Caps beat Devils 5-1, Andrew Gordon Scores First NHL Goal

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First of many for Andrew Gordon. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

That is how you do it! The Washington Capitals have done the unthinkable: playing two smart games back to back.

Who better to get us started that Andrew Gordon? His goal-crashing shot off a speedy Marcus Johansson pass was the night’s first goal and the first of Andrew’s NHL career. (We knew you could do it!) The Devils responded with a Patrik Elias whizzer from above the circles, expertly screened by former Cap Danius Zubrus. Hershey’s own Jay Beagle returned fire with a chip-in up close. On a breakaway. Jason Chimera brushed off a hook and converted. Alex Ovechkin pulled an honest-to-goodness statue-of-liberty play with John Carlson, who launched a neutrino puck into Marty Brodeur’s net. Finally, Mike Knuble gingerly diverted a Tom Poti shot for the free wings. Caps beat Devils 5-1.

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You’re a Wizard, Ovi!

To commemorate the death of Voldemort, here is Alex Ovechkin/Harry Potter, as drawn by RMNB’s artist-in-residence, Rachel Cohen.

Alex Ovechkin is a wizard

Awesome.

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Anatomy of a Losing Streak

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Photo credit: Else/Getty Images

On December 1st, 2010, the Washington Capitals stomped out the Blues 4-1 in St. Louis. It was a perfectly serviceable win, and insignificant by most accounts, except that it would be the Caps’ final W for the next two-and-a-half weeks. For the next eighteen days, our beloved team would suit up in their gear for the sole purpose of discovering new and exciting ways to break our hearts.

On December 19th, the Capitals finally snapped their eight-game slump with a rousing victory over the Ottawa Senators. We thought it appropriate to mark the passing of the wicked streak in the same post-mortem fashion that we gave last year’s 14-game winning streak. So this will be just like that, except miserable and with fewer free buffalo wings.

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TRUE BELIEVERS! Caps beat Sens 3-2

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Group hug for Fehrsie! (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)

The Capitals have ended their eight-game losing streak. Just take a moment to process that. Go ahead, put that dumb old grin on your face. We’ll wait.

There you go. Feel better? Me too!

The Sunday night tussle between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals had no shortage of extra meaning. The team’s mental state and possibly even careers hung in the balance. Game on.

Ottawa’s Ryan Shannon delivered a bang-bang puck over Neuvy’s left side to make it 1-0. Chris Kelly plopped in a pass from Chris Neil to give the Senators a two-goal lead in the first period. The Capitals could have deflated at that first intermission like usual, but they returned for the second ready to do work, son. Mathieu Perreault waited all of 34 seconds to score the Caps’ first goal, an ugly one. Eric Fehr allowed almost an entire minute to elapse before recording the second, also ugly. A powerplay opportunity found Perreault scoring again with another homely tally. The Caps held off a late-game man advantage to snap the slump: Caps beat Sens 3-2.

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Capitals’ Winter Classic Gear in Action

RMNB Varly Mask (2 of 6)

Editor’s note: Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps once again provides the hook-up. This time it’s the Capitals new gear for the Winter Classic being used at practice. Enjoy! All photos are credited to Caps Snaps.

The Caps took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday wearing some new digs. The players rocked their Winter Classic uniforms during a hard practice before the team flew to Boston.

The goalies had some something new to show, too: their brand new masks.

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How To Guarantee a Caps Win

mf8b6d5466cf05273a765eb28bf28db1aPhoto credit: Luis M. Alvarez

If you’re like me, you’ve tried everything. Not shaving. Wearing the same clothes. Wearing different clothes. Eating weird foods. Anything that you did before the Caps stopped winning — now you’re doing the opposite. Yet, they’re still losing, and unfortunately not much is going to change unless Ovechkin’s line does one thing: convert on every fourth scoring chance.

When the Great 8 is on the ice and the Caps convert on every fourth scoring chance, they are 6-0. When it falls under 25%, they have been 10-16. Take a look:

Scoring chance convert% W L W% Individual Pts per game
less than 25% 10 16 0.385 0.88
25% or more 6 0 1.000 1.67

Convert% is simply goals scored on chances when Ovechkin is on the ice.

I know this seems like a “duh” moment, since most Caps fans will tell you that “as Ovi goes so does the team,” but this isn’t just about Ovechkin. This is about Backstrom, Semin, Knuble, and anyone else who is on the ice with him. They need to get their heads out of their asses and get it done, at least on one out of every four of their chances.

Game on.

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Eight is Enough: Bruins beat Caps 3-2

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Matt Bradley is about to bleed. (Photo credit: Michael Dwyer)

The Washington Capitals mounted one of their largest offensive pushes ever to try and stop the Boston Bruins from extending  their losing streak to eight. Nope.

The Bruins scored the first three goals of the night all in the first period: a screened shot by Patrice Bergeron, a deflection off Scott Hannan by Andrew Ference (his first in 99 games), and a five-holer by Blake Wheeler. Matt Bradley responded early in the second with a dangle-and-wrist from a tight angle. Karl Alzner turned on hero mode, slapping one in off Tim Thomas’ shoulder to keep the Caps within striking distance. Despite a furious effort in the waning moments,  the Bruins felled the Caps 3-2.

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The Machinist: December 17, 2010

All eyes are on the Caps, wallowing in their slump, magnified by the cameras of HBO. Like Willow Rosenberg before them, Russian Machine has “gone dark”, popping Lord Voldemort and Dawson Leery up on the site until the Caps get a W.

Tough times, but they won’t last.

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RMNB Prospect Watch

Ed. note – The sole duty of Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans is to serve you tasty morsels of news about your favorite not-yet-but-maybe-one-day Caps. Russian Machine gears up once more to give you your bi-weekly offering of players in the far reaches of the Caps system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, DADT).  Prospect Watch incoming!

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HBO 24/7: A Cameo of Sorts for One Fan

Ellen's Alex Ovechkin Doll

Okay, this story is too cool to spoil. Guest writer Ellen T. is a Caps fan with an talent for arts and a thing for the Alex Ovechkin. We’ll let her take it from there.

Two years ago, before the first Caps Convention, I found a pattern for a knitted hockey player. Yeah, I know; I’m a 23-year-old girl that knits– cool or lame? Anyway, I thought as a joke I would knit one for my friends, so I knitted a little stuffed Ovechkin.

Adorable, right?

My friends thought it was funny, so they dared me to give the doll to Alex Ovechkin at the Caps Convention when I would get my picture taken with him. I took the doll, and when it was my turn, I nervously said, “hey, I knitted this doll this summer and thought you might like it.” He smiled and accepted it, and then we took the picture. Not ’til later did I realize the doll was in the picture, which was a treat.

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