Mark Your Calendar For Capitals PreSeason

The Capitals announced their preseason schedule for the 2019/20 season. This is when management takes one final look at players as they set the roster. Typically players from the Hershey Bears are on the ice with a mix of new and mature Caps players.

If you are not a season ticket holder (STH) or if regular season tickets are out of the budget- this is a less expensive way to see some of the NHL players warm up for some serious play. STH will often list their seats on TicketMaster so be sure to check there first.

What’s ahead? The first three games will be played at Capital One Arena. The Blackhawks hope this is the season their rebuild is over and they should be putting forward some pretty strong players for the Caps to face. The current Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues come to town, likely without many of their Cup winners but they should still be great to watch. And finally, the Caps will be playing the team that took them out of the playoffs in April 2019. Then the Caps go on the road for three games. This is when they typically make those final cuts and more of the regular roster steps in.

16 September, Monday:          Chicago Blackhawks at Capital One Arena – Game at 7 PM
18 September, Wednesday:    St. Louis Blues at Capital One Arena – Game at 7 PM
21 September, Saturday:         Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena – Game at 7 PM
25 September, Wednesday:    Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago at 8 PM
27 September, Friday:               St. Louis Blues in St. Louis at 8 PM
29 September, Sunday:            Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh at 1:30 PM

The Capitals will release the full training camp schedule later this summer. Next up is development camp which begins Tuesday 25 June. The full 2019-20 schedule should be released by 21 June.

 

Capitals Defensemen Shine but Team Falters 8-5 to the Blackhawks

The Washington Capitals drooped their fifth game in a row in a 8-5 offensive shootout loss the Chicago Blackhawks in a Sunday afternoon matinee at United Center in Chicago. All five Capitals goals came from defensemen with All-Star John Carlson pacing the way with two while Brooks Orpik, Dmitry Orlov, and Matt Niskanen each added a goal of their own. In the end though, the Caps goaltending couldn’t overcome a Blackhawks attack highlighted by a four-goal afternoon from Jonathan Toews. The Cap shave now dropped eight of their last 11 games and are still looking for answeres. They haven’t dropped five games in a row since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Continue reading “Capitals Defensemen Shine but Team Falters 8-5 to the Blackhawks”

Capitals Defeat Blackhawks 4-2 in Tom Wilson’s Return to D.C.

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The Washington Capitals got a huge win the night before Thanksgiving, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Tom Wilson scored early in his first home game in D.C. since Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals and the Caps never looked back. The win improves the Caps record to 11-7-3, their third win in a row. Continue reading “Capitals Defeat Blackhawks 4-2 in Tom Wilson’s Return to D.C.”

Recapping a Blackhawks Blowout

That was fun, right?!?  What a game from the Capitals last night.  The team has now won five of their last six games and is rocketing up the standings.  They are sitting in third place in the Metro, tied with Columbus and just one point back from the Devils.

Let’s take a look at some of the game’s best moments.

Top Line Tommy Wilson:  Wilson had a career game, with four points from two goals and two assists.  He is absolutely thriving on the top line with Backstrom and Ovechkin, but it’s worth pointing out that his excellent play is also elevating their game.  Their line was on fire last night, with all three of them scoring within 3 and half minutes in the first period.  In addition to his offensive production, Wilson was throwing his weight around all night, especially after Ovi took a bad knee-to-knee hit that led Tommy to knock two Blackhawks to the ice in quick succession.  With this group gelling so well, it seems very unlikely the Burkovsky will find himself back on the top line any time soon.

The (Still) Great 8:  Ovechkin is having a tremendous season so far.  He’s on pace for sixty goals, an impressive showing for any player, but especially so for a guy who has been in the league as long as Ovi.  Last night he had a goal and three assists, including on Backstrom’s first goal since October 14th.  Seeing those two back together makes you wonder why in the world they were ever separated.

Dmitry Orlov:  Orlov played great last night, but his biggest moment was when he got a tooth knocked out by a high stick from Ryan Hartman.  He briefly left the game, but was back in the third period, proving that hockey players are tougher than the rest of us!

Offense from Everywhere:  Four goals came from the top line last night, but they weren’t the only ones getting in on the action.  Brett Connolly and Evgeny Kuznetsov also lit the lamp.  The third and fourth lines continued their excellent play, with the goal from Connolly in the second period and a spectacular penalty kill breakaway from Beagle that nearly resulted in a short handed tally.

These Caps are looking great right now, with the revamped lines showing a lot of promise.  Oshie’s unfortunate injury has him out of the lineup right now for an unspecified period, so it seems likely that Burakovsky will slot into his place on the second line if he returns on Friday night.  Djoos and Bowey are getting comfortable at the NHL level and look like they may be here to stay.  John Carlson has been this team’s iron man, eating up minutes while Niskanen was out and continuing to be a rock on their defense game in and game out.

The first month of the season was rough, but the team is really rounding into shape now.  They’re a much different club this year, but maybe the adversity they’ve faced to this point will lead to a different post-season outcome.

Blackhawks to be Without Marian Hosea 

In a statement this morning Marian Hosea of the Chicago Blackhawks announced:

“Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder. Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.”

We know there are many Blackhawk fans in the D.C. area and this must come as a blow to you. The 38 year old Hosea hails from Slovakia. The right winger has been with the Blackhawks since 2009.

We wish him a speedy recovery. 

Washington Capitals Week Ahead: 7 – 13 November

The Caps have three games on the schedule for this week: one at home and two on the road. After a busy week with a fifth win in a row and the events surrounding Hockey Fights Cancer, the week ahead may give them a bit more family time and time to bond on the road. We’ll keep an eye out for line changes after Ovi, Backy, and Oshie were reunited for a successful win on Saturday.

Game Schedule

Tuesday, 8 November, San Jose Sharks at Verizon Center, 7:00 pm on CSN-DC

Friday, 11 November, at the Chicago Blackhawks,  8:30 pm on CSN-DC

Saturday, 12 November, at the Carolina Hurricanes, 7 pm on CSN-DC

Practice/Morning Skate (Schedule subject to change)

Monday the Caps have a day off.

Tuesday Morning Skate at Kettler Caps Iceplex, 10:30

Wednesday Practice Kettler Caps Iceplex: 11:30

Thursday Practice Kettler Caps Iceplex, 10:30 am (Could be cancelled for travel)

Friday Morning Skate likely at United Center in Chicago

Sunday, we likely a day off as has become the tradition.

Special Events

Tuesday the nation votes for its next president and Caps fans vote for their next bobble head!!  Per the Caps press release your candidates are:

Braden Holtby (squirting a water bottle), Tom Wilson (as Wilson from “Cast Away”) and Justin Williams (with bed-head), and they’re all winners.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Nov. 8, fans may cast their votes on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram using one of the following three hashtags: #VoteHoltby, #VoteWilson or #VoteWilliams. Voting will end at 9 p.m., during the Capitals’ home game against the Sharks.

Who to Watch

 

Zach Sanford turns 22 on November 9. Be sure to send him lots of birthday wishes on his twitter: @zachsanford21 or Instgram @zachsanford.

Ovechkin: Count down to 1,000 career NHL points. He has 977 as of 11/7.

Ovechkin: One goal away from matching Jaromir Jagr’s 19 regular season overtime goals and two from taking the lead in one more category. (as of 11/7)

Ovechkin: Three goals away from a new career high 200 power play goals (977 as of 11/7)

 

AND US!!  We’ll be live from Carolina on Saturday and Lily will be providing some information on the Blackhawks game after her visit on Friday. Stay tuned friends – we are everywhere for you!!

Playing Fantasy Hockey to Keep up with NHL Players & Teams 

Chris Cleveland writes that Fantasy Hockey is great way to keep up with hockey stats:

So I am huge into following player stats in the NHL. I follow stats from at least a few players from every team but I mostly know a lot about Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks players since those are the two teams I follow. But I love covering all teams.

One great way to keep up with all these different player stats is playing fantasy hockey. How does fantasy hockey work? First you draft a team with usually 16 players on it. Then you can choose any player you want from any NHL team.

The drafts usually happen a few weeks before the season starts and they are really fun. If you are in a bigger fantasy hockey league, the drafts can go on for a long time. It’s kind of a guessing game too.

You get points based on how well the players you drafted do every time they in a games.  A lot of the really good players usually get drafted really early, like Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin.

Fantasy hockey can really be a guessing game at times too. Say you want to draft a player who is risky but has a huge upside. For example, last year I had Artemi Panarin and Andre Burkovsky on one of my teams and they both had great seasons. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t.

img_3814-1  The reason I like to use Fantasy Hockey as a good way to keep up with stats is because it really makes you pay attention to every game on any given night of the NHL season. It’s really fun and easy way to keep up with every team in the NHL. Last year I won one of my leagues, thanks to the amazing play of Patrick Kane and Braden Holtby both having career years.

I have already done a few Fantasy Hockey drafts this year and plan to do a few more before the season starts. I try not to draft too many players from the same team but I always try to have at least two or three Caps or Hawks players on my team. This year I have a team for which I drafted Ovi and Jonathon Toews with Corey Crawford and Braden Holtby as my goalies. So that should be really fun.  watermarked112016-10-01-1257

I’ll write more later to let you know how it’s going! Hope you will join the fun too.

 

Hawks Better the Caps in Windy City

Coach Trotz had to deal with a few changes and probably some emotions as he sent the team out to meet the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were going through some of their own adjustments as well, which might have thrown them off their game a bit during the first period but they made up for it in the second and never let go of the lead.

Brooks Laich cleared waivers and played on the fourth line with the returning Jay Beagle in the center slot. The Michaels (Latta and Weber) watching from the locker room with Stanislav Galiev.

First Period: Caps Set the Pace

By the end of the period the Caps were outshooting (17 to 6), winning more face offs, playing more physical, and doing a better job staying out of the penalty box. The Caps scored first on a power play and were almost immediately answered by the Hawks, ending the period tied 1-1. Pretty positive all around.

Goals:   Marcus Johansson scored during the power play on a rebound from Justin Williams, secondary assist to Nicklas Backstrom. Hawks Patrick Kane scored, assisted by Trevor van Riemsdyk and Artem Anisimov.

Penalties: Andrew Desjardin hi-sticking Orlov, Trevor van Riemsdyk delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass, and Alex Oveckin for a tripping…

Score: 1-1

Second Period: Hawks Fire Back

Chicago came out ready to regain control of their ice. The Caps were first in the sin bin but Jason Chimera with Jay Beagle on the PK kept the Hawks from scoring. Crawford denied a powerful wrist shot from Ovi—the highlight of the period for the Caps. And then the Caps went back to killing the Hawks power play as Chorney trips up Towes and the Hawks take advantage with their second goal. The Hawks outshot the Caps this period, closed the SOG gap, and ended the period ahead of the Caps.

Goals:  Jonathan Toews assisted by Teuvo Teravainen and the newly returned Andrew Ladd

Penalties: Brooks Orpik for hooking. Taylor Chorney for tripping against Jonathan Toews.

Score: 2-1 Hawks

mojo down

Third Period: Tilt Blackhawks

In which Marcus Johnasson is taken down by an elbow to the face from Towes, with no penalty call. However, there were mutual roughing penalties called after Willy stepped in to defend MoJo. Another power play for Hawks with no goal achieved, however, the Hawks scored on what looked like a missed icing call from our vantage point. Oshie would then get a weird penalty for interference. Hawks can’t count and the Caps go on power play. PPG Kuzy! The Boyz did all they could to win it but in the end, the tide shifted in Chicago’s favor.

Goals: Dennis Rasmussen, unassisted. Evgeny Kuznetsov with his 19th goal, unassisted.

Penalties:  Tom Wilson roughing matched with Andrew Shaw. Patrick Kane hi-sticking; TJ Oshie interference; Dennis Rasmussen to the box for too many men on the ice; and Niklas Hjalmarsson for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Score: 3-2 Hawks

If this was a precursor to the playoffs, then the Caps faired pretty well, all things considered. It is obvious that they are going to have to gain control of the ice first, score first, and do their best to avoid penalties. Our goalies, be it Braden Holtby or Phillip Grubauer, will need to be more alert because the team we face in the playoffs will be more in sync and more powerful than the one we saw today. The final score when next we meet will in large part rely on which goalie sits taller in the net.

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Coming Up: A Killer Week for the Caps.

Caps are off Monday but it is Trade Watch Day. Presser set for 3:30 at Kettler

 

Tuesday: Morning skate at 1015 at Kettler followed by a 7:30 pm game against the Pens at Verizon.

 

Wednesday: Morning skate at 10:15 am at Kettler followed by a 7 pm game against the Leafs at Verizon.

 

 

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Capitals and Blackhawks: Anybody’s Guess What Sunday Looks Like

GAME TIME IS 12:30 pm ET

Washington Capitals: 45-11-4

Blackhawks: 38-20-5

Watch on NBC and listen 106.7

Sunday will be a day of unknowns and surprises as the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks settle in with line changes, new players, and the pressure of the trade deadline hanging over them. It isn’t clear right now if Brooks Laich, who was placed on waivers Saturday, will be on the fourth line or sitting in the locker room watching. Caps newest defenseman, Mike Weber may be in for the game, but there is no clear word on that either. And then there is Michael Latta who was sick Friday, skated Saturday, and should be on the fourth line, unless Stan Galiev is in again. And let’s make it even more confusing by adding the question about Jay Beagle. Coach Trotz said in Saturday’s press conference that Jay could be put in anytime, including Sunday. Jay himself said, Sunday, Tuesday, or this week.

Now the Blackhawks. They made some moves on their roster this week that are clearly intended to bolster their run for the Stanley Cup. They acquired Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann (Flash), Christian Ehrhoff and Andrew Ladd. Additionally the Coyotes picked up Jiri Sekac off waivers. According to the Chicago Tribune: “During Saturday’s practice, Ladd skated on a line with center Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw on the right wing. Andrew Desjardins was on the left wing with Teravainen at center and Fleischmann on the right wing. Marian Hossa (leg injury) did not skate. Ehrhoff was on the Hawks’ fourth defensive pairing with Viktor Svedberg.”

Bottom line, it will be an unpredictable afternoon in the Windy City. Hold onto your hats friends!!

Caps Forward Lines: based on Friday and possible changes

  • Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie
  • Burakovsky Kuznetsov Williams
  • Chimera Johansson Wilson
  • Laich Richards/Beagle Latta/Galiev (We really have no clue, anybody’s guess!!)

Defensemen Parings

  • Alzner Niskanen
  • Schmidt Chorney
  • Orlov Orpik

Goalies

Braden Holtby  Philipp Grubauer

Injury List

Still: Maybe Jay Beagle. And John Carlson(lower-body).

Chicago Blackhawks: What we know now based on Saturday Practice

Forwards

  • Ladd Towes Shaw
  • Panarin Anisimov Kane
  • Desjardins Teravainen Fleishmann
  • Mashinter Rasmussen Panik

Defensive Pairings

  • Keith Hjalmarsson
  • Gustafsson Seabrook
  • Riemsdyk Rozsival

Goalies

Crawford  Darling

Injury List

Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa