The Washington Capitals are back home looking to snap a three-game slide when they host the New York Islanders for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop. This contest isn’t just your ordinary Metropolitan Division matchup, however, instead it marks the return of an important figure that led the Capitals to championship greatness. Barry Trotz coached the Caps for four seasons, ending his tenure with the first Stanley Cup in both the history of the franchise and the coach’s resume. When the season ended, the two sides between Trotz and General Manager Brian MacLellan didn’t reach an agreement on an extension which allowed Trotz to walk and take a coaching job at the island. Continue reading “The Pregame: Barry Trotz Returns to D.C.”
Evgeny Kuznetsov is the gift that keeps on giving and with Christmas coming up he’s not stopping anytime soon. This dude dressed up as a goaltender at a practice I attended in January. He’s also made me laugh and cry during 90% of his interviews. Sometimes he says things as an intention to be funny but other times he might actually be serious. Either way, aside from the ridiculous skills he flashes on the ice, he’s practically a cartoon character off the ice. Continue reading “Evgeny Kuznetsov Chills with Pheonix Copley Throughout Caps vs. Islanders Game”
What would the site Friends in Cold Places be without the word friends? No, not just “in cold places”, that doesn’t make sense. What we love about this site is that we’re all friends. Our hockey team is our friends, other fans of the Washington Capitals are our friends and when players and coaches leave the Caps and face them on the opposition, there’s always special moment where they see their old friends again and there’s no love lost whatsoever. That’s what transpired hours before the Capitals concluded their New York tour in Brooklyn going up against the Islanders and the coach who led them to greatness less than six months ago. While we would’ve loved to see Barry Trotz behind the bench, looking to steer the Capitals ship towards more glory, he ultimately had to do what’s best for himself and his family. We missed him on banner night. We missed him during the highs and lows of this young season but on Monday night, the players got to reunite with him. Continue reading “Barry Trotz, Lane Lambert, and Mitch Korn Reunite with Old Friends and Get Their Stanley Cup Rings”
The Capitals played the Islanders twice during the preseason, defeating them both times. On October 9, the Caps shutout World Cup of Hockey stellar goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Clearly the Isles were shaking the rust off earlier this month. Cal Clutterbuck caused the normal stir for the Caps with his hard-hitting abrasive style of play. Expect more of that.
It was a bit of fun as former beloved player Jason Chimera and the boys squared off a few times. Don’t expect it to go that way on Saturday. However, the Caps will likely honor his last seven years with the team. Even though he isn’t walking the red carpet this year, fans are sure to cheer loudly for his return.
Last game Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller, Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie notched goals. In the opening game in Pittsburgh Andre was the big star. Expect more of the same Saturday.
And yes, we are sure there will be fighting. The question is whom has more penalty minutes by the end of the night: Justin Williams or Tom Wilson?
Enjoy the night. It’s time to celebrate the return of hockey to DC!!
Finally, we are turning the DMV R E D!!
The Caps home opener against the Islanders starts at 7 pm but there is plenty to do before then.
Sign up, if you haven’t already for the 8 am Best Buddies – Strolling with Nolan Caps Team – walk. Details are here.
Check out morning skate at Kettler Iceplex at 10:15 am. Click here for info on getting photos and autographs with players. Given their tight schedule, they may not have time to stop so don’t be too disappointed.
Stop by team store at Kettler Iceplex if you need to pick up a new jersey for the game-or even a cowbell!!
Head downtown early for the Caps Red Carpet Walk at 3:30pm. There will be plenty of stuff to do on F Street until…
Doors open at 6 pm. Head down to the glass for warmups by 6:30.
And then UNLEASH the FURY and prepare for a great night of hockey!!
The Washington Capitals shutout the NY Islanders with Braden Holtby dazzling the crowd at Verizon Center with 24 saves. It was the last chance for the Caps management to view the team play before making the final cuts.
Monday morning the Caps announced that Zach Sill and Aaron Ness had been placed on waivers and that Zach Sanford would grab the golden ring for the last spot.
During the game, Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller, Alex Ovechkin, and T.J. Oshie would all get the puck past Jaroslav Halak.
And there was a little matter of Tom Wilson and Cal Cutterback. Cutterback took a shot at Brooks Orpik and Wilson thought it was a bright idea to retaliate. He and Cutterback got tossed as a result.
And then there was Jason Chimera who found himself playing for the Islanders after the Caps failed to offer him a contract. There it was a bit emotional and during the game there was some mostly good-natured jostling with old teammates and Chimmer even tossing pucks over the glass to make the youngest of his fans happy.
All-in-all, the preseason was a mixed bag with players off in Canada for the World Cup of Hockey and the evaluation of potential new players. The roster is set and all that is left is a trip to Pittsburgh to see the Pens raise the banner and then…
WE WILL ROCK THE RED on October 15 in Washington. More to come!
DON’T FORGET: It’s a 7:30 puck drop tonight. Watch on NBCSN and listen 106.7
Your printable reference for tonight’s #CapsIsles game.
Alex Ovechkin is back tonight: thank goodness!!
No Marcus Johannson. Probably out for the weekend.
Zach Sill again for MoJo.
Aaron Ness for Chorney if Taylormcant stomach warm ups.
Caps Forward Lines
Ovechkin (8) Backstrom (19) Oshie (77)
Burakovsky (65) Kuznetsov (92) Williams (14)
Chimera (25) Richards (10) Wilson (43)
Laich (21) Sill (23) Latta (46)
Alzner (28) Niskanen (2)
Schmidt (88) Carlson (74)
Orlov (9) Ness (55)
Braden Holtby (70)** Philipp Grubauer (31)
** Expected in the net tonight.
Healthy Scratch: Stan Galiev
Marcus Johansson has been out with an upper-body injury and has missed two games. He is considered day-to-day and has missed two games.
Brooks Orpik skated with the team during morning skate again after skipping practice on Wednesday. He has missed 34 games.
Jay Beagle continues skating with the trainers before team practice. He has missed 12 games.
Taylor Chorney is a possibility for tonight said this morning he felt a lot better and saw no reason he wouldn’t play, we will keep you updated on this!!
The Islanders Projected Lineup
Grabovski (84) Tavares (91) Strome (18)
Kulemin (86) Nielsen (51) Okposo (21)
Lee (27) Nelson (29) Bailey (12)
Martin (17) Cizikas (53) Clutterbuck (15)
Hamonic (3) DeHaan (44)
Hickey (14) Zidlicky (28)
Leddy (2) Mayfield (42)
Jaroslav Halak** (41) Thomas Greiss (1) JF Berube (30)
** Expected in the net.
Johnny Boychuk, Eric Boulton, Adam Pelech
Caps took the ice this morning prior to their meeting against the New York Islanders at 7:30 PM tonight.
Important notes from practice:
Marcus Johansson skated briefly before the rest of the team and left before morning skate officially began:
Aaron Ness was recalled from Hershey and skated with the team, just in case he is needed for Chorney:
The New York Islanders slide into Washington hoping to redeem themselves after the 4-2 loss to the Caps in December. Jaroslav Halak did not start on Tuesday; instead they opted for the new guy, JF Berube. The strategy seemed to work as they sent the Wild home with a 5-3 win over them. The Islanders sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and a win could help them jump ahead of the NY Rangers.
GAME TIME IS 7:30 pm
After a disastrous loss to Atlantic leaders, the Florida Panthers, we all are happy that Alex Ovechkin’s one-day suspension is over. Evgeny Kuznetsov helped hold the team together with his All-Star buddy, Nicky Backstrom. And then there was Andre Burakovsky with his 10 shots and a goal.
- All these pieces moving together should help the team to rebound on Thursday against the Islanders. The team looked tired on Tuesday night and seems to be dragging some at practice. Let’s hope they find new energy by puck drop Thursday because we can’t afford to leave for New Jersey with three losses at home.
Check in Thursday for practice notes and pictures and then before the game for final line projections. Keep the faith fans!!
Injury Report and Team Scratches
Jay Beagle: He continues to recover. We don’t expect him for another couple weeks. Beags is skating and working with the trainers before practice starts.
Brooks Orpik skated with the team for practice on Tuesday but did not skate with them Wednesday. He seems to be improving and growing stronger and we hope that he will soon rejoin the team for an actual game.
Taylor Chorney left the game on Tuesday with flu-like symptoms. We will watch to see if he is at practice or if there will be a last-minute call up from Hershey… we vote for Connor Carrick.
Marcus Johansson is still suffering with an upper body injury although he has been skating before practice. Not expected in for Thursday.
The Islanders carry three goalies—just in case Holtby wears them out!!
John Tavares got the infusion he needed during the All-Star Games, scoring a goal and an assist in the win over the Wild on Tuesday.
Goalie JF Berube recorded his first win with the team and his second in his NHL career. Don’t know yet if he will be defending the crease.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.
Photos by Brittney Marcum
The Washington Capitals traveled from Boston down to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Their first regular season meeting since the Caps ousted the New York Islanders in the playoffs last year, tensions were high for both sides. This game had the feel of the playoffs, for sure! Michael Latta was back on the ice on the fourth line along with Stan Galiev, in the lineup for the Caps with Zach Sill out on a two game suspension. With Braden Holtby in net for Washington, Jaroslav Halak backing New York, and Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares slinging pucks, this promised to be a good game.
First Period: Taking an Early Lead
In the first period, Jason Chimera got the Caps on the board first with a sharp angle shot that banked in past Halak. Marcus Johansson got the primary assist on Chimera’s 12th goal of the season.
The Caps were also the first team to be called for a penalty. Marcus Johansson was called for an illegal hit to the head on Thomas Hickey. The PK unit successfully went to work and killed the penalty. Later in the period, Alex Ovechkin put the Caps up 2-0 with a laser shot from the faceoff dot. Karl Alzner got the primary assist on Ovechkin’s 22nd goal of the season. This was also Alex’s 497th goal of his career. Edging ever closer to another milestone, chase to 500 continues…
Second Period: Can’t Catch Us
In the second period, the Islanders got on the board with a goal from Brock Nelson. Using the advantage of Matt Niskanen screening Holtby, Islanders cut the Caps lead in half. A few minutes later, the teams go to four on four with both teams getting a penalty. The Isles Matt Kulemin was charged with interference, and Ovechkin being charged with unsportsmanlike conduct. Other than causing tensions to rise further, nothing amounted during the ensuing penalties. Later, the Isles Kyle Okposo was called for high-sticking—Caps to the power play! However, they could not convert on the PP and Okposo was released from the box. With whistle happy refs, you know it won’t be long before the Caps get caught, and Tom Wilson was the guilty party this time. Called for unsportsmanlike conduct, Caps were back on the PK. Luckily, Isles could not convert and Wilson is released from the box. Seconds later, Nate Schmidt puts the Caps up 3-1 with a snipe that goes seven hole on Halak’s right side. Nicklas Backstrom gets the primary assist.
Third Period: All-Star Nicky Gets Empty Net
In the third period, things started get really chippy! Lots of feistiness between these two teams. Ovechkin and Lee exchange forceful hugs during a stoppage in play, Wilson and Martin chortle at each other in front of their respective benches, and later Wilson is up-ended by a hip-check pinch from deHann. Marcus Johansson almost makes it 4-1 with a beautiful play at the front of the net but Halak got a pad down and in the way. With 3:05 remaining in the game, Halak is pulled for the extra skater and Isles get away with a penalty as they had 7 men on the ice.Despite the 2 extra Isles on the ice, Backstrom puts his 12th goal of the season in the empty net to make it 4-1 in the Caps favor.
With the decisive victory, the Caps are now 30-7-3 and have a 14-point lead with 63 points. Up next, the Caps travel about 8 miles from Brooklyn to Madison Square Garden. Playing a very well-known foe, the Caps take on the New York Rangers on Saturday at 1pm.
Written By: Ashley Reid
Photos By: Brittney Marcum