Pheonix Copley Gets His First NHL Win as Caps Defeat Flames in Shootout

The Capitals continued their four-game road trip in Calgary on Saturday afternoon looking to rebound from their loss to Edmonton on Thursday. This was a back-and-fourth contest that ultimately saw the Caps come out on top 4-3 in the shootout thanks to Nicklas Backstrom going top shelf. The win would seal Pheonix Copley‘s first NHL win as the former Hershey Bears standout made 27 saves.  Continue reading “Pheonix Copley Gets His First NHL Win as Caps Defeat Flames in Shootout”

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”

After Another Elimination, Are the Capitals Still a Cup Contender?

The Washington Capitals had a good regular season again, winning the Presidents’ Trophy for the third time in franchise history (2009-10, 2015-16 and 2016-17). However, success in the regular season doesn’t always reflect success in the playoffs. Once more, the Caps were eliminated in Round Two (semifinals) of the Eastern Conference and by rival Pittsburgh Penguins; who like last year (and some other occasions) could be the eventual champions of the Stanley Cup. 

An era of uncertainty begins in Washington.

After winning the Presidents’ Trophy as the team with the most points during the regular season, the Capitals faced the second wild card team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, which didn’t make it easy for the Capitals. The series went to six games, which was won by the Washington team 4-2. After that, they’ve faced their greatest rival, the Penguins. The Caps didn’t make the most of the home ice advantage and  allowed Pittsburgh to open a 2-0 lead in the series. This led  to a player-only meeting in the locker room. In both games away from home, the Capitals won the first one and lost the other one, making the series 3-1 for the rival. The Capitals started a remarkable reaction, winning two games (home and away) to force a Game 7. However, even at home, the team was defeated 2-0 and was eliminated again and by their foes from Pennsylvania.

Next season (2017-18) will mark 20 years since the Capitals reached a conference final in 1998. which was the only one that the Capitals have won in franchise history–in six games over the Buffalo Sabres. After winning the Eastern Conference, the team was swept by the Detroit Red Wings,that won the series 4-0. That was the Caps only appearance in a Stanley Cup Final.

The question in the air after another elimination in the playoffs following a dominant regular season, is whether the Caps will continue to be a contender. It was said that this had been the best opportunity in the Ovechkin Era to win the Stanley Cup as the situation for this roster is uncertain for next season. With a tight salary cap and many players that cost a lot to the team, some some players will say farewell to the capital. This offseason will be  closely watched by the fans since a radical change in the roster will demonstrate whether or not this franchise will be able to continue to fight for the long-awaited Stanley Cup and bring it to the capital.

Caps Playoffs: The Ovechkin Factor

Year after year we hear the complaint about the Caps first line, especially their star player Alex Ovechkin. Today Coach Trotz did what none have dared do before and moved the underperforming captain to the third line. 

Typically Ovechkin bombs in the playoffs. Typically he scores five goals before the series ends for the Caps. Of course there was the one year he only scored one goal (2012-13) and the one year he scored 11 (2008/09). This year the Caps need the high-scoring Ovi; however, as much as he talks the talk, we aren’t seeing it in his production.

This seems in some respects to be a bit of an off year for him. It is another year of adjusting his game for yet another new coach. There is no doubt that the coach and captain have a mutual respect for each other. But for some reason, it isn’t translating to playoff goals. 

Ovi was ever the diplomat after today’s switch in lines. Trotz said, “The bottom line is we need him to be really good.” To which Ovi said, “Whatever it takes.” 

Don’t count him out yet. Something needs to change. Moving the lines around and going in with 11 forwards and seven defensemen is a real change from the norm. 

Will it work? We hope so.

Will Ovi score? We hope so. 

Will they figure out Fleury before Murray steps in again? Gosh they sure better!

Hang in their friends, it’s gonna be a stressful week ahead! 

Capitals and Fans in Shock

We knew it would be tough against the Penguins, again. We believed the Capitals could take them. We felt confident in two home wins. And we sure had no doubts about Braden Holtby.

And then Thursday happened (3-2 Pens) and we gulped. We made excuses. The players had some strong words themselves. 

And we still believed.

And then Saturday followed Thursday and the unthinkable happened. The Caps went down hard with a 6-2 loss this time. Fans emptied Verizon before the final horn and those pesky Pittsburgh fans did their ‘in your face’ takeover of the Gallery steps.

It’s now Sunday and we have all had a minute to digest what is going on.

The team reportedly had a private meeting to vent and bemoan what happened. Coach Trotz has to answer for pulling Holtby in the third and putting in Philipp Grubauer – he needed a ‘game changer.’ The players were in no mood to talk with the media and no one really wanted to hear what they had to say.

Fans run the gamut of ‘it’s only two games’ to ‘here we go again.’ They are beyond frustrated to see this winning team battling in the playoffs just to be out coached and unable to score. They are battling- there are signs of tenacity. And there are signs of a weakness no one can adequately name.

So what now friends?

Keep wearing your Believe shirts. Keep watching on Monday and Wednesday for a positive outcome that brings the round back to Verizon. Show up at practice and the game on Saturday with your signs and keep being loud!! 

It is not time yet to throw in the towel. It ain’t over yet!! We’ll walk with you. We’ll be there as friends should be, through the bad and the good. Just gotta hang on for the good. 

Caps End 2017 14-Game Regulation Winning Streak in Loss to Ottawa

The Washington Capitals went to the Canadian capital Tuesday  to keep it’s 14-game point streak, but fell to the Ottawa Senators in Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. It was the Caps’ first regulation loss  this year.

Since 29 Oct. 2016, the Capitals didn’t know what losing looked like. In regulation, at least. During this 14-game point streak, the Caps have won two games against the same Senators, by 2-1 at home and 1-0 away.  Washington didn’t keep the rhythm and suffered a shutout loss by 3-0. The team had six power play chances, but didn’t capitalize any of them.

The Caps weren’t able to keep the deep-scoring, losing without scoring a single goal. Washington couldn’t count on it’s “sheriff” (as we say here in Brazil, the team’s reference in defense) John Carlson again, out with an upper-body injure.  Also, it was a tired team that won Carolina Hurricanes just one day before, in 6-1. Tuesday was the third time this season the Caps were shutout. Last game was an unusual one because the Caps ceded a shorthanded goal and a power play goal a few minutes later. The last time the Caps didn’t score a single goal was at 01 Dec. 2016, losing by the same score, 3-0, to the Islanders.

Anyway, tonight the Caps remain the league leader, since Columbus fell to the New York Islanders by 4-2. Also, the Capitals are still the best team in goals against, with 105 and 2.08 goals against/game. The league’s average is 2.72. Before last game, Washington was  the only team to remain a single-digit loss, with nine.

The Caps take on the New Jersey Devils Thursday – a team that is struggling this year. Let’s hope the rest will rejuvenate the Caps and get them back in the win column. Jay Beagle is back while TJ Oshie is out for personal reasons. John Carlson continues to nurse his injury. 

Caps-Habs: The Goalie Battle that Price Won

The Caps game out strong, with lots of fan support, right out the gate. And then, well the excitement kind of waned. It was fun though to watch two of the best Canadian and NHL goalies compete to protect their net: Braden Holtby and Carey Price.

Fans felt there might be a bit of a shooting problem but were still happy with the players net drive in the first five minutes. Tom Wilson drew a penatly from Habs McCarron for slashing. Most excitement was Carly breaking his stick on a failed shot. The Candiens would wind up first on the board with a wraparound by Lehkonen. 1-0 Habs by the end

And then there’s the fan who always gets so excited and tonight he finally caught the puck over the glass!

The second period gave fans some hope when Nick Backstrom scored, with help from Williams and Ovechkin, on the power play. The Habs answered a couple minutes later with a Jeff Petry goal with about four minutes left in the period. Montreal takes the lead 2-1. The Habs had more energy and got more shots off then the Caps by 14 to 8. The period was a general penalty fest with Washington taking three and Montreal with five.

The third period was pretty dismal. No penalties. No goals. Each team only has five SOG. Shout to “shoot” from the fans went unheard on the ice despite all the power play chances. Dan Winnik came close but it was just a high ping.

Holtby would save 23 of 25 SOG to Price’s 20 for 21. Congrats to Price who recorded his 250th win. Just wish it wasn’t here!

Thus ends the six game winning streak. The Caps need to figure this offensive play. Up next are the Philadelphia Flyers and that won’t be a skate in the park either.

Conquering Canada, One Team at a Time… 

By Brittney Marcum

It was another late night for the fans with a 9:30 PM puck-drop. We know you’re either reading this after the game or just as your waking up. Either way we are going to keep this short and sweet.
The boys started off with the scoring quickly with a goal from Brett Connolly 2:01 into the first. This was his first goal this season. The goal was assisted by Jay Beagle and Zach Sanford (this was his first NHL point), who is quickly becoming one of our favorite additions. Marcus Johansson was the next to light the lamp with help from the great 8 and his fellow Swede Nicklas Backstrom. But all good things must come to an end as Mikael Backlund slipped one past the Holtbeast at 13:44. There was only one penalty in the first against Deryk Engelland for high-sticking on Tom Wilson.

In the second period the Caps and Flames made us a little sleepy. The score remained 2-1 throughout the period. Both teams had penalties this period; first Matt Stajan with a tripping penalty and then TJ Oshie the hooking followed by a slashing call on Justin Williams. The number of shots on goal were also less than stellar at nine for the Caps and five for the Flames.

The Third Period started with the Caps killing of the rest of J-Wills penalty. Flames did their best to control the ice, outshooting the Caps and putting them on the defense. Sanford had us all buzzing with a great SOG and lots of energy.  Elliot was doing some magic in front of the net including an amazing block of GR8.

Seems like the Flames man of the night was one-time Caps player Dan Wideman. He was everywhere the Caps wanted to be, foiling attempts. Right down to the last seconds–but it wasn’t enough. Marcus sent one last one in to end it Caps 3-1!!!

Next quest? Winnipeg Jets. And old friend MattyP.