finally scored first and then kept on scoring. Before the night was over 14 players combined for a grand total of 19 points (goals, assists). Also, for the first time in 23 years four Capitals defensemen scored a goal in a game. It was also the first time since 2013 that seven different players scored seven goals. The game was the icing on the cake of a record breaking week in which Ovechkin broke the record scoring a total of 484 goals to become the all-time high Russian-born scorer in the NHL. Now we look forward to preparing to face the Oilers on Monday night.