The Many Faces of Nate Schmidt…

As you all know by now, I made the trip to Vegas to see our favorite Nate Schmidt. I met up with the wonderful Caps Road Crew to yesterday to see the Vegas Knights practice, and well, to say it was a success would be a huge understatement… Just take a look at these photos we snapped when he saw us in the stands with the masks of his face on.

The entire practice Nate was all smiles and his teammates were more than happy to give him flack about it.

If you liked these photos- stay tuned for more coming later!

Explaining the Calder Cup

The Hershey Bears hold the record for most American Hockey League (AHL) wins of the Calder Cup (11) as well as the first and second place team to win the Cup. So what does it mean? What is the story behind the Calder Cup?

As the AHL explains it, the Calder Cup gets its name from Frank Calder, the first president of the AHL. Mr. Calder played a pivotal role in making a name for the AHL. The trophy was first awarded in 1938.

The Bears have been in the final run for the Cup more times (22) than any other team; and they have lost (11) more times than any other AHL team. Many current Capitals and notable past players have their name etched on the trophy. Some coaches including Barry Trotz (1994), Bruce Boudreau (2006) can be found on the Cup.

Among the current Caps players whose names can be found on the Cup are:

Karl Alzner (2x)DSC_0124

Jay Beagle (2x)DSC_0106

John Carlson (2x)DSC_0438

Braden Holtby4-27-16-26

There have only been three times in which the NHL and AHL affiliate have won the Stanley Cup and the Calder Cup: Montreal Canadiens (1976 and 1977) and the New Jersey Devil (1995), and Pittsburg Penguins (2015). Thankfully, that won’t happen again this year!

As all eyes in Washington shift to watch the Hershey Bears, we will be taking a closer look at prospects for the third and fourth line, and maybe even a couple defensemen who the Caps management might consider bringing up for permanent spots on the 2016/17 roster. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into the top prospects for the Caps.

Calm Before the War 

The last mandatory practice before the first game matchup between the Flyers and the Caps took place April 13th. ICYMI the 10:15am practice on Thursday is now optional skate. The mood of the practice was light but the level of work put in by the guys was nothing short of their very best. We know many of you have work obligations and are unable to make it to practices at Kettler. So we figured we’d bring the practice to you! 

Without further ado:

Our Flickr Gallery From 4-13-16

Photos By: Brittney Marcum 

Rocky Mountain High: Caps Travel to Colorado

While the literal circus is in town (Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey is at Verizon Center), the Washington Capitals (54-16-6, 114 points) travel to Colorado (39-4-4, 82 points) where the Avalanche are running out of time and games to catch Minnesota for the final playoff spot.

Tough Loss in Philly

The Capitals come into this game off a tough shootout loss in Philly 2-1. Alex Ovechkin scored the lone goal to notch number 44 with six games remaining. Holtby was solid throughout but the shootout got the best of him. They certainly got outplayed early but kept it close throughout to earn a point out the game. The Flyers answered the bell and kept the pressure on Detroit for the final playoff spot before their showdown next Wednesday.

  • Trotz will most likely rest Holtby during one of the back-to-back road games this weekend. With six games remaining and three wins needed to break Brodeur’s record, will it happen?
  • Alexander Ovechkin is six goals shy of 50 with six games to go. Will he get any rest before the playoffs?

Running Down a Dream

As it stands, the Avalanche sit five points back of the Wild with five games (10 potential points) remaining. The Wild are playing three teams out of playoff contention (Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary) while the Avalanche are playing all top-tiered clubs in the Caps, Blues, Predators, Stars and Ducks. It’s going to be a tough hill to climb.

  • Starting goalie Semyon Varlamov has gone 5-4 in his last nine games, allowing less than three goals in three games. He allowed three goals on 27 shots in their loss Vs. the Blues. You might see Calvin Pickard in net if Varly can’t put together consecutive wins down the stretch.
  • Center Matt Duchene has been ruled out of Friday’s game with a knee injury. He leads the team with 29 goals.

Puck drop is at 9 p.m. Eastern on CSN. Rock the Red and GO CAPS!

 

Caps Get Chippy and Lose it in Pittsburgh

The Washington Capitals started their three-game road trip with a visit to Consol Energy Center to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps could have clinched the top-seed in the Metropolitan division and the Eastern Conference with any type of win over the Penguins.

First Period: Good Start, Bad Finish.

This game was incredibly fast from opening puck drop. No slow start for the Capitals as they were constantly shooting the puck at Penguins goaltender Marc Andre Fleury.That blistering start for the Caps would only last for the first few minutes as the Bryan Rust would open the scoring for the Penguins. Trevor Daley added another shortly after and the Caps were down by two at the end of the first period. 

GOALS: Bryan Rust scored his fourth of the season (assists: Tom Kuhnhackl and Ian Cole); Trevor Daley scored his sixth of the season (assists: Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist)

PENALTIES: Daniel Winnik (interference); T.J. Oshie (tripping)

SCORE: Caps trail 2-0.

Second Period: A Mess

1:18 into the second, Jason Chimera scored using his head (literally!) to put the Capitals on the board. The Caps only had six shots on goal during this period, the fact that they spent most of the period shorthanded probably had something to do with that. This period proved that the bad blood and rivalry between the Capitals and Penguins is alive and well. Andre Burakovsky had a beautiful breakaway and fired one past Fleury to the tie the game for the Capitals. Unfortunately, the Penguins would score the eventual game winner less than a minute later.

GOALS: Jason Chimera scored his 18th of the season (assists: Justin Williams and Dmitry Orlov); Andre Burakovsky scored his 16th of the season (assist: Jay Beagle); Tom Kuhnhackl scored his third of the season (assists: Matt Cullen and Trevor Daley) 

 PENALTIES: Ian Cole (holding the stick); Mike Weber (roughing double minor); Bryan Rust (roughing); T. J. Oshie (roughing); Karl Alzner (roughing); Patric Hornqvist (slashing); Patric Hornqvist (roughing); Justin Williams (hi-sticking)

SCORE: Caps trail 3-2

Third Period: Well That’s Not Good…

The Capitals had a 30+ goal differential in the third period (meaning they outscore their opponent by a lot in the last 20 minutes of play). Unfortunately, those 3rd period Caps were not on the ice in Pittsburgh. Braden Holtby had a night to forget and Philipp Grubauer came in relief after the Pens’ fifth goal. The Penguins would score once more on the three-minute power play (thanks to a bad hit by Mike Weber).

GOALS: Matt Cullen scored his 12th of the season (assist: None); Chris Kunitz scored his 16th of the season (assists: Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang); Justin Schultz scored his fourth of the season (assist: None)

PENALTIES: Mike Weber (boarding); Mike Weber (game misconduct); Tom Kuhnhackl (roughing); Tom Kuhnhackl (game misconduct); Carl Hagelin (interference); Daniel Winnik (elbowing); Daniel Winnik (game misconduct)

SCORE: Caps lose 6-2

So the Capitals did not clinch the top spot in the Metro or the East. They still have a 19-point lead over the now-second place Penguins in the division.

What’s Next?

PRACTICE: The Caps have Monday off and are scheduled to have a morning skate at 11:30am on Tuesday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

GAME: 7:30pm game against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre.

 

Caps-Kings Royal Photo Gallery

This gallery took FAR too long to post and I apologize for that, there were just too may awesome photos between Mel and myself. But let’s just get down to it:

https://flickr.com/photos/139128575@N06/sets/72157665641003622


Hope you enjoy our game gallery!

As always feel free to use our photos but please give credit where it is due.

Photos by : Brittney Marcum and Mel Abernethy