Caps Take the Wind Out of Hurricanes

So much good to say about the Capitals tonight! It was a tight match. The Capitals needed a win to hang onto that first place position in the Metropolitan. They did not clinch their playoff berth yet; however, they kept that first place spot for one more night. Final score 4-1.

First- it was Evgeny Kuznetsov Bird Man Bobble Head Night! He may not have scored but he did have three assist points.

Last game the Caps were in their whites- we confess, we kept getting confused. This time the Hurricanes and Caps were in white/red red/white Jerseys and it took a hot minute to figure out who was who. Until the Capitals scored! Continue reading “Caps Take the Wind Out of Hurricanes”

Dark times for Dmitry’s production

The Washington Capitals’ defensive core has grown immensely since Dmitry Orlov was drafted 55th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. He has established his role on the team as a top 4 defenseman with a well played two-way style and glimpses of offensive talents. The Caps would not have won the Stanley Cup last year without his contributions at both ends of the ice.

Paired with defensive partner Matt Niskanen, Orlov has the support to use his offensive talents in all zones on the ice with Niskanen’s defensive mindset. Last year, Orlov produced 31 points (10g, 21a) in all 82 regular season games. This year, he is at 27 points (3g, 24a) with only a handful of games left. I have noticed one big thing that could possibly be preventing him from matching last year’s numbers, and that’s offensive zone entry.

Orlov is a confident, offensive defenseman. When he has the puck on the entry, he has two options; throw the puck down low/ring it around for the far side winger or carry it in and look for the pass/shot. A lot of his turnovers this season have been in the offense zone, mainly due to bad decision making. When given a prime shooting lane, he decides to carry the puck and make a move or attempt to make an unnecessary pass to move the play/goalie. It’s been a very noticeable aspect in his past few games and would most likely have more points on the season if he made the simple decision.

3-on-3 OT against the New York Rangers. Orlov has the puck in the offensive zone, makes a move to the outside and gets well defended. He loses control of the puck and drops it to Ovechkin. If Ovechkin was not there, Orlov would’ve had his pocket picked. Good move nonetheless by Dmitry. Video credit: Marcus Boutilier/@SportMajor via Twitter.

This is purely an opinionated piece. As a college hockey defenseman in my younger days, I’ve had to tweak my own game here and there to make things work for me. That could be the case here for Dmitry, but it’s a little late in the season to be experimenting with his game. He has the capability to put up big numbers and I feel making the simple plays would benefit him and his team more. I know Orlov has the ability to put up more points than he has so far this season, I would just like to see him play a bit more conservative when make offensive zone entries. We believe in you, Dmitry, defend your Stanley Cup well!

I am open to discussion on this topic, hit me up on my personal Twitter handle @Jurky88.

Caps Lose 5-4 in OT, End Up Thunderstruck by Bolts

TLDR: Despite goals by Lars Eller, Carl Hagelin, and T.J. Oshie, and the equalizer by Kuznetsov, as well as 50+ shots on goal, the Caps just couldn’t solve Vasilevskiy for the second time this season. Tampa Bay wins 5-4 in overtime. Capitals still maintain top spot in the Metro. 


For the second time in less than a week, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference played one another, but this time, it was in OUR house. Coming off of a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils last night, the Washington Capitals took back the Metro division, and headed home for the first of a four-game home stand. The Tampa Bay Lightning, however, have not only clinched their playoff spot, but have also claimed the Presidents’ Trophy as their own. Now just because a curse exists, that doesn’t mean a certain event will not occur. However, only 8 teams have won both the trophy and then gone on to also win the Stanley Cup. Sure, that’s a 1 in 4 chance, but I just keep thinking back to the Capitals in years past. Despite a valiant comeback effort, last Saturday, the Lightning beat the Capitals 6-3, after scoring two empty net goals. Tonight, the Capitals looked to match Tampa, with a win of their own. Unfortunately, that would not be the case.


Once again, the Capitals entrusted tonights’ game to Braden Holtby, and Andrei Vasilevskiy got the start for Tampa. Expected to be a Round 2 battle between the two powerhouses, we knew it would be a very fast and very physically demanding 60 minutes. As mentioned last week, it was imperative for the Caps to get on the board early. They simply could not afford to have another slow start like they did a few days ago. Not even two minutes past puck drop, and the Capitals already had a number of great scoring chances. An early stop by Holtby on an Anthony Cirelli breakaway kept the game at zero each. An unfortunate turnover by Tampa allowed Carl Hagelin to feed the puck up the center of the ice, and with that, Lars Eller scored his 12th goal of the season.

Shortly thereafter, the Capitals would earn their first power play of the night, as Steven Stamkos would go off for holding. The good guys would only register on shot with the man-advantage, and Tampa’s Number 1 penalty kill would keep the Caps from improving their lead. Braden Holtby would be hit up high through the mask by the stick of Brooks Orpik, drawing some blood, but would be good enough to finish the period. With three minutes left in the period, the Capitals would get a second power play, as John Rutta would go to the box for tripping. Tom Wilson would unfairly be called for holding, and Tampa would get their first power play with 30 seconds left in the period. While the Lightning would start the second with the remainder of that man-advantage, the Capitals lead 1-0 heading into the intermission.


The second period started with a power play goal by Nikita Kucherov with just eight seconds left on the man-advantage, tying the game 1-1. Now the Capitals need to play the remaining 40 minutes with just as much, if not more power and drive than the first 20. Unfortunately, Ovechkin would go off for elbowing and Tampa headed right back on the power play. Off the faceoff, Steven Stamkos would score, giving the Lightning their first lead of the game. What once seemed to be a manageable game, started to tilt. Another deflection off of John Carlson gives Tampa a 3-1 lead. Anthony Cirelli would ultimately be credited with the goal. A set up by Lars Eller would give Carl Hagelin a nearly-wide open net, and, in scoring his 5th of the season, 3rd with Washington, would bring the Caps within one.

The Capitals would get another power play opportunity as Mikhail Sergachev was sent off for slashing. T.J. Oshie would get second-chance bounce off his skate, and the puck would find the back of the net. The Caps power play goal would be the game-tying goal.

Dmitry Orlov would go off for slashing, and in a high-scoring second, the Caps would fight to keep Tampa from scoring again. Nikita Kucherov would score his second as the Caps’ defense couldn’t keep it together and Holtby was asked to make one too many stops. The Tampa’s #1 power play strikes again, and the Lightning would reclaim the lead, 4-3. Michal Kempny would need to be carried down the tunnel with a lower body injury, and a scrum involving players on both sides would ensue. Jakub Vrana and Yanni Gourde would both receive five-minute majors for fighting, Michal Kempny and Cedric Paquette would receive two minutes for roughing. Sergachev would also get two minutes for roughing. The Caps would end up with a power play, but would not score. Six goals were scored in the 2nd, and the Lightning lead 4-3.


Michal Kempny did not return to play the last period, and per the team, suffered a lower-body injury. The Capitals would receive an early third period power play, as Ovechkin was taken down by Ondrej Palat. The Caps would not tie it. It was encouraging to see Braden Holtby sharpen up as the period progressed. With under 10 left, the Caps would head back to the power play, and despite a number of great looks, again, they would not score. Head coach Todd Reirden would pull Holtby with under 2 to go, and somehow, Evgeny Kuznetsov would tie the game with under 60 seconds left. The Capitals would go to overtime.


3-on-3 Sudden Death Overtime: Victor Hedman would score the game-winning goal. Tampa wins 5-4.


FiCP’s Three Takeaways of the Game

  1. Stop. Drawing. Penalties. I don’t care how bad the referees are. They will always call bad penalties, so don’t give them a reason to call them
  2. Scratch Orlov. Or Carlson. But not Djoos.
  3. The power play needs work. Especially against top penalty-killing teams.

T.J. Oshie Records 500th Career Point, Caps Tame Sharks 5-1

T.J. Oshie scored twice, earning a milestone 500th career point, to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night in the second game of their season-long six-game road trip. The Caps allowed a goal to begin the game but ripped off five unanswered to exact revenge on a Sharks team that stunned the Capitals’ in D.C. on January 22nd with a goal in the last second to tie it and then go on to win in overtime.  Continue reading “T.J. Oshie Records 500th Career Point, Caps Tame Sharks 5-1”

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”

Nicklas Backstrom Misses Caps Morning Skate Due to Illness, Will Be Game-Time Decision vs. Flyers

MEDSTAR CAPITALS ICEPLEX – The Washington Capitals took took the ice on Tuesday morning to prepare for their contest that night against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Caps are coming off an impressive 3-2 comeback win over the Detroit Red Wings thanks to Michal Kempny‘s late third period goal that ended their brief three-game western road trip. The Flyers meanwhile were shutout at home by the St. Louis Blues 3-0 last night. When the Caps took the ice in Arlington this morning, everyone was marked present except for one. Nicklas Backstrom is sick and the team said he’ll be a game-time decision for tonight.  Continue reading “Nicklas Backstrom Misses Caps Morning Skate Due to Illness, Will Be Game-Time Decision vs. Flyers”

Capitals Players Give Fans the Gift of More Christmas Music This Holiday Season

Remember “Capitals Tunes Volume 2” that came out last year that was so much better than the first one because they never made one? The CD was so popular among Capitals fans that the team released a brand new CD this holiday season titled “ALLCAPS Holiday for Real“. This video came out during the Capitals game Friday night against the Sabres which was the final home game before Christmas and it featured some old favorites and new surprises!  Continue reading “Capitals Players Give Fans the Gift of More Christmas Music This Holiday Season”

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom Continue to Show They’re the Perfect Pair

michael banner 2Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have been together for oh so long, but everyone knows that. Linemates or simply teammates, the duo had been through a lot and this past June they finally shared a moment together that they waited their whole careers for. While both players are dynamic superstars, they both contrast in personality. Ovechkin seems like the outgoing type while Backstrom is often quiet, but as the old saying goes “opposites attract.” The duo shined in the Capitals’ 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night at Capital One Arena to win their seventh in a row.  Continue reading “Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom Continue to Show They’re the Perfect Pair”

Caps Defeat Rangers at MSG to Win Fifth in a Row

michael banner 2The Washington Capitals had a quick turnaround after protecting their home ice with a 3-1 over the Red Wings Friday afternoon. After the game was over, the team headed to New York for a Saturday matinee affair with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden to kick off the Capitals’ annual dads/mentors trip. The Caps rallied and defeated the Rangers 5-3 to regain sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division which they’ll hold if the Blue Jackets fall to the Penguins Saturday night.  Continue reading “Caps Defeat Rangers at MSG to Win Fifth in a Row”

Caps Road Trip Roundup: Injuries, Controversy, and Intense Games

michael banner 2The Washington Capitals have recently concluded a four-game road trip with stops in Minnesota, Winnipeg, Colorado, and Montreal. FiCP takes a look at what was a roller-coaster type week.  Continue reading “Caps Road Trip Roundup: Injuries, Controversy, and Intense Games”