Nate Schmidt Makes His Old Team Pay, Caps Fall 5-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights

michael banner 2A Stanley Cup Finals rematch happened on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Washington Capitals returned to the scene of the place where they captured their first Stanley Cup but the Vegas Golden Knights didn’t feel too well welcoming the Stanley Cup champs in their house. They got revenge in the rematch with a 5-3 win with the game-winning goal coming from….. Nate SchmidtContinue reading “Nate Schmidt Makes His Old Team Pay, Caps Fall 5-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights”

The Pregame: Viva Las Vegas! The Caps are Back Where the Stanley Cup Magic Happened

michael banner 2When I think of Las Vegas, Nevada two things come to my mind: magic shows and the place where our hockey team, the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup. Tuesday night, the Caps and the Vegas Golden Knights will square off inside T-Mobile Arena for the first time since that June 7th night and there will be a whirlwind of emotions for the players, coaches and fans.  Continue reading “The Pregame: Viva Las Vegas! The Caps are Back Where the Stanley Cup Magic Happened”

Caps Have Up-and-Down Week, Defeat Vegas Before Falling to New Jersey and Toronto

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Folks don’t blink. We’re back and the Washington Capitals are already charging forward into the 2018-19 season! This past week was an interesting one that began with a home game against the Vegas Golden Knights, a Stanley Cup rematch. Then the Caps quickly turned around to head up to New Jersey to take on the Devils in another back-to-back for the second week in a row (thanks schedule makers!) before coming back home to host Auston Matthews and the high-flying Toronto Maple Leafs offense who made the biggest splash in the summer by acquiring John Tavares. FiCP takes a look back at these games as we await for more Caps action to come on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers. Continue reading “Caps Have Up-and-Down Week, Defeat Vegas Before Falling to New Jersey and Toronto”

Michal Kempny Makes His Season Debut Tonight vs. Vegas

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Tonight the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights will meet for the first time since the Caps hoisted the Stanley Cup in the dessert to begin the greatest summer of our lives. It’s a rematch of the Stanley Cup and it is sure to be an exciting matchup! One big storyline going into tonight’s contest is this game will mark the return of Michal Kempny.  Continue reading “Michal Kempny Makes His Season Debut Tonight vs. Vegas”

Caps Road to the Cup Top 10 Moments from the Playoffs #1: The Cup is Ours

On Thursday June 7th there was a buzz around the DMV that a lot of us never witnessed before. The area was ALL CAPS. The Washington Capitals, after taking Game 2 and dominating on home ice in Games 3 and 4, were one win away from winning the Stanley Cup. Many Caps fans invaded T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. For those who couldn’t fly out there, the streets around Capital One Arena and throughout the District were full of red. With an entire region behind them, the Capitals were determined to end the series, the 26-year D.C. championship drought, and the 44-year long quest for that elusive Stanley Cup. Continue reading “Caps Road to the Cup Top 10 Moments from the Playoffs #1: The Cup is Ours”

Best NHL Expansion Draft Tweets

 

Sunday the NHL blogosphere was loaded with all kinds of tweets about the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team draft.  In the morning the NHL released all of the teams’ available and protected players. Twitter was alive with rumors and guesses about what GM George McPhee (GMGM) would do.

For his part, GMGM said there were no real surprises and that he had already begun to work with the teams. He is after all, the best negotiator in the business.

All day long the Golden Knights trolled the other teams about their lists. Follow them on twitter @GoldenKnights to keep up. One of our favorites was in response to Roberto Luango’s tweet in which he crossed through his own name on the Panthers’ list.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include our own tweet with the link to our post about former and current Caps players and where they ended up on each list.

There are all kinds of mock lists out there for your consideration. Almost all of them have Marc-Andre Fleury as starting goalie and either Philipp Grubauer or Nate Schmidt as the pick from the Capitals’ list.

At least Bailey is safe from the draft…

All teams have their favorite players they want to keep:

There is nothing easy about this process:

Musings about the Caps and who might be leaving:

At the end of the day, the Vegas Golden Knights explained what their day was like and what lies ahead:

Now they get down to the real work–ordering jersey’s with names! This is getting real folks!!

So now we wait for Wednesday night. In the meantime, we are sure there will be some leaks, ’cause we are all about the leaks now!

The NHL Awards and Expansion Draft show begins at 8 pm on NBCSN. It is a fast moving process with GMGM and his team having only 72 hours to complete their selection. Per the NHL rules: “The Golden Knights must submit their selections to the NHL by 10 a.m. Wednesday, roughly 72 hours after the protected lists went public.” There is a trade freeze in place now through 8 am on 22 June.

This morning he said that today is the last day that he will be talking to teams. He will finalize the list by Tuesday night and then sleep on it. He will submit the final list on Wednesday morning. He offered no hints…

A Note to GMGM About Capitals Schmidt

Dear George,

We know you have a lot to do the next few days. You have so many talented players available for you to select to join you in Las Vegas. Some of them are players you know very well and probably are thinking it would be nice to work with again.

One of those players is Nate Schmidt.

We here in the Washington DC area have come to adore, yes adore, Schmidty. He has that boyish grin that he flashes no matter what is going on. Some how he makes an loss easier just by speaking positively about the Caps.

Beyond being the kind of player with a wonderfully delightful personality,, he is really coming into his own. When given the chance during the playoffs, he showed his drive to succeed. He ended up with five points in 11 games which is pretty respectable.

The fans and bloggers all want him to stay with the Caps. We hope you will consider leaving him to continue to grow with this team while you build and develop your own new team.

Sincerely,

Caps Fans Everywhere

All Those Washington Capitals Rumors

Even before the Caps were knocked out of the playoffs, rumors were swirling about which free agents they would sign and who was likely to be looking for a job. As we are still waiting…and waiting to hear, certain bloggers and reports are coming up with their own ideas. We call them unsubstantiated rumors.

Lets start with the biggest rumor: the Capitals are trading Alexander Ovechkin for who knows who.

CBS Sports seems to think it is a real possibility and he could wind up in Montreal, Dallas, or with the new Vegas Knights. They fail to mention what the Caps get in return.

Stars and Sticks suggested trading him to the Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes,  Vegas Knights, Minnesota Wild, or the Canadiens. Of course this was before GM Brian MacLellan’s press conference in which he said he did not plan on trading Ovi. Interesting though that they have some of the same team suggestions.

Blue Jackets blogger Pale Dragon thinks it might be a good idea for Columbus to attempt to acquire Ovechkin. He suggests the Caps take Jack Johnson, Cam Atkinson, and David Clarkson in return. Of course he doesn’t really expect it to happen but it was worth the giggle to read.

Even the NY Post threw a trade out there. The LA Kings were mentioned.

And rounding out the rumors are the Calgary Flames have now made an offer, according to Fanside. The reported: “According to the Delfi website, a Russian news site where the rumor was revealed, the Flames reportedly offered the Capitals d-man Oliver Kylington, center Sam Bennett and two first round picks in exchange for Ovechkin.”

We seriously doubt that the Washington Capitals are willing to give up the face of their franchise, even if his performance is on the downside. He is why many people in the DMV come to games. And, he is still one of the most elite players in the the league and they likely still think he can bring his team to the Stanley Cup final.

The largest contract investment the Caps could face would be resigning TJ Oshie to a long-term contract. Most expect that the Caps will sign Oshie, even if it means they can’t sign some other players. Washington Times. And then CSN threw us a monkey wrench when Craig Laughlin suggested that the Caps might be more inclined to sign Justin Williams over Oshie.

That brings us to other players who are waiting for contracts, like Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Rumors are that both have been approached by the KHL to stay. CSN when reporting on the pitch to Orlov said they did not expect anything to come of it. The Washington Post suggested that Kuzy could also field offers.  Stars and Stripes also reported that given the NHL’s block on players participating in the Olympics the two players could return to Russia to play.

The remaining players are anyone’s guess. Hockey Rumors see Karl Alzner going to The Coyotes, Sabres, Avalanche, Devils or Maple Leafs. Kevin Shattenkirk to The Devils, Lightning or Maple Leafs  Justin Williams could go to the Edmonton Oilers. CSN also presented a good wrap on who the Caps might decide to protect from the Las Vegas expansion draft.The Caps are expected to sign Andre Burakovsky and possibly increase his role by moving him to a top six player, according CSN.

Top on the unprotected list has always been Phillip Grubauer as goalie. Stars and Sticks, Washington Post, and TSN among them. Nate Schmidt has also been suggested as the other vulnerable player, although CSN reported at the end of the season that he is ready to become a more involved defenseman for the Caps. GM also stated in his presser that Schmidt was at the top of his list, so we think he’ll get an offer.

The bottom line to all of this is that the Caps aren’t talking and we are all trying to figure out what the team will look like next year. There is certainly the potential for some big changes. Money will be the big deciding factor for the lawyers as they negotiate new deals.

We should begin hear more in the coming weeks as the league heads closer to June 16, the last day to put players on waivers before the Vegas draft. The drafts will be announced June 21st. June 25 is the deadline for qualifying offers to be made, buyouts by 30 June and free agency opens 1 July.

 

 

Washington Capitals: 2016/17 Season Strengths and Weaknesses

How do you determine what works and what is broke in an organization? One way is to start by taking a dive into what strengths the organization has exhibited in recent times and then to balance those advantages against areas in which they are less strong. This helps to provide a framework to discuss how to draw from and expand on those strengths and how to minimize the weaknesses.

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Continue reading “Washington Capitals: 2016/17 Season Strengths and Weaknesses”