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”

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!!!!

Caps, Preds, and Mutual Disdain for Penguins

Preds Loss is Like Losing All Over Again

The Penguins had a celebration parade today after the Nashville Predators had to suffer through the Pittsburgh Penguins hoisting the Stanley Cup in their own arena. We felt their pain after watching the Washington Capitals lose to the Pens in game seven in our home. People we have talked with said they felt sick after the final round–mostly because there was a sense that the NHL handed the Pens the Cup by overlooking penalties and unfairly penalizing opponent teams.

Maybe its sour grapes here in Washington. Maybe we are jealous of the Pens ability to outplay the Caps. Maybe we want to believe our players are better then the Pens players and we would never stoop to their tactics to win. And maybe we are tired of the Ovechkin-Crosby comparison that the NHL and NBC use to boost ratings and hype a sport that doesn’t bring in the money that football does. 

Simply put, the NHL Playoffs left a nasty taste with almost every hockey fan that isn’t following the Pens. There is no underestimating the physical game that the Pens play. They are brutal on the ice as they move with speed from one end to the other, plowing through anyone in their way. This brutality is frequently called ‘dirty’ by anyone not from Pittsburgh and fair play by anyone who loves the Pens. And you can’t overlook its three primary players: Sidney Crosby, Evegni Malkin and Phil Kessel.

Unfortunately, most of the playoffs focused on Sidney Crosby, in positive and negative terms. His behavior detracted from the skills of Pens’ players and their coach. The NHL loves its Canadian-born player and have elevated him to near sainthood. NBC and its affiliate sportscasters, seem to drool over just the mention of his name. Every game starts with a discussion of his greatness and no matter who else is on the ice, their first shots are always of Sid the Kid skating onto the ice. No other player in the league is more adored by the NHL and NBC, which leaves most of the rest of the hockey fan base a bit nauseous. From what the rest of us hear, Sid can do no wrong and even if he does, well…he is the best don’t ya know?

It seems Crosby, and maybe even the Penguins, have their favorite targeted players. That person who the Pens want to undermine and get out of the game. Crosby personally seems to have a rival or some level of animosity with every team and that was pretty apparent during the playoffs. It includes Brandon Dubinsky, Alex Ovechkin, Erik Karlsson, and PK Subban.

In round one it took the Pens five games to eliminate the Blue Jackets. Brandon Dubinsky has been known to “get under the skin” of Crosby who is known to retaliate or take the first stab but we didn’t see as much of that in this round. Instead, much of the post- round analysis focused more on coaching style and the inability of Sergei Bobrovsky to stop the puck. In the final game of the round, a game-tying goal by the Jackets was waived off and they were instead given a penalty for interference. This caused some ire with CBJ fans as Sidney Crosby would go on and score thus leading the team to a 5-2 finish over Columbus. The playoffs; however, came down to one goalie outstaying the other and one team outplaying the other–in this case it happened to be the Pens.

The Pens went on to face the Capitals in round two. The Pens knocked the Caps out of the playoffs the previous season so revenge was already in the air. We all know how much the Pens dislike Alex Ovechkin and his flamboyant style of play, but in this round the contempt was even more heightened. There was a point when it felt as if the Caps and Pens were back at the Winter Classic when an on-ice collision ultimately led to a concussion diagnosis for Crosby.  This time in a freak play in front of the net, Crosby fell and as Crosby went lower, Nisky’s stick wound up hitting Crosby in the head. Niskanen was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the ‘cross check.’ There were reports that Crosby suffered another concussion, his second in the season. Things got pretty nasty with Marc-Andre Fleury taping over former Pens’ Niskanen’s name on his helmet. The names were those that Fleury considered his favorite teammates.  Crosby returned to practice four days later and five days later for game five. Many wondered if he was back too soon or if he had actually suffered a concussion.  People watching were genuinely concerned that it was  and as a result there was a sense from the NHL and NBC that Crosby needed to be treated with kid gloves because of his frail condition. Every time Crosby landed on the ice NBC sports went into crisis mode that he might be injured again.

There were strange calls—like early whistles—against the Caps which gave the impression of favoritism. And let us not forget the infamous Nick Bonino dive which led to a high stick call against TJ Oshie. Even though the refs got it wrong, this time folks like Don Cherry called Bonino out for “faking” and questioned what was going on with the officiating.  The ensuing power play ensured a game four win for the Pens. In the end, the Caps suffered a second round two defeat at the hands of the Pens leaving the fans stunned and bitter. At this point, Caps fans became fans of #anyonebutthePens

Round three and fan hope turned to the Senators. Caps fans were ready for retribution and thought for sure the Sens would bring it. Crosby was in the midst of a scoring drought and the series was overshadowed with continual talk about Crosby’s frail nature. We kept wondering why he was playing if the Pens were really afraid he would be hurt or if this was just a mental game they were playing with the Sens. Erik Karlsson brought some comic relief when he mocked Crosby’s whining at the refs and his incessant whispering on the ice.

Matt Murray found his way back to the net when Fleury was pulled after game two, which changed much of the dynamics to the game as he stopped 123 of 130 shots. The Kessel, Crosby, Malkin threesome was in full force for this round but let’s face it; we were rooting for Craig Anderson to hold them back. He did stop 206 of 220 shots but sadly it wasn’t enough. The Sens fell to the Pens in game seven. Oddly, the NHL reportedly ‘censored’ a video of Karlsson telling Crosby he hoped he was healthy–after all we were all wondering at this point if he was playing injured and if the Pens were ignoring potential concussion symptoms. (YardBarker)

And then everything seemed to shift and become all about Crosby. The Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford complained that Crosby was receiving abuse at the hands of opponents. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was forced to address the charges and the allegation that the NHL allowed Crosby to play even though he had a concussion. Bettman pretty much blew it off, but not NBC sports. 

PK Subban became the player to hate by the Pens in the final round. He too is an equally tough, and sometimes considered ‘dirty’ player. He will do what it takes to score, and like Ovechkin, he does it with flare which drives the Pens nuts. In the first game, the Preds held off the Pens from shooting for 37 minutes of play (The Score). Caps fans were pretty excited and impressed and oh so hopeful that this signaled the end of the the Pens run.It was not to be, but it did give us another view of Crosby and the Penguins’ culture.

There were questionable calls that led to the refs calling back goals–which pretty much no one agreed with.

By game five things got pretty disgusting with regards to Crosby and the pass he seemed to have been given. First we had the slamming of Subban’s head into the ice. Any other player would clearly have been ejected and likely been suspended. Not Crosby–he got two minutes:

And then he threw a water bottle on the ice. He claimed it slipped out of his hand and went into his Mr. Innocent act. He got a pass while again, any other player would have received a poor sportsmanship penalty.

In the end, many believe that the playoffs were ruined by the behavior of the NHL’s ‘Golden Boy,” Sidney Crosby. He may well have extraordinary skill but his on-ice attitude leaves much to be desired. He is frequently viewed as a dirty player who gets away with things that would lead to the ejection of other players. He is unapologetic for his own behavior while frequently whining about his own treatment to the refs during the game and pouting after. He feigns innocence and gets away with it. We’re pretty sure every team in the league has some nasty Crosby story. Above all else, Crosby is the reason that no one outside of Pittsburgh is celebrating the Penguins second championship.

Going forward, the NHL really needs to review its officiating and determine how they can ensure more consistency between the regular season and the playoffs. They must do something give the fans the sense that the final round hasn’t been decided as soon as the playoff teams are announced. Clearly the NHL needs a superstar for promotion of the league. Perhaps it is time to find someone of Wayne Gretzky’s caliber who is above suspicion for his play and has the complete respect of the league.

The NHL Network has already decided that the Penguins will be the best team for season 2017/18 and are predicting a third cup in the row for them—with or without Crosby. The worst part of the next year will be that every team will be compared to the Pens and every captain or lead player will be compared to Crosby. And the Caps will constantly face a barrage of questions about playing the Pens and have their two-time loss thrown in their faces. This can go two ways for the Caps—it can demoralize them and beat them down. Or, if folks like Justin Williams and Nick Backstrom have any say in it, call propel them to play harder and develop a winning strategy over the Pens. Either way, it’s gonna be ugly for Caps fans every time we watch those playoff reals, watch Sid lift the cup, and live with the constant reminder that the Pens won the Stanley Cup.

 

 

Caps look to lock up the Presidents Trophy Vs. Blue Jackets

Washington Capitals (53-16-5, 111 points)
Columbus Blue Jackets (30-37-8, 68 points)
Puck Drop: 7 p.m.

Well that game on Saturday was embarrassing. The Capitals were shut out for the first time since November in a 4-0 drubbing by the St. Louis Blues (see post-game article for more.) The team played flat and with no life, looking like a team that had no drive after accomplishing two of their three goals for the regular season. Ovechkin tried to fire the team up late but it was not enough.

That’s Why They Call It The Blues

The Blue Jackets are only three points better than the dead-last Toronto Maple Leafs (65 points). John Tortorella has definitely not been enough for a team that once looked like a playoff contender with all their talent. They come into Verizon Center Monday just looking to earn enough points to not be the worst in the NHL.

  • Center Boone Jenner leads the team with 28 goals and 17 assists
  • Columbus is last in the Metropolitan, trailing the Devils by 12 points and the Capitals by 43 points.

Surviving Complacency

The Capitals hopefully had a wake up call on Saturday. Even with Grubauer in net, they played flat and if they do that at any point in the playoffs, they will be knocked out fast. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a clean slate no matter what your seeding and teams will be hungry to knock them off. Hopefully we will see a different team Monday night.

  • The 1st Period woes continue for the Caps as they failed to score once again. They have been outscored 10-3 in their last 12 games in the 1st.
  • Braden Holtby is three wins shy of tying Martin Brodeur’s single-season wins record (48). He’s coming off a shut out Friday Vs. the Devils and will most likely be the starter Monday after getting Saturday to rest.

 

 

 

Power Play Propels Caps Past The Blue Jackets

game stanton.JPG

The Washington Capitals traveled to Columbus take home the victory (6-3) over  the Blue Jackets in the third match between the two teams. Fresh off their victory over the New York Rangers, the Caps were ready to stick to their winning ways. With Zach Sill and Aaron Ness sent back down to Hershey with many praises from Barry Trotz, Ryan Stanton was called up for his first game in a Caps sweater. Holtby stood on his head again to bring a win in for the team.

First Period: It’s Not How You Start…

The Caps started out this game a little slow. They were the unfortunate recipients of the first penalty as Nicklas Backstrom was called for interference. Columbus was leading shots on goal 10-1 at one point.

  • Columbus earned the first goal of the game when Kerby Rychel recorded his first NHL goal to give Columbus the advantage.
  • Minutes later, Backstrom evened things up and got the Caps on the board, assisted by TJ Oshie and Alex Ovechkin.
  • After blocking a shot off his hand, Jason Chimera showed fans he was just fine by scoring the Caps second goal, assisted by Marcus Johansson.  game chimera

 

End of the period, 2-1 Caps

Second Period: Goals Galore!

The second period is when the goals started coming. The Caps scored 3 and the Jackets scored 1. All but one of these goals were scored on power plays. About three minutes in, the Caps went to the power play as Marcus Johansson was caught in the face by a high stick and started bleeding. Justin Falk was off to the sin bin for a four minute double minor.

  • On the power play, Alexander Ovechkin notched his 28th goal of the season, assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanengame ovi
  • Nicklas Backstrom earned his 15th goal of the season, also assisted by Kuzy and Nisky.
  • Ryan Stanton was called holding and Boone Jenner scored on the Jackets power play.

game bura Andre Burakovsky answers the CBJ goal by adding another one for the Caps at even strength, again assisted by Kuzy as well as Justin Williams.

A few minutes later, Michael Latta defended Marcus Johansson’s honor and got in a fight with Justin Falk. Both Latta and Falk were charged with fighting majors, Falk was hit with holding and Latta also got hit with a five-minute roughing minor. Marcus was also called for holding.

End of the period: 5-2 Caps

Third Period…It’s How You Finish

The Caps seemed to have this game in the bag when the third period started. However, five minutes in, Ryan Murray scored for Columbus to bring the Jackets to within two. A little while later, Ovi was awarded a penalty shot as he was cleaned out by Cody Goloubef and ended up in the net with Sergei Bobrovsky. Ovi could not convert on the penalty shot.

  • With 3:11 left in the game, Sergei Bobrovsky was lifted for an extra skater. MoJo managed to get the puck to the blue line and tossed it towards the yawning net and scored the final goal with 32.4 seconds left in the game. Assisted by Kuzy and Williams.

Final: 6-3 Caps

With this victory, the Caps are now 35-8-3. This was also Braden Holtby’s 30th win of the season.Everyone seemed to want to score or assist tonight. Great showing by Nicky with two goals, Kuzy with four assists, and Niskanen with two assists. And what can you say about Chimmer–leaves the ice after taking a hit to the hand only to return and put one in the net. Oh, and congrats to Michael Latta for his 100th NHL game.

game ltta graphic

Next Games and Practices

Wed Jan 20     Day off per Caps PR

Thu Jan 21       1030 Practiceper Caps PR

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

Written by Ashley Reid

Photos by Brittney Marcum

 

Capitals and CBJ Lineup

The first place Washington Capitals take on the last place Columbus Blue Jackets at 7pm tonight at Nationwide Arena. Watch the match on CSN or listen on 106.7 or the Caps Radio.

Your Washington Capitals Projected Lineup for Tonight

There have been a few changes in the lines for tonight with Zach Sill and Aaron Ness retuning to the Hershey Bears.

Forward Lines
Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie
Burakovsky Kuznetsov Williams
Chimera Johansson Wilson
Laich Richards Latta
Defensemen Parings
Alzner Niskanen
Schmidt Orlov
Stanton (Caps debut) Chorney
Goalies
Braden Holtby (in net) Philipp Grubauer

Kuznetsov leads the team in overall points at 44, followed by Nicklas Backstrom with 42 points.

Ovechkin leads the team with 27 goals. Kuznetsov and Backstrom lead the team with 29 assists each

Injury Report and Team Scratches   carly

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 participated in morning skate in Columbus this morning. 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.

The CBJ Projected Lineup

Forward Lines
Jenner Dubinsky Atkinsom
Saad Wennberg Anderson
Bourque Karlsson Rychel
Hannikainen Campbell Boll
Defensemen Pairings
Murray Jones
Johnson Goloubef
Falk Prout
Goalies
Bobrovsky in the net. Korpisaolo

Scott Hartnell is a healthy scratch following an apology to the team for his penalty during the Avs game. He leads the team with 31 points.

Brandon Saad leads the team with 16 goals and Ryan Johansson with 20 assists.

Fedor Tyutin healthy scratch.

 

Caps Back to Columbus

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)
  • stantonRyan 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

Columbus: Where the Caps Lose First Two in a Row

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

Overtime

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…

Shootout:

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

Final

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

Coming Up:

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

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Jan 2nd Pregame Info

Caps Look to Steal Columbus High

cbj holtby

The team held morning skate at Nationwide Arena with puck-drop set for 7 pm. Tonight on CSN. The Blue Jackets had a strong showing against the Dallas Stars serving up a surprising defeat at 6-3.

Possible line changes for tonight:

Zach Sill skated with the fourth line during morning skate.

Aaron Ness skated with Taylor Chorney.

Andre Burakovsky skated with the second line.

Special note: The Caps Road Crew is in the house!

Player Call-ups and Scratches.

On Friday, the Caps recalled defenseman Ryan Stanton from the Hershey Bears. Stanton played 54 games for the Vancouver Canucks in 2014/15 and ranked fourth in hits and blocked shots for the team. This year for the Bears he has two goals and five assists in 28 games played. He also has 30 penalty minutes.

cbj ness
Aaron Ness

Defenseman Aaron Ness was recalled from Hershey on 31 December. He mostly likely will fill in for Carlson tonight. The 5’10, 187 pound Ness has played 27 games with the Bears registering two goals and 11 assists.

 

Connor Carrick was reassigned to Hershey on Friday.

Zach Sill, recalled from Hershey Tuesday, January 29 originally filling the gap when Michael Latta injured his arm, he and Latta have filled the gap for the injured Jay Beagle. The 6’1”, 202-pound forward Sill has played two games and registered four shots but no goals. He averaged 10:20 in ice time in his last two games.

cbj sill
Zach Sill

 

Right wing Stanislav Galiev has been a healthy scratch having played his last game December 14 against Pittsburgh.

Injury Report

Jay Beagle had successful hand surgery today, according to the Washington Capitals and has been placed on the injured reserve list. Up to six weeks before his return. He has missed 1 game. cbj jay

John Carlson could be back after the Columbus game, according to comments from Coach. He has missed 3 games.

Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. He has missed 23 games and there is no timetable for his return.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 21 goals and is four away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL. He also is four games away from a career 800 NHL games.

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (24). His 1.86 goals against average (GAA) is currently second in the league. He’s got this! And backing him up in the net is Philipp Grubauer who is a strong goaltender and someone in whom the coach has great confidence.

Jason Chimera is four assists away from an NHL career 200 assists.

Blue Jackets Watch

This is second meeting between the teams this season. In October Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie scored two goals ending the match 2-1 Caps. The Blue Jackets see this as a ‘must win’ game as the team on the bottom of the standings chart struggles to save face. They played a physical game against Dallas with 29 hits and one roughing penalty by Rene Bourque (18).

Curtis McElhinney is the netminder tonight. He was in the net against the Jackets surprise win against the Stars with 40 saves on 43 attempts. Should be a great goalie matchup if he is as sharp tonight.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was activated and removed off Injured Reserve list. The Russian Vezina Trophy winner last played December 8 and has a .918 save percentage. The Jackets have won 30 of 51 games with Bobs in the net. He is now listed as day-to-day.

Left wing Scott Hartnell (43) leads the team in points with 15 goals and 14 assists. He has two goals in his last five games.

Left Wing Brandon Saad (20) holds the second team leader slot with 14 goals and 13 assists, with three goals and three assists in his last five games.

Left wing Nick Foligno (71), the team’s leader in goals and points last season is not performing as strongly this year; however, he has stepped things up recently with one goal and six assist in his last five games.

Center Brandon Dubinsky (17) has four assists in his past five games.

David Clarkson is in for Matt Calvert. No production from Clarkson in his last four games.

Coming Up:

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

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Caps Daily Morning Report: 2 Jan

Restart in Columbus

The team took off Friday to recover from their New Year’s Eve loss in Raleigh. They will have morning skate Saturday  at Nationwide Arena and will play the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 pm. tonight. The Blue Jackets had a strong showing against the Dallas Stars serving up a surprising defeat at 6-3.

stantonOn Friday, the Caps recalled defenseman Ryan Stanton from the Hershey Bears and re-assigned Connor Carrick. Stanton played 54 games for the Vancouver Canucks in 2014/15 and ranked fourth in hits and blocked shots for the team. This year for the Bears he has two goals and five assists in 28 games played. He also has 30 penalty minutes. He will bring a high degree of physicality to the game if in for the healing Carlson.

Injury Report

Beagle is having surgery according to Coach Trotz and has been placed on the injured reserve list. No timetable for his return.

John Carlson could be back in a few days, according to comments from Coach.

Brooks Orpik remains on the Long-term Injured Reserve list.

On the Bright Side

Standings: The Caps are first in the Metropolitan Division. They are first in the Eastern Conference. They are a close (1 point) second in the NHL. They have a healthy lead in the division and conference.

Team: Coach Trotz has molded this team into just that: a team that plays well together and that supports one another. It isn’t a matter of one shining star but of many who step forward to share the responsibility for winning.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 21 goals and is four away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL.

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (24). His 1.86 goals against average is second in the league. He’s got this! And backing him up in the net is Philipp Grubauer who is a strong goaltender and someone in whom the coach has great confidence.

Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetzov are assist masters. Each has 22 assists and 11 goals. They are creating opportunities every shift for the top line to score while scoring themselves as well.

Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie, and Marcus Johansson round out the top six with a fighting drive to get to the net and score. Williams and Oshie have 24 points and MoJo has 22.

Jason Chimera has notched 10 goals this season making him part of the six with double-digit goals. Although Tom Wilson only has two goals in his column, there is no denying the presence he brings to ice and the way in which he excites the team and the crowds. The hole on this line clearly is Jay Beagle, yet the team managed to fill the gap with Michael Latta and Zach Sill. Sill seems to be a great fit for now, regardless of which line he plays.

Andre Burakovsky finally broke through and scored a goal during the game in Buffalo. The fourth line, with Brooks Laich and Michael Latta looked strong on Thursday—each with shots on goal that came close to getting around the net minder.

Defense: The loss of John Carlson could be seen on Thursday. Carlson brings something more to the game than just the 27 points he is carrying—he brings real leadership too. It is less clear what coach will do with the partnering of defensemen and the temporary replacement of Carlson on Saturday. They were not all that the team needed on Thursday and hopefully they will get back in the groove and hopefully Carly will return strong and healthy against Boston.

Blue Jackets Watch

This is second meeting between the teams this season. In October Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie scored two goals ending the match 2-1 Caps. The Blue Jackets see this as a ‘must win’ match as the team on the bottom of the standings chart struggles to save face. They played a physical game against Dallas with 29 hits and one roughing penalty by Rene Bourque (18).

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was activated and removed off Injured Reserve list. The Russian Vezina Trophy winner last played December 8 and has a .918 save percentage. The Jackets have won 30 of 51 games with Bobs in the net.

Left wing Scott Hartnell (43) leads the team in points with 15 goals and 14 assists. He has two goals in his last five games.

Left Wing Brandon Saad (20) holds the second team leader slot with 14 goals and 13 assists, with three goals and three assists in his last five games.

Left wing Nick Foligno (71), the team’s leader in goals and points last season is not performing as strongly this year; however, he has stepped things up recently with one goal and six assist in his last five games.

Center Brandon Dubinsky (17) has four assists in his past five games.

Coming Up:

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 likely to be held Monday at Kettler.

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

Photos by Brittney Marcum