At the End of the Road, Caps beat the Stars and Break a Taboo Since 2008

In three games on the road, the Caps have collected five of six points. Differently compared to that nine-win streak, two of these three games were really tough. The Caps were able to remain the only team in the league with single digit in losses (nine).

The first game on the road, a wild one against it’s greatest rival, the Penguins, the Caps would manage to tie the game in Pennsylvania, but lost in overtime by 8-7. Anyway, the Caps got a point and it was important to continue a point streak, with 13 games. In all these three games, the Capitals couldn’t count on an important piece: defenseman John Carlson.

The second game was easier, beating the Blues, T.J. Oshie’s former team, by 7-3. Seven different Caps scored and all the 12 forwards got a least one point. And also, the team scored seven goals for the second straight game. It was the first time since Feb. 11-13, 1993 the Capitals scored at least seven goals in back-to-back games. Then it was a 10-6 win over the same Blues and a 10-3 win over the Kings.

Against the Stars, the Caps had the pressure to break a big curse (or as we say in Brazil “break a taboo”): the last time they defeated the Stars was in Oct. 28, 2008. Although it was the league leader against a 27th place team, but it was hard for the Caps to garner the victory in The Lone Star State. Andre Burakovsky wrote his name in franchise history, as the player with most scored-opener in consecutive games with four goals. The Caps saw the Stars turn the score in their favor, 3-1, but they were able to tie it with two PPGs, by Ovi and Oshie. Jay Beagle needed 19 seconds in overtime to get the OTGWG and extend his point streak to 15 games. The last time the Caps defeated the Stars in Dallas, during the regulation, Burakovsky was just a few months old– in 1995.

The road trip did show us some important things about the team and individuals:

  • the team was able to manage to tie a tough game against a strong foe, in their home, in order to get a point in OT;
  • seven different Caps scored and all the 12 were able to note at least one point in St. Luis, Missouri;
  • Burkie wrote his name in franchise history;
  • Ovechkin tied with Wayne Gretzky for 15th in career power play goals, from the Ovi-spot;
  • the team were able to tie a tough game again, ending a drought against them almost 10 years with an heroic OT win by Beags, who has now a 15-game point streak;

To close out the trip, the Caps remain the only team in this regular season with a single digit loss, at nine; and the Caps are tied for first in the NHL with Columbus for goals-against, with 100; and leads the league with 68 points and Goal Differential, +48.

All-in-all; this road trip (with the dads and mentors) has been pretty successful!

Caps’ Streak Ends in 8-7 (OT) Loss to Penguins. What Did the 10 Last Games Show Us?

Monday night the Capitals’ streak came to an end. But nobody could ever guess how it would be. After a wild game in the Steel City, tied 7-7 in regulation, the Penguins won in OT. The last 10 games, with nine wins, show us a lot about the Caps’ development as a team.

Monday  was the Caps’ first loss in 2017. The streak began on New Year’s Eve, after a 6-2 victory against the Devils. In nine games, the Caps scored 40 goals and 11 against. The team was in the Wild Card and, for a moment, was the league’s leader. In a tough schedule, the team had a 5-0 winning over the Blue Jackets, Canadiens (4-1), Penguins (5-2) and 6-0 over the Blackhawks. In other words, it was 20 goals for and just three against, playing with elite teams in the NHL, including the Caps’ greatest rival and Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the nine-game streak, the Caps got four shutouts.

In a wild game against their greatest rival, the Caps saw the streak ending. However, the game itself, with fans complaining about some possible goalie interference, did show that the team has the strength and capacity to fight against adversities. The Caps tied twice as a visitor, in 5-5 and 7-7. Certainly, the game was a “prologue” of what may come ahead: that was their last meeting during the regular season (two victories each in four games) and there’s a huge chance to untie it in the playoffs.

watermarked82017-01-13-2204Even with the streak ending, the Capitals show us a good chemistry. The bottom lines are also scoring and participating effectively on the team’s campaign. Teamwork is evident with moves, passes, showing the important factor a team must get in order to have big achievements: individual skills and the aptitude  to combine it collectively. It’s a mature team that surely shows that they deserve to be in the league’s top rankings and it’s on pace to fight anyone.

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Keeping it Positive

New Start for Caps

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The Washington Capitals ended their third winning streak this season as 2015 came to a close. Let us not lose faith though—it had to happen sooner or later. A nine-game streak is worth celebrating and it is not time to raise the panic flag yet.

The Caps have taken a bruising the past few games. Players have been on and off the injury list. Thankfully, only two are on the injured reserve and long-term injured reserve. Although we don’t know the full extent of Brooks Orpik or Jay Beagle’s injuries, we can hope that they are on the road to recovery and will join the team before too long.

Beagle is having surgery according to Coach Trotz and has been placed on the injured reserve list. No timetable for his return.

John Carlson could be back in a few days, according to comments from Coach.

Meanwhile, Trotz’s Boys are up in Columbus, Ohio taking a day to rest before they look to resume their winning posture.

On the Bright Side

Standings: The Caps are first in the Metropolitan Division. They are first in the Eastern Conference. They are a close (1 point) second in the NHL. They have a healthy lead in the division and conference.

Team: Coach Trotz has molded this team into just that: a team that plays well together and that supports one another. It isn’t a matter of one shining star but of many who step forward to share the responsibility for winning.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 21 goals and is four away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL.

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (24). His 1.86 goals against average is second in the league. He’s got this! And backing him up in the net is Philipp Grubauer who is a strong goaltender and someone in whom the coach has great confidence.

Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetzov are assist masters. Each has 22 assists and 11 goals. They are creating opportunities every shift for the top line to score while scoring themselves as well.

Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie, and Marcus Johansson round out the top six with a fighting drive to get to the net and score. Williams and Oshie have 24 points and MoJo has 22.

Jason Chimera has notched 10 goals this season making him part of the six with double-digit goals. Although Tom Wilson only has two goals in his column, there is no denying the presence he brings to ice and the way in which he excites the team and the crowds. The hole on this line clearly is Jay Beagle, yet the team managed to fill the gap with Michael Latta and Zach Sill. Sill seems to be a great fit for now, regardless of which line he plays.

Andre Burakovsky finally broke through and scored a goal during the game in Buffalo. The fourth line, with Brooks Laich and Michael Latta looked strong on Thursday—each with shots on goal that came close to getting around the net minder.

Defense: The loss of John Carlson could be seen on Thursday. Carlson brings something more to the game than just the 27 points he is carrying—he brings real leadership too. It is less clear what coach will do with the partnering of defensemen and the temporary replacement of Carlson on Saturday. They were not all that the team needed on Thursday and hopefully they will get back in the groove and hopefully Carly will return strong and healthy against Boston.

Bottom line: The Caps are still a strong team. They still want to win. The word most tossed around after the coach’s presser is “resilience.” They have a commitment not to lose two straight games and they have the desire to go for another winning streak. This is a team hungry to win and we can expect to see more good things in the days ahead.

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.

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

Photos by Brittney Marcum