Caps Lose a Hearbreaker in Montreal

The Washington Capitals conculded their four-game road trip on Thursday night in Montreal as they took on Karl Alzner and the Canadiens. This contest was wacky. Right when you thought the Caps were out of it, they answered. Unforutnately they would come up on the short end by giving up two late goals to falter 6-4.  Continue reading “Caps Lose a Hearbreaker in Montreal”

Capitals on the Road to Montreal for Third Preseason

The Capitals will play their third preseason game Thursday in Montreal and are hoping this will be their first win. They last traveled to Habs country March 24 where they took the win with a 6-4 lead at the Bell Centre. Continue reading “Capitals on the Road to Montreal for Third Preseason”

Lars Eller: In the Capitals History and Photo Books

Lars Eller became the Washington Capitals hero over the summer. It was his sixth time skating in the playoffs – his second time for the Capitals. Those 50 previous games must have prepared him for the pressure cooker the Caps were in as they played one hard game after another. Eller just kept coming back for more.

You asked us for a photo gallery of our best Lars Eller photos. We are happy to oblige and add a little bit about why Capitals fans have come to admire this quiet man from Denmark. Continue reading “Lars Eller: In the Capitals History and Photo Books”

Capitals Turn Their Ice Over to Canadiens for Practice…and Karl Alzner

The Washington Capitals had the day off on Friday after a win in Ottawa (5-4_against the Senators. The Canadiens traveled to Washington after their Thursday night win against the Sabres (3-2). Both games ended in shootouts.

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The Habs took advantage of their early arrival and the Caps day off to get in some practice before the Saturday 7 pm Capitals home opener at the Capital One Arena. And that practice meant the return of Caps’ beloved defenseman, Karl Alzner. The Caps failed to offer him a new contract, leading him to the ice in Montreal. We were both glad and sad to see him skate – he looked so at home…

Initially Kettler Ice Plex was pretty empty – except for one lone Habs fan. Several Caps players were there working out and stopping to say “hey” to Karl. And of course to watch the competition (Eller). Seems Oshie was pretty interested in goalie Carrie Price!!

The Canadiens ended the 2016-17 season the Atlantic Division champs. Their road record was: 23–14–4. Max Pacioretty was number one in overall points and goals and second in assists. The team captain hopes to redeem the team after a first round elimination in the playoffs. General manager Marc Bergevin spent the off season making some adjustments to the roster, adding Karl Alzner, David Schlemko, Joe Morrow and Mark Streit,

Coaches working hard this season to get the Habs back to a winning team.

Montreal has one of the best goalies in the league. Carey Price will be starting against the Capitals – most likely with Braden Holtby at the other end of the ice. Al Montoya will be in the backup position.

The Caps will be facing a team much like themselves on Saturday. Both want to make the most of the adjustments to their lines and come out winners. It is sure to be a bit of an emotional night as the Caps pay tribute the a Karl Alzner who left a lasting mark on the community.

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Preseason Game Two – Bowey Stands Out 

A select few players traveled to Montreal for the Caps second preseason game on Wednesday. Here was the lineup for both teams:


We were most interested to see how Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Travis Boyd, Connor Hobbs, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Madison Bowey did when playing with Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Orpik. Here are our thoughts: 

Vrana – Jakub looked smooth, fast, and oh so competent. He scored the second goal in the first period. 

Stephenson – good at creating chances and continued to show his typical strength with blocking shots and physical play.

Smith-Pelly – we didn’t see as much from him the first two periods but then he did this: 

Boyd – he has good hands we just didn’t see enough to fully evaluate. 

Hobbs – he had some zip with Orpik. 

Siegenthaler – we expect and hope for a strong game from Jonas. He had a respectable game with a few good blocks and hits. We like him, just not sure if he is ready. 

Bowey – any doubts we had disappeared tonight. Maybe playing with Orlov during camp rubbed off on him. He was everywhere!! He led with TOI at 22:06 minutes. 

And all the rest…

So the first period was great to watch. Kuzy scored first and was a definite presence all night. Vrana had a sweet goal ending the period with a 2-0 lead. Copley was in for the second and let two Habs pucks hit the back of the net, 2-2.  He still looked steady in the net. The third period highlight was a heck of goal by DSM that put the Caps up a goal followed by a Tom Wilson goal to end it 4-2 in favor of the Caps. 

Caps and Bears are off on Thursday. Back to practice and camp Friday morning. More cuts should be announced the next few days as training camp thins out.

Karl Alzner Signs with Habs and Thus Ends the Carlzner Era

We really hate to see Karl Alzner go. The Iron Man was an inspiration to the Washington Capitals and when he and John Carlson were called up from the Hershey Bears they infused the fans with new enthusiasm. They were first paired in the 2008-09 season and became a force to be reckoned with in Hershey.

Karl was drafted in the first round of 2007. Alzner was most frequently paired with Carly, except for a couple of years when the coaches split the pair up and he skated with Matt Niskanen. It was a relief to all of us to see Alzner and Carlson reunited this past season. Unfortunately,  his stats have slipped of late, maybe because of the shift away from his partner John. He has said he was working to become a more offensive player; however, he only scored three goals this past season and only 13 points total, lowest of all active defensemen on the team.

There was some thought that George McPhee might bring Alzner out to Vegas to play for the Golden Knights; but we all know how that worked out. We heard early on that he was looking at other options, knowing that the Caps with their salary cap issue was not going to resign him. As one of the best top tier defenseman in the league, his options should have been wide open for him.

CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir referred to Alnzer as the “pro’s pro” and we couldn’t’ agree more. He has played through injury, for the good of the team. He has a work ethic that stands out on the team. He is a quiet solid presence. He has always been charitable to fans, running to put things in his truck so he can stand and talk and take pictures. He is just an all-round good guy and we will miss seeing him when the season begins in October.

Alzner reportedly accepted an offer from the Montreal for five years for $23,125,000 – an average of $4,625,000 per year. His previous contract was four years $11,200,000 and a yearly average of $2,800,000. Unfortunately, the Caps couldn’t offer the same to keep Karl with the team. 

We wish you nothing but success Karl. Thanks for bringing it every game. Blessings on you and your beautiful family as you head off to the rest of your career.

Caps-Habs: The Goalie Battle that Price Won

The Caps game out strong, with lots of fan support, right out the gate. And then, well the excitement kind of waned. It was fun though to watch two of the best Canadian and NHL goalies compete to protect their net: Braden Holtby and Carey Price.

Fans felt there might be a bit of a shooting problem but were still happy with the players net drive in the first five minutes. Tom Wilson drew a penatly from Habs McCarron for slashing. Most excitement was Carly breaking his stick on a failed shot. The Candiens would wind up first on the board with a wraparound by Lehkonen. 1-0 Habs by the end

And then there’s the fan who always gets so excited and tonight he finally caught the puck over the glass!

The second period gave fans some hope when Nick Backstrom scored, with help from Williams and Ovechkin, on the power play. The Habs answered a couple minutes later with a Jeff Petry goal with about four minutes left in the period. Montreal takes the lead 2-1. The Habs had more energy and got more shots off then the Caps by 14 to 8. The period was a general penalty fest with Washington taking three and Montreal with five.

The third period was pretty dismal. No penalties. No goals. Each team only has five SOG. Shout to “shoot” from the fans went unheard on the ice despite all the power play chances. Dan Winnik came close but it was just a high ping.

Holtby would save 23 of 25 SOG to Price’s 20 for 21. Congrats to Price who recorded his 250th win. Just wish it wasn’t here!

Thus ends the six game winning streak. The Caps need to figure this offensive play. Up next are the Philadelphia Flyers and that won’t be a skate in the park either.

Setup for Saturday Caps-Canadiens

The Caps have had a pretty slow week with a game in New York on Tuesday (4-2 win) and in Raleigh, NC Friday ( 4-3 win). They will face the Montreal Canadiens Saturday at 7 pm back in Washington. Montreal sits top of the Atlantic Division and fourth in the league.

They now are on a six game winning streak!! Wow things have changed.

The Caps got off to a sluggish start Friday night but they made up for it with a shootout win with TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov snaking around Cam Ward. Philipp Grubauer was stellar in the net. They seemed to get better as they went with goals by Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams. Most likely Braden Holtby will be back in net Saturday.

Montreal lost to the Sharks 4-2 in a home game. Carey Price, who is on the hunt for his 250th win, was pulled Friday night and replaced by Al Montoya. It didn’t help the Habs though; although there is a bit of a curse here as the Habs have only beaten the Sharks once in six years (Canadian Press)

Prior to the insertion of Montoya against the Sharks, word was he would be in the net against the Caps. (Montreal Gazette)

CSN reports that Price is in Saturday (1040 pm Friday)

Both teams are traveling to Washington Friday night and both teams played a tough game Friday. The uptick is that Washington is coming in on a winning streak. Additionally, the Caps have home ice advantage. (Montreal Gazette)

Any way you look at it, Saturday should be a fun night for fans!  GO CAPS!

Recaping Caps Loss to the Habs: Turnover Turmoil

The story of the night?  The Caps defense could not contain the Canadiens offense.

On Wednesday, February 24, the Washington Capitals took on the visiting Montreal Canadiens. The Caps were rocking their retro third jerseys as Braden Holtby got the start against Mike Condon. Stanislav Galiev got a sweater tonight with Michael Latta a healthy scratch, along with Taylor Chorney and newly acquired Mike Weber. Jay Beagle is still on injured reserve but will hopefully be back on the ice soon.

PERIOD 1– Just Give it Away…

The Caps definitely had an off night. They came out slow and almost looked tired. The defense had no legs and let way too many opportunities arise for the Habs. The Habs got two past Braden Holtby who did all he could to try and keep this game scoreless. The Canadiens definitely came to play tonight.

GOALS-Alex Galchenyuk scored, assisted by Dale Weise, Brendan Gallagher scored, assisted by Max Pacioretty.

PENALTIESTom Wilson called for boarding and hooking.

SCORE-Caps down, 0-2

PERIOD 2-March of the Penalties

After allowing his third goal on 18 shots at 1:54 into the period, Braden Holtby was pulled by Barry Trotz. Philip Grubauer did well in the net when he replaced Holts and only allowed one goal. The Caps finally got one through Mike Condon, getting them on the board. Later in the period, Condon robbed Mike Richards of a-would be goal with an amazing elbow save.

GOALS-Tomas Fleischmann scored, assisted by Barberio, Jason Chimera scored his 17th of the season, assisted by Marcus Johansson, and Alex Galchenyuk scored his second of the night, assisted by Lars Eller.

PENALTIES-P.K. Subban called for interference, Nicklas Backstrom called for slashing, Brooks Orpik called for tripping which resulted in a penalty shot, Lars Eller called for goaltender interference, Matt Niskanen called for roughing, and Alex Galchenyuk called for roughing.

SCORE-Caps down, 1-4

PERIOD 3-Prevent Defense

The Habs allowed the Caps to score two goals in the third period to bring them to within one. With 1:39 left in the game, Trotz pulled Grubi for the extra attacker. The Caps were finally playing with some fire in the last minute of play but it was too late. They dug themselves into a hole too deep to get out of in the time remaining.

GOALSDmitry Orlov scored his 6th goal of the season, assisted by Alex Ovechkin, Andre Burakovsky scored his 13th goal of the season, assisted by Stanislav Galiev,

PENALTIES-Torrey Mitchell called for hi-sticking.

SCORE-Caps lose, 3-4

The team looked very lackluster in the first two periods but definitely picked up the pace in third. They mounted a comeback but were just a little too late on getting their offense going. The defense appeared spotty at best and luckily the goalies kept this game from being blown wide open very early on. Even though it appears that Holtby has lost his mojo, this is just a rough patch. Caps fans have nothing to worry about and should continue to have faith in their awesome tendy’s. 

 The Caps are now 44-11-4 with 92 points. The Caps next game is Friday at home against the Minnesota Wild. This is also the HoltBeast promo game, so if you’re going, send us some photos of you with your awesome HoltBeast action figure.

 

Caps-Habs Their Way to Maintain Winning Streak

 

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From practice at Kettler Ice Plex to the final horn at Verizon, the Washington Capitals played today like a team that wants to keep on winning. And win they did. They soundly beat the Montreal Canadiens—the Atlantic Division’s first place team 3-1. With this loss, the Habs slip to second place in their div.  Not too shabby a day.

Highlights

t kuy goal

In the beginning of the game, Jay Beagle had a nice chance but could not put the puck in the net. Then Evgeny Kuznetsov deflects a Nate Schmidt shot and the Capitals are on the board first at the 6:45 mark of the first period.

Tom Wilson and Jarred Tinordi drop the gloves at the 12:12 mark, receiving matching five-minute majors. Then, after Daniel Carr goes to the box, the Caps’ second power play chance was better than the first but alas no goal. to fight

A little roughing occurred when P.K. Subban expressed displeasure with Jason Chimera. Jay Beagle, with a beauty of a goal, doubles the Caps lead 1:30 into the second period, 2-0 Caps.

This bring Chimmer’s season goal count to 10 and the number of Caps with double digit goals to six.

today bea celi

tod subban scrumBut 24 seconds later, Carr got the Habs on the board, 2-1 Caps. Later in the period, Nicklas Backstrom went to the box for slashing on P.K. Subban and there was question of if Subban embellished. He did not get a penalty but Caps fans would boo him for the rest of the game.

 

 

 

tod chimera11:15 into the third period, Jason Chimera sped by the Habs and put one past Condon, Caps up 3-1. We even saw our first “embellishment” penalty when Montreal’s Paul Bryon took a dive on Brooks Laich’s interference penalty. There was much chatter on Twitter about this one!

 

 

Before the period was over Alex Ovechkin would take a puck to the forearm but all is believed to be well with him. Hit by a shot from his teammate Matt Niskanen, according to CSN-DC.

The Canadiens pulled Mike Condon for the extra attacker with 2:21 left in the game; however, it didn’t help them. The Caps extend their winning streak to seven games with a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens.

Three Stars

The three stars of the night went to: Jay Beagle, Tom Wilson, and Nate Schmidt.

Salute to our Military

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Tonight the Washington Capitals honored retired Colonel Richardson for his service.

 Written by Renee Garces

Photos by Brittney Marcum