Report: Capitals Targeting Another Top-Nine Forward

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Even though the NHL trade deadline is still five days away, a flurry of deals have already been made. The Devils dumped Jaromir Jagr to the Panthers; the Hurricanes traded Jiri Tlusty to the Jets and Andrej Sekera to the Kings; the Penguins acquired Daniel Winnik from the Leafs; and the Blue Jackets took David Clarkson from the Leafs for some ungodly reason.

The already small group of rentals and useful players has gotten even smaller.

“You need two to dance and we’re going to the dance and there’s 30 guys and there’s only about eight girls at the dance,” Barry Trotz said to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt Thursday, essentially calling the 2015 trade deadline a sausage fest. “That’s what it is. There’s only going to be like eight or nine guys dancing.”

Early Thursday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Brian MacLellan has been burning the phone lines pursuing another top-nine forward.

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ted

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Washington DC yesterday. While he was in town, he took in the Caps-Pens rivalry game from the owner’s box at Verizon Center. Bettman also held court with the local media.

When asked about the growth of hockey in the DC Area over the last decade, Bettman marveled at the job both Alex Ovechkin and Ted Leonsis have done. Seconded.

“It’s the Ovechkin era and there’s an era that’s a little bit longer than that one and I would call that the [Ted] Leonsis era,” Bettman said beaming. “I think Ted’s ownership of this franchise has been nothing short of phenomenal in terms of how the community has been engaged and in terms of how fans have connected with and interacted with this franchise; the stability of ownership and management has been very important.”

Then it got weird. Bettman credited (I think) definitely-not-Washington Capital Evgeni Malkin.

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Photo: Caps Instagram

Braden Holtby has been busy this year, playing in 53 of the Capitals’ 62 games. Maybe that’s why he just unveiled his fourth new mask of the 2014-15 season. Painted by Swedish artist Dave Gunnarsson, the mask integrates some design features from Holtby’s Winter Classic bucket. The hand-painted Uncle Sam portrait, an homage to Olie Kolzig, returns on the chin.

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Ahead of the Capitals rivalry night game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, NBC’s Jeremy Roenick sat awkwardly on a couch with three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin. Necklessly, Roenick asked Ovechkin about his passion for the game and how he felt about the constant criticism he receives from the media.

Ovechkin answered in Runglish. He made a boat metaphor.

The full transcript is below.

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ovechkin-goal-pens

The Caps lost, and we’re all bummed, so I’ll keep this short.

Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 39th goal of the season on Wednesday in a failed comeback bid against the Penguins. It was a lonely bright spot in a dreary evening.

After taking a pass from John Carlson, Ovechkin nailed a one-timer through Marc-Andre Fleury. It was his third goal of the season against the Pens.

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Caps Play Butthockey, Lose to Penguins 4-3

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Stop smiling. Stop smiling. STOP SMILING. AHIGUEWOG

I didn’t like this game and I don’t like you. I like only my dog and tacos. Everything else sucks, starting with the Caps, then followed by the weather, and then back to the Caps again,. Let’s get this over with quickly.

Instead of sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in the regular-season series, the Capitals played maybe their worst game of the season. There were glimmers of awesome, but they were islanded in a stream of suck.

It was all Pens early, and then Patrick Hornqvist finally made the Caps pay for their carelessness. The Pens got ornery after that, but the Caps didn’t convert on the penalties. Instead, Matt Niskanen made a bad drop to an out-of-position Andre Burakovsky, so Brendan Sutter secured a shorthanded goal. John Carlson gave us something to be proud of late in the period with a sweet shot, but we knew this game wasn’t going well.

It only got worse in the second period’s penalty parade. That frame featured seven Capitals penalties, though it resulted in only one goal: Sidney Crosby’s slick wrister. His first point against the Caps this season.

Chimera and Brouwer crashed the net early in the third to make it a one-goal game, but Chris Kunitz thoroughly outworked Evgeny Kuznetsov to deflate our balloon. Late, Alex Ovechkin showed a glimpse of life with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. It wasn’t enough, but it was something not to hate about tonight.

Pens beat Caps 4-3. 

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wilson-big-hit

Tom Wilson has been whistled for three penalties tonight. His latest came after freight-training Christian Ehrhoff. The Pens defenseman, returning for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Caps on January 28, got floored twice by Wilson.

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caps-line-brawl

Mayhem.

We knew from the moment Tom Wilson shoved Evgeni Malkin during warm-ups that tonight’s game would be a cluster. Sure enough, eight minutes into the first period, everything went to hell.

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wilson-malkin

In the third period of their last game, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a bunch of cheap shots at the Washington Capitals. On Wednesday, as the Caps and Pens prepared to play the final game of their regular-season series, Tom Wilson approached Evgeni Malkin during warm-ups.

And gave him a shove.

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Goalie Controversy, Pt. 4 (Comic)

Shinny

We’re back after a couple weeks off (Rachel went out of town last week and got sick right before)! When we last left off, Abbie’s shootout test had started.

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