Evgeny Kuznetsov Chills with Pheonix Copley Throughout Caps vs. Islanders Game

michael banner 2Evgeny Kuznetsov is the gift that keeps on giving and with Christmas coming up he’s not stopping anytime soon. This dude dressed up as a goaltender at a practice I attended in January. He’s also made me laugh and cry during 90% of his interviews. Sometimes he says things as an intention to be funny but other times he might actually be serious. Either way, aside from the ridiculous skills he flashes on the ice, he’s practically a cartoon character off the ice.  Continue reading “Evgeny Kuznetsov Chills with Pheonix Copley Throughout Caps vs. Islanders Game”

Barry Trotz, Lane Lambert, and Mitch Korn Reunite with Old Friends and Get Their Stanley Cup Rings

michael banner 2What would the site Friends in Cold Places be without the word friends? No, not just “in cold places”, that doesn’t make sense. What we love about this site is that we’re all friends. Our hockey team is our friends, other fans of the Washington Capitals are our friends and when players and coaches leave the Caps and face them on the opposition, there’s always special moment where they see their old friends again and there’s no love lost whatsoever. That’s what transpired hours before the Capitals concluded their New York tour in Brooklyn going up against the Islanders and the coach who led them to greatness less than six months ago. While we would’ve loved to see Barry Trotz behind the bench, looking to steer the Capitals ship towards more glory, he ultimately had to do what’s best for himself and his family. We missed him on banner night. We missed him during the highs and lows of this young season but on Monday night, the players got to reunite with him. Continue reading “Barry Trotz, Lane Lambert, and Mitch Korn Reunite with Old Friends and Get Their Stanley Cup Rings”

Caps Defeat Rangers at MSG to Win Fifth in a Row

michael banner 2The Washington Capitals had a quick turnaround after protecting their home ice with a 3-1 over the Red Wings Friday afternoon. After the game was over, the team headed to New York for a Saturday matinee affair with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden to kick off the Capitals’ annual dads/mentors trip. The Caps rallied and defeated the Rangers 5-3 to regain sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division which they’ll hold if the Blue Jackets fall to the Penguins Saturday night.  Continue reading “Caps Defeat Rangers at MSG to Win Fifth in a Row”

Caps Defeat Rangers in OT Before Falling to the Panthers in a Shootout

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What a weird schedule. Back-to-backs, then a few days off. Repeat. This week the Caps had a more favorable scheudle with two games at Capital One Arena. First the Capitals hosted the New York Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey. Then on Friday, Washington hosted the winless Florida Panthers.  Continue reading “Caps Defeat Rangers in OT Before Falling to the Panthers in a Shootout”

Capitals Defeat Islanders For Two Divisional Points

The New York Islanders made their first regular season trip to Verizon Center since being eliminated by the Capitals in round 1 of the playoffs last season. It was Military Night and Lance Corporal Josh Misiewicz, USMC, of the USA National sled hockey team, participated in the ceremonial puck drop. Also, the Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returned to the lineup, as did Taylor Chorney after battling the flu.  

 First Period: Gritty Start 

The Caps had a slower start and had trouble clearing the zone. The Islanders scored in the opening minutes of the game. The Capitals have now surrendered the first goal in the last six games, going 2-2-1 in the previous five. Nice passing from Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie blasted one past Halak. Thomas Hickey showed that the Islanders still have some ill will against Tom Wilson when he made a dirty hit on the Capital winger. 

GOALS:
· Mikhail Grabovski scored his ninth of the season, assisted by Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic.
· T.J. Oshie scored his 16th of the season assisted by Nicklas Backstrom.
PENALTIES:
· Thomas Hickey for elbowing Tom Wilson.
SCORE: Game tied 1-1. 

Second Period: Swede Scoring Streak

  
The second period started with a bunch of missed and blocked shots. Halfway through the period, both teams combined for one shot on goal. Then, Michael Latta got a breakaway but Islander goaltender Jaroslav Halak denied him. Halak also denied Latta on two following quality-scoring chances. The teams exchanged hard hits and chances at both ends. 

GOALS:
· Andre Burakovsky scored his ninth of the season, assisted by Jason Chimera and Dmitry Orlov. Burakovsky now has a four-game scoring streak.
PENALTIES:
· Ryan Strome for hooking and Alex Ovechkin for Slashing.
SCORE: Caps lead Islanders 2-1.
 
Third Period: Ovi Time! 

 
The third period was more of the second. There was big hits and quality scoring chances. The Capitals also blocked 33 shots and the Islanders 15. It is known that the goaltender is the best penalty killer. This was true in the final minutes when Braden Holtby denied the Islander game-tying goal in the final minutes of regulation.

GOALS:
· Josh Bailey scored his eighth of the season, assisted by Marek Zidlicky and Brock Nelson  

 
· Alex Ovechkin scored his 29th of the season, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
PENALTIES:
· John Carlson for delay of game.
FINAL: Caps win 3-2. 

Good hard battle for two divisional points. Maintaining the lead of the bunched up Metropolitan teams (At the time this is being written, teams 2-5 are separated by 4 points) The Capitals return to a normal-ish schedule. No more extended breaks.

What’s Next? 

Practice: 11:30am on Friday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex 

Game: 1pm on Saturday at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Written by: Renee Garces

Photos by: Brittney Marcum and Mel Abernethy 

Capitals and Islanders Line Projections

DON’T FORGET: It’s a 7:30 puck drop tonight. Watch on NBCSN and listen 106.7

Your printable reference for tonight’s #CapsIsles game.

Alex Ovechkin is back tonight: thank goodness!!

No Marcus Johannson. Probably out for the weekend.

Zach Sill again for MoJo.

Aaron Ness for Chorney if Taylormcant stomach warm ups.

Caps Forward Lines

Ovechkin (8) Backstrom (19) Oshie (77)

Burakovsky (65) Kuznetsov (92) Williams (14)

Chimera (25) Richards (10) Wilson (43)

Laich (21) Sill (23) Latta (46)

Defensemen Parings

Alzner (28) Niskanen (2)

Schmidt (88) Carlson (74)

Orlov (9) Ness (55) 

Goalies

Braden Holtby (70)** Philipp Grubauer (31)

** Expected in the net tonight.

Healthy Scratch: Stan Galiev

Injury List

Marcus Johansson has been out with an upper-body injury and has missed two games. He is considered day-to-day and has missed two games.

Brooks Orpik skated with the team during morning skate again after skipping practice on Wednesday. He has missed 34 games.

Jay Beagle continues skating with the trainers before team practice. He has missed 12 games.

Taylor Chorney is a possibility for tonight said this morning he felt a lot better and saw no reason he wouldn’t play, we will keep you updated on this!! 

The Islanders Projected Lineup

Forwards

Grabovski (84) Tavares (91) Strome (18)

Kulemin (86) Nielsen (51) Okposo (21)

Lee (27) Nelson (29) Bailey (12)

Martin (17) Cizikas (53) Clutterbuck (15)

Defensive Pairings

Hamonic (3) DeHaan (44)

Hickey (14) Zidlicky (28)

Leddy (2) Mayfield (42)

Goalies

Jaroslav Halak** (41) Thomas Greiss (1) JF Berube (30) 

** Expected in the net.

Injury List

Johnny Boychuk, Eric Boulton, Adam Pelech

Rangers into DC for Back-to-Back Games

The Washington Capitals left Buffalo Saturday after an embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Sabres. Goalie Braden Holby lost his first game in 23 and was replaced by Philipp Grubauer in the second period. This switch up may change plans for Gurbi to start in the net this afternoon. It’s a wait-and-see for that decision according to Coach Trotz.

The New York Rangers narrowly left Philadelphia on Saturday with a shootout win. The Rangers had 31 shots on goal but it was Mats Zuccarello and J.T. Miller that scored—with two shots each. No surprise that they played a physical game with 37 hits and Dan Boyle sitting in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Rangers have announced that Antti Raanta will start in the net for them as they aim to get their first consecutive win.

Both teams are hitting the ice having played tough games on Saturday. And both teams have something to prove this evening with both wanting back-to-back wins. As always with this rivalry meeting, it should be a physical game with lots of penalties and some crazy shooting. Hold on to your seats friends as we who walks with the win and how long it takes to get there.

GAME TIME IS 5pm

Your Projected Lineup for Tonight

Ovechkin         Backstrom       Oshie

Burakovsky     Kuznetsov       Williams

Chimera           Johansson        Wilson

Richards               Sill                   Latta

 Defenseman Parings

Alzner             Niskanen

Schmidt           Orlov

Ness                Chorney

Braden Holtby  or Philip Grubauer in the net.

Jason Chimera, with his assist on the Johannson goal last night now has 200 career NHL assists.

Kuznetsov and Backstrom lead the team in overall points at 41 each.

Ovechkin leads the team with 26 goals. Kuznetsov follows with 15 goals.

Injury Report and Team Scratches

Jay Beagle: He continues to recover. We don’t expect him for another four weeks. Even Beags is skating now and working with the trainers before practice starts.

John Carlson is still day-to-day. He is skating before team practice. Should be back before the All Stars.

Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. Like John, should be back before the All Stars.

No word yet on the third and fourth line changes for the Rangers game. Mike Richards played in Buffalo and Brooks Laich sat it out. Chances are good Richards will play again as will Latts. Game-time decision. Coach had nothing but good things to say about the Latta line so don’t expect a change as they “regroup.”

The Rangers Projected Lineup

The NYR are playing up and down with the New York Islanders for second position in the Metropolitan Division.

Miller               Brassard          Zuccarello

Kreider            Stephan           Nash

Lindberg         Hayes              Fast

Glass               Moore              Stalberg

Defensemen Pairings

McDonagh      Klein

Staal                Boyle

Yandle             Girardi

Goalies:

Antti Raanta gets the nod in the net tonight. He may be a little rusty since he hasn’t played since December 17.

Henrik Lundqvist improved his stats with the Saturday win to 20-12-4 and his 20th win for the 11th consecutive season. Only Martin Brodeur and Tony Esposito have had similar stats in their careers.

More Milestones Coming:

Michael Latta is ONE games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.

Brooks Laich is one game away from passing beloved Rod Langway’s 726th games played for eight place in the Caps franchise.

Karl Alzner, the Iron Man, is three points away from 100 NHL points and five games short of passing Bob Carpenter (422) for the longest consecutive games played in franchise history.

Next Games and Practices

Jan 18: The team is off for Monday

Jan 19: 11:30 Morning Skate at Nationwide Arena, Columbus

Jan 19: 7pm Game at Columbus Blue Jackets – CSN

 

 

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Caps Take on Another NY Rival While Suffering More Player Losses  

 

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Jan 97h Pregame Info

Today is the official half-way point in the season and the Capitals hope to continue their latest streak. Much of that will depend on Braden Holtby who is largely responsible for the number one position the Caps hold. Without a doubt, this will be all about the goalie matchup as Henrik Lundqvist, who is still barely winning half of his games, keeps working to better his lackluster season. This is the third match with the Rangers this season with each team taking a win and each team wanting a ‘W’. 

All Eyes on Ovechkin and the New Guy

All the buzz right now is about Alex Ovechkin being three goals from another major milestone. Should he get a hat trick at Madison Square Gardens, he will celebrate his 500th NHL goal. Sweet as it would be to celebrate with him at home, many of our Caps friends think it would be even sweeter to do it in front of the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs one too many times.  

Let’s not overlook that he plays his career 800th NHL game today! Congrats Ovi!! Continue reading “Caps Take on Another NY Rival While Suffering More Player Losses  “

Islanders Out for Revenge…Tom Wilson a Target?

Origin of the Rivalry:

It’s no secret there is a rivalry between the Caps and Islanders but could the Isles be out for revenge? During game four of the first round of playoffs last season Tom Wilson delivered a big hit on Islander’s Visnovsky that ended his game. After the game words were doled out from both sides. John Tavares the Islanders captain warned Wilson “We can also hit guys like that”, Kyle Okposo flat out said “He’s (Wilson) an idiot”.  The Isles may have thought Wilson’s hit was a dirty one but Visnovsky is just 5’10, 192 lbs compared to Wilson who stands 6’4, 215 lbs. A height/ weight differential like that is sure to leave some bumps and bruises after any hit. “It was a hard, clean hit”, Trotz said. Tom Wilson is a great hockey player that happens to be able to throw incredible hits and fights to stand up for his teammates. His current PIM sits at 96 with 2 goals and 11 assists.

Preseason Words:

These two teams met once in the preseason that resulted in a 3-1 Caps win. Everyone had a feeling this would be a physical game but Wilson was more focused on his game. This became apparent when Tom Wilson refused to take on Eric Boulton during the match because he said there was “no point.” Quite possibly one of Tom’s best quotes, “I just don’t think there’s any point in me fighting those guys. He didn’t play at all last year. He’s probably not going to play at all this year

Today’s Fighting Words:

Before the game the teams were obviously asked about the rivalry and Ryan Strome had this to say, “There’s no question that for whoever watched the series there’s bad blood.” Matt Martin seemed to be more even keeled on the situation before the game, “They have a big physical team and we have a big physical team.” Trotz said it will be a “playoff feel” and we agree. Tune in to see what comes of the rivalry tonight at 7:00 on CSN.

What to Watch: Smiling Faces for Caps-Rangers Game Day Match-up.

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 20 December 2015

ohhh yea

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Washington Capitals held practice at Kettler Capitials Iceplex on Saturday in front of a huge crowd of fans. After practice, they signed autographs and talked to fans before rolling out to NYC to meet their rivals, the NY Rangers on Sunday. They did not have a morning skate today and according to Brooks Laich, spent the morning walking the streets of NYC.

And they were alllll smiles. Must be Schmidtfuence on the team.

 The buzz on Saturday was all about Coach Trotz pulling Braden Holtby on Friday in the Caps-Bolts games. Apparently Trotz was more upset with the lackluster performance of the players than the three goals that got by his top goalie. All was good on Saturday as the Holtbeast practiced his moves and later signed autographs for fans.

goalie

Keep an eye on Evgeny Kuznetsov who has six goals and eight assists in the 14 road games he has played.

Holtby is still the top goalie in the league for goals-against-average and save percentage and has eight wins on the road this season.

How many goals and points will Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie rack up tonight? Ovi “ranks tied for eighth in the NHL for games with two or more power-play goals. “ (capitalstoday.monumentalnetwork.com)

Ovechkin is nine goals away from 500 NHL career goals.

Line-up looks to be the same.

What About Those Rangers and their Goalie?

Unlike the Caps, the Rangers held practice in Westchester this morning. The phrase of choice on social media for the NYR is: “rock bottom.” Watch to see if they can pull themselves out against their archenemies.

Henrik Lundqvist and Magnus Hellberg participated in practice this morning. Looks like King Henry will get the nod. Rangers report: ”tonight will be the first time in franchise history that both dressed goalies are Swedish-born.”

Rangers’ defenseman Kevin Klein skated this morning but will not be back in the line up. He has been out with an oblique strain since their game against Caroline Hurricanes November 30th and could be part of the Rangers D problem. 

Up Next

After tonight the Caps will head to Carolina December 21st before returning home for a post-Christmas game against the Atlantic Division leaders—the Montreal Canadiens.

FYI: There will be no home practices until December 26.

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