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.
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”
Thursday starts Washington’s first-round series against Columbus. This will undoubtedly be a hard fought game on both ends. The real question though is: who will end up winning? Stats show a lot about what has happened and what will happen. You know the saying: history tends to repeat itself. We Caps fans have seen over and over again but hopefully not this year! So what do the stats show? Continue reading “Capitals First Round Prediction by stats”
The Capitals return home to face the Columbus Blue Jackets and will once again look to put more points between them and the Blue Jackets who are fighting to stay in a playoff position. The Jackets have always been a thorn in the side of the Caps and one player who can help control a game is Seth Jones. At 6’4″ and 210 pounds, Jones has the size to deal with the Caps heavy play and in turn has the wheels and hockey IQ to force the Caps on their heels. Along with youngster Zach Werenski, the 23 year old American has formed a nucleus Columbus can rely on for many seasons moving forward. The team locked him up to a 6 yr/ $32.4M in June ’16.
Born in Arlington, TX, Seth began playing and learning hockey in Denver where his father (Popeye) was playing NBA basketball with the local Nuggets. Having a pro athlete as a father has it’s perks at times and Popeye was able to get advice from some guy named Joe Sakic in helping his sons (other son Caleb plays in Oilers system) get their start. Not a bad guy to listen to I’d say!
Originally drafted 4th overall by Nashville in the ’13 entry draft, he was dealt in a blockbuster deal to Columbus in January ’16 with the Jackets parting ways with forward Ryan Johansen. The Caps will have their hands full with Jones ability to skate and pass the puck out of danger areas. Great on the PP, he has a cannon of a shot and rarely makes a bad play. Again, he is only 23 years old. It’s very impressive what he and Werenski are doing.
Jones is having a great season so far on the board with 8G, 25A for 33pts and barring injury has a chance to set career bests in all three categories. With 12 of those points coming with the man advantage he is making life difficult on special teams for opposition as well. Jones has not recorded a point in the last three games but did have 6 shots in the last game against Washington.
Go Caps Go
The Capitals will look to redeem themselves after the dreadful loss in Raleigh on Saturday. When our own Chris Cleveland congratulated Coach Trotz on the win in Chicago Friday, coach replied, “We sucked in Carolina though.”
So what is everyone saying about the upcoming game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday?
The Blue Jackets are coming off a big win against the St. Louis Blues, however, Coach John Tortorella said following the game that he was less than thrilled with the teams performance calling it a “sloppy” game. He specifically expressed displeasure with the checking.
CBJ have a better scoring record than do the Caps with “Nick Foligno leads Columbus with six goals, Sam Gagner has two assists and Josh Anderson has 18 shots on goal.” SportsChatPlace
The Hockey Writers write that the “Blue Jackets have tallied the first goal in 11 of their 13 games.”
Monday’s Cap’s practice was a mix up line changes and drills to fine-tune player skills. It was clear that Trotz was working them hard as payment for their trials the previous week. It was hard to tell at practice Monday how the lines might look come Tuesday as coach seemed to be looking for the right mix as he moved players up and down the lines.
Steve Whyno (AP) writes that Coach Trotz is switching around the lines again–including moving Jay Beagle up with Alex Ovechkin. The Washington Post also reported the potential for Beags sharing the first line with Ovi as coach looks for just the right balance.
We should have a better look at Coach’s plans following the morning skate at 11;30. We’ll be sure the post line updates as soon as we hear more. In the meantime, CSN is predicting:
The defensive pairs, meantime, appeared unchanged.
The top and bottom teams in the NHL meet at Nationwide Arena for their third of four meetings this season. Each team has a win, with the Blue Jackets winning in an overtime shootout in 2 January.The Washington Capitals keep giving their friends great reasons to celebrate. First it was Alex Ovechkin and his 500 goals and then it was Justin Williams and his hat trick. Once again they are on a great high and looking to start another winning trend in Columbus.
- Looks like Braden Holtby gets the nod.
- Jan. 18: Re-assigned Aaron Ness and Zach Sill to Hershey (AHL)
- Ryan Stanton in for missing defensemen.
The Columbus Blue Jackets for its part at 17-15-4 clearly lags behind the Caps (34-8-3) in performance; however, the CBJ are one of the three teams that have dealt the Caps a loss in their last 10 games. The Caps have only lost eight games which puts Columbus in a unique club.
GAME TIME IS 7pm
Fourth line juggling continues. Looks like for tonight it is:
Injury Report and Team Scratches
Jay Beagle: He continues to recover. We don’t expect him for another four weeks. Even Beags is skating now and working with the trainers before practice starts.
John Carlson is still day-to-day. He is skating before team practice and reportedly participated in morning skate—the first time he has skated with the team since his injury (Vogs). Getting closer!! He should be back before the All Stars.
Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. Like John, should be back before the All Stars.
CBJ Stuff: Fight to the End
Columbus, in their game against the Colorado Avalanche, scored the game winning goal with 1.07 left in the third period, scored by Jack Johnson. Joonas Korpisalo won great praise from his coach after the game and a stellar endorsement as a goaltender.
- Jack Johnson and Brandon Saad scored on the Caps in their last match January 2nd—each scoring twice and Johnson on the power play.
- Scott Hartnell is a healthy scratch following an apology to the team for his penalty during the Avs game.
The news to watch here is goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky who will be in the net against the Caps tonight. He has been practicing, according to CBJ press releases, for the past few days. Coach Tortorella has said that Bobs is “our number one guy.” He has a 4-3-3 goals against average (GAA) when he plays against the Caps.
- Goalie Curtis McElhinney has been out since the Caps last visit when he slipped and sprained his ankle. He was replaced with rookie Anton Forsberg who held the Caps back in the shootout and served up a win for his teammates. It was his first NHL win.
More Milestones Coming:
Michael Latta will play in his career 100th NHL/Capitals game.
Karl Alzner, the Iron Man, is three points away from 100 NHL points and with this game ties Bob Carpenter (422) for the longest consecutive games played in franchise history.
Next Games and Practices
Wed Jan 20 1230 Practice
Thu Jan 21 1130 Practice likely
Fri Jan 22 1015 Morning Skate likely
Fri Jan 22 7pm Anaheim Ducks CSN NHLN 106.7 (SnovechkinII ???)
Sun Jan 27 1230 pm Pittsburg NBC TVAS SN360 106.7
Photos by Brittney Marcum
The Washington Capitals had a hard fight against the Blue Jackets. The game was chock full of penalties and power play goals on both sides. The game was physical with 28 hits by Columbus to the Caps’ 9.
Shout out to The Caps Road Crew!
First Period: The Powerplay Goals (3)
The game started with Nicklas Backstrom winning the opening draw. At 18:36 Dmitry Orlov is sent to the box and the Blue Jackets score at 18:28 with the win of the draw. First CBJ shot—first goal.
Caps would go on the power play after T.J. Oshie was tripped up. 12:48 Oshie strikes back just eight seconds into the power play—his fifth PP goal of the season. Assisted by Marcus Johansson 1-1
Brandon Saad answered back at 12:04 as a loose puck sneaks in around Holtby. 2-1 CBJ
Rene Bourque penalty called for holding Brooks Laich. Good chances led to Jason Chimera scoring his 11th goal—a PP goal assisted by Backstrom and Matt Niskanen. Tied again.
Caps on another PP with Ryan Johansen called for interference against Tom Wilson. (No—Tom DID NOT go to the box with him!!) No goal this time.
Ovechkin’s attempts were all misses this period. Blue Jackets outshot, out hit, and won more faceoffs than the Caps.
Second Period: In Which Trotz Wins His 1st Coaches Challenge
Caps went on the power play when David Clarkson was called for high-sticking Wilson. At 17:15 a short-handed goal was initially awarded to William Karlsson who shot one past Holtby. Trotz challenged, believing the Jackets were offside and the play was overturned!!! FINALLY Trotz wins a challenge!
MoJo found his way from the center and scored his 9th goal of the season at 3:53. Wilson got his 12th point on the assist. 3-2 Caps
Trainer Greg Smith came out after Holtby’s mask was flipped off by a stick jabbed just under his lid by Nick Foligno. No penalty called, of course. Coach took exception to the lack of a call. Holtby had his own little chat with the ref as he left the ice heading into the second intermission.
Third Period—Caps let it go..
Oshie shot the puck over the glass leading to a delay of game. At 15:13 Jack Johnson evened the score with a slapshot. And…14:22 the Caps returned the favor as Evgeny Kuznetsov backhands it behind McElhinney for his 12th goal of the season. Wilson (11th) and Karl Alzner (9th) with the assists. 4-3 Caps
The Jackets (Scott Hartnell) were called for unsportsmanlike conduct for putting a puck in the net after the whistle was blown. Tortorella just sunk his head into his hands…
Four shots and a miss by Ovi failed to bring a goal out of the PP.
At 1:08 Saad ties it all up with a backhanded shot and the game goes to overtime. 4-4
Goalie Curtis McElhinney slipped and fell on himself and looked to snap his knee. Anton Forsberg came in as the goalie was escorted off the bench by his trainers.
Columbus was called at 2:56 for slashing and the Caps would go four on three in the power play but couldn’t get through Forsberg.
29 seconds left and Kuzy hooks Saad and CBJ would go on a very short four on three. Holtby held them back and it is on to the…
Atkinson no go
TJ goes wide and its in
Dubinsky – slips past Holtby
Kuzy – fakes and doesn’t go in
Johansen – forehand stop and in it goes
Backstrom – unable to answer and the game to Columbus
The entire team stepped it up in the third period, but it was obvious they were becoming exhausted. Chimera had five shots in regulation, the most for the team. Tom Wilson had a great night with two assists and no time in the sin bin. The ice appeared chunky with only a minor scrap after the third period. The team closed ranks to protect Holtby after the uncalled stick to the face. Unfortunately, the Caps couldn’t keep the leave and turn the game over to Columbus for the win. 5-4
Braden Holtby, with 125 career games won is four games away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.
The Caps have a scheduled day off on Sunday.
Practice is scheduled for 10:30 Monday at Kettler Capitals IcePlex.
Tue Jan 5, 2016 Capitals Bruins, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS
Thu Jan 7, 2016 Capitals Islanders, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS, SN360
Sat Jan 9, 2016 Capitals Rangers, 1:00 PM CSN-DC, SNE, SNO, SNP