Shattenkirk To the Caps: Good Trade?

At around 10:00 last night Caps’ fans Facebook groups were buzzing with the news of Kevin Shattenkirk being traded to the Capitals from the St. Louis Blues. Shattenkirk is a depth defenseman which was one of our greatest needs as we get closer to the playoff games. This isn’t the first important Blues player we’ve picked up, previously our very own Tj Oshie is a former Blues player. We unfortunately lost a first round draft pick in 2017, a conditional second round in 2018, Zach Sanford, and Brad Malone for Shattenkirk and gained former Hershey goalie Pheonix Copley, who will once again play with the Bears. This is a high price for Shattenkirk and Copley, and my  big question is: is it worth it?

Shattenkirk has 11 goals and 31 assists this season with the Blues and a career of 66 goals and 218 assists. That would seem bad if he wasn’t a defenseman; however, he has nearly doubled the amount of goals of our highest scoring defenseman, John Carlson, has racked up. While +/- is a very outdated stat he has a -11 stat however his team has altogether a -3.33 +/- average vs our average of +16.7. While his +/- isn’t glowing his Corsi is above many Caps defenseman including, Chorney (32), Alzner (103), Schmidt (122), Orpik (127), and Orlov (157). Corsi represents the amount of shots on goal, saved shots, and missed shots all added together Shattenkirk has a corsi of 162.

How’s Sanford though? Sanford has scored two goals and gotten one assist in 26 NHL games with the Caps. he has light up the net 11 times and gotten 5 assists in 25 games down at Hershey. He is a very good prospect and could have an amazing future; however, he is still a rookie. I don’t know how much he could have done for us because right now the only way you can tell is the probabilities.
I  think this is a good trade. We have many good offense man and some good defense but we needed the depth that he will add. We’ll see tonight against the Rangers. But anyway what do you think guys think?

Shattenkirk to Caps Strengthens Cup Run; First Look Against NYR Tonight

Opinion Piece by Chris Cleveland

Kevin Shattenkirk to the Caps means it really is Stanley Cup or bust this year. As the trade deadline winds down, the Washington Capitals shocked us all and made what could be the trade that puts them over the top and finally brings the Cup home to DC. The Caps sent their 2017 first round pick, 2018 second round pick, and Zack Sanford to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Kevin Shattenkirk.

I know Shattenkirk very well. Actually I am a huge Blackhawks fan as well and they had to deal with Shattenkirk constantly. The guy is a darn good defenseman and has one of the best slap shots I have ever seen. He drove me crazy with the number of goals he has scored on the Hawks and I am super happy he is now with the Caps. Another really appealing thing about him is his ability to create plays and set up his teammates. The part I really like about him though is his age. He is only 27 and can really provide a major boost to the Caps blue line–something that has been lacking in the playoffs . The Mike Weber experiment last year which was a complete failure. This; however, is going to be a totally different story.  As one of the best D in the league, Shattenkirk is going to be one of the key pieces of the Caps cup run this year.

sanford-called-upEven though we did give up a lot for him, like Zach Sanford,  it is going to be worth it in the end if we bring home the Stanley Cup this year. My final reason for liking Shattenkirk is he is a magician on the power play. He has scored so many power play goals against the Hawks from so many different angles and he loves the one timer from the point too. I also don’t think the Caps are done trading yet. I could really see us trading off Stan Galiev and Nate Schdmit together for a depth forward who has won a Cup before. You know, someone like Patrick Sharp? Here is my best guess at what the Caps D pairs will be from as we head to the final run for the Cup:

Carlson Alzner

Niskanen Shattenkirk

Orpik Orlv

Thoughts?? Are you more hopeful now about the Caps getting all the way to the finals this year? Think we need more change?

 

Featured Image by NHL

Hello Caps; 1st Practice Photos After Bye Week

Man has this been a lonnnnggggg week with no Washington Capitals Hockey. Most of the players enjoyed their week off catching some rays. Two separate  groups of players and their families traveled together, as we saw from Lauren Oshie and Tom Wilson’s Instagram posts:

Friday they were back at Caps Kettler Iceplex for a hard practice before hopping on the plane to play the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. They were a happy, tanned bunch.

Zach Sanford and Jakub Vrana have joined the team from Hershey to fill in for Andre Burkovsky. Andre skated this morning by himself…we just missed getting you the photo! You remember Zach, he recorded his first NHL goal in the last game?? Coach indicated today that he will be back in the lineup on Saturday. Vrana’s status is a bit up in the air, but we are glad he is here.

 There were skills exercises and passing and speed drills. And of course there were lots of laughs and smiles.For us, it was watching a team that has learned how to read each other and that are closer than any Capitals team we have ever seen.

 

As our friend @capsyapp said in response to our video of the players taking shots at the net…and making them:

Saturday will show if the vacations together and the workout today will produce another victory against Detroit. For now, we are staying positive and have every expectation that this team is different and that they won’t miss a beat–or the net!!

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watermarked362017-02-17-1120We’ll be watching Saturday at 2pm on CSN when the Caps and Red Wings meet again to see if today’s practice and tomorrow’s morning skate gave them enough time to shake off the rust.

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Washington Capitals Top Week 6-4 Over Ducks (A Few Photos)

Saturday night in Washington DC the Capitals downed the Anaheim Ducks in their last home game before the mandatory ‘bye week.’

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The Ducks are in a pretty good position in the Pacific Division, sitting in third place just behind their rivals the LA Kings. Goalie John Gibson has been having an ok year with a .918 save percentage and he was solid against the Caps with 33/39 saves.

The Caps; however, were having no losing at home taking the game 6-4.

The Caps played without an injured Andre Burakovsky. Zach Sanford made the drive from Hershey to fill in for Burky, first with season ticket holders on Friday night and then scoring on Saturday–his first NHL goal and the go-ahead goal to win it for the Caps.

Other stars of the night for the Caps were the Daniel Winnik with a goal and an assist. TJ Oshie got the boyz started with his goal; Nick Backstrom, Tom Wilson, and Marcus Johansson would also record goals for the team. Ten players total had points on the board before the night was over.

Birthday Injury Keeps Burakovsky Out of Lineup

Thursday started so well for 22 year-old Andre Burakovsky , receiving well wishes from his friends, fans, and teammates for his birthday.

He showed up for warmup, looking serious and ready to get some great scoring shots in the game…

Unfortunately he didn’t make it too far in the game after blocking a shot with his hand. It didn’t go so well, as this photo from twitter shows:

By this morning our worst fears were confirmed. Burky will likely be out until mid-March, according to Coach Trotz. He said it is a hand injury that will not require surgery. Zach Sanford will be in for him on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Caps Practice: Working it While Laughing (photos)

The Washington Capitals have things going their way lately. All four lines are doing their part as are the defensemen and goalies. But you know that saying, “practice makes perfect” and after another shutout game they returned to Kettler for practice on Wednesday.

They started with a slow warm-up, playing a bit with the coaches before heading to the Arlington Rink at Kettler for drills. coach-start

 

Ovi warmed up the bench for a bit, welcoming the players as they joined the ice. After a bit of contemplation, he joined the team skating and shooting.

The team looked tired but they kept pushing through.deep-thought-winnik

Zach Sanford, who was called up from the Hershey Bears Tuesday night, was on the ice. No one seems to know why he really is here.

sanford-called-up

They also look intentional in their drills. There was a real sense of team community on the ice as the lines grouped together not just to practice, but to talk among each other.

There was the typical joking around…

 

Even Hotlby was looking tranquil  and happy.holtby

But no one shows how good the Caps must be feeling now more than Jay Beagle.

laughing-beagle

Coach Trotz on the State of the Caps

After the narrow win on Monday against the Buffalo Sabres, Coach Trotz had a few things to say today about their performance and moving forward:

Oshie Return?

“Make that decision tomorrow…He’s possible.”

Ovechkin and penalties:

“We have a very straight-forward relationship. Alex doesn’t hide from anything He mans up.”

“He understands that the best way to help his team is to not be in the penalty box…we need him on the ice…he knows as leader of our team he can’t be putting us down in terms of our man short as often as he has lately. I know he’ll clean it up.”

“If my message is no getting through the only thing I have is ice time.”

Burkovosky Slump–Out of the line up?

“I haven’t made a decision yet…he knows that he needs to get his game going …we have probably taken a step back from him so that the young man can figure it out on his own a little bit. Its part of the process…”

What about 9 and 74 being apart?

“I don’t know if i like anything. we’ll have to see. we switched pairs last night…don’t know if we will go there tomorrow.”

“Our four pairs have been pretty solid.”

PP goals

“Getting their confidence back. PP has been a focus of a lot of article, but they have come through big for us in the last couple of games. …working at it…little bit of a mindset…changing …have to have some success.”

}Osh in that diamond spot is as good as anybody in the the national hockey league.”

“Has hand skills to make something out of nothing.”

Sanford Return

“Talked to him…take it one game at a time. take it as far as next weekend and then have another conversation.”

 

 

Jakub Vrana Called Up for Caps (Sanford Down)

By Chris Cleveland

In a surprise move Jakub Vrana and Paul Carey have been called up to the Caps roste0r while Zack Sanford has been sent to the AHL Hershey Bears. Trotz gave Sanford a fair shot for sure; he kept him up here a lot longer than people thought he would.

That being said, Vrana has been lighting it up in Hershey (9G, 7A in 18 games) and could just not be  ignored any longer.

I really like this move, To be honest, Vrana has been on some kind of streak down in Hershey this year, basically averaging a point per game. He could be the jolt the Caps offense needs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vrana played tomorrow night making his NHL debut.

They want to see what this kid is all about and could have some big ice time. Also Paul Carey being called up could be sending a message to a few guys on the bottom six. I wouldn’t be surprised if both Carey and Vrana both end up playing tomorrow night.

Here is my best guess at what the lines would look like:

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Ovi Nicki Mojo

Burakosvky Kuzy Vrana

Carey Eller Williams

Winnik Beagle Wilson

Trotz Post Practice Thoughts 11/30/16

After a day off and a night of gambling, Coach Barry Trotz put the team through the drills this morning and continued to evaluate the lines and the health of players T.J. Oshie and Matt Niskanen.  Here are our fav takeaways from his presser after:

On the Lines:

“I put the old group together last game at the end…they gave us a real boost…doesn’t mean they will stay together tomorrow.”

“I know what will work. Nothing in stone on those lines.”

niskanen-on-the-way-back Niskanen:

“Need to talk to the trainers…if everything continues on the path that it was today, there is a very good chance he will play tomorrow.”

Oshie:

Still out at least through Saturday’s game.

Power Play Problems:

“When it’s going really good we score a lot of goals off those second and third sort of quick strikes after the initial bomb at the net or shot. And we haven’t been able to do that as well. Some of that is we don’t get seconds because we don’t force the goalie to make any saves.”

On Oshie and Niskanen: “We make a great scramble plays.”

Jay Beagle:

“Jay Beagle has an effect on our team in a positive way everyday.”

Oshie Gap:

“There are guys lining up for Osh’s spot because he is out and that’s great because you are going to get more ice time–but then you better produce.”

“Some guys can get it done and some guys can’t get it done and we find out.” (when players step in for injured players)

sanford-williams-carlson

John Carlson Troubles

“Such a talent.”

“It’s not coming  easy for him. He’s playing catch-up.”

Zach Sanford Struggle

“Very detailed, he listens, he aborbs” “just hasn’t gotten a reward yet.”

“He’s going to be a good player for us.”

No intention of sending him down to Hershey, yet. UPDATE: Zachary was sent to Hersey after the press conference. 

Words of Wisdom!

“Something you just got to (I think it’s Mitch’s term) you got to defrag the computer because you are over thinking things.”

Click here for the full presser.

 

Washington Capitals Week Ahead: 7 – 13 November

The Caps have three games on the schedule for this week: one at home and two on the road. After a busy week with a fifth win in a row and the events surrounding Hockey Fights Cancer, the week ahead may give them a bit more family time and time to bond on the road. We’ll keep an eye out for line changes after Ovi, Backy, and Oshie were reunited for a successful win on Saturday.

Game Schedule

Tuesday, 8 November, San Jose Sharks at Verizon Center, 7:00 pm on CSN-DC

Friday, 11 November, at the Chicago Blackhawks,  8:30 pm on CSN-DC

Saturday, 12 November, at the Carolina Hurricanes, 7 pm on CSN-DC

Practice/Morning Skate (Schedule subject to change)

Monday the Caps have a day off.

Tuesday Morning Skate at Kettler Caps Iceplex, 10:30

Wednesday Practice Kettler Caps Iceplex: 11:30

Thursday Practice Kettler Caps Iceplex, 10:30 am (Could be cancelled for travel)

Friday Morning Skate likely at United Center in Chicago

Sunday, we likely a day off as has become the tradition.

Special Events

Tuesday the nation votes for its next president and Caps fans vote for their next bobble head!!  Per the Caps press release your candidates are:

Braden Holtby (squirting a water bottle), Tom Wilson (as Wilson from “Cast Away”) and Justin Williams (with bed-head), and they’re all winners.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Nov. 8, fans may cast their votes on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram using one of the following three hashtags: #VoteHoltby, #VoteWilson or #VoteWilliams. Voting will end at 9 p.m., during the Capitals’ home game against the Sharks.

Who to Watch

 

Zach Sanford turns 22 on November 9. Be sure to send him lots of birthday wishes on his twitter: @zachsanford21 or Instgram @zachsanford.

Ovechkin: Count down to 1,000 career NHL points. He has 977 as of 11/7.

Ovechkin: One goal away from matching Jaromir Jagr’s 19 regular season overtime goals and two from taking the lead in one more category. (as of 11/7)

Ovechkin: Three goals away from a new career high 200 power play goals (977 as of 11/7)

 

AND US!!  We’ll be live from Carolina on Saturday and Lily will be providing some information on the Blackhawks game after her visit on Friday. Stay tuned friends – we are everywhere for you!!