The Caps surprised just about everyone with an incredible third period in which they tied the game. On a Sunday afternoon Lars Eller (with an assist by goaltender Braden Holtby) sealed the game with a 5-4 OT win!!
Training camp is only a few weeks away and the Capitals will have a slew of new and not-so new players to give a closer look. As we look ahead to the 2019- 20′ season we do so with some trepidation. Who are these new additions that the Caps management team hired during the summer? What about the younger, faster players they have been grooming in Hershey? How about the “old dogs” – where do they stand and can they stand up to the challenge of the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference of the NHL? Continue reading “Pondering the Capitals New Season: Top Six”
Tradition. That’s what we have in the hockey world when the season ends- weather the exit is from the regular season or the playoffs. So what do the Capitals’ players do? We can tell you they have some pretty set routines- with the exception of 2018. Continue reading “Capitals Summer Plans- What to Expect”
Tradition. That’s what we have in the hockey world when the season ends – whether the exit is from the regular season or the playoffs. So what do the Capitals’ players do? We can tell you they have some pretty set routines- with the exception of 2018. Continue reading “Capitals Summer Plans- What to Expect”
What a night in Washington DC. It was a long fight to see who would advance to round two of the playoffs. The Carolina Hurricanes led by former Caps and LA Kings Justin Williams or the Washington Capitals led by defending champ Alex Ovechkin. After 60 minutes of regular play, a tied game pushed the teams into not one, but two overtime periods. The dream for the Capitals to repeat their success ended in a seventh game 4-3 loss. Continue reading “Game Seven Too Much for the Caps”
The Capitals played an exciting game Thursday, 11 March against the Carolina Hurricanes. There were some ups (like a 3-0 lead in the first period) and some downs (like no scoring in the second) and some areas of frustration (letting the Canes score twice in the third). In the end though, the Caps were valiant and won the first battle in what many hope will be another long summer of playing. FiCP photographer Mel Abernethy was up close to the glass capturing some of the before, during, and after moments. Continue reading “Capitals Round One Game One Winning Photos”
So much good to say about the Capitals tonight! It was a tight match. The Capitals needed a win to hang onto that first place position in the Metropolitan. They did not clinch their playoff berth yet; however, they kept that first place spot for one more night. Final score 4-1.
First- it was Evgeny Kuznetsov Bird Man Bobble Head Night! He may not have scored but he did have three assist points.
Last game the Caps were in their whites- we confess, we kept getting confused. This time the Hurricanes and Caps were in white/red red/white Jerseys and it took a hot minute to figure out who was who. Until the Capitals scored! Continue reading “Caps Take the Wind Out of Hurricanes”
It was a pretty awesome day for Capital One Arena where the Capitals defeated the Flyers for the fourth time this season. The sweep added two points for the Caps in the NHL and pushed the Flyers seven points behind the Canadiens for a wild card spot. And there was a sweet marriage proposal too!
With ten games left in the regular season it’s time to get really excited or really nervous about the Capitals remaining games. As this goes to press, the Capitals are on top of the Eastern Conference and the Metropolitan Division. The challenge for them to hold that position is the New York Islanders, led by their former coach Barry Trotz. Their playoff rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, are nipping at their blades in the hope of upsetting the balance.
The schedule for the run up to the Playoffs is maybe one of the toughest the Caps have had in a long time. The Tampa Bay Lightning come to Capital One Arena on 20 March and after their match-up in Florida, it is clear the Bolts will be a challenge, now and in the playoffs. The Carolina Hurricanes want to jump above the wild card line and have to get through the Capitals to do that. That could mean two more tough games for the men in red. Although the Caps beat the Philadelphia Flyers the last two times they met, one should never underestimate the tenacity of them. Additionally the Devils, Panthers, and Canadiens always seem to have a surprise up their sleeve and can’t be discounted when it comes to playing the Capitals. Finally, the last regular season game is against the Caps newest rival- the Islanders. It’s almost like playing themselves because of the Trotz Touch.
Nervous is what we do in the DMV. That said, we have no doubt that the Capitals will clinch a playoff spot. Although the schedule ahead is a tight one, the players are really stepping it up. Alexander Ovechkin is on the brink of his eighth season of 50 goals or more. Nicklas Backstrom is on tap for his fourth season in a row of 20 plus goals and sixth season in a row of 50 assists or more. Tom Wilson is having his best season in six years of NHL play. Sprinkle in Evgeny Kuznetsov, TJ Oshie, Jakub Vrana and some great defensive play starting with goaltender Braden Holtby, and we still have faith that the Capitals will be making it to the final round.
The fun is now. The push is now. Let the excitement build and let’s go ALL CAPS as they finish up the regular season!!
TLDR: Capitals top Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, Ovechkin scores his 45th goal of the season, Jakub Vrana predicts the future, and a bizarre empty-netter (credited to Oshie) give the good guys their 3rd win in a row.
After a dominant 7-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, The Washington Capitals packed their bags, and took off for Long Island to take on former head coach Barry Trotz and his rejuvenated New York Islanders team. Last night, the Islanders ‘welcomed’ back former captain John Tavares, and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1. With the Islanders and Capitals, respectively, in first and second place in the Metropolitan division, a win by the Caps could once again tie the Isles with 81 points. The two teams have split their season meetings, with both winning on the road.
The Islanders, playing their second game in as many nights, started off deceivingly fast and refreshed. An early save by Caps goaltender Braden Holtby just seconds in kept the score at zero a piece. Less than three minutes into the period, a horrific turnover by Dmitry Orlov ended up in a walk-in-the-park goal by Tom Kuhnhackl, giving the Isles a 1-0 lead. Although the Capitals are not unfamiliar with early deficits, it is unfavorable to play a catch-up game. The Islanders were gifted the first power play of the game, due to an interference penalty by Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals penalty killers successfully kept the score 1-0. Caps forward Jakub Vrana continues to impress, creating opportunities in front of the net, and frustrating the opposition to no end. However, it was the strong Isles forecheck that frustrated the Capitals. It seemed as though every time the Capitals snagged the puck, the Isles quickly pick-pocketed it away from them. The refereeing at Nassau Coliseum definitely favored the home team. Despite playing a generally good first period, the Capitals need to stop giving up goals in the first five minutes of every period. Heading into the second period, the Caps were lucky to be down by just a single goal.
Once again, the refereeing bias reared its ugly head early in the second period. The Isles got away with some shenanigans, but it was Brett Connolly that would receive a two-minute minor penalty for tripping. Lucky for the Capitals, the Islanders ran out their power play time without a goal. If the Capitals are to win this game, it will be accomplished with accuracy and precision. Although there was no scoring to speak of in the middle frame, both teams had a number of good opportunities. Isles goaltender Thomas Greiss has been extremely impressive all season, stopping all 19 shots faced tonight, and has 5 wins in his last 7 starts (TheScore). Aside from the single goal in the first, Holtby has been very sharp, and the goal post was his friend tonight. Through two periods, the Capitals lead with 19 shots on goal, to the Isles 13.
During the second intermission, the Caps headed back to the drawing board. The Capitals played with an increased drive and desire to start off the third and final frame. Somehow, in a flurry of activity in front of the net, Jakub Vrana was able to sneak the puck past Greiss, finally giving the Caps the equalizer.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 2, 2019
The Capitals would earn their first power play of the night, thanks to an interference call against Isles captain Anders Lee. It didn’t take more than a couple of seconds with the extra man for Caps captain Alex Ovechkin to pot his 45th goal of the season, giving the good guys their first lead of the night.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 2, 2019
The Capitals went back on the power play after Anthony Beauvillier was called for goaltender interference, but play ended up as 4-on-4 for 1:46, as John Carlson went off to the box for high-sticking. For the first time all evening, play finally opened up, and the Caps ended up with the extra man for 4-on-3 play, and then the extra man, as Ovechkin was tripped by Ryan Pulock. The Caps were unable to score on the power play, but neither did the Islanders, and with under eight minutes left in regulation, the score remained 2-1. Carl Hagelin has been increasingly more visible as he plays more games with the Caps. Tonight, his speed and finesse immediately stood out. Even prior to having been promoted to the third line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly, Hagelin’s grit and almost magnetic eagerness to the puck is evident and welcomed. In typical Barry Trotz fashion, with under two remaining, the Isles bench boss pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, and the Caps snagged an empty-net goal, courtesy of a failed clearing attempt by Islander Josh Bailey. T.J. Oshie would eventually be credited with the empty netter. With 18 games left, Braden Holtby would rack up his 18th win of the season, stopping 21 of 22 shots faced.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 2, 2019
The Capitals will walk out of Nassau Coliseum with two much-needed points, and are now tied for first place in the division. They will play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for another Sunday matinee, this Sunday March 3rd.
FiCP’s Three Takeaways of the Game:
- Tonight’s win solidified our expectations that the Caps will be able to make a deep run in the post season.
- While we don’t like to play a come-back game, the Caps can and will do it.
- The Caps went ‘hard to the net, and stayed there’- J. Vrana
Kreda, A. (2019). John Tavares, Returning as an Enemy, Faces the Wrath of Islanders Fans. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/28/sports/hockey/john-tavares-islanders-leafs.html.
TheScore. (2019). Thomas Greiss: Stats, Age, News. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/players/1043.