Missing Defense, Missing Teeth: Flames Drop Caps 5-2


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.


  • 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.
Remembrance poppy swag for Locker

Remembrance poppy swag for Locker

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.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Lazy. Lazy. And a little more lazy. Bad effort all around.

  • Freedoooom

    Brooks Laich -3(but was on for 4 ESG against) and 31% on the faceoff and stupid penalty.

    Please demote him.

  • bob

    the frustrating part is that they all know they have to start games better but they just cant

  • Matt

    Picked a good game to not watch.

  • Pat Magee

    Did Wilson get benched halfway through the game? This coach really knows how to develop rookie talent!!!

  • Freedoooom

    They can, but they won’t as long as Laich is out for every opening faceoff at the beginning of every period.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    tummy hurts. yucky game. i wanna throw it up.

  • William

    Really poor game from the third defensive pair and mike green. Other than that we couldn’t get much going on offensive.

  • Graham Dumas

    Caps’ home ice: the Phone Booth. Caps’ game performance: often phoned in. Irony… or conspiracy?

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Operation: Dumpster Fire! Mission accomplished.

    It honestly should have been 5-0 at the point Holtby was pulled.

    Calgary got a lot of lucky bounces, which didn’t help.

    I fear how bad this dumpster fire is going to look as we go up against teams with true top line talents like Pittsburgh, Boston, etc.

  • kbouck

    yeah maybe Schmitty wasnt great on D either, but i feel like he makes a decision quicker and executes faster and better than most of our veteran D!

  • RedRockingElla

    Defense bad. I got nothing else

  • yv

    “Just when I thought ‘Caps’ were out they pull me in” – Michael Corleone about this inept team that fully deserves Holtby’s obscenities.
    Erat -4, Laich -3 – oh my. Looks like, Laich maybe again playing with injury, very slow in everything.
    Nothing good to expect in Vancouver. Caps have been always bombed there (4:7 last time), this time with such D even more so. Maybe a reason to see only short highlights.

  • William

    Seems like Calgary played a bad game other than the first 15 minutes and a couple of spurts here and there. They scored due to defensive lapses on Washington’s side. Sucks they didn’t keep Holtby in the game as he was playing well. Neuvirth was okay…he did let in one soft goal though.

    Definitely looking more and more like the capitals are going to need to trade for a defenseman if they want to be competitive in the long run this year.

  • Matt Root

    Erskine in place of Urbom still boggles my mind.

  • yv

    Wilson and Volpatti both have only one shift in the middle of 3d, Fehr couple more.

  • Matt Root

    Oh, and just as I stated in a previous article…


  • I’d prefer Orlov though.

  • I would agree with that.

  • Ah, didn’t notice that.

  • kbouck

    I liked him his first year up, but last I saw him, he seemed like he was trying to do too much on his own; maybe trying to become another offensive defenseman?…..

  • He just couldn’t find his game after the concussion. I wouldn’t read that much into it. He needs another shot with the Caps at least.

  • Jonathan Fox

    Time out, are those helmets their fan giveaway?

  • Barrett

    The Capitals suck at the faceoff dot. The last time the Capitals were actually good in that department some guys named Boyd Gordon (currently playing for Edmonton and winning 60% of his faceoffs) Matt Hendricks and Jeff Halpern (currently playing for Phoenix and winning 64% of his limited attempts) owned the responsibility.

    Just looking at some teams now, I really like the Nashville Predators up the middle. They have guys who over the past few years dominate in the faceoff circle. Their top four centers all convert over 50%.