KeyBank Center Review

Today I went to KeyBank Center for the game. While the game itself was painful, the stadium was a pretty nice venue to watch a game. There was a very decent variety of food options and the food itself was good for arena food. I ordered a roast beef sandwich that was tasty and I enjoyed the food I stole from my parents as well. Continue reading “KeyBank Center Review”

Caps End Six Road Games Falling to the Sabres 5-2 But Ovechkin scores 44th Goal

After six games on the road, the Washington Capitals will reencounter the fans, though the result Saturday could have been better. The Caps have won and lost three out of six games, including a 3-0 shutout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. And since December 22. the Caps haven’t defeated anyone without giving up at least one goal, until they beat the Ottawa Senators by 4-0. Continue reading “Caps End Six Road Games Falling to the Sabres 5-2 But Ovechkin scores 44th Goal”

Thanksgiving Week in Photos…

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and let me tell you I was feeling very thankful for the 4-3 win over the Blues, and the 3-1 win over the Sabres. Because of the holiday we are little behind on our gallery posts so we figured why not combine the two games and give you one big AWESOME photo gallery. Enjoy the sights!

Excuse me, you’re in my way there…

Goalie looks

Those dang Blues!

GOALLLLLLLLL!!!

img_6279-1

 

Buffalo Sabres- 11/25:

Grubiiiiii!

Warm-ups:

GOALSSSS and GOALLSSS

Action Shots

 

Capitals Beat Sabres in 3-1 Win

While tonight’s 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres was void of much excitement, it wonderfully showcased all of what the Capitals have worked hard on during the off-season, such as their early scoring and penalty kill.

The first period was lackluster to say the least. Other than Daniel Winnik’s early goal at 5:08, nothing of huge importance happened. Grubauer was phenomenal in goal, as the under-appreciated 25-year-old typically is, with some very nice saves. The defense was surprisingly good, something you don’t see very often when 31 is in goal, unfortunately. Williams did take a penalty early on for goaltender interference but the strong PK had no problem dealing with it. Sanford had a beautiful breakaway, but was robbed of the goal by Anders Nilsson. Marcus Foligno was the next to go in the box for another interference call, but it had no real impact on the game. Overall, the Caps played well, just not great.

The second period was another dull one, played well but not remarkably so. Grubs continued to be the star of the game and keep the Sabres from scoring, but he had the help of some incredible defense from his teammates, who continued to be very fast and keep Buffalo on their toes. On the power play, after Johan Larson took a slashing penalty, the Caps took shot after shot, never letting up. It wasn’t long before Marcus Johansson scored at 13:25 and gave us the 2-0 lead. Buffalo eventually got another penalty, Taylor Fedun, this time, with holding. Brett Connolly followed suit, a few minutes later, with a hooking call, and would carry this penalty into the third.

Speaking of the third, it didn’t start off very differently from the previous two. It was a little slow and dull, but it would liven up soon enough. Alex Ovechkin landed himself a tripping penalty and only minutes after it ended, Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board with a goal, almost ten minutes in. Not long after, Andre Burakovsky got called with a delay-of-game penalty which only served to show how remarkable our penalty kill is this season. Though it almost didn’t get caught, Buffalo was hit with the too many men on the ice penalty, pointed out by Justin Williams and the fans. Thank goodness it did, however, because it led to Brett Connolly’s power play goal late in the game. After that, it was the Capitals’ strength and determination that led to our 3-1 win.

Caps Acquire ‘Heart and Soul’ Defenseman Weber from Buffalo

As defenseman Mike Weber joked around with Buffalo reporters Monday, he had no idea the wheels were in motion to send him to Washington.

“Players like to pack extra clothing as it gets closer to the trade deadline,” he joked.

The “heart and soul” blue liner is the newest member of this historic Washington Capitals team. He goes from being on one of the worst teams in the NHL to the absolute best.

The Caps acquired the 28-year-old on Tuesday in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. The Sabres will retain 50 percent of Weber’s expiring contract, which carries a $1.66 million cap hit. His signing also gives the Caps 50 players under contract, the NHL limit. If they plan to trade for anyone else before Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline, they will have to dump a contract with the other team.

Weber has played his entire NHL career with the Sabres, being drafted in the second round, 57th overall, in the 2006 NHL draft. In his career, he has registered 53 points (nine goals, 44 assists) and 409 penalty minutes in 341 career NHL games. In 35 games this season, he has recorded five points (one goal, four assists) and 32 penalty minutes.

“He’s a passionat459739965e guy,” Buffalo head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He wears his heart on his sleeve as a person and as a player. That’s how he plays the game.”

It will be interesting to see where he fits on the defensive rotation for the Caps. His strong, physical presence is perfect for playoff hockey but the Caps already have plenty on defense. I’m predicting he will mostly serve as the seventh defenseman ahead of Taylor Chorney and serve as insurance in the event anyone goes down with injury at any point during the rest of the season and post-season.

Welcome to the team Mike!

By Christopher Johnson

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 30 December 2015

dec30 holtby out
The Holtbeast looking on as team gets final words of encouragement.

 

Caps-Sabres Round Two

Photos by Brittney Marcum

The Capitals extended their winning streak to eight when we last met the Buffalo Sabres. One of the keys to the Capitals’ success in Buffalo was their penalty kill. Much of that credit goes to Braden Holtby but the defense really stepped up in light of missing John Carlson for the night.

Michael Latta left the ice after a fight on Monday and was seen with his arm in a sling. No sling Tuesday night when he, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson took in a movie; however, he did take morning skate. He is listed day-to-day.

dec30 zach sillZach Sill was recalled from the Hershey Bears on Tuesday. Zach has two goals and five assists in 28 games played in Chocolate Town along with 28 penalty minutes. He will fit in nicely with the Caps fourth line as he steps in for the ailing Latta.

John Carlson did not skate this morning and looks to be a scratch for tonight.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 18 goals. He is now just seven goals away from 500 NHL career goals.

Nicklas Backstrom leads the team with 32 points and 22 assists. He made an awesome pass to Ovi resulting in the first goal of the game on Monday.

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (23) and goals against average (1.86) He remains the only goalie in the NHL with 20 wins or more. He is inching closer to overtaking former Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth lead in save percentage with a rate of 0.935 to Neuvy’s 0.937

Backup goaltender Philip Grubauer in the seven games he has been in the net has four wins, two losses, and an OT loss. He should be strong in the net against the Sabres should Trotz give him the opportunity. A goalie has not been announced for tonight’s game at time of posting.

Brooks Laich and Andre Burakovsky still haven’t been producing as of late, but the fourth line looked strong Monday, although none of them actually had any shots. Maybe Sill will help turn that tide.  dec30 burky

Sabre Watch

The Sabres ended their practice Tuesday with a shootout drill. Are they anticipating a close game on Wednesday? They had two near misses on Monday and the potential for a tie game is fairly high if they can get the puck in the net without a collision with the goalie!

Coach Bylsma in his presser Tuesday said that the team keeps work on improving their passing and they “threw a different drill at them today to sharpen the decision-making and execution.” They also drilled on playing the walls which was missing in the game against the Caps.

Rookie center Jack Eichel, the darling of the Sabres, had some great moves in his game against the Caps. Even so, his four shots failed to light the lamp.

Nicolas Deslauriers is likely to have the attention of Caps players given his run in with Williams and fight with Latta.

Center Ryan O’Reilly (90) could pose a threat to the Caps even though he was sluggish on Monday. He ranks first in goals and points (32) for the team as a whole. He has also had two GWG’s (Game winning goals) so far this year.

Evander Kane (9) was stymied by Braden Holtby and while he had four shots Monday, he still has been unable to break his goal scoring drought. He will certainly want to make good on his attempts tonight.

Goalie Watch: All three goalies practice on Tuesday. No word yet who will be in the net.

Linus Ullmark only let in two shot out of 26 on Monday against the Caps. He has lost more games than he has won so far this season.

Chad Johnson had 30 saves on 33 shots against the Bruins the last time he played. He has a .918 save percentage. In his last 5 games he’s had three regulation wins, one regulation loss and one loss in OT.

Goaltender Robin Lehner has been out since he was injured in the first game of the season. He participated in practice Tuesday but still has no timetable for his return.

Fight Potential: Given the atmosphere on Monday, we rate the fight potential HIGH. When it comes to major penalties for fighting Washington has 10 while Buffalo has 7 Additionally, the Caps average .29 fights per game compared to the Sabres’ .19. Josh Gorges leads the Sabres in penalty minutes at 44. Eyes on Evander Kane and Nicolas Deslauriers to instigate.

Practice Shots: Caps held morning skate at Kettler Ice plex this morning. Our parting gift to you is the darling of the Caps: Evgeny Kutznesov.  dec30

Coming Up:

Caps-Hurricanes in Raleigh. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC

Caps-Sabres Recap

Some Blood, Some Fighting, & a Shutout  Get the Caps Eight Straight

win john

This game was the start of a home-and-home for the Capitals and Sabres this week. Before the game would start news hit that John Carlson’s “iron-man” streak ends at 412 games as he sat out this game with a lower-body injury. Connor Carrick would get his first NHL start this season as his replacement.

FIRST PERIOD:

The first period was hard fought by both sides with the shots pretty much even (WSH- 9, BUF-10). The fourth line, Andre Burakovsky, Michael Latta, and Brooks Laich had some nice shifts. Caps went on the powerplay when Mike Weber was sent to the box with an interference call at 5:17 but the Caps failed to score on the opportunity. The period would end scoreless.

SECOND PERIOD:

win ovi

 

The second period began with a bang when Ovi scored just 19 seconds in assisted by line mates Backstrom and Oshie.

 

Justin Williams took a hit from Nicholas Deslauriers, one with a stick to the face that would draw blood but no penalties. In an attempt to even the score, Michael Latta and Deslauriers drop the gloves at the 10:49 mark of the second period. Latta left the ice injured and would not return to the game, he was seen in a sling after the game and Barry Trotz specified it was an injury to his arm. Deslauriers, as he was heading to the penalty box, jubilantly waves his arms and screams to the crowd.

At the 12:55 mark in the second period, Jay Beagle doubles the Caps lead, 2-0. Per Isabelle Khurshudyan, the Caps are 21-0-5 lifetime when Beagle scores.

win beagle

THIRD PERIOD:

The Sabres would pull goaltender Linus Ullmark for the extra attacker with 1:30 left in the game. Holtby shows the Sabres why he is the best goalie in the league right now with an unbelievable save on Evander Kane. Caps win 2-0, their eighth straight victory and a shutout for the Holtbeast, just his second this season.

The Caps penalty kill was spotless during the game, including once during the third when Tom Wilson went to the box for an interference call. Sabres would have two disallowed, the second one would be due to contact by Tyler Ennis when he pushed goaltender Braden Holtby into his own net. A slightly winded Holtby had to catch his breath while Caps fans collectively held their breath while the play was challenged by Dan Bylsma.

Well wishes to both Carly and Latts for a speedy recovery!

 

UPDATE: Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 28 December 2015

Caps-Sabres Pre-game, Practice photos, and Evander Kane (Updates in Red)

Photos by Brittney Marcum

sab coachThe Capitals extended their winning streak to seven on Saturday night in Washington. After a tough practice at Kettler on Sunday they flew up to Buffalo to settle in before meeting the Sabres tonight. The Caps have won three of their last four games against the Sabres.

Things in Buffalo exploded late Sunday with news that left wing Evander Kane is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. The team confirmed the allegations although no formal charges have been filed yet. As the investigation is in the early stages, it is likely that the team will be somewhat unsettled in the locker room. No word as we go to press, if Kane, who has eight goals and five assists in 25 games, will play tonight. It was reported this morning by multiple sources that Kane DID in fact participate in morning skate. (11 am) Kane issued a statement from the Sabres locker room saying he “has done nothing wrong.” As of now (12:30) he remains on the roster for tonight.

Line up appears to be the same. If Carlson is out (see below) Connor Carrick will step in.

The Caps are averaging 3.1 goals a game, second in the league.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 17 goals. He hasn’t lit the lamp in his last two games. He did take a puck to the forearm from Matt Niskanen but looked good skating on Sunday.  sab ovi

Nicklas Backstrom leads the team with 31 points and 21 assists.

John Carlson per Isabelle Khurshudyan (WashPost), did not skate at practice this morning. It is unclear if he will be in tonight. This would be his first game missed in over 400 games. He continues to rack up the assists and goals with 27 points this season. He is on track to reach or top his 2014 season high of 55 points. John took a maintenance day on Sunday and did not skate.  Carlson is tied for fifth in the NHL in road assists (12) and Karl Alzner ranks tied for fifth in plus/minus (+11) on the road. (CapsToday)

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (22) and goals against average (1.92) He is the only goalie in the league with 20 wins or more. Sabres’ goaltender Chad Johnson sits well below in 23rd place with 10 wins in 23 games.

Philip Grubauer in the seven games he has been in the net has four wins, two losses, and an OT loss. He should be strong in the net against the Sabres should Trotz give him the opportunity. A goalie has not been announced for tonight’s game at time of posting.

sab laich burkyBrooks Laich and Andre Burkovsky haven’t scored a goal on the fourth line in a while, but along with Michael Latta they are shooting at every opportunity. Maybe they will break their goal drought tonight.

Alex Ovechkin is eight goals away from 500 NHL career goals.

Fight Potential: When it comes to major penalties for fighting, the Caps have 9 penalties compared to the Sabres’ six.sab wilson

 

 

Practice Shots: Caps took practice at Kettler Iceplex on Saturday. Here are some great shots of the Trotz’ Smiling Boys.

Coming Up:

Caps Practice at Kettler Ice Plex Tuesday 1230

Caps-Sabres at home. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC

Caps Morning Skate at Kettler Ice Plex  Wednesday 1015

Caps-Hurricanes in Raleigh. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC