Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson were well represented at the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose last week. With coach Todd Reirden at the helm of the Metropolitan Division, the trio contributed to wins over the Atlantic and Central Divisions to win the All-Star Game and split the grand prize of one million dollars. Continue reading “Braden Holtby and John Carlson Lead Metropolitan Division to All-Star Game Win”
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”
The Washington Capitals and their were frustrated. It was a stinker start of the game and it saw the Caps trail 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes before they mounted a furious comeback in the third period to win the game 6-5 in a shootout. The win was the Caps fourth in a row and 11th win in their last 13 games. The comeback was led by Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick, the second straight game he accomplished the feat. The difference in the shootout was Jakub Vrana, who scored his first career shootout goal on his first-ever attempt. The Caps improve their record to 19-9-3 for 41 points and lead the Blue Jackets by five-points for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Continue reading “Alex Ovechkin’s Hat Trick in Second Straight Game Leads Caps to Comeback Win over Hurricanes”
Justin Williams is returning to the place where he first made a name for himself – the Carolina Hurricanes. This is where he earned his first Stanley Cup ring. They are fortunate to have him back and they seem pretty darn excited about it too!
Some of us here at FiCP have a thing for Justin Williams. We loved him when he played for the LA Kings and knew what a special talent he was before he came to the Caps. He is the guy with the experience of winning three Stanley Cups. He brought a brand of maturity to the locker room and on the ice that was needed after the Caps traded Brooks Laich.
This past season J-Will scored 24 goals – tied with Marcus Johansson in fourth place on the team. Williams has always been a solid steady player. He holds his own on the ice and creates opportunities for his teammates. He isn’t afraid to crash the net and do what it takes to get the puck in the net
His new contract is a two-year deal for $9,000,000, an average of $4,500,000 a year. His previous contract with the Capitals was also a two-year contract for $6,500,000 and an average yearly of $3,250,000. A slight bump for the 35-year old player, another deal the Caps just couldn’t afford to make. “The deal will pay Williams $5 million during the 2017-18 season, and $4 million during the 2018-19 season’ per the Canes.
We can’t say enough good things about Justin Williams. We know he will bring his special sense of dedication and excitement to the game. Take good care of him Carolina! We’ll be down to see ya soon Willy.
The Washington Capitals will play the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time this season, also at PNC Arena. We were there, with the Road Crew.
You remember that game–the one where the team left Philipp Grubauer out to dry in a 5-1 loss to the Canes.
If you are heading to Raleigh for the game, make sure to check out Stormy: he is one or our favorite NHL Mascots. You can find him hanging with the kids or sliding down the railing!!
Be sure to check out the store. They have stuff from all around the NHL. We even found some Caps pucks. They have a whole section for your pets. We got Rocking Rufus a Stormy…he kind of liked him LOL
This is the Caps second game on the road, having won their fifth in a row against the Islanders on Monday in a game where the Capitals looked really good!! While the Road Crew and Fan Club won’t be there, we know there are a lot of fans who will ROCK THE RED at PNC Arena.
So the Caps have a rather hectic schedule, flying out right after the 3-2 OT win in Chicago to Raleigh, North Carolina for a 7 pm Saturday game.
There are a few changes for the Hurricanes with Justin Faulk going on the IR reports the Washington Post. And Phil Di Giuseppe was assigned to its AHL affiliate in Charlotte.
The Canes got some bad news late Friday night that Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He last played October 30, according to USA News.
Canes will be drawing from their 4-2 loss to the Ducks on Thursday night. They need a win as they sit bottom in the league. News & Observer
When it comes to the Canes, the Caps are 50-50 in the preseason with each team taking one win. The Caps should take the lead early unless they are dragging after the hard fight in Chicago.
Philipp Grubauer will be in the net Saturday. No word on the Taylor Chorney switch with Nate Schmidt.
Dmitry Orlov was hot in Chicago- blocking, hitting, and shooting. There have been concerns expressed about John Carlson. Coach said a few days ago that he got banged up in Worlds–may be he isn’t playing at his fullest.
Here’s Mike Vogel’s take on the upcoming game from Dump N Chase.
Sportschat gives it to the Caps.
Here are the Caps milestones to watch for Caps Today:
CAPITALS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Alex Ovechkin – Three power-play goals shy of becoming the 18th player in NHL history to score 200 power-play goals
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Six assists shy of 100 NHL/Capitals assists.
We’ll update as we hear more on the Caps side.
Oh and on the bright side, CSN-MA will be steaming games starting Saturday, if you have the ‘tickets’ for viewing. Read more here.
After a grueling stretch of 7 games in 12 nights with a cross country flight, the Caps return with only two games this week. However, these games are not going to be easy at all.
First up, Carolina Hurricanes, Tuesday (3/15) at 7 EST.
Carolina is fighting for their playoff lives. They are five points back from the Red Wings. Carolina is 3-0-2 since the trade deadline. The Caps can lock up a playoff spot tonight with a win, however it will not be an easy task. When these teams match up it is always close, I expect this one to be another one goal game. However, if the Caps can get out to an early lead at home, they might just take all the confidence out of this desperate Hurricanes team.
Game 2: Nashville Predators, Friday, March 18, 7 EST.
As of Tuesday, the Predators are a safe nine points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for a playoff spot. However, with the Blackhawks starting to slump, the Predators may be looking to pounce. They sit only five points back out of the third spot in the Central Division. They may be looking to make a run for that spot.
In these two upcoming games, it is important that the Caps feed off the Verizon Center crowd early. If the Caps start out slow, and allow the first goal, the fans could go into the “here we go again” mentality and be quiet the whole game. Hopefully with a less heavy game week, the Caps can get back on track and fix these slow starts before the playoffs.
Caps Canes Match-up
Game Time 7pm at Verizon Center (CSN-DC)
There has been a lot of movement during practice on the top three lines and it is anyone’s guess what falls out tonight. Coach Trotz said Monday that he was changing things up because of the way the Boyz played on the west coast trip. He wants to “get a little more stability” and make sure that “everyone is engaged.”
Monday he moved Jay Beagle up to the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. That forced a trickle down change with TJ Oshie slipping to the second line and Tom Wilson sliding in for Beags on the fourth.
Then on Tuesday he did it again. Same makeup for the forwards but he brought Taylor Chorney in and moved Mike Weber out of his defenseman slot. We also saw more of the Richards, Winnik, and Wilson line.
So here is what we have heading into warm-ups but don’t be surprised if we see quite a bit of line shifting during the game as Coach attempts to brings something a “a little different to add more to the game.”
Caps Project Lines
Ovechkin Backstrom Beagle
Burakovsky Kuznetsov Oshie
Chimera Johansson Williams
Winnet Richards Wilson
Most likely Braden Holtby backed up by Philipp Grubauer.
And now for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Canes, as we know, beat the Caps this season. It is worth mentioning given that they are in an elite club.
Nordstrom J. Staal Lindholm
Skinner Rask DiGiuseppe
Gerbe Nash Terry
Malone McClement Sutter
Eddie Lack expected in the net backed up by Cam Ward
The Washington Capitals are back home after they struggled a bit on a road trip that ended with three straight California games. The Caps started off the road trip with a pair of impressive wins: a 2-1 overtime win over the Boston Bruins in Beantown followed by a 2-1 shootout win in Anaheim against one of the NHL’s hottest teams the Ducks. The Kings nearly blew a 3-0 lead but held on in overtime to win 4-3. The final game in the road trip proved to be the worst as the Sharks owned the Capitals in the third with a 5-2 win and swept the season series, outscoring the Caps 10-2.
Slowly Fading Away
The Carolina Hurricanes come into this game desperately needing a win after losing seven of their last 12 games . They sit sixth in the Metropolitan and five points back of Detroit for a wild card spot with 74 points. The Hurricane are 24th in goals per game (2.4), 18th in Goals Against (2.7), 19th in the Power Play (17.7%), 8th in Penalty Kill (83.1%) and are 2-5 in their last seven road games.
Ten-year NHL veteran starting goaltender Cam Ward hasn’t had the season he wanted. He looks to bounce back after losing a heartbreaker in the closing seconds of overtime to Buffalo 3-2. His current season record is 20-15-8 with a 2.44 GAA and .907 save percentage. He also has recorded a sub-.900 save percentage in seven of his last 10 starts.
- With 14 games remaining and a cut line at around 94 points, the Canes need to pick up around 75% of their remaining available points just to stay in the hunt.
The Washington Capitals are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. They have the best home record in the NHL at 26-6-2 (54 points) and currently sit in the top four of goals per game (3.2), goals against (2.3), power play (23.8%) and penalty kill (84.1%).
Braden Holtby looks to start after getting some rest over the weekend. He has 14 games to win seven and tie Martin Brodeur’s single-season win record. His current season record is 41-8-4 with a 2.25 GAA and .922 save percentage. Holtby has looked human while going 1-2-1 in his last four starts. That four-game stretch came against a quartet of playoff-bound teams, so expect the Capitals netminder to rebound with an easier schedule looming up ahead.
- Over the last five games, the Caps have been outscored 8-0 in the first period and have allowed the first goal in 13 of the last 15 games.
- Alex Ovechkin’s scoreless streak continues as he has now been held without a goal in his last five games.
The Capitals are looking to win number 50 for the third time. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Tuesday night!
Written by: Christopher Johnson
Photos by: Brittney Marcum