Justin Williams: Just What the Carolina Hurricanes Need?

williams canes cup

Once upon a time, the Carolina Hurricanes hoisted the Stanley Cup in victory. The year was 2006 and Justin Williams (former Capitals and LA Kings forward) was an integral part of the winning strategy for the team. It would be his first Game Seven win, with a shot into the empty net of the Edmonton Oilers.

Only one other player from the winning team remains on the current roster. Cam Ward was a rookie goalie at the time, having only played 28 games in the NHL. He was later awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in the playoffs. Unfortunately, his stats have decreased over time and newly acquired Scott Darling is likely to be in the number one spot this season.

So what does Williams bring? The Washington Capitals have nothing but good things to say about his locker room presence as well as his tenacity on the ice. When he entered free agency he is reported to have said: “I want to go to a team that has a chance to win.” The Hurricanes need someone with the kind of determination J-Will has to bring his leadership from the locker room to the ice. At 35, he has a world of experience to share with his teammates – including what it is like to win three Stanley Cups and to play on a team that couldn’t get past themselves in the second round.

Returning to his former home “Stick” has said, “I want to be an impact player for a long time and I plan on being one the next couple years as well.” The veteran player has that potential with a relatively young group of players on the Hurricanes. He really is looking forward to his time (two years) in Raleigh saying: “You just want to help guide as best you can, because you know what it takes, and you know what works and what doesn’t, a lot of the time.” Williams, who had one of his best goal-scoring years since leaving Carolina, recorded 24 goals and 24 assists last season. He continued to be a force in the playoffs for the Caps, with one game-winning goal.

On a personal note, Justin will be joined by his wife Kelly and two children Jade and Jaxon. They are his pride and joy! Jaxon has been seen skating at Kettler Ice Rink in Virginia and will likely continue his training with dad in Raleigh. Born in Cobourg, Ontario, Williams in June 2017 became a naturalized US citizen having lived in the US since he was 16. He hosts an annual camp back in Cobourg and is active in raising funds for disadvantaged children to play hockey. The Williams family will be a great asset for Raleigh and The Research Triangle.

TBT: Caps, Hurricanes, and a Road Trip

The Washington Capitals will play the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time this season, also at PNC Arena. We were there, with the Road Crew.

You remember that game–the one where the team left Philipp Grubauer out to dry in a 5-1 loss to the Canes. dsc_0532

If you are heading to Raleigh for the game, make sure to check out Stormy: he is one or our favorite NHL Mascots. You can find him hanging with the kids or sliding down the railing!!

Be sure to check out the store. They have stuff from all around the NHL. We even found some Caps pucks. They have a whole section for your pets. We got Rocking Rufus a Stormy…he kind of liked him LOL

 

dsc_0002This is the Caps second game on the road, having won their fifth in a row against the Islanders on Monday in a game where the Capitals looked really good!! While the Road Crew and Fan Club won’t be there, we know there are a lot of fans who will ROCK THE RED at PNC Arena.

 

 

Hurricanes Pressure Takes the Wind out of the Red Hot Caps

Caps Winning Streak Broken by Carolina Hurricanes

canes game
The streak is over but we still have a reason to celebrate. CAPS CAPS CAPS

 

The League leading Washington Capitals blew into Raleigh for their final game of 2015 looking to end with 10 consecutive wins on the ledger. Philipp Grubauer was in the net tonight giving Braden Holtby a much needed rest. Unfortunately, it was not to be the Caps night.

Injury Count

Missing from the line up were Jay Beagle and John Carlson. And of course Brooks Orpik is still out. In for them were Zach Sill and Connor Carrick.

Nicklas Backstrom was back along with Michael Latta. Zach Sill and Latta moved back and forth as the third line center. And Connor Carrick stayed in the lineup and was paired with fellow defenseman Taylor Chorney. Nicky looked like his old self out there, which makes us all breathe easier.

First Period—The Yawner

The first period went scoreless with the Canes slightly outshooting the Caps. Evgeny Kuznetsov with a hooking call at 4:29  heads off to the box. Grubbs held off Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal’s attempt to score on the PP. The period ended scoreless and pretty evenly matched on shots on goal (SOG), hits, and faceoff wins.

Second Period—Goals and Tom Wilson

The second started with the Cans firing four shots in rapid succession, all of which Grubi saved. At 15:44 Dmitry Orlov brought his arm up and was called for elbowing/contact with the head—although Caps fans disagreed with the call. Caps PK line held against the Canes but after a wrist shot by Jordan Staal was waved off; Wilson and Sill got into a scrum with Jordan Staal just outside the crease. When Sill attempted to pull Staal off Jordan fell back into Tom Wilson which led to more of a tussle. Wilson, of course, ended up in the box along with Andrej Nestrasil for matching roughing penalties. Still no score though on the PP by Carolina. At 12:12 Phil DiGuiseppe scores with a snap shot. The Caps believed, as did most of you, the goal came as a result of the referees missing a tripping on Kuzy at the faceoff. At 10:12 Nicky showed us that he is just fine with a snap shot right over the shoulder of Eddie Lack and into the net. Nice shift by the fourth line with all of them firing shots and creating space to score. Brooks with four shots, Burki and Latts with one each in the period.  Tied game 1-1.

Third Period—The End

Around 51 seconds into the period, it looked like Staal had a goal as Grubauer slapped the goal out and the Ref failed to call a goal. The puck remained in play. Upon review it was ruled a good goal. 2-1 Canes. 14:44 Jeff Skinner scores. 3-1 A beauty of a shot by Ovi (21) (with an assist by Laich) brings the score a bit closer: 3-2 Canes. Our goalie was pulled and the Canes took advantage with an empty net goal by Nestrsil with seconds to spare. The game ended a disappointing 4-2 Canes.

Some great efforts by the boys. Everyone was working to make it happen. Unfortunately, it was not enough to pull out the win.

Happy New Year Friends, Keep Rocking the RED!!!

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 31 December 2015

New Year’s Eve in Raleigh: Puck Drops Early (6 pm)

canes beagle

Photos by Brittney Marcum

After a rough game Wednesday, the Capitals overpowered the Sabres in the third period for their ninth win in a row. It was not without a cost though as Nicklas Backstrom left the ice with an undisclosed injury, as did Jay Beagle. Beagle will need surgery according to Coach Trotz and will go on the injured reserve list shortly.

Michael Latta and Nicky are expected back with the team in Raleigh; however, it seems that John Carlson may be out a bit longer after reviewing the results of his MRI. Players will be called up from Hershey to fill gaps or be on hand should any player not make it to the ice on Thursday. Expect some line shifts as a result.  canes carly

There was no morning skate.

According to CBS Sports, the Caps franchise record for consecutive wins is a “14-game run from Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2010. They’re also opening a five-game trip seeking six consecutive road victories for the first time since Feb. 20-March 15, 2011.”

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 20 goals. With his last two goals against Buffalo he is now within five goals of 500 NHL career goals.

A goalie has not been announced for tonight’s game at time of posting.

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (24). Yup, we just keep changing the number on the same sentence!

Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer could get the nod tonight. In the seven games he has been in the net he has four wins, two losses, and an OT loss. He should be strong in the net against the Canes should Trotz give him the opportunity.

Andre Burakovsky finally scored a goal in the third period of the Buffalo game—his first in 25 games. It will be interesting to see if he will break loose now with that monkey off his back!

Hurricanes Watch

The Caps have shown no mercy to the Canes in their two games so far this season ending 4-1 in October and 2-1 earlier this month.

Cam Ward should be in the net for Carolina. He has lost three of his last five games and overall has won 11 of 27 games played this season.

Justin Faulk (27) leads the team with 14 goals and 14 assists and as a defenseman he can be expected to play an offensive game against the Caps. He also leads the league in power-play goals. He hasn’t scored on the Caps in the last 15 games played against them.

Eric Staal (12) scored two goals in the Canes game against the Devils Tuesday breaking his scoring drought. However, he hasn’t scored in seven straight home meetings with Washington,

Coming Up:

Holtby, with 125 career games won is four games away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.

The Capitals start a five-game away stretch on 31 December:

Sat Jan 2, 2016 Capitals Blue Jackets, 7:00 PM CSN-DC

Tue Jan 5, 2016 Capitals Bruins, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS

Thu Jan 7, 2016 Capitals Islanders, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS, SN360

Sat Jan 9, 2016 Capitals Rangers, 1:00 PM CSN-DC, SNE, SNO, SNP

Alles Gut as the Caps Go on Holiday Break

This was the last Capitals game before the holiday break. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer was in the net and solid early in the game. He kept the Hurricanes from scoring first.

latta  Michael Latta put in a rebound from an Andre Burakovsky shot for the Capitals first goal of the night in the first period. Even though the Canes outshot the Caps, 12-7, this was a better first period for the Caps than in recent games.

In the second period, Jason Chimera deflected a John Carlson shot to make it 2-0 Caps at the 12:49 mark. Kris Versteeg put the Canes on the board 2:18 in the third. And…Marcus Johansson, while battling for the puck in a corner, loses his helmet but keeps battling.  chimer

The Canes pulled Cam Ward for the extra attacker with two minutes left in regulation.

Unfortunately, the Caps got a too-many men penalty and the Canes went on the power play, which was a 6-on-4 with the empty net. Capitals hung on to a 2-1 lead to defeat the Hurricanes.

Big nod to Philipp Grubauer.

Have a happy holidays, Caps family.

What to Expect: From NYC to Raleigh—Pre-Christmas Game Match-up.

bolts oshi
T.J. Oshie was named the Second Star of The Week by the NHL.

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 21 December 2015

Photos by Brittney Marcum

The Washington Capitals did it again! They came from behind for a solid win against the NY Rangers on Sunday night. The Caps will bring their stunning offensive and defensive scoring power to Raleigh on Monday.  

No morning skate–we’ll see what the impact is to the first period…

What to Expect from our Caps.

williams  Justin Williams returns to face his former team when in the 2005/06 season he sealed the win for the Stanley Cup with a Game 7  goal.

Evgeny Kuznetsov did not disappoint in Manhattan. He continues his routine of earning points and goals on the road.  kuzy

Holtby is still the winningest goalie in the league and leads in goals-against-average.

Ovechkin is eight goals away from 500 NHL career goals.

Line-up looks to be the same.

Expect the Unexpected from the Canes?

The Hurricanes are building a strong power play structure that could prove problematic for the Caps if they are given the opportunity. Canes lost to the Caps back in October and will want to even the score. Jeff Skinner (53) had the only goal in that game, 4-1. They also have five wins in eight games and their win Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins may have spun them up for tonight.

Defenseman Justin Falk (27) is the jewel of the team right now. He leads the team in overall points with 12 goals and 15 assists.

No doubt that Jordan Staal (12) and his “power move” of flying down the boards and shooting right into the net.

Goalie Cam Ward had 37 saves against the Pens on Saturday.

After tonight the Caps have a holiday break until December 26th when they meet the Atlantic Division leaders—the Montreal Canadiens.

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