Neuvy Upsetted, Fehr Resplendent, Caps beat Habs 3-2 (SO)

beagle - Patrick Smith

Beagle is out of the doghouse do you get it doghouse his last name is a breed of dog. (Photo: Patrick Smith)

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you have a relaxing day full of casual conversation and limited stress? Weird, the Caps did the same thing on Friday night against the Montreal Canadiens. Showing no signs of fixing their endemic and fairly obvious problems,  the Caps gave away the lead with a slow start, allowed a goal right after they scored, and still got a W. How about that?

Danny Briere got denied on a wraparound attempt but forced it through Holtby’s five-hole for the only goal of the first period. Mikhail Grabovski cut Peter Budaj’s purse in the second and alleyed Eric Fehr’s oop to tie the game, but Tomas Plekanec tied it up less than two minutes later on an odd-man rush. With 5:27 left in the third, Eric Fehr set up Mikhail Grabovski for a big big big tying goal.

Into overtime we came and went. You know what’s next, right?

Shootout bullets!

  • Eric Fehr SUNK IT
  • Eller roofed it past Holtby
  • OVI SCOAR
  • Desharnais went wide, then short-side to score
  • Backstrom blockedstrom
  • Galchenyuk denied
  • Grabograbograbograbograbograbograbo grabo’d
  • Plekanec refused

Caps beat Habs 3-2 in the shootout! Losing Streak OVAR!

  • Michal “DiPietro” Neuvirth injured himself skating out onto this before the game. Braden Holtby got the start in his place (and Caps video coach Brett Leonhardt got his second amateur tryout contract as back-up G). That’s obviously awful news for Neuvy, who has gotten far fewer starts under Oates, who doesn’t seem as keen on a 1A-1B deal as Dale Hunter was back in 2011-2012.
  • Unlike their explosive start against the Senators on Wednesday, the Capitals casually waltzed into this one. They put just 4 shots Peter Budaj in the first period, none after the first 4:20– a stretch of time that included a nearly 4-minute-long power play. Here’s the shot-attempt chart of the first period from Extra Skater– the flat blue lines are sad times for quiet reflection:

fenwick-graph-2013-11-29-canadiens-capitals

  • Danny Briere‘s first-period goal was the result of hard work and the relative indifference of defensive pair Alexander Urbom and Tyson Strachan, neither of whom are really qualified for NHL defense in my estimation. It’s possible Adam Oates now realizes that as well. Urbom didn’t take a shift after that Briere goal. Here’s the goal:
  • Eric Fehr. That is all. DC Cycle: goal, assist, shootout goal. <3

  • The thing where the Capitals give up a goal within a minute or two of scoring is still happening and it is literally the worst thing since smallpox. 1:07 after Eric Fehr tied the game, the Habs got it back. I don’t know what to make of this. I just wanna do an arm flail and use adult language sometimes.
  • It was clear that junk weren’t working late in the second, so Adam Oates shuffled his lines. I saw Fehr-Grabo-Brouwer among the new formulations. Later in the game it was Chimera-Backstrom-Ovechkin. I don’t know if anything will come of this, but considering how phlegmatic Oates has been regarding his lines, it’s certainly noteworthy.
  • I dump on Marcus Johansson a lot, but he was one of the team’s best forwards on Friday. Through 40 minutes he led the Caps in shot attempts and shots on goal– and he should have scored once or twice. Ovi ended up with the most S’s on G’s, but Mojo deserves credit for giving all the doubters (e.g. me) what-for.
  • The Capitals power play is colder than your grandmammy’s leftovers. Oh snappppp good burn RMNB. The Caps went 0 for 4 on Friday, generating not a whole bunch of shots on them. I counted two. Total. Two shots. One shot and then another and then that’s it, we are done counting shots.
  • Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski just make sense. Like peanut butter and chocolate, or peas and carrots, or whiskey and pickle juice– they just go together. Both players have been unduly unloved in recent years, but they’re both truly cock diesel. You can quote me on that.
joe b mtl

Joe B suit of the night

Everytime Grabo does something awesome, let’s remember McPhee was the guy who got him over the summer. He did three awesome things tonight.

Alright. So the Caps seem to be in a bit of a rut. They haven’t won a game outright since November 17th. If the Metropolitan weren’t the meh-tropolitan, the Caps wouldn’t be in sole possession of 2nd place.

But it is, and they are. And we consider that a gift. Thank you.

With that gift, the Caps have the opportunity to fix their ailing parts– their defense, their slow starts, their shifts following goals– and enhance the stuff that is working– the power play (kinda), the whatever-line-Grabo-is-on, the Ovi. The problems aren’t all that mysterious, and the team is staffed by smart dudes who I hope can make the right calls.

So, uhhh. Maybe get on that? Maybe kinda quick since the Caps are headed to Long Island tomorrow night?

Hope you guys had a happy Thanksgiving!

  • Bob

    most important thing about tonights game

  • William

    Before I infect you with negativity, THE CAPS WON!

    Oh and Peter/Mr. Bulldog I forgive you for not appreciating fehr’s abilities. Gotta love him.

    Negative part:

    Does Oates have some kind of obtuse fetish with schmidt? Seems like he plays poorly and then gets more pt.

    Also, I thought we played a poor game, but hey, so did montreal.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I always appreciated Fehr’s abilities!

  • William

    Sorry, I worded that inccorectly. I was trying to say you always did appreciate his abilities and I didn’t.

  • Jack Conness

    It still blows my mind Fehr was a healthy scratch for a month of so. He brings so much to the Caps and he proved himself, again, tonight. He skates hard and is a much better option than Laich or Brouwer.

    I continue to fall in love with Grabovski. He handles the puck beautifully and finishes EVERY check. He is definitely deserving of a contract extension.

    Their defense is still dreadful. Tonight is the night to put Urbom on waviers and #FREEDIMA. Mike Green once again had an awful night. He continues to get burned on D and he is a joke on offense. He constantly turns the puck over, can’t get a puck on net, and can’t complete a pass.

    I know Ovi is probably the best player in the game but I think Braden Holtby is arguably the Cap’s MVP. He shows up every night with one of the worst D’s in the league in front of him. He faces a million shots a game and always gives the Caps a chance.

    I am happy we finally pulled off a win but there are still glaring holes in the D.

  • beny485

    what are we going to do with orly he did request to be traded

  • William

    Pretty much how I feel right now. Well said

  • Joe in SS

    Agreed that Urbom and Strachan both had a rough game. Surely one of them could watch Dima play a tilt or two in the next week or so???

  • Marky Narc

    Every time someone tweets “wake up, Caps”, I mentally replace it with “get better players, Caps”. Because that’s what they meant to say.

  • Jack Conness

    I would also like to put out there, the Caps HAVE TO trade Neuvirth when he is totally healthy. I like the guy. He is a good goalie. But he gets hurt too often and we are paying a backup way to much money. They need to clear some cap space and might as well give Philipp Grubauer a chance.

  • Bob

    great post, golf clap to you sir. id love to see orlov get called up tomorrow and PLAY. GMGM can kind of sort of redeem himself if he resigns grabo after this season.

  • William

    #FREEDIMA

  • beny485

    who do you think we could get for him

  • Jack Conness

    I really don’t know. A D-man would be nice. There are a lot of other teams looking for help in net and Neuvirth could start for a lot of different teams. I think it is time to move on from him.

  • Mike Bender

    Orlov needs to be playing!!!! Beagle needs to stay! We all know it. Why doesn’t Oates know it?

  • Jack Conness

    Thanks Bob! A Grabo extension would be great. He has proved himself and they might as well give him a deal now. If he hits the open market, a team will overpay for him and steal him from Washington.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    ..

  • beny485

    trade him west with erat and maybe dima for Hamhuis

  • Bob

    package him with Erat and maybe a 2nd round pick and you could get a good return.

  • Red

    I like Neuvy, but there’s no way we would’ve won today if he started. Holtby had to make some huuuge saves to keep it close. I’ll take the win, but I don’t have to be happy about it!
    Also, dream second line 16-84-10 will never happen. Sad.

  • William

    I mentioned that a few weeks ago and I really hope it happens. I doubt we could get a guy like grabo on the open market at a decent price.

  • Anela

    The bullet point on how they turnover a goal right after scoring hit home with me — every time they do it, I arm flail and swear and make some nonhuman noise.

    I am so in love with Fehr and Grabo… I want to see them play more. Hopefully Fehr doesn’t get healthy scratched again after tonight.

  • William

    Yeah. I just want one game. Just one!

  • Owen Johnson

    So what is the record for # of shootouts in a month. Have we broken that record yet?

  • Jack Conness

    Trading Erat and Neuvirth would free up a ton of money. I wouldn’t mind seeing Brouwer in a deal either. He also has a pretty big contract. If GMGM pulls one of these deals off (which I don’t see happening), I would be relatively pleased.

  • Graham Dumas

    OHMYGODICANTBELIEVEYOUGIVEMCPHEE/MCPHAIL/MCWHATEVERCREDITHESUCKSSOMUCHHEMUSTDIEDIEDIE!

  • Graham Dumas

    Yes please. Prefer Urbom to sit over Strachan; not sure why.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Maybe Orlov can catch the bus with Grubauer. :) Also, any one know why Binky’s been getting scratched too? Between him and Orlov, we better not see Urbom (or Schmidt) in against the Islanders tomorrow. Also, going to a 4-dman rotation is going to hurt tomorrow…

    Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but didn’t the PP cool off around the same time as Carlson started being on PP1? Put Greenie back out there.

    Finally, the breakout still looks HORRIBLE. Something has to change there as I lost track of how many times the D got stuck playing catch skating back towards Holtby and getting pinned in below the circles.

  • Ash

    To be fair, Dima’s agent has been making the majority of the noise about the trade and given that it’s Mark Gandler… I dunno, I don’t see it as the same as Erat asking flat out for his trade. I see it as Gandler seizing on an opportunity to be Gandler. But I could be wrong.

  • Guest

    I always picture that when Grabo scores, he says “that’ll hold the SOB’s”.

  • Gersh21

    I always picture when Grabo scores, he says “that ought to hold the SOB’s”.

  • Owen

    #FREEORLOV
    #FREEOLEKSY
    Why why WHY is Strachan starting over both of them?

  • Jay DeLancey

    because our management is a disaster

  • beny485

    //

  • Dave

    I was at the game tonight, in town for Thanksgiving… the crowd was pretty tame (not much to cheer for when your team is being waaaay out shot) until the perfectly timed “unleash the fury” that led to the game tying goal. Tom Green deserved an assist for that.

    Also, I saw the crazy Ovechkin beard guy at the game. He had a slightly different design this time. I guess he’s also home for Thanksgiving…

  • H70

    I don’t understand this whole Schmidt/Urbom/Strachan thing while Oleksy sits. #freebinky

  • H70

    Oh, and ditto the give up goal. When will it end!?! And is there anything in the world more deflating?

  • supremeclientele44

    gotta lvoe beeeags.

  • supremeclientele44

    beeeaaaagggssss!

  • Dark Stranger

    Dima probably had expressed his frustration to Gandler, that is sure. Given that it seemed that everyone and his brother seemed to ahead of him in the defenseman depth chart (Urbom, Oleksy, Strachan, Schmidt, Erskine; etc) And Gandler expressed the opinion that a trade may be the best thing — if Caps didn’t intend on playing Orlov. But if Dima gets a call up, would he cancel the trade request?

  • Michael Reschly

    > I saw Fehr-Grabo-Brouwer among the new formulations

    … isn’t that one of the starting lines ever since The Return Of The Fehr? http://www.japersrink.com/2013/11/29/5158108/tonights-lines-brooks-laich-out-jay-beagle-in/in/4922131

  • djlotus

    See what a #FREEBEAGLE can do? If only we could find out what a #FREEDIMA could do.

    And don’t forget to #FIREGMGM

  • Ash

    Dunno. I just find it more optimistic we only heard about the trade request from Gandler, and not from Dima himself. I was really impressed with how level-headed he seemed in the interview post RMNB did with him. I’d hope that if he does get into the lineup, he’d stay.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    Meh. I don’t know why. but Meh. I’m still disgusted. I plan to be over it in a week.

  • Rhino40

    How many Necs could a Plekanec Plec if a Plekanec could Plec Necs? Answer: 0
    #grenouilled

  • Rhino40

    Agree with the vast majority of your post. Except the waive Urbom part. Seems to me he has been mostly solid this season and just had a particularly bad night. That said, One of my biggest worries is the apparent squandering of Martin Erat’s talents–particularly considering what GMGM gave up to obtain him. I also think that Dima at very least needs a significant look on NHL ice (instead of this yo-yo crap they’ve been doing to exploit the KHL loophole in his contract). Play him, Oatsie–if he isn’t ready now I’m afraid he never will be.

    IMHO, the only thing worse than Dima turning out to be a bust is if we let him slip away to another team…where he then wins a Norris (which these days requires that one be able to SCOAR, and Dima certainly can) or even a (Gagarin?) Cup. The horror.

    I must now finally admit a experiencing a “counter-ovi” feeling whenever Green has the puck. Let me explain: “Когда Саша имеют шайбу, я возбуждают (“When Sasha have puck, I have excite…”).In other words, once it’s on Ovi’s stick, seems like there’s a better-than-even chance something wonderful is likely to happen very soon. When Green have puck…umm…not so much. Maybe something bad. I hope I turn out to be wrong about this. I hope Green finds his mojo again, and damn quick.

  • Rhino40

    Another Guaranteed Downvote-Proof Peter Post. Except maybe we should have ‘shopped some flames into the picture because it seemed like #83 was en fuego

  • Rhino40

    As long as we’re on the subject of a Trade with the West…BXƏ! BXƏ!! We Want BXƏ!!!

  • Graham Dumas

    Is Bieksa available?

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    I was at the game last night. Thankfully E16 showed up otherwise I may have fallen asleep until the 3rd. He skates hard. Sure he makes mistakes but honestly no more than anyone else. Is Backstrom on Oates “naughty list” after last night’s trips to the penalty box? A few mistakes from the less flashy players aren’t overlooked as quickly as Mike Green’s lackluster depth. Speaking of defense…this is the first time I’ve watched PK Subban play in person…WOW. Intense, FAST, in your face. I’d love to see him in a CAPS jersey. I know it would never happen but a fan can hope can’t they?