Even before the puck drops there is a chance for Caps fans to win some Alex Ovechkin memorabilia:
“The Capitals have partnered with NBC Sports Washington for Authentic Fan Friday! The first 500 fans to visit the NBC Sports Washington table at Section 423 will receive a limited amount of Ovi cheer cards.” (Caps Game info) Click here for a chance to win an original painting by Taylor Kampa Olson as a Caps Authentic Fan. Runs from 6 to 10 pm.
The Capitals had an extra goaltender on the ice the past few weeks for Camp Nemo. Max Cichanowicz was invited to sit in the net as a few Caps played a bit of ‘pickup hockey’ before training camp begins mid-September. Here’s his story about how the Capitals made his dream come true! Continue reading “My Time with the Washington Capitals”
One of the interesting things surrounding the Capitals improbable journey to the Stanley Cup was the goaltending saga. First, Philipp Grubauer played good but was unable to get a win. Later on in the season, Braden Holtby had a bit of a slump before a mental reset and the playoffs helped the Holtbeast regain his form.
Grubauer had his best season in Washington and his hot stretch began on Black Friday as the Capitals welcomed the Tampa Bay Lightning, who had an incredible season of their own which saw them dominate the Eastern Conference. Grubauer and the team came up big in the first of what would soon be many memorable wins against the Lightning.
Date: November 24, 2017
Result: Capitals 3, Lightning 1
Philipp Grubauer got off to a poor start but it wasn’t primarily his fault. For the most part, his starts would come in the back end of back-to-back affairs. Sometimes these instances came after a win the night before. Alas, Grubauer’s record heading into this Black Friday matchup was 0-5-1.
It wasn’t that Grubauer was playing bad. It was a variety of things. Most notably the backend as the Capitals were dealing with a young blue line filled with guys who had no prior NHL experience. Additionally, an injury to veteran Mat Niskanen was also a big blow.
The Lightning struck first 1:22 into the game on a power play goal from Vladislav Namestnikov. The Capitals would tie it late in the first with 1:24 left when Alex Ovechkin buried a one-timer from Tom Wilson.
Devante Smith-Pelly put the Caps ahead in the second on a give-n-go from Jay Beagle. Beagle would get the empty netter to give the Caps the 3-1 win.
In front of his parents, Grubauer gave his best performance of the season. He stopped 25-of-26 shots for a .962 save percentage. It would be the first of many occasions where Grubauer would come up big. His hot stretch while Braden Holtby needed the mental reset was a big reason as to why the Caps were able to not only make the playoffs but capture the Metropolitan Division and leading to better things to come.
What will moment #5 be?! Tune in next week to find out!
The Washington Capitals brought everything they had to Capital One Arena Monday night for a strong win against the San Jose Sharks. In the process, they beat goalie Martin Jones on whom they had never scored on home ice. And they made it look easy.
Devante Smith-Pelly got the Caps on the board first, followed by an unassisted Alex Ovechkin goal. Brett Connolly, who keeps surprising fans, was up next. And Jakub Vrana sealed it all up with his eighth goal of the season.
Beyond the 4-1 win, it was an eventful night.
Travis Boyd was called up from Hershey for his first NHL game. He only got one shot off, but he looked pretty good in the 9:10 minutes he played.
As the Capitals reported: “Ovechkin recorded his 578th goal in his 949th career game, 700 fewer games than Mark Recchi (1,649).Ovechkin recorded his 578th goal in his 949th career game, 700 fewer games than Mark Recchi (1,649).”
TJ Oshie was butt-checked by Joe Thornton and had to leave the game in the second period.
Tom Wilson evened the score with a delish takedown of Thornton in the third period.
Even Brooks Orpik got in on the fun!
Jakub Vrana and Brett Connolly continue to step it up with effortless goals. Vrana really could have a great future with the Caps is they nurture his talent.
Grubauer made some great saves and ended the night with a total of 24, only letting one get past him.
And finally- Evgeny Kuznetsov captured the hockey world again when Connolly missed seeing Kuzy’s fist bump after he assisted in the goal. Kuzy, who has a way of doing things, just went ahead and bumped himself. We really do love this Russian!
Early risers got a quick but vocal practice from the Washington Capitals. With game time at 5pm, practice was set for 9am at Kettler. Goalies out around 840am Kuzy, Orlov & Vrana all out early too.
Smiles were abundant along with lots of communication work when digging the puck out of their own end behind the goal. Some shaved their mustaches (Tom Wilson), others kept theirs.
Face-off practice between Beagle & Smith-Pelly got intense & Ovi did push ups while skating before practice.. (show off)
and tonight’s starting goaltender will be Phillip Grubauer…who has yet to get a win, #winitforgrubi Grubi’s dad was in attendance for practice and Phillip’s birthday is tomorrow.. maybe some magic in the air for Grubi tonight!
Fans got pictures and autographs from some of the Caps today too! Aaron Ness & Nathan Walker both stopped after practice in full gear to sign and take pictures with their fans, Jay Beagle & Braden Holtby stopped for fans outside of kettler on their way to their cars.. with it being a holiday for most there was a good sized crowd waiting for their favorite player.
Caps canine calendars are available for purchase starting today, they are for sale a Kettler &Capital One Arena. Caps players are taking to social media to advertise how the calendars benefits Homeward Trails shelter. I got mine today & it’s really a great calendar with awesome pictures of your favorite Caps players, some with their own dogs and others with dogs available for adoption. Go get your today Caps fans!!
Last night Tarik El-Bashir of NBC Sports Washington DC, had the chance to lace up and referee the Mites on Ice game during the first intermission. But this time there was a twist- all the kids were dressed up like turkeys and Slapshot himself was on the lookout for fresh turkey meat!
We knew this would be good so of courrseee we took photos!
Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving from all of us at FiCP!
We knew there would be some growing pains this year for the Capitals and Saturday we saw how real the problem is. Matt Niskanen is on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) and will be out for at least 10 games or 24 days. That was a blow to the blue line.
With Nisky out the door opened for Madison Bowey to finally see his NHL debut. We were pretty excited about it as we wrote Saturday. Unfortunately it was not as great a debut for him as it was for Hershey teammates Djoos and Walker. For example, he lost his stick and was outplayed by the Flyers which led to a goal by Wayne Simmonds. He ended the game a -3.
Bowey wasn’t alone with the defense struggles. John Carlson had two penalties for slashing, a turnover, and an assist. We need to see more consistency in his play. Brooks Orpik, with a -2 also recorded an assist. More consistency issues. Dmitry Orlov, while shooting at the net also had a -4. Awful for him. And Aaron Ness wasn’t really visible this game.
The Caps just couldn’t get the momentum to stop the fast skating and slick passing of the Flyers.
On the positive side, Christian Djoos was the only defenseman ending with a +1. Even when the Caps lost to Pittsburgh it was Djoos who stood out. Read more here.
Nick Backstrom remains solid with a beauty of a goal- a five game streak with 11 points. And Jakub Vrana is finding his groove with a goal himself.
Evgeny Kuznetsov now has 11 assists. We are ready for his first goal of the season!
All-in-all, it was a brutal game. The forwards didn’t seem to connect, the defense wasn’t where it needed to be, and Grubi had a few errors of his own. There were too many turnovers. All part of the process of a team early in the season that is adjusting to change. They have time to focus on those gaps in performance and right the ship.
Caps practice Monday, participate in a season ticket holder event, and practice again Tuesday before they meet the Maple Leafs at home at 7 pm.