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”
The Russian Troyka: Ovechkin, Orlov, & Kuznetsov. Who scores first and who has the most points by the end of the night??
Game time is 7 pm From Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Braden Holtby is at one end; Jonathan Bernier at the other. Bernier is hoping to get his first point in the win column tonight. He is in for Leaf’s number one goalie James Reimer who is out with a lower-body injury.
The Leafs will need to defend against their old nemesis Alexander Ovechkin and the new brut force the Caps have unleashed in two other Russians: Evegeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. In the meantime, the lower two lines are showing that they too pose a threat to opposing teams. Keep a watch on these guys.
Who to Watch:
Joffrey Lupul who has registered 22 points in 20 games against the Caps.
Can Dmitry Orlov extend his scoring streak?
Can the Caps make it five in a row and take their first win for this road series?
Justin Williams: Two points to go to reach 600 career NHL points
Karl Alzner is two games away from 400 consecutive games.
The Caps took an optional skate this morning at Air Canada Centre in Toronto in prep for a 7 pm game against the Leafs. They are there and we are here…so we give you some shots from previous practices to tide you over.
Tidbit for Tonight
The Leafs have a pretty incredible PK streak going. They haven’t let the opponent score on the PP in five games. They currently rank fifth in home powerplay percentages and have successfully held back the Caps in the past. Let’s hope we are ready for their defense should we pull in a PP.
Toronto Press has pegged hometown boy Tom Wilson as an “enforcer” and the “best agitator” in the NHL. All this to mean that Tom will have to watch his back as the Leafs are likely to try and draw him into some fights to get him off the ice tonight. Not that he doesn’t already have a target on his back!
The Caps did not have practice this morning as we have an early start for today’s game: 5 pm at the Verizon Center. The Caps have back-to-back games with a matchup in Toronto Saturday night, so the team will not have practice Saturday, and are scheduled to have Sunday off. They will return to Kettler Monday.
The Bolts have headed north after a hard-fought OT-Shoot-out match against the LA Kings. Undoubtedly the match to watch is that between goalies. Ben Bishop is proving he is every bit the net beast as Braden Holtby (6’2”, 217lb). Bishop had 37 saves through overtime. He’s a big guy himself (6’7”, 214lb) who fills up the net. He has a save percentage of .929 and a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 1.99 compared to Holtby’s 9.24 save percentage and 1.95 GAA. Bishop ranks third in GAA while Holtby owns the second spot in the league behind Henrik Lundquist.
Holtby or Bishop? Who will stop more shots?
What to Watch for Tonight
Coach Trotz celebrates his 1,300th game tonight.
Justin Williams: Two points to go to reach 600 career HNL points.
John Carlson will play is 400 consecutive game tonight.
Karl Alzner is three games away from 400 consecutive games.
The Washington Capitals sent fans home Wednesday evening celebrating a third consecutive win. From the first goal coming just 1:12 minutes into the game, to the 5th and final goal in the third period, it was a night of hits, penalties, and new milestones. Andre Burakovsky returned to the line-up, taking Stanislav Galiev out as a healthy scratch. Holtby was in the net and made it through warm-ups without incident (here’s looking at you J Will)!
The First Period started off with a bang as Justin Williams took a shot from John Carlson and converted into a goal (assists Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov). Jets Bryan Little would win the faceoff against Michael Latta, leading to the Jets first goal of the night. About seven minutes later the Jets Andrew Ladd would score their second goal, 1-2 Jets. Not to be outdone, Alexander Ovechkin made good on a power play opportunity from his office to end the second all tied up (2-2), with a little help from his friends, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom.
The Second Period began with the teams on even footing and a chance for either team to take the lead. At 6:24 into the game Tom Wilson was drawn into a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with Jets player Anthony Pelusco. The penalty started 4 on 4 but would evolve to a 4 on 3 as Ovi was sent to the box for a hooking call. With Jay Beagle, John Carlson, and Chorney’s help, the Caps extinguished the Jets engines with no scoring. And then a thing of beauty happened: Nate Schmidt passed to Nicky who tipped it in for his eighth goal of the season. 3-2 Caps! Do you remember that player we used to love watch—you know Mathieu Perreault? Well Matty P said thank you to the Caps for the trade by scoring at the 13:53 mark for his second goal of the season tying the game up again (3-3). And then Kuzy did that thing of magic he is becoming known for as he rounded the net and dropped the puck to Orlov and just like that scored his third goal in a row! 4-3 Caps.
The Caps started The Third Period with a lead they were determined to keep. There was a lot of activity in front of the net with Washington outshooting the Jets. The Russian domination of the team showed through again as Kuznetsov backhanded a pass from Marcus Johansson to seal the deal. 5-3 Caps. The phone booth was roaring with excitement and nothing else seemed to matter after that. In fact, Holtby kept our company out of the net for the rest of the night. Even with an empty net and an extra man, Winnipeg couldn’t come back.
The visiting Winnepeg Jets did their best to steamroll Holtby but he was having none of that with 23 saves. The best part of watching the Caps play is the complete team effort to score and keep the lead. Coming up the Caps will need to find a way protect Tom Wilson from targeted fights and avoid giving the opponents the edge. That said, they are playing a physical game and the defensemen are clearly playing a more offensive game—compliments to Coach Trotz for steering them in a new direction. The fourth line continues to develop with Michael Latta, Tom Wilson, and Brooks Laich with a combined total of five shots on goal, plenty of hits, and scoring chances. We now have a winning streak as we prepare to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
Ovechkin had seven of the Cap’s 15 shots on goal in the first period (NHL)
Backstrom has had seven points in the last five games. (NHL)
Holtby surpassed Henrik Lundqvist for NHL wins and is .01 behind King H in goals against average in the NHL.
Carlson surpassed the Rod Langway Caps record for points scored by a D-man (CSN)
Don’t forget to get your Caps Canine Calendar at the game Friday. Find them in the store and Section 104.
Special thanks to @capsYapp and @btwntheblueline for feeding us info while we are out of town. Photos by Brittney Marcum (IG: @bamitsbrittney93) It takes a Caps Community!!
As the new kids on the block, we had to ask ourselves that very question. And obviously, we think not. There are some great blogs out there, each with a different style or way of presenting information. On this Thanksgiving Day eve, we are thankful for the bloggers who have come before us and paved the way for quality reporting on social media.
JAPERS Rink is the big daddy of us all. Hosted by SB Nation, they provide daily coverage of Caps practices and games. If you follow them on twitter they also link you to all the articles written about the Caps. One-stop shopping at its best. Then there is Russia Machine Never Breaks. They have been writing all things Russian players since 2009. They were the first blog we ever followed and probably who inspires us the most to just have fun covering hockey. They are the best place to go for translations of articles and what Russian players really said! And then there is the blog that got us started and through which we found our own style. NoVa Caps provides a forum for fan to write articles and share their passion. They also recap games and repost nifty articles. Also new on the scene is Washington Capitals Loyal Fan Club Page over on Facebook which reposts great articles from all the outlets and bloggers. Continue reading “Is There Such as Thing as Too Many Caps Blogs????”
The Caps squared off against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday with Jason Chimera facing his hometown team. Former Caps player Matt Hendricks –Hendy-retuned to the Oilers tonight. It was good to see him again…right??? Before the game even started we had a near catastrophe when Justin Williams tumbled on top of goalie Braden Holtby during pre-game stretches. All was good though as Williams got up laughing.
Here are the highlights of the game, along with more great pictures.
Today we wish our dynamic center a joyous Happy Birthday! Nicklas Backstrom turns 28 today. It’s hard to believe that one of the original Capitals Young Guns is inching closer to 30!
Nicky was drafted by the Caps in in 2006 and with every passing year he has continued to develop into one of the top scoring centers in the league. He ranks first on the Capitals franchise assist list (427) and fifth in franchise points (572). Nickey consistently earns an average of one point per game per season. He has played for his home country of Sweden in three World Championships (2007, 2008, 2012), two World Junior Championships (2006, 2007) and two Winter Olympic Games (2010, 2014) capturing a silver medal in 2014. This one-time carpenter comes from a family of hockey players. No doubt he will be celebrating today with his partner Lisa, their beautiful baby girl, and his visiting family. Best wishes to you Nicky!
Welcome to a new blog for fans of the Washington Capitals that promises to bring you great photos and articles about all things hockey. Not only will you find the best pictures of your Capitals players but watch for pictures of the Hershey Bears and local hockey teams in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region. We will be hitting the road to bring you stories about fans traveling out of the area and of your favorite team on the road.
We are big fans ourselves and we our at most most Caps=related events. If we can’t make it, we would love to have some of you follow the events for us. Just let us know you are going and we can collaborate. If you have that special photo with a Caps player, let us know and we will share it with other fans. If there is a story you would like us to write on – just send us a comment and we will do our best.
We are here because we have so much fun being a part of the Caps community and that love has spread to a general love of hockey in the DMV. We hope you will catch the Red Rocking Spirit with us as we travel meet with friends from cold places.