Look at these idiots. (Photo credit: Derek Leung)
Utterly stunning as it may be, the Washington Capitals came into Saturday’s late night bout against Calgary on a three game winning streak after a pair of 4-1 victories and shootout nail biter in Winnipeg. With a newly even record, the Caps looked to put themselves above .500 for the first time this year with a win against the lowly Flames. They didn’t.
Kris Russell scored just over a minute into the game after a horrid opening shift for the Caps. It didn’t get better. Jiri Hudler put the Flames up by two with some net crashing. Jason Chimera got one back for the Caps on a nice backhand shot in front. Mike Cammalleri, though, just continued the bloodletting. Holtby pulled, Holtby mad. In the second, the Caps were better. Aaron Volpatti‘s muffled wrister found the back of the net to put them within one heading into the final frame. That period was stupid. Cammalleri potted another. Curtis Glencross added one more. Flames drop Caps 5-2.
- This game started at 10 on a Saturday night. The Caps lost. Nobody is gonna read this.
- Washington is in the middle of a season-long five game road trip following their season-long five game home stand. This is the wrath of horse shows, people.
- Kris Russell scored for the Flames. Seriously, that’s his name. Kris. Disgusting.
- After three goals allowed within 13 minutes, Braden Holtby got the hook from Adam Oates. Holtby was, like, super pissed — maybe even at Oatesie. He should be. His defense was awful and he made some brilliant saves to keep the Caps from going down by more goals. Keep your head up, Bray Bray.
- Michal Neuvirth was okay in relief, allowing two goals. Most of that, though, the due to the Caps improved defensive play. Holtby almost faced as many shots despite playing not even playing a full period.
- Former-Cap Dennis Wideman registered two assists and seven SOGs against his old mates. After that nasty leg injury he suffered at Verizon Center, it’s nice to see him on the ice.
- Aaron Volpatti — yes, that guy — scored his first goal as a Capital. He shanked it. It still went in. Pure skill.
- Another first on Volpatti’s tally went to young defenseman Nate Schmidt, who registered his first assist (and point) on the goal. Congrats to Smitty. He wasn’t so great on D though. Schmidt and Calgary native Mike Green were on the ice for three Flames goals.
“Volpatti from Schmidt” is as sublime a #Caps scoring play as you will see.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) October 27, 2013
- Brooks Laich was on the ice for five of out of seven goals tonight. Four of those were Flames tallies. In fact, the whole second line was bad. Martin Erat was out there for four GAs. Erat-Laich-Brouwer was Washington’s worst trio in terms of possession stats. They had just three shot attempts.
- Hot, hot, hot! Jason Chimera had a goal and six shots on goal tonight. He’s now third on the team in markers.
- Washington’s power play struggled tonight. Oh-for-four during eight minutes of boring hockey. The peepee is now ranked third in the league, just behind the New York Islanders.
- Interestingly enough, that means the penalty kill is now the best special teams unit for the Capitals. They went three-for-three versus the Flames. The Caps are killing nearly 90% of man-advantage chances for the other team, good for the number two spot in the NHL.
- RED ALERT! STOP THE PRESSES! POUR THE VODKA! Per Mike Vogel (and confirmed by a reader at the game) Nicklas Backstrom had a tooth knocked out by a wayward pass from Marcus Johansson. Nicky’s angelic face took a big hit Saturday. That’s not okay.
- Backstrom and Johansson, by the way, came into the game tied for second in the NHL in assists along with some dude named Sidney Crosby. We often give Mojo grief, and a lot of people think he shouldn’t be on the top line in the first place. Still, Johansson is now shooting more and continuing to rack up points. That’s kinda cool, I guess.
- The Caps sucked again.
- As usual, the defense was at fault.
After their horrid, vile, no good, very bad start, the Capitals got to .500. They couldn’t stay here. Their defense was God awful early in the game before evening out at the match went on. Sound familiar? The team is treading water because they haven’t played a single good team all year. The Caps have some inherent roster issues on the blueline, but their play shouldn’t be this bad. And because Washington scores literally all of the goals, it doesn’t have to be great — just not a pathetic embarrassment.
It’s almost November. The Caps need to start playing passible defense before it’s too late. How they do that, I don’t know.
The Caps are finally getting out of Alberta — which, oddly enough, is a real place — and heading to lovely Vancouver for a Monday matchup against Bobby Lou’s Canucks. Peter will be back for that one, probably falling flat on his face sometime around 1 AM.