Braden Holtby: A Superstar in the Making?

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Braden Holtby. He was simply incredible against the Bruins Thursday night — the only reason why the Caps aren’t down 3-1 heading into Boston. The 22-year-old netminder made 44 saves while allowing a single goal (on a 2-on-1) as the Caps squeaked out a 2-1 victory.

“That’s playoff hockey,” Holtby said after the game. “That’s why it’s so fun — the close games, the close battles. I hope it doesn’t change and I hope that we’re on the high end of it every time.”

After struggling somewhat Monday night (though not as much as the defense) in the Capitals 4-3 loss, this was a hell of a way to bounce back. Throughout the game Holtby was continuously peppered with shots but made save after save.

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The Capitals’ New Opening Video for the Playoffs

From, here’s the opening video for the Washington Capitals’ 2011-2012 Playoffs. This bad boy played in Verizon Center before games three and four this week.

It opens up with a dubstep version of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army”, and then goes into Anthrax’s “We’ve Come For You All (W.C.F.Y.A.)”, before finishing with a little bit of “The Red” by Chevelle. The visuals treat us to close-ups of our Caps in monocromatic red before unleashing some stirring highlights from recent weeks.

Ugh. If your bedtime is coming up, good luck getting your heart rate down. This thing is excellent.

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

With 1:17 to go in the second period of Thursday’s win, Alex Semin gathered the puck at his customary spot along the side boards and looked to create some offense on the Capitals’ third power play of the night. As the Bruins defense sagged, Sasha skated in to the left dot and unleashed a 71 MPH wrist shot past Tim Thomas. Scoar!

Video of the game-winning tally is below, as well as a goal celebration that doesn’t involve any belly patting whatsoever.

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Holtby Superior! Caps beat Bruins 2-1

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

After two noisy days without a game, the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins finally got into it again. After the feisty mess that was Game Three, the Capitals had something prove for the hometown crowd– and they had to do it without Nick Backstrom.

Brooks Laich set up Marcus Johansson for an odd-man rush to score in the first ninety seconds of the game. With Dennis Wideman overcommitted on offense, Rich Peverley had an easy time tying it up with an odd-man rush. Alex Semin beat Thomas with a surgical strike on a power play late in the second to give the Caps the lead. Caps beat Bruins 2-1.

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Video: The Capitals’ Because It’s The Cup Commercial

Hot off the thing that these things come off of!

Because the Capital City has become a hockey city.
Because Rock the Red was made for this.
Because it’s not about how you get in, but what you do once you get there.
Because the ultimate prize is still waiting.
Because it’s the Cup.

Your thoughts? I love the clip from John Walton in there at the end. And the implied “White Russian” joke stings just enough. Is anyone else pumped up for tonight?

Thanks to Poo Daniels (That name? Really?) for the tip.


Prescriptions for Game Four: Win It For Nicky Signs

Photo: Chris Gordon. Guy on TweetDeck: Adam Vingan

The Washington Capitals had only a 38% win percentage on the road this season, so getting the W Thursday night is crucial; they just can’t depend on victory away from Verizon Center. But Monday’s home loss to the Bruins was an ugly affair, and the once well composed team fell to shambles. To win Game Four, the Caps are gonna have to dig deep.

I have compiled a series of modest steps the Capitals should take to make it happen. And then we threw in the secret weapon. (Okay, we’ll tell you: more posters.)

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Though we often take shots at NBC coverage of Caps games, it’s playful ribbing of a shared suffering that all hockey fans endure sometimes. We are fully aware that there are worse fates, like being stuck watching on NESN with Jack Edwards commenting.

While Bruins fans seem to like him well enough, that’s not as much the case among fans of other teams, or those who value commentating that reflects what is actually happening on the ice. Case in point: Edwards’ radio appearance with WEEI after Game 3, wherein he describes a game and a series clearly occupying a reality separate from our own.

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Shanabanned: Nicklas Backstrom Suspended One Game

Photo credit: Jim Wilt

Nicklas Backstrom has been suspended one game for a cross-check to the head of Rich Peverley in the third period of the Caps 4-3 loss to the Bruins this Monday. Backstrom received a match penalty for this cross-check at the time, which comes with an automatic one-game suspension pending review by the NHL front office.

Review it they did, and VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan has ruled that the suspension will stand. Backstrom will miss Game 4 on Thursday, the second of two home games in Washington DC. The Caps are currently down 2-1 to the Bruins for the series, and will have a chance to even the series, though that chance has just gotten significantly more difficult with arguably their best player sitting out.

You can watch Brendan Shanahan’s suspension video below the jump. Make sure there is nothing breakable nearby.

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Hey! That picture looks familiar!

Have you been off the grid for the last two days? Yeah? Okay, catching you up real quick: Caps fans taunted Tim Thomas with Obama signs, and then everyone and their moms wrote about it. Even The Huffington Post wrote about it, and they’re like the Ocean’s Eleven of the Internet: only stealing the good stuff!

And then on Tuesday, the Pardon The Interruption crew featuring former Washington Post columnists Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon addressed the taunting during their toss-up segment, WORD!

Video is below the jump.

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DC Birds Hate Tyler Seguin

You could be excused for forgetting that Tyler Seguin has come to DC — with a grand total of zero goals, zero points, and zero penalty minutes, Boston’s regular-season leading scorer has made himself all but invisible.

At least, to human eyes. As it turns out, our local seagulls — obviously Caps fans — think quite differently. They’ve been even more vigilant in watching for the Bruins junior heartthrob than the Capitals defense, and this afternoon they made sure to welcome him to the city with a very special hello.

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