Video: Tomas Vokoun’s Save of the Year Candidate

While his teammates in front of him were having a bit of a vacation hangover, Tomas Vokoun was brilliant in net during the Capitals’ 4-3 (OT) loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday. Vokoun made 27 saves, including stoning Steven Stamkos on a breakaway in regulation. The Czech netminder’s best stop however came in overtime, when — down on the ice and out of position — he stretched out and caught Vincent Lecavalier’s shot from the crease with his glove. Check out the video below the jump.

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So much almost. (Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Whew, what a relief that the All-Star Weekend is over! We’re all so sick of watching haphazard, sloppy, firewagon hockey that turns over pucks and gives up chances every few seconds, it’s such a relief to get back to the responsible, disciplined team we all missed so much.

Hahaha! Let’s all have a good laugh at that one for a minute, and then to the recap. I am pleased to inform you that the curse of my recaps was broken tonight. Actual goals were scored.

Matt Hendricks opened the scoring with the ol’ Brooks-Laich-diving-poke-check-pass, fan-on-the-initial-and-then-wildly-backhand-it move. Classic. Teddy Purcell scored two shifts later on a feed from Steve Downie, who mysteriously hadn’t had his face punched in yet at this point. All Martin St. Louis had to do was skate past Hamrlik lying face-down on the ice to make it 2-1. Nate Thompson banged one in on a good cycle from Tampa in front of the net. Mathieu Perreault was in the right place at the right time to take credit for a hilarious own goal off Thompson’s stick. Good pressure from Laich forced a puck loose for Troy Brouwer, who put it in the back of the net. The game went to overtime, and Steven Stamkos scored on a defensive breakdown from John Carlson. Caps lose, 4-3.

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(All pics by Kyle Mace at Sweetest Hockey on Earth)

Welcome to the Washington Capitals, Fists of Fury edition. A few key pieces are essentially dead right now, and some others are playing like they are, so these holes will be filled by kids from Hershey, which is what they are there for.

I know you are all smart and cool people who keep up to date on our minor leaguers, but if you are at all behind in this I do not blame you, as there are like a million of them. In case you are wondering who in the world this is on your ice, here is a quick rundown!

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NHL All-Stars Suffering from Concussions and Head Injuries

Special thanks to Gary Bettman for letting the guys out of the Quiet Room long enough for us to snap this pic. Enlarge. (Photo illustration by Ian Oland)

The stars of the All-Star Game were a little less bright this year. Some of the familiar faces that fans expect were absent for reasons that are becoming all too familiar in the modern NHL: head injury. Approximately 85 head injuries have been reported this year, meaning that nearly ten percent of all active players have been injured. 28 of 30 teams have reported at least one head injury, while some franchises have dealt with as many six or seven. With star center Nicklas Backstrom now sitting out due to concussion, the issue has hit close to home for Caps fans.

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Tampa Bay Lightning Pregame: Tampa Smells

Doug Johnson of the Puck Buddys is back from break. Follow PB on Twitter.

The Pregame: Tampa. Sh*t, I’m still only in Tampa.

Or them, technically. Meaning us. As in, them, Tuesday night, isn’t us. And us don’t like them.

As dance partners go, Tampa Bay is the nattering, grabby-hands B.O. champion* of NHL cities. The one you get stuck with while your date runs off for a giggle as you try to shake him/her/it loose, but you can’t, because no-one else will even look at them, as they are now adhered to you like dog stain on rug, like flab on hips, like a vote-starved politician (redundant!) to your wallet.

Try as you might, they just won’t go away, and the longer they stay attached to you your social capital sucks dry as you furiously look for some escape but come to realize that, no, you and this thing are now welded together in a grotesque, condemned to dancing together for all eternity, or at least until realignment. Face it, Tampa: you smell.

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