Don’t Mess with Karl: Caps beat Sens 3-1

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Jason Chimera’s bank shot off Bryan Elliott merits celebration. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

The Washington Capitals came back to earn a crucial win over the Ottawa Senators on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. The worst first period team in hockey, the Caps did nothing to shake off that label today. But a late-game effort kicked off by the team’s morale leader woke them up to snatch two much-needed standings points.

Only 72 seconds into the bout, Mike Fisher scored Ottawa’s only goal while Jeff Schultz wandered aimlessly behind the net. Forty six minutes later, forechecking Brooks Laich snatched a turnover from the slot, tying the game and rousing his team in the process. Forty five seconds later and just two ticks into a power play, John Carlson bombed Bryan Elliott for the go-ahead goal. And then Jason Chimera banked one off the goalie’s back for some insurance. Caps beat Sens 3-1.

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Wisdom Beyond Their Years

Mike Green signing autographs

I believe the children are our future, so when I was at Kettler for Saturday’s practice I asked some of them, “What’s wrong with the Caps?

“They’ve been losing.” – Sam, 7 1/2 years old

It doesn’t take decades to get wisdom, it takes seven and a half years. They have been losing. We all remember the eight game losing streak this year and through 45 games last season they only had 12 losses. This season they have 14. That’s almost 17% more, which is unacceptable. Start winning or Sam and I are looking for a new team.

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John Carlson’s 21st Birthday Party at RFD

John Carlson takes a drink at his birthday party at RFD

Defenseman John Carlson turned 21 earlier this week. To celebrate, he and a few hundred of his friends gathered at RFD following tonight’s dismal loss to the Canucks. Though the mood was somewhat subdued, the partygoers report having a great time and RMNB readers’ Suzanne W. and Sarah M. have submitted the following as evidence.

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The Machinist: January 14, 2010

Tough week.

Most Read Posts This Week

  1. A Special Birthday Cake For John Carlson’s 21st
    After Nour’s success with the cake, expect to see a confectionary clustereff at RFD tonight.
  2. Caps Care Casino Night, Year Two
    Emily dons a dress and hangs out with the boys for a good cause. Great photos, too.
  3. Evgeny Kuznetsov: “Next Up is the Stanley Cup”
    Igor hooks us up with two interviews that reveal Kuz is not wanting for confidence.

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That Just Happened: Canucks beat Caps 4-2

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Sorry. Had to cheer myself up somehow. (Photo credit: Macaulay Culkin)

Did you think Wednesday’s shutout loss to the Lightning was the nadir of the Washington Capitals’ season? Or maybe it was the 7-0 loss to the Rangers? Tonight’s defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks might give those games company in the Awful Game Pantheon. Friends, these are the dark days. Feel free to stop reading now. Won’t hold it against you.

Matt Hendricks turned a great pass from Boyd Gordon into the night’s first goal. The Canucks combined Alexander Edler’s slapshot with a few screens to even it back up.  On the power play, Christian Ehrhoff found an open spot in the slot to give the Canucks the lead, which they expanded via a giftwrapped breakaway for Daniel Sedin. Marcus Johansson gave Caps fans a fleeting delusion of optimism halfway through the third period, but the Caps didn’t catch up. Daniel Sedin snatched an empty netter, and that was it. Canucks beat Caps 4-2.

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Not Another Goalie Post

Semyon Varlamov

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

Okay, so it is another goalie post. Still here? Cool, cause nothing gets the Twitterverse popping like a Team Neuvy/Team Varly debate. Plus, there is some breaking news here on RMNB: The Greenberg Bus is now gliding along the Varly Highway. It’s no disrespect to Neuvy, as the Caps are blessed with two young, legitimately-below-average netminders, but Varly has now taken over the number one spot in my heart. How did this happen? Let me explain.

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FOR FRAK SAKE: Bolts beat Caps 3-0

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Just lie down, Schultzy. It’ll all be over soon. (Photo credit: Scott Audette)

In Paddy Chayesfsky’s Network, seasoned newsman Howard Beale has a nervous breakdown on live television. At the height of frustration, he compels his viewers to open up their windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Don’t know why that popped into my head just now.

The Washington Capitals’ appointment with the Tampa Bay Lightning was supposed to be an impassioned affair: two tied Southeast teams battling for the division lead. That did not happen. The Caps, perhaps reeling from last night’s overtime loss to the Panthers, never really suited up. The ever-improving Lightning took control of the game and never relented.

Dominic Moore waited for the power play to end before scoring, exploiting some lazy defensive work by Washington. Sean Bergenheim followed up with a home-run swing at one of Semyon Varlamov’s flying rebounds. And then Simon Gagne grabbed a loose puck and beat the overwhelmed Varly on the breakaway. The Caps didn’t even try. Bolts beat Caps 3-0.

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A Special Birthday Cake For John Carlson’s 21st

Nour poses with John Carlson after she presents him with the cake

Editor’s note: Nour H. is a reader with a talent for sweets. It’s good that she chose to user her powers for good, treating rookie John Carlson to a tasty cake for his 21st birthday. Here is Nour’s story.

There’s something cool about meeting someone you admire. Getting an autograph is nice, but sometimes you have to give back. A while ago I had a silly idea while watching the Caps practice with my friend Lindsey. John Carlson‘s birthday was coming up, his 21st, and I thought to make him a birthday cake. I was half joking. I mean, how could I even get it to him? I thought I would give it a shot anyway and asked an acquaintance if he could make it happen. The worst he could say was “no”.

It made my night when I got the official “OK.” He told me that he couldn’t promise a meeting, but that he could definitely give it to him. Didn’t matter to me. I just thought it would be cool to give him a cake. I had about a week to plan it out, and I didn’t want to waste any time. I wanted this to be one of the best cakes ever.

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Penalty Parade: Panthers beat Caps 4-3 (OT)

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The Swedish War Machine. (Photo credit: Joel Auerbach)

The Washington Capitals better get used to playing on the road. With 22 of their remaining games away from Verizon Center, the boys have to play with the discipline that was lacking tonight in tonight’s date with the Florida Panthers. The second consecutive meeting between the southeast rivals was decorated with twelve minor penalties, six apiece. But it was the Caps and their uncanny ability to place those penalties at the worst possible times that cost them the game.

The Panthers could have taken the Caps out entirely with three early goals by Santorelli, Reasoner, and Booth– two of those tallies thanks to two-man advantages. But the Caps rallied back with a pretty give-and-go and by Marcus Johansson via Laich and a Mike Knuble wrister off an Alex Ovechkin pass. MoJo struck again in the third with the tying goal, a crash-the-net maneuver that compelled Tomas Vokoun to bobble and release the puck into the net. In overtime, Mike Green’s hook put the Caps once more at a disadvantage, which Dennis Wideman exploited. Narf. Panthers beat Caps 4-3 (OT).

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Caps Care Casino Night, Year Two

Karl Alzner poses with Emily

Editor’s note: One year ago, Emily Karol gave a newborn RMNB a kick in the pants with her report on the first Casino Night. This year she does the same with the added bonus of Chris Gordon’s photos.

By the way, Emily is looking for a roommate. Available February 1st, she’s got a single bedroom with a private bathroom and a walk-in closet located just 3 miles from Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Email her if you’re interested. Awesome people only, please. Take it away, Emily.

When I learned that the 2nd annual CapsCare Casino Night and Auction would take place on January 9th, I couldn’t be more excited. I attended the first Casino Night and had a blast, but this year’s festivities hit on the birthdays of both Bruce Boudreau and me. Who could pass up the chance to wear a pretty dress, drink some cocktails, and schmooze with fabulous people on your birthday? Not me.

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