Caps beat Flames 3-1: Wardo Nets Two, Orpik Hits Everyone

Gerry Thomas

Photo: Gerry Thomas

Good morning! The Washington Capitals beat the Calgary Flames, and if that’s all you care about, you can now go to bed. I’d appreciate it if you read on though; this was a pretty good game.

For example, Joel Ward was gonzo. He exploited a turnover during a first-period power play to put the Caps on the board and then got his second after a strong shift by Michael Latta and the fourth line. Somewhere between those two, ex-Cap Dennis Wideman got the Flames in the game with an outside shot for which Holtby was blinded.

Nick Backstrom got career point number 501 with a sweet wrister in the third period’s first minute. Troy Brouwer shanked a chance at an empty-netter. Oh well, solid W.

Caps beat Flames 3-1!

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orpik-stick-stuck-in-pants

Photo: @RegressedPDO

Over the offeseason, the Washington Capitals backed up a Brinks truck to Brooks Oprik’s driveway because of his physical game. So far this season, Orpik has delivered. On opening night, CSN Washington called the former Penguin the player of the game for all his big body checks. And Saturday night in Calgary, Orpik went on a hitting bonanza.

Orpik led all skaters with 10 hits. Late in the second period, the Caps defenseman made professional hockey player Josh Jooris wish he were a Mexico City sewer diver instead.

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ovechkin-blocks-shot-with-wrist

Alex Ovechkin earns almost 9.5 million dollars against the salary cap each season, more than 13 percent of the Washington Capitals’ player budget. That’s why it’s a little worrying when Ovi risks injury– even more so when he does it blocking an inconsequential shot.

So…

On Saturday night in Calgary, Alex Ovechkin risked injury by blocking an inconsequential shot.

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Alex Ovechkin Accidentally Checks Official (GIF)

ovechkin-checks-ref-oops

Screenshot by @myregularface

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is a league leader in hits. He got his physical game going early on Saturday night. Eighteen seconds into the contest, he levied his first body check, but it wasn’t against a Flames player. It was on the referee.

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kuzya-burakovsky

Photo: Angela M.

RMNB reader Angela M. (who is from our hometown of Frederick, Maryland) is doing something great. As part of her bucket list, she’s seeing a Washington Capitals game in every NHL arena. Tonight, she will be taking in a game from Calgary’s Saddledome, the 22nd venue in which she’s seen the Caps play.

Angela got a special treat before puck drop too. As she was making her way to the Saddledome, she ran into Caps rookies Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Sadly, Kuznetsov was not in his cowboy gear. Angela asked them for a picture, saying “it’s for RMNB.” They laughed and obliged.

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Caps at Flames Pregame: Top-Line Fehr is Back!

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Which service does Brian Burke use less: statisticians or hair stylists?

Wednesday’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers didn’t “sit well” with the Washington Capitals. With all the puck possession but not enough scoarage, they’ll be trying to right that wrong with a late game against the Calgary Flames. No, seriously, it’s super late. This game is going to run your Saturday night. 10 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 3-1-2 55.03% 101.15 27.3% 86.4%
Calgary Flames 5-3-1 44.22% 105.74 18.5% 75.9%

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nicklas-backstrom-andre-burakovsky

Photo: Geoff Burke

On Friday, the Washington Capitals got back to business, holding a practice at Calgary’s old Olympic stomping grounds. After the hour-long session was concluded, Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media and was asked about Caps rookie Andre Burakovsky.

Through six games this season, the Burracuda is a point-per-game player, tallying six points and scoring two big goals. When Backstrom first began his North American career with the Caps, he tallied four points – all assists – in six games as a 19-year-old.

Nicky was asked about how he would compare himself to Andre at that age and it’s great stuff.

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wilson-latta-fight

Tom Wilson‘s broken ankle has finally heeled (get it? boo). Tonight he will play in his first game of the 2014-15 season… with the Hershey Bears. Wilson was re-assigned to the AHL earlier this week.

It’s unknown how Wilson will play in Barry Trotz’s new system, but there’s one thing I’m confident of: he still knows how to face-punch good.

Proof: Last week, RMNB’s Amanda Bowen caught John Stamos’s brother-from-another-mother participating in a fake scrap with Michael Latta.

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Breaking Down Jeff Schultz’s Plus-50 Season

Editor’s note: Pat Holden has written about Caps hockey over at Brooks Laichyear since 2012. We’ve asked him to pitch in here at RMNB to smarten us up a bit. Please give Pat a warm welcome. Follow him on Twitter.

This isn’t a post about plus-minus or debating its merits. I don’t like it and neither should you, but that’s not my purpose here. You can love plus-minus and still read this post without becoming enraged. Probably.

Jeff Schultz‘s plus-50 in 2009-10 was the highest rating we’ve seen since Peter Forsberg in 2003. When Caps fans or hockey fans in general make fun of plus-minus, Schultz’s name is almost always invoked. Even Ovechkin did it.

But we don’t often look too closely at Schultz’s 2009-10 season. It was uncommon and– most importantly– really, really lucky. Below is a player usage chart for the Caps defense from that season that will serve as the foundation for examining Schultz’s season.

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capitals-weagle-prototype-jersey

Photo: Icethetics

On June 22, 2007, Ted Leonsis unveiled new uniforms for the Washington Capitals. The team dumped their five-starred eagle and Capitol Dome logos and returned to their original red, white, and blue color scheme.

During that faithful day, the team also unveiled two new marks, including a secondary logo which would be nicknamed by Capitals fans as the Weagle (an eagle that had a W shape with a subtractive silhouette of the Capitol Dome on the bottom).

On Thursday night, Icethetics noticed an interesting jersey up for auction on eBay. The user manonthemoon12345 described the sweater as a “rare authentic” Washington Capitals prototype jersey. On the tag, it’s dated November 16, 2005 and there is a note that this is a second of six versions of the jersey.

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