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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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.

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.

 

Hockey and the Concussion Protocol

Once again the debate about the concussion protocol in hockey is up for discussion. Following a tussle between Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulie and Columbus Blue Jackets left winger and captain Nick Foligno on December 1, 2015, many questioned whether Beaulie, who suffered a glaring blow to the jaw, should have been sent to the box or off for medical evaluation. On the heels of the Brandon Dubinsky (Blue Jackets) suspension brought on by a back-side cross-check to Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby, and in preparation of the NHL Board of Governors meeting next week, it might be a good time to talk about concussions and the impact they have on players. This discussion normally begins with a reference to Crosby and his concussion history.

Let’s journey back to New Year’s Day 2011 in Pittsburgh. The air was cold as thousands of hockey fans gathered at Heinz field; a stadium usually known for its other tenants, The Pittsburgh Steelers. Today the football field was transformed into an NHL regulation size rink. Quite possibly the biggest events for hockey fans, with the exception of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Winter Classic is played once a year on New Year’s Day. In 2011 the game was between rival teams, the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, arguably two of the best players in the NHL, were on opposite sides this night so it was inevitable that the game would be competitive. But no one could have imagined what would happen. Continue reading “Hockey and the Concussion Protocol”