Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson were well represented at the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose last week. With coach Todd Reirden at the helm of the Metropolitan Division, the trio contributed to wins over the Atlantic and Central Divisions to win the All-Star Game and split the grand prize of one million dollars. Continue reading “Braden Holtby and John Carlson Lead Metropolitan Division to All-Star Game Win”
The Washington Capitals, at least in the case of defenseman John Carlson, finally won something on Friday night. Although it doesn’t officially end their current seven game winless stretch, Carlson stole the spotlight in the Hardest Shot challenge at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition at SAP Center in San Jose. It’s been a long time coming for Carlson and in 2019 he finally was voted into his first All-Star game. Continue reading “John Carlson Wins Hardest Shot Competition”
It seems like de ja vu. For the third Wednesday in a row we are back in Chinatown. This time it’ll be the New York Rangers taking on the Washington Capitals as two Metropolitan Division rivals meet for the first time in this young season. This game will be the first of four meetings between the defending champs and the Broadway Bluehsirts this season. The Caps look to end a two-game losing streak against a young and rebuilding Rangers hockey club. Puck drop from Chinatown is at 7 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. Continue reading “Preview: Capitals Host Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey”
The Washington Capitals finally came home after a long road trip. They faced the NY Rangers–albeit a “less-than” version of the team. The Verizon Center had all the energy of a playoff game as fans ready themselves for the run for the Cup. Oh, and the goal tonight was not just to win but to also clinch first place, i.e., the President’s Trophy, otherwise known by many the Caps Playoff Curse.
Nate Schmidt was in for John Carlson. Otherwise everything was pretty much the same, with Braden Holtby in the net opposite Henrik Lundqvist.
The first ten minutes seemed to fly by with a lot of puck passing and three SOG for each team. Hotlby had a couple of fancy saves. With a little more than five minutes left in the period the Rangers came to life and fired off a quick four shots bringing their total to eight. in the remaining five of the period there was an amazing bit of passing by Ovechkin which got everyone at Verizon and home excited! But that was all…
The second period would bring the Caps their first power play but they gave it up with a penalty of their own. No scoring by either team on the four-on-four. Rangers were called on a penalty again but still not goal for the Caps. Caps would go on another power play with a whole bunch of shots leading to a goal by their GR8 Captain – OVI!! 1-0 Caps, finally.
Just as we thought we might doze off, Evgeny Kuznetsov scores with a lovely wrist shot, taking advantage of a great opening in front on Lundqvist. Oh and it was the second assist for Marcus Johansson. It looked like Nicky Backstrom would have a goal but it looked like his skate so they waved it off. The remainder of the period was respectable play by both teams with the Caps maintaining the edge and another shutout for Braden Holtby. 2-0
Capitals will head off to Boston Saturday and return on Sunday to play their final regular season game at home against the Florida Panthers.
Oh and before we forget–yes with the win they also claim the President’s Trophy and the number one spot and home ice advantage in the first round. And we aren’t putting any weight behind the curse nonsense…
Photos by Mel Abernethy
Lead photo by Gene J. Puskar, AP
Thursday night the New York Rangers were in Pittsburg to take on the Penguins. In the second period the game was scoreless and both goaltenders (Henrik Lundqvist and Marc-Andre Fleury) were playing outstanding, as usual.
The Penguins had a chance to get the games first goal when was Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist tried to capitalize on a 2 on 1 break out but Ryan McDonagh was able to get back to add pressure behind Hornqvist.
Mcdonagh failed to see Lundqvist come out of the crease and collided with him. Lundqvist seemed to be ok on the play but that wasn’t what he was worried about. Lunqvist was shouting at the referee because he believed there should been a whistle when he was hit.
The thing is, it was his teammate that hit him and there was no contact made with McDonagh that would cause him to hit Lundqvist. The fact that he wanted the play to stop is ridiculous.
I’ll sympathize a little with Lundqvist in the fact that he was mad about the play. As a former goalie, there were many times that I would get upset about a call or non-call on a certain play. I’d yell at the referee, I’d hit my stick on the goal post, but then I would relax and move on.
Henrik Lundqvist was out of control and out of line, especially as a professional; to return to the crease and throw the net against the boards. It was a childish play and he should be fined for it. It doesn’t reflect the game and nobody wants to see a player that can’t have some sort self-control. Personally I think he owes it to his team, if not for the league, to make a public apology.
On the other hand, it should be noted that he could have been seriously hurt on the play. I know this because my first of five concussions was on a play very similar to the one where Lundqvist got barreled over. There was head to knee contact on the play so if Lundqvist doesn’t have a concussion, he is lucky. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s suffering from more than neck spasms .
Lundqvist did end up leaving the game later on, reportedly with neck spasms. It is now confirmed that tonight’s starting goalie for the NY Rangers against the Washington Capitals will be Antii Raanta, because of whatever injury the King sustained.
The Capitals are playing the New York Rangers this evening. Holtby is confirmed as tonight’s starter and the Rangers have announced that Antti Ranta will be in against Holby. Raanta has not been on the ice very much this season, but has a record of 6-4-2 and a GAA of 2.32 and save percentage of .913 with one shutout.
In last night’s game against Henrik Lundqvist seemed to be in pain after a teammate collided with him on a Penguins breakaway; the main contact was to his head. He was eventually pulled and Antti Raanta replaced him because Lundqvist was experiencing neck spasms. Lundqvist is 31-17-4 this season with a GAA of 2.31 and save percentage of .923.
The Capitals are 3-1 against the Rangers and look to continue their dominance of the league and be the first team to 100 points, they are currently at 98. Playoffs aren’t here quite yet, but the way the capitals are playing you’ll be hearing talk about playoff pretty soon.