Mike Ribeiro was only a rental for the Washington Capitals, acquired to fill a void as the temporary second line center. After his half season with team, he bolted for big money in Phoenix. Many Caps fans, though, still have a soft spot for Ribs and his swag. So, what does Ribeiro think of us? Well, here’s what he said the Coyotes press corps (two people) ahead of Saturday’s game. Continue Reading
This is a nice picture. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)
When the Caps’ leading scorer Alex Ovechkin went down with an upper-body injury last week, some wondered where the team’s scoring would come from. Well, during Ovi’s six period absence the Washington Capitals scored 10 goals. Never mind I guess. With him back in the lineup Tuesday against the New York Islanders, they continued their blazing offensive pace, winning 6-2. As usual, Ovi was at the center of the action, registering three points in his return to the ice.
“I feel great,” Ovechkin told reporters after the game. “I feel pretty fresh out there. Of course, I have couple days off, couple breaks.”
On November 4, 2013, In News, Photos, By Chris Gordon
Photos by Chris Gordon
Hockey, thankfully, is nonpartisan. Sports is one thing Americans can set aside politics for. Instead of hating our neighbor because he’s on the other side of the aisle, we can hate him because he’s a Flyers fan. With that in mind, please no angry political comments. We’re still a hockey blog.
Today I covered the ceremony to honor the 2013 Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks at the White House. It’s a decades-old presidential tradition to honor the champions of major American professional and college sports — even the winners of the Little League World Series. Today’s event was the 55th time a team has visited during the Barack Obama presidency. Annoyingly, it’s also the second Blackhawks trip. Normally a team visits when they’re in town to play the local DC team, though that wasn’t the case today. The Blackhawks don’t come to Verizon Center until right before the playoffs in mid-April, so the team used one of their odd days in between home games to make the trip.
Fehrsie looking resplendent at right wing. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
Martin Erat and Eric Fehr have both spent significant time this season stuck on the fourth line, a misuse of their considerable talent. But with Alex Ovechkin missing his second game due to an upper-body injury, both wingers now find themselves on Washington’s top trio, skating 20 minutes a night. In 120 minutes of play, the new first line of Erat, Nicklas Backstrom, and Fehr has been fantastic, registering three goals and nine points. For Nick, three of his five goals this year have come in the last two days.
So what’s the key to Nick’s newfound goal scoring ability, and the line’s success as a whole? Well, Ovechkin has generated the vast majority of the first line’s shots this season. Though they are improving, Johansson and Backstrom had the maddening tendency to pass, pass, pass early in the year. Without Ovi, has Backstrom been forced shoot the puck more, always an important factor in scoring goals? In short, no. When I asked him about it, Backstrom insisted that he wasn’t directing any more pucks toward the net than usual. A little late-night research backs him up. Nick has attempted three shots in each of the two games without Ovechkin, roughly in line with his normal pace. So, some nice shots and a bit of luck.
“Yeah, that’s just a coincidence,” Backstrom said with some sass.
Nevertheless, the temporary first line has been impressive. Erat and Fehr deserve credit for holding their own in a new and challenging position, each playing on their third different line this year. Fehr, especially, made a large jump, playing two total polar opposite roles in one week. Monday in Vancouver, he played 12 minutes as the gritty fourth line center. Saturday, he played almost twenty minutes as the first line right wing.
“He didn’t want to fight,” Emery told Chuck Gormley. “I said, basically, ‘Protect yourself.’ He didn’t really have much of a choice.”
Kind of like a mugging.
The Capitals were outraged that referee Francois St. Laurent let the ‘fight’ go on considering only one participant appeared to be willing. Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, in particular, was peeved. As he should be.
Chiefly, it was Washington’s third line of Joel Ward, Mikhail Grabovski, and Jason Chimera providing the firepower, scoring four of the game’s seven goals. Ward, in his first career hat trick, notched three. All in all, members of the line registered an amazing 10 points in 60 minutes. Since being placed together on October 18th, the trio has been masterful, registering nine of the team’s 18 even-strength goals since Adam Oates’s line shuffling. That’s, like, half of them. Not bad for bottom-six guys.
The Washington Capitals have been terrible defensively this year. There have, however, been a few bright spots. While he hasn’t looked fantastic (who has so far?), rookie Nate Schmidt has held his own after being called up to replace an injured Jack Hillen. Right now, he’s skating big minutes with a guy named Mike Green. The 22-year-old was playing college hockey just seven months ago and has played in fewer than two dozen professional games. And Saturday, Schmidt got the first point of his young NHL career.
On October 27, 2013, In Game Recap, By Chris Gordon
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.
Back in ye olde days of 1997, the Edmonton Oilers drafted a hometown boy named Jason Chimera with their fifth-round pick. The Medicine Hat Tiger (taken ahead of ya boy Matt Cooke in case you were wondering) was known then, as he is now, for his speed. Tonight, Chimmer visited his old ‘hood and went about creating a great narrative with his second period goal. Or so we thought.
With five minutes left in the middle frame, John Carlson lobbed the puck to the front of the net, deflecting off someone in front. Chimera, playing for a myriad of friends and family, acted like he got the tally and the Rexall Place scorekeepers followed suit. The Chim Dog, though, gave Craig Laughlin the real story. (Chimmer was money in his two appearances on CSN by the way. After the game, he used a naughty word — or said something about a duck — when talking about the Caps cycle game. Don’t you know little kids are watching post game shows at 12:30 in the morning, Jason?)