Beware, Blue Jackets pick up Matt Duchene

This morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they have traded Vitali AbramovJonathan Davidsson, and two conditional 1st-round draft picks (2019/2020) in exchange for the Ottawa Senators’ top center Matt Duchene and Julius Bergman. While this isn’t necessarily Caps news, it is something to be aware of. Columbus is going all-in. We could potentially have a round-two with them and their newly acquired fire power.

Formerly drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, Duchene blew up in his early years as an incredible playmaker. With other stars like their captain Gabriel Landeskog and the “fastest-skater-with-the-puck” Nathan MacKinnon taking over as the face of the Avs, they were pretty stacked at the time and pushed Duchene to the backseat. He eventually went through a rough patch with the club and decided to request a trade. He got what he wished for and was traded to Ottawa. The Senators have been a struggling team for quite a while now, especially this year, placing dead last in the Eastern Conference. In hopes of getting a hold of some young stars, they put Duchene up for grabs and the Blue Jackets were happy to scoop him up.

img_6357Photo Credit: Isiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Columbus has been a thorn in the Capitals’ side for the past few years and solidified the rivalry after mocking Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s bird celebration after their first 2018-2019 regular season win over the team. If these two clubs meet in the post-season, the Caps must be aware of Duchene’s talent he adds to Columbus’ scoring abilities. Fast skater, quick hands, and some incredible hand-eye coordination; definitely a player to watch out for.

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Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire

Columbus now has a pretty stacked center core. They have Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexander Wennberg, Riley Nash, Boone Jenner (flex), Brandon Dubinsky, Lukas Sedlak, and now Matt Duchene. My guess is  that Sedlak is scratched to fit Duchene in their lineup. Down the middle would be Dubois-Duchene-Wennberg-Dubinsky, Jenner is currently on the wing so he’ll probably stay put. They’re going to be a huge threat in the playoffs.

Senators Trade Matt Duchene to Columbus Blue Jackets

Earlier today, NHL Network confirmed that Ottawa Senators forward Matt Duchene would be the newest addition to the Columbus Blue Jackets roster. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Columbus will be sending a 2019 first round draft pick, as well as a conditional 2020 Draft first round selection. Ottawa will also be acquiring right wingers Vitaly Abramov, a third round pick in the 2016 draft, and Jonathan Davidsson, a 2017 sixth rounder.

With the Senators underperforming for another consecutive year, both general manager Pierre Dorion and head coach Guy Boucher felt as though some changes needed to be made to their lineup. Ahead of the trade deadline, the rumor mill began to churn, and Senators Duchene and Mark Stone were right in the middle of it. Through 50 games with Ottawa this season, Duchene has tallied 27 goals and 31 assists, for 58 points (theScore). The Columbus Blue Jackets are currently one spot out of a wild-card position in the 2018-19 playoff race, and are sitting in 5th place within the Metropolitan Division.

The Ottawa Senators are currently 8th in the Atlantic, and bottoms out at 31st in the league standings. Coincidentally enough, the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets will face off tonight, and Columbus head coach John Tortorella fully intends on playing Duchene.

Pictured: Center Matt Duchene, recently traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. (TSN.ca)

theScore. (2019). Ottawa Senators Roster. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/4/roster.

Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus

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.

Continue reading “Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus”

Braden Holtby and John Carlson Lead Metropolitan Division to All-Star Game Win

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”

Caps Fall to Blue Jackets 2-1 in Overtime

In a close and exciting Metropolitan Division rivalry clash inside Capital One Arena, the latest chapter in the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets rivalry saw a low-scoring, goalie heavy classic. The Caps ultimately came up short in overtime 2-1 after scoring late in the game to tie it and come away with a point.  Continue reading “Caps Fall to Blue Jackets 2-1 in Overtime”

A Couple of Caps Firsts in Columbus

Last night was a special game for two guys: Dmitrij Jaskin and Travis Boyd.

Image from the NHL

Jaskin, after being claimed off waivers by the Caps from the Blues, sought to reignite his NHL career with the Capitals. Finding himself in a well spot on the 4th line with Nic Dowd, he has established his new role as a power forward with the club. Last night he scored his first goal with Washington on a deflection off his skate, officially taking the monkey off his back.

Boyd has been with the Capitals organization for quite some time now, making a name for himself with the Hershey Bears. He scored his first NHL career goal tonight and it was a beauty. Off a feed from the captain Alex Ovechkin, Boyd one-timed the puck past Columbus’ backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo.

With notables out, like T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson, the Caps look to the “next guy up” to fill the voids. Guys like Jaskin and Boyd certainly did just that last night. Very proud of them and hopefully their success can continue to produce throughout the season.

Road to the Cup: Top 10 Moments of the Playoffs #10 Nicky’s Game-Winner Over Columbus

This past season was so memorable, there were more than 10 singular moments that defined how magicial the Caps run to the Stanley Cup truly was. You can relive the top 10 regular season moments here. Now were on to the fun stuff! Here are the top 10 moments of the playoffs beginning with round one, Game 5 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Continue reading “Road to the Cup: Top 10 Moments of the Playoffs #10 Nicky’s Game-Winner Over Columbus”

Capitals Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season: #9 Nicklas Backstrom’s 200th Goal

Michael Marzzacco continues his look back on the 2017-18 season as we anxiously await hockey season and the chance to defend Lord Stanley’s Cup.This week is #9 of the countdown.

Nicklas Backstrom’s 200th career goal is the game-winner in Columbus

Date: February 6, 2018

Result: Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 2

Before the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets met in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, these teams met four times in the regular season. A meeting early-February in Columbus proved to be a classic.

The Blue Jackets crashed the net and went up 1-0 1:58 into the game on a goal by David Savard. The Caps would tie it at 4:54 with a goal from the point by John Carlson. Five minutes into the second period, the Capitals went up 2-1 on a backhanded goal from Tom Wilson.

The Blue Jackets tied it with a goal by Brandon Dubinsky at 13:55 in the third period. Nicklas Backstrom would come clutch later in the game with under a minute left. With 43 seconds to go in the game, Alex Ovechkin flung a puck toward the net. T.J. Oshie found the loose puck and backhanded a pass right to Backstrom as the Swedish center put it right past Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The tally was Backstrom’s 200th of his career and it was fitting that Ovechkin was credited with the asssit. The dynamic duo has been there through it all. Backstrom has asssited on several of Ovechkin’s milestones and later in the season both players captured the Stanley Cup and shared that moment together.

What will #8 be? Tune in next week to find out!

Related articles:
Capitals Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season: #10 A Comeback to Defeat the Rangers

Caps Tonight

It isn’t actuality do or die for the Capitals tonight, but it sure feels like it. It would be so much better for the team to return to DC with a 2-2 round tie.

The struggles for the team are real. It is highly likely that at least a couple of the top players are playing hurt. But what else is new??

What would we like to see tonight?

How about Ovi scoring? In 100 playoff games we have seen 48 Goals. He is a definite presence on the team with 94 points. He needs to energize and lead the team to the net.

Fewer penalties? Tom Wilson has the Playoff Target on his back again. Columbus knows they can pull him into the box since the refs obviously have their eyes on him.

Keep the lead. All season we have seen this team give up a nice lead. This has to stop and the defense, especially Orlov and Orpik, need to step it up.

Bottom line, we need disciplined play. They can’t keep repeating the mistakes of years past and unfortunately, they have been doing that. Coach Trotz needs to get in their heads and break the ties to the past images.

Play hard. Play smart. Play to win!

The lines for tonight should look like this- after all it wouldn’t be the Caps if the lines didn’t change every other night…

Forwards

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson

Stephenson-Backstrom-Oshie (unless it’s Boyd)

Connolly-Eller-DSP

Vrana-Beagle-Chiasson

Defensemen

Kempny-Carlson

Orlov-Niskanen

Orpik-Djoos

Holtby starts in the net, and hopefully finishes there too!

Trotz says not to worry about Vrana moving down to the fourth line. Riiight…

Caps are back in it and fans are breathing again.

crazy-holtby

So the Capitals won their third game in the first round–in OT, after losing two in OT. There is a sense of relief that they won one and have to come home for a Game Five on Saturday. Just need to get through game four now.

Three games in OT?? That hasn’t left most fans feeling great about getting to the second round. So just how do y’all feel? Here’s what we’ve been hearing:

  • We are relieved to see Holtby playing like himself again- he will be back in the net for Game Four. Good to know we have two good goalies- most don’t blame first two losses on Grubi.
  • We can wait until the third period to watch since it keeps going to OT. And we would like that to stop!
  • So about those bottoms six… This is gonna take a full team effort. Now to get them working at the same time in the same game. And then of course there is the D scoring- love us some Carlson.

Lots of love for Lars Eller. We’ll take all the ugly goals he wants to dish out.

vrana closeup

Still have a thumbs up for Vrana. We love his speed and driving to the net. Not so thrilled with the penalties.

  • Pucks on goal, catch those rebounds, slip the penalties, and keep on shooting.
  • Still a lot of nervous optimism for the team. Something needs to change to move forward–of course we don’t really know what.

Look, we love an exciting playoff series. We love sitting on the edge of our seats and screaming. Mostly we would like not to feel like heart failure is around the corner every single game. So maybe they can get that two goal lead and keep it and we can celebrate a little earlier. Just a thought…

Game four is Thursday at 730 in Columbia. Game 5 is back on Caps ice at 3pm. Lots of tickets are still available.

Keep Rocking the Red!!!!