Braden Holtby and John Carlson Lead Metropolitan Division to All-Star Game Win

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”

John Carlson Wins Hardest Shot Competition

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Photo: @Capitals

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”

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”

Preview: Capitals Host Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey

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michael banner 2It 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”

Comeback Caps not enough to beat Blue Shirts

After a comeback victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs two nights before, the Washington Capitals continued their homestand by taking on the New York Rangers on Friday night. Antti Raanta got the start for the Rags with Henrik Lundqvist out with an injury. Braden Holtby got the start for the Caps. Michael Latta, Stanislav Galiev and Nate Schmidt were the scratches.

PERIOD 1: It’s all about the climb…

The Rangers came into the Verizon Center ready to play. They were swarming the ice and screening Holtby in the hopes of netting a few pucks. The Caps got in the hole early giving up two goals, one of which was scored on a powerplay. It seems that, yet again, our boys will be spending a lot of time in the sin bin.

GOALS: Jesper Fast scored, assisted by Dan Girardi, and Keith Yandle scored, assisted by Derek Brassard.

PENALTIES: Marc Staal called for tripping, Jay Beagle called for roughing, J.T. Miller called for roughing, and Karl Alzner called for tripping.

SCORE: Caps down, 0-2

PERIOD 2– Secondary scoring

The Caps finally came to play this game! After a mediocre first few minutes, the Caps started playing with some passion. After lengthy reviews by the officials, Jay Beagle scored his first goal since returning from injury and T.J. Oshie added another one during the power play. Raanta had some spectacular saves on his end and Holtby stood tall in his crease.

GOALS: Jay Beagle and T.J. Oshie scored, both unassisted. Beagle scored his 7th of the season and Oshie scored his 19th of the season.

PENALTIES: Tanner Glass called for slashing.

SCORE: Caps tie it up, 2-2

PERIOD 3: Too little, too late

The Caps were back in the hole early in the third. The Rangers scored just 17 seconds in to give them back the lead. The Caps were pressuring ferociously the entire period but could not get anything past Raanta. They almost got another reviewed call go their way. However, Raanta got extremely lucky as the puck did not cross the line. They had plenty of other great chances but they just couldn’t get stick to puck and in the net.

GOALS: Derek Stepan scored, assisted by Ryan McDonagh.

PENALTIES: Justin Williams called for slashing.

SCORE: Caps lose, 2-3

The Caps had a pretty decent game–if you looked at only the second and third periods. The sleepy slow start was detrimental and they just could not complete the comeback climb that we are all used to seeing. The Caps are now 47-13-4 and still have 98 points.

Their next game is Saturday at Boston at 7pm on CSN.

 

Trotz’s Take: NYR Post-game comments, 3/4/2016

Following Friday night’s loss to the NY Rangers, Coach Trotz had these comments about the game:

About the Performance:

I thought we played pretty well, actually.”

“I thought we came out with a pretty good game plan.”

“I didn’t think the first was too bad.”

“I thought in the second period that we dominated that period.”

“I thought in the third we had a pretty good push on but they did a really good job defending.”

“I thought they had a couple of key saves.”

“We couldn’t’ get it tied up.”

You don’t want to give a goal up the end of the period—you don’t want to give up a goal the first two minutes the start of a period.”

Beagle, Richards, Winnik were outstanding—I would not want to play that line a lot—they were good.”

“We played the right way”

Trotz said he told the guys after the game: “I’ll take that game any day of the week

There are hockey gods and the way we played against the Leafs I think that was their way of going, you gotta give us one back for that effort.”

Road Trip

The Caps head off on a four-game road trip which after Boston takes them to the west coast and play against the Anaheim Ducks, the LA Kings, and the San Jose Sharks. Coach is looking forward to the trip, saying: “Great for us to get on the road a little bit, we’ve been home for a long time we may be a little stale. Get on the road and see if we can pull the game a little back together”

Bruins: “We are gonna get marked up by all the teams that we’re playing, Boston is playing very very well right now who knows what happens. They might be a first round opponent. Still a lot of hockey to be played they’re gonna come out ready to go tomorrow night”

Ducks: “…and then we head to Anaheim that’s five games seven nights that will be a tough one. Anaheim’s has won 10 or 11 in a row right now They’re playing real good hockey right now, they’re in first place and they are gonna want to mark us up and see what we’ve got to offer from this side “

Kings: “…and then we go to LA and they are fighting for first place and we’ve seen them once”

Sharks: “…and then we go to San Jose, who played us in game two.”

I think they are all fighting for first place within a point or two of each other and they are sort of peaking at the right time.”

Lundqvist: Is he King or Kid??

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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.

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Photo by Gene J. Puskar, AP

 

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.

Caps-NYRangers: Goalie Matchup

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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.

Trotz’s Take: Post-Practice 3/4/2016

Here are some of the highlights from  Coach Barry Trotz’s morning press conference.

Same line-up as we saw against the Maple Leafs.

Schmidt

“…is fine. I can see him in the lineup tomorrow.”

“Your are either hurt or injured…right now he is hurt.”

Rangers

“They are an active D.”

“They have four good lines”

“They fore-check hard”

“Gotta take care of the active D”

If Raanta is in for Lundqvist in the goal:

“Make sure we are getting traffic and putting pucks to the net”

“I don’t think the way we play with Raanta in the net will change.”

Winnik

Trotz told him he “is not a rental player…here for another year”

“Get fully engaged, immerse yourself”

He will have a “big role in the PK, late games, and the shut down line”

Orlov

He’s “got a dimension where he can turn something into nothing–where you see some of his goals. But, he can turn nothing into something the other way too. That is where we want to get some balance in his game.”

Click HERE for the complete video from Monumental Network.