Caps Have Tough Decisions in Free Agency

By Daniel Johnson

With the 2018-2019 Caps season coming to an abrupt end, they now have some difficult decisions to make with impending free agency. With their Salary Cap having little room for error, there are some pretty significant contracts to ponder. Continue reading “Caps Have Tough Decisions in Free Agency”

Capitals White House Visit Sparks Fan Controversy

Word slipped out on Tuesday that the Washington Capital Stanley Cup Champions would keep with tradition and visit the White House on 25 March. Only seven of the players are US born, and as of today, only Brett Connolly has said he will not attend the celebration. Other players may decide against going; however, for now it looks as if most of the team will reunite with Lord Stanley on Monday. Continue reading “Capitals White House Visit Sparks Fan Controversy”

Caps Drop Leafs 3-2; Holtby Heats Up

TLDR; The Washington Capitals win 3-2 on the road, and goals by Alex Ovechkin, Brett Connolly, and Toronto-native Tom Wilson keep the Caps within a single point of the Metro division-leading New York Islanders.

As to be expected when these two face-off, the first period was fast and crisp. Two massive saves early-on by Caps netminder Braden Holtby kept the score 0-0. The Capitals did a great job playing of keep-away, and successfully seemed to ‘bother’ the Leafs, as they gave them very little room to operate. Both teams registered a number of high-quality scoring chances, but it was the Capitals who had the better of the two. Due to a lack of coverage and a scrambling Frederik Andersen in the crease, the Caps had two empty-net opportunities, but were unable to pot the puck. Capitals forward Jakub Vrana is truly beginning to develop and mature as a player, and is now creating his own opportunities in front of the net. Although neither team scored in the first period, the first frame was neither slow, nor boring. No power plays to speak of either, but the Capitals registered 12 hits and 9 blocked shots. Both Holtby and Andersen appeared confident and comfortable, blocking all 21 shots faced between the two. Tonight, for whomever scores first, the luck will be ever in their favor.

Four minutes into the second period, The Capitals were awarded the first power play of the night, as Morgan Rielly received a two-minute minor penalty for holding. It did not take long for captain Alex Ovechkin to score his 43rd goal of the season, giving the good guys a 1-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, the Capitals returned to the power play, as Nikita Zaitsev received a two-minute penalty for interference, but did not score. For a team that leads the league in fewest penalty minutes, the Toronto Maple Leafs have landed in the penalty box eight times and have drawn too-many-men penalties twice in the last 4 games (Toronto Maple Leafs). Halfway through the period, the Capitals faced their first penalty kill, as defenseman Michal Kempny went to the box for tripping. After successfully keeping Toronto off the board during the penalty, Brett Connolly snagged his 15th goal of the season, and the Leafs suddenly found themselves down 2 goals to nil (Washington Capitals). Per Capitals analyst Alan May, the Caps lead the league in second period goals with 80 tallies through 60 games.

Pictured: Brett Connolly donning the Washington Capitals 2018-19 alternate jerseys

With just under 30 seconds remaining in the second, tempers flared, and both Andre Burakovsky of the Caps and Connor Brown of the Leafs were sent to the penalty box with matching two-minute penalties for crosschecking and hooking, respectively. The teams will start the third period playing four-on-four for another 90 seconds.

While neither team scored on the remainder of a 4v4 stint from the second it did not take long for Toronto to cut a two-goal deficit to one. A deflection off of a failed wrap-around attempt by Andreas Johnsson gave the Leafs some life in Scotiabank Arena, and eliminated the chance of a shutout by Holtby. The Capitals need to improve on their face-offs, and perhaps another acquisition prior to the trade deadline could help the team in that category. Moments later, Caps defenseman John Carlson was called for hooking, and the Caps went back on the penalty kill. Much to the dismay of Leafs fans, Tom Wilson, shorthanded, scored his 16th goal of the season, and re-established Washingtons’ 2-goal lead. In a flurry of goals and penalties, the Capitals received another power play, as Jake Muzzin was called for slashing, but did not convert. With about 30 seconds remaining in the game, John Tavares tipped up the Leafs 3-2, but the Capitals were able to sneak out of Toronto with a win. Braden Holtby stopped 40 of 42 shots faced, but he could not have done it without the Capitals’ defense.

FiCP Three Takeaways of the Game:

  1. The Capitals defense was exactly what we needed it to be; strong to the puck, blocking passing and shooting lanes, and protecting Holtby when compromised.
  2. The Caps special teams are improving; the Power Play units are scoring, and the Penalty Kill units are keeping opponents off the board.
  3. Braden Holtby has reached his mid-season form.

theScore. (2019). Washington Capitals Roster. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15/roster.

theScore. (2019). Toronto Maple Leafs Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/5/stats.

Caps Hang On to Defeat Kings 3-2

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After a complete dud Sunday night in Anaheim, the Washington Capitals bounced back in Los Angeles Monday night at Staples Center with a 3-2 win over the Kings. Thanks in part to two Alex Ovechkin office goals as well as a deflection from Brett Connolly, the Caps defended and held off a late rally from the home team.  Continue reading “Caps Hang On to Defeat Kings 3-2”

Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals wrapped up their season-long six game homestand and kicked off a long road trip this week. On Saturday, the Caps overcame a 3-1 and 4-2 deficit against the Florida Panthers. They rallied to force the tie but ultimately fell short in overtime 5-4. The Capitals rebounded in the final game of the homestand on Monday night with a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings before kicking off a six-game road trip in Columbus where they were blanked by the Blue Jackets 3-0.

Continue reading “Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus”

Bring Out the Bird! Evgeny Kuznetsov Delivers in Overtime, Caps Top Avs 4-3

This was a game full of de ja vus. In the end, an Alex Ovechkin feed to Evgeny Kuznetsov for the breakaway that was shades of Game 6 of the Caps second round series in Pittsburgh last year that would be the difference. Kuznetsov came through with the overtime goal as the Washington Capitals defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime at Capital One Arena in D.C. In the midst of a season-long six game homestand following the all-star break and bye week, the Capitals have now won three of their last four games after a season-long seven game winless drought entering the break.

Continue reading “Bring Out the Bird! Evgeny Kuznetsov Delivers in Overtime, Caps Top Avs 4-3”

Caps Once Again Fall to Blues 4-1

CAPITAL ONE ARENA – The St. Louis Blues came into Washington and defeated the Capitals thanks to a second period of three unanswered goals. That led not only to a 4-1 road win over the defending Stanley Cup champions but also swept the Caps for the season series after defeating Washington back on Jan. 3 in St. Louis. This game marked a significant milestone for Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who suited up for his 1,000th career NHL game. This is the Capitals second loss in a row having lost Saturday to the Blue Jackets on home ice in overtimeContinue reading “Caps Once Again Fall to Blues 4-1”

Caps Fan to Get Tattoo of Brett Connolly Getting a Tattoo for Retweets

Washington Capitals fan Tyler Duchaine wants to take his fandom to a whole new level and will do so if he reaches his goal on Twitter. Many Capitals fans have Caps-inspired tattoos and with the team winning the Stanley Cup last season, some fanatics have the Cup or “Stanley Cup champions” tattooed. Duchaine wants his next ink art to be more unique though. In addition to fans, Capitals players got tattoos two nights after winning the Cup during their party around D.C. that weekend. Duchaine wants not just a tattoo of Brett Connolly but a tattoo of Brett Connolly getting a tattoo.

Continue reading “Caps Fan to Get Tattoo of Brett Connolly Getting a Tattoo for Retweets”

The Pregame: Capitals Host Hurricanes After Christmas Break

Hope you had a Merry Christmas or Capsmas and fantastic holiday Caps fans. Your Washington Capitals resume their chase towards back to back on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Let’s take a look at the matchup and catch you up on what’s happened with these teams lately. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is at 7 p.m. and you can catch the game on NBC Sports Washington  Continue reading “The Pregame: Capitals Host Hurricanes After Christmas Break”

Alex Ovechkin’s Hat Trick and T.J. Oshie’s Return Power Caps to 6-2 Win Over Red Wings

For the second time in 18 days, the Washington Capitals hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Capital One Arena. Once again, the Caps protected home ice with a 6-2 win, their third in a row, to keep ahead for first place in the Metropolitan Division now up by five points on the Blue Jackets with a 18-9-3 record (39 points). The offense got a boost with T.J. Oshie‘s return after being out for over three weeks with a concussion. Oshie scored in this contest that also saw tallies from Brett Connolly, Travis Boyd, and Alex Ovechkin times three.  Continue reading “Alex Ovechkin’s Hat Trick and T.J. Oshie’s Return Power Caps to 6-2 Win Over Red Wings”