jojo and burra

Marcus Johansson has been one of the Washington Capitals’ most improved players this season. One of the main reasons Johansson has set a career high in goals is that he is shooting the puck more than he ever has in his career. I talked about this back in December. Here’s a quick recap:

In terms of shots per game this season, Johannson is averaging 2.04 shots. If he were to maintain this over an 82 game season, he would have 167 shots on goal, shattering his previous career high of 107 he set last season. If, Johansson were to pump 167 shots on net in a season and shoot at his career average of 12.8 percent, he would score 21 goals, which crushes his career high of 14 set in 2011-12.

However, Johansson’s play hasn’t appeared as strong lately. Including his empty net goal against Columbus, Johansson has just three goals over his previous 21 games. Something is up.

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GreenEaston

There it is. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

At the start of the 2008 NHL season, Mike Green came to camp with just 15 sticks. They were Easton Stealth CNTs. At the time, Green said his sticks had been discontinued for “a while.” He would be getting no more. Over the course of that season, Green posted unbelievable numbers for a defensemen, scoring 31 goals. Looking at the goal leaderboard for that season, Green is just below some of the most high flying scorers in the league: Malkin, Toews, and Crosby to name a few.

At one point Green scored a stunning 10 times in eight straight games. The goals during the streak all came off the same Easton, which Green said was the best stick he’s ever played with. Reluctantly, he agreed to donate it to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“You can only be superstitious for so long,” Green said.

Green’s moment of reckoning came on May 2, 2009. Playing in game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Green broke his last surviving Stealth CNT.

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ovechkin-gwg-bluejackets

Photo: Kirk Irwin

Alex Ovechkin has four goals in his last two games, which included the game-winning goal Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In the first period, Ovechkin scored a greasy goal, tipping a Brooks Orpik shot past Sergei Bobrovsky. In the third period, Ovechkin scored again after firing two consecutive shots within seconds from The Ovi Spot.

After Ovechkin missed the net on his first attempt, Backstrom regained the puck along the boards and tossed a perfect pass into the Russian machine’s wheel house. Ovi’s quick shot baffled Bobrovsky.

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Angry Barry Trotz is Angry (GIF)

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With 2:16 left in the game, a tired Washington Capitals first-line iced the puck after a flurry of activity in front of Braden Holtby‘s net. Marcus Johansson‘s stick had been partially broken during the previous play so he asked to get a new twig before the face-off. Officials denied him.

To prove his stick was broken, Johansson bowed down and put his weight on it. It broke. The officials ushered him to the box for delay of game. They thought Johansson was trying to buy time for his tired teammates.

Barry Trotz exploded. He literally exploded.

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Nasty Boys: Caps beat Blue Jackets 5-3

bros

Image by Danny

Raise your hand if you expected Tuesday’s Capitals/Blue Jackets game– the first after the trade deadline– to be a grim, fin-headed mess of a hockey game. The good guys won in the end, but if it costs them Michael Latta for any length of time, I won’t look back on tonight as a victory.

The game started as so many of them do: with Alex Ovechkin opening up scoring, this time with a savvy deflection of Brooks Orpik’s shot. Eric Fehr waited at the doorstep to make it 2-0 before the first period was up, letting us think this would be a secure, uneventful win.

Dumb. The second period was a penalty-laden mess, and it played to Lumbus’ advantage. David Savard and Scott Hartnell each scored with a pair of darts– with Tom Wilson’s net-crash goal in between.

Ovi struck again in the third period because screw the Jackets. Scott Hartnell earned his second while Troy Brouwer was in the box and threatened to tie it on a suspicious late-game penalty, but Holtby was superior. Marcus Johansson got the empty netter and that was that.

Caps beat Jackets 5-3. Let’s get the hell out of here.

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latta-hit

Washington Capitals checking-line center Michael Latta is questionable to return after a check from behind by Columbus enforcer Jared Boll.

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troy-brouwer-fight-leg

Hockey fights happen in every game, but this do-si-do was weird.

Troy Brouwer and Cody Goloubef exchanged angry shoves in neutral, then they dropped the gloves.

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alex-ovechkin-deflection

Alex Ovechkin can score a million different ways. Tonight he gave us a greasy goal. Brooks Orpik gathered a pass from Nicklas Backstrom and sent a shot on net. The Russian machine turned his skates, put his blade to puck, and deflected it past the Sergei Bobrovski, who is back on the force for the first time since January.

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Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: Meet the New Guys

arrival

Photo: Capstragram

The Capitals are in exotic Ohio tonight for a game with the poor Columbus Blue Jackets. Tonight will be our first look at new forward Curtis Glencross and just our second at man-animal hybrid Tim Gleason on the blue line. These guys, plus assorted fellows from Hershey, will be your Caps squad for the duration, so let’s get start on the right foot: a W.

Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN-DC. Drive safe getting home tonight; roads are gonna be nasty.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 34-20-10 51.6% 100.4 23.6% 81.4%
Columbus Blue Jackets 26-32-4 46.3% 98.8 20.4% 80.4%

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#RMNBPartyGr8: Saturday, March 21 at RFD!

rmnb-party-gr8

Prepare yourselves. It is time.

We haven’t thrown a real party since last March–when the Oates!Caps won in San Jose. That was way too long ago. We gotta do it again.

Come party with us at RFD on Saturday, March 21st!

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