The Caps downed the Sabres last night by a score of 4-1. Jakub Vrana scored his first NHL goal and Philipp Grubauer was again strong between the pipes. Perhaps the most encouraging news to come out of this win is the Caps converted two out of their three power play opportunities (and were successful killing four our of their five penalties). As we wrote about yesterday, special teams play has been the weak link for the team this season.
Here’s a look at some numbers from the win.
2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana scored the first NHL goal in his young NHL career Friday, directing home a one-time pass by Evgeny Kuznetsov on the power play.
The 20-year-old Czech was greeted in the locker room after the game by a shaving cream pie to the face from Tom Wilson.
The Caps and Sabres met for the 97th time in the last two weeks. With the way things went tonight, the Caps probably wish they could play Buffalo a few more times.
A whole lot of nothing happened and then Playmaker Passmaster Jay Beagle made a beautiful feed to TJ Oshie to get the Caps on the board first. The Caps went up by two on Jakub Vrana’s first NHL goal off of a beautiful zone entry and pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kyle Okposo potted a power play goal to pull the Sabres within one because the Caps COULD NOT STOP TAKING PENALTIES. But then, and no this isn’t one of those fake news stories, John Carlson scored a goal! Marcus Johansson added the empty net goal.
Caps win, 4-1!
We’ve got a milestone alert, people.
2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana just scored his first NHL goal and he can thank Evgeny Kuznetsov for how easy it was.
Friday, Beats By Dre released their latest promotional campaign entitled Be Heard. The commercial promotes the company’s Solo3 Wireless headphones and features some of the world’s greatest athletes including LeBron James, Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Kevin Durant, Michael Phelps, and Conor McGregor.
Oh yeah, Alex Ovechkin made a cameo in it too – sorta.
Happy Friday! The Caps are up in Buffa-love to play the Sabres and just in case you get that feeling that we might have just played them….we did on Monday.
The Capitals are having some trouble not only on the power play but also holding a lead and preventing the game from entering into overtime. Hopefully, the boys have ironed out some weird wrinkles and can come back to win a game in regulation, since the last regulation win was on November 25th against…yes…the Buffalo Sabres.
Tonight, the Caps will face a new problem going into the game. The issue is going to be the fact that even though Buffalo has had a rough time staying healthy, their players are slowly coming back. The Sabres will bring two of their top six defensemen, Dmitry Kulikov and Josh Gorges, back into the lineup tonight. It’s also looking like the Sabres will bring back forward Nic Deslauriers tonight after he was out for 19 games. A healthy Sabres squad could present quite a challenge for the boys in red, especially since Matt Niskanen is out with an upper body injury and didn’t even travel to Buffalo with the team.
So, despite the fact that we began and will end the work week with a Sabres matchup, this game is shaping up to be pretty different from what we saw on Monday.
Game is at 7:00 pm game tonight and we’re back on CSN, thank the Lord.
|Team||Record||SA%||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
Lifelong Caps fan and loyal RMNB reader Kit Troyer noticed something the NHL needs to address from Wednesday’s game. He explains below.
Caps coach Barry Trotz tried a new combination against the Bruins: Evgeny Kuznetsov between wingers Alex Ovechkin and Justin Williams. The new line paid quick dividends, with Williams scoring twice in the game’s first eight minutes.
Just like that, Williams doubled his season goal total, and a slumping Kuznetsov added two assists to his own ledger, as did Alex Ov… wait. What the hell?
Ovechkin received only one assist. It’s mystifying if you watch the replay.
There is a lot of concern for the Caps play so far in 2016-17. After a dominant 2015-16, they’re looking strangely mortal in 2016-17.
There are reasons why it feels this way, and many of those reasons are valid. But, from a high-level view, the Caps’ problems have not been during 5-on-5 play. The issue with the Caps this season is their effectiveness — or lack thereof — on special teams.
In perhaps the savviest move they’ve made to date, the fine folks over at the Monumental Network gave Nate Schmidt a camera, a mic, and an unknown number of complimentary cocktails and set him loose at Casino Night. They released the video today, and you must watch.
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