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 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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Capitals and Fans Social Media Monday: 3 July 

Ok. We know the big news is all about trades and new contracts. We have all that below plus some random other stuff.

Click HERE for fan reactions to the news.

And the announcements in case you missed any:

And the other stuff from the media:

Another Turning Point for Capitals: A Fork Stuck in the Road

An Opinion Piece by Lily Rosenberg

This off season the Capitals have re-signed Dmitry Orlov, TJ Oshie, Brett Connolly, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. However, we have also lost many talented players in Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner, Justin Williams, Kevin Shattenkirk, and most recently Marcus Johansson. They all deserve to be appreciated.

Nate Schmidt 
Schmidt was a ball of sunshine. He was just always smiling and he just had this charm. He was also just a very quick defenseman. He was such a good player and clearly the Vegas Golden Knights saw that too. He was snatched up by VGK last Wednesday and will work under General Manager George McPhee, as he did when he first played with the Caps.  He will be missed and I hope he gets one of the top spots in Vegas.

Karl Alzner
Alzner was a good defenseman. He has helped the Caps so much through the years he played with them. I have met him before and he was just a genuinely nice guy. Although he wasn’t too nice about one of the reasons he left saying:  the Caps “always get stumped in the second round.” I won’t hold a grudge. He signed a five-year 23 million dollar deal with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Justin Williams
We only had two years with him but it was a good two years. He was our Mr. Game 7 but the one game seven we had, he didn’t really help us. We loved his hair and his personality. He said on twitter the Caps “didn’t reach our goal but I will cherish the time I spent there.” On Saturday he signed a two-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes for nine million dollars. We will miss him and his hair!

Kevin Shattenkirk
What can I say about Shattenkirk that hasn’t already been said?  We mourn only the promise we had when he first joined the team. Shattenkirk under-performed our expectations with his -7 points in the playoffs. He signed a four-year deal with the NY Rangers on Saturday for $26.6 million. I hope he helps the Rangers as much as he helped us. 😉

Marcus Johansson
This one really really hurt. Not only did I lose a good shirt but we lost a good player. Johansson was a clutch player and possibly one of the most improved players this past season. He was also just a kind person. He would always sign autographs and take pictures with fans. He had so much potential. Last night he was traded to the New Jersey Devils for a second and third pick by the Capitals in next year’s draft. While I will be excited to see him again, I will be sad to see him in the other teams jersey.

While I am confused as to Brian McClellan;s reasoning, I understand that things happen for a reason and I wish all of these players good luck for the future. I still hope we get a Cup before they do though. 

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 on Social Media: Wednesday 21 June

Wednesday is full of anticipation. Here’s what’s been happening so far. We’ll have a freash post following the Vegas Golden Knight draft and NHL awards.

Otherwise, here is what we have for day on Caps-specific stuff. 

We do know when our first home game is though:

Then this:

May be first former Caps player we think is signed – rumor has it

This should be fun!

CSN asks about fav save?

You can still donate in Oshie’s name:

Congrats:

Priceless: 

Ovi hanging out again with pal Vitaly Fridzon. (Russian basketball star)


Getting ready for the NHL draft:

How about some ECHL news?

And some Bears:

Pretty funny:

Did you see the New Jersey by Adidas? No biggy.

Fan Tweets:

Praying to keep Schmidt. Us too!

In case you were wondering: 

Caps Post Season: T.J. Oshie–Can’t Afford to Let Him Go…

…or can’t afford to keep him? That’s the $20 million plus question. His current contract, which he signed with the St. Louis Blues in 2012 was five years for $20,875,000. Right now he receives  $4.175 million a year and given his performance with the Caps this year, it’s a sure thing he will be looking for more money and at least as long a term as his previous contract. At a minimum we would expect him to seek $30 million for five years.

It’s important to look beyond Oshie’s captivating performance in the 2014 Olympics when he became a shootout sensation. What matters most is what he brought to to the Caps and what he could bring.

On the plus side, like Alex Ovechkin he brought in the crowds. Fans couldn’t wait to see him when he first arrived at Kettler Ice Plex where the Caps practice. It seemed to take him a little while to get in the groove with the team but once he did he became one of the most exciting players to watch.

  • He developed little on-ice rituals with Tom Wilson. And of course there was the jump off the ice at warm ups. He is one to always smile and lighten the mood with the other players.
  • He plays with speed and tenacity. His shot is powerful. He is impressive on the ice and has made a home with fellow teammates off the ice.

And what did he contribute when on the ice? In 148 regular season games he recorded 59 goals and 48 assists. In 25 playoff games he racked up 10 goals and 12 assists. He has definitely improved his scoring percentage since coming the Washington.

  • He and Ovechkin tied for 13th place in the league this past season with 33 goals each. He was 12th in the league for even-strength goals (25).
  • When it comes to shooting, he was seventh on the team with 143 shots on goals. He has the highest shooting percentage, not only on the team but in the league this season at 23.1 percent.
  • He had less time on ice then Oveckin, Nicklas Backstrom, or even Evgeny Kuznetsov and still had higher numbers.
  • He plays defense without a second thought. He actually has 50 blocks in the season; sixth on the team behind the lead defensemen.

When you consider these statistics it is hard to imagine that the Capitals would not consider offering him a generous contract. We know that the 30 year-old winger (soon to be 31) has been instrumental in the success of the Caps the past two season. He has been relatively healthy with a few “upper body” injuries. Age shouldn’t be a major consideration when signing a player of Oshie’s caliber, especially when one looks around the league at successful ‘older’ players.

Keeping Oshie of course means making room in the salary cap for his expanded contract. That could mean letting go of some free agents such as Karl Alzner or Justin Williams. It would be a darn shame for the Oshie’s if the decision is to keep TJ and cut loose Karl as the families have become close, even vacationing together.

On the flip side, there certainly are plenty of teams who would snatch up Oshie in a heartbeat. Its hard to know who he could be a better fit then with the Washington Capitals, but you never know in this sport.

For us, we vote in favor of keeping Oshie for his skill, his positive influence, and because we think he has the leadership chops to stir up the team next season. The Caps need someone in the locker room who sees the glass half full and from everything we have seen, TJ looks to be that guy.

If Oshie stays, who do you recommend the Caps sacrifice in order to afford him?

 

Washington Capitals: The Blame Game Continues

The great “what do with do with this team” debate continues this week following the fall of the Caps, again. There is plenty of blame to go around. Every blogger, every media person, and every fan has an opinion. Everyone is searching for an answer. In the end, the only opinion that will matter is that of the management and the owners. And they aren’t talking, yet.

So lets take a look at what’s been going on during the Ovechkin Era since he is the one person who consistently receives the blame for the Capitals Cup failure. He was drafted just before the 2004/05 lockout so we’ll start with the 2005/06 season.

The longest tenured players on the team are Alexander Ovechkin (drafted 2004 and played first game in 2005) and Nicklas Backstrom (acquired in 2006 although he didn’t play his first game until 2007). Shortly after the Caps would raid the Hershey Bears and bring up John Carlson, Karl Alzner, and Jay Beagle. Soon, the Caps and coach Dale Hunter would call up goaltender Braden Holtby for the 2011 for Playoffs . Under coach Adam Oates they would finally give him a permanent spot on the Caps roster in 2012/13 season. When we talk about the old guard, these are those players. These are the players whom many say are holding the Caps back since they are the ones, other than Holtby, who have been in the thick of all the playoff losses, especially Ovi and Backie.  Continue reading “Washington Capitals: The Blame Game Continues”

Thinking About Potential Trades…

Chris Cleveland has given some thought to what the Caps might do about trades for the coming season. 

What about trading Karl Alzner, Tom Wilson, or even  Dan Winnik and throw in a draft pick to seal the deal?? 

Imagine if the Caps picked up Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog from the Avs? Those names have been bantered about lately as likely on the trade block–see Friedman’s  piece.

I really think it makes perfect sense to consider these. If we want to win the cup this year, I think adding another big element will really help. In my opinion, Alzner and Wilson are both have trade potential.  I also think the Alzner trade is something to consider because it is unlikely the Caps can keep him over TJ Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov or Andre Burakovsky.

With Wilson, I’m just lost with him right now. Other than being good on the penalty kill,  he hasn’t done much of anything else this season (three goals, five assists so far) He is not that big enforcer he once was. I feel like it’s a waste of a roster spot when you could be using that spot to develop Zach Sanford or Jakub Vrana, which is something the Caps seem highly interested in doing.

The Caps have a few guys who just don’t play well in the playoffs and that’s where a Duchene or Landeskog could come in big. One of them could also really help the Caps power play, which has struggled this year and they are both just such gifted offensive=minded players. I think it could be a boost to our playoff roster and make us legit cup contenders.

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Duchene or landeskog kuzy mojo

Vrana buraksovky Williams

Sanford beagle Galeiv