Caps at Avalanche Pregame: The Return of Bailamos?

ovi-mo

The Capitals aren’t scoring much lately. Alex Ovechkin, the mustache guy above, hasn’t scored since [checks watch] the late 80s. Actually 11/11. Tonight the Caps will be guests of the totally bad hot mess Colorado Avalanche.

Tonight should… SHOULD… herald the return of Bailamos. 9 PM on CSN. Do it.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 8-7-3 52.19% 98.69 24.6% 82.0%
Colorado Avalanche 6-8-5 44.13% 99.65 13.4% 88.2%

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Blind Item: A Tale of Two Teams

Totonto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers

Pic not related

Here’s a little experiment that might shed light on our current situation. I’m gonna share a couple key, even-strength stats from two teams, but I’m not going to tell you which is which.

Team A Team B
Possession 54.38% 50.18%
Goals 56.24% 42.11%
Shooting 9.14% 7.51%
Goaltending 91.67% 89.37%
Attempts / 60 38.78 38.15
Opponent Attempts / 60 32.53 37.87

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Last Call for T-Shirts and Koozies!

making-rmnb-last-lastday

Friends, the RMNB fundraiser will end tonight at midnight. If you want to get an RMNB portrait shirt before it goes into the Disney vault for freaking ever, the time to act is now. If you want our hot new not-entirely-designed-yet koozy, maybe get on that.

The Making RMNB Last campaign has raised more than $22,000 so far– meaning we’re gonna be able to do some cool stuff next year and for years to come. We’ll have some announcements about the specifics, though for now I can tell you that we’ll be making the mobile-friendly website design a top priority in the new year.

We’re blown away by the fact that 590 people have donated already, but we also know that the RMNB family is way bigger than that. Whether you’re a longtime friend-of-the-blog or a brand-new reader, your contribution of any amount (even just $1), will go a long way toward making RMNB even better.

As an added bonus, today is also Ian’s birthday. (It’s not polite to ask how old. He’s old enough.) You can consider your last-minute gift as a sort of birthday present to him, without the shopping and the wrapping and the anxiety over “oh gosh, will he like what I got him?”

If you’ve contributed or are about to, thank you from the bottom of my cold black heart, which might grow three sizes some day soon. Knowing that RMNB (or at least the shirts) matters to you does more than make me feel good about the absurd expenditure of time that we have invested so far; it justifies a continuation and escalation of the sometimes-dumb, sometimes-important, usually-fun stuff that we do here. Get ready.

To celebrate the fundraiser and say thank you, we’re throwing a little party in Frederick on Friday night. If you contributed before Tuesday, you’ve already been notified about it. We’ll send a reminder again early Friday. If you haven’t been contacted but are interested in coming, shoot us an email. It’ll be fun and silly and thoroughly Frederick-y.

Now, I’m gonna answer some questions.

  • If you contributed at any perk level, we will contact you early next week to ask what size shirt you want. Please respond as quickly as possible so we can get those shirts made and sent to you ASAP. That’s important.
  • We intend to get every shirt to every US-based contributor before Christmas.We will support shirt sizes from XS up to 4XL. The bigger shirts won’t be the same brand as the others, but they’ll still be great.
  • If you contributed at the platinum level, I’m gonna have to write an RMNB story about any topic you want. I am absolutely dreading this. We will ask you for your topic next week, but it might take some time before your article makes it onto RMNB. Oh no. I’m scared.
  • If you shot us an email about a special request, please hit us up again before the end of next week.

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The Awesome Index: We Needed That

Friends, I am having a bit of a day: Flat tire, bad weather, nasty cold, traffic jams, wah wah wah. In short: everything sucks.

But then I remember overtime, and Eric Fehr seizing victory from the jaws of mediocrity, and I can’t help but think: Man, that was awesome.

Maybe being badly-needed is an essential property of Awesome. Maybe, when things suck, awesome things become even more precious. In this week’s awesome index, only the most indispensable awesome things shall be indexed. And you’re damn skippy I am starting with Fehr.

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Fehr Redeems in the Desert: Caps beat Coyotes 2-1 (OT)

Christian Petersen

Photo: Christian Petersen

I don’t get it. Twenty minutes in, the Washington Capitals looked like they almost had it figured out. Despite some sub-optimal lines, they held a lead over an inferior team. Then they stopped skating, surrendered the lead to the Arizona Coyotes, and then looked not much better than the Oates Caps. I don’t get it, but at least they had Eric Fehr to seal the deal.

The two players we expected the least from, Jason Chimera and Jay Beagle, combined for a skill goal in the first period when Chimera burst into the o-zone then dropped to the late-guy Beagle, who put it in the back of the net. The Caps had control for the rest of the period, but surrendered all momentum in the second, culminating in Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s goal into a practically empty net.

Nobody could score in the third, so we got to see the dry scrape– maybe for the last time. Then, in overtime, Eric Fehr crashed the goddamn net and won it.

Caps beat Yotes 2-1 in overtime!

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Caps at Coyotes Pregame: Let’s Get Some Points This Week

doan-skittles

Shane and his Skittle stick.

I need a win. You need a win. The Caps need a win. Arizona is as good a place as any to get one. This whole week is as good a time as any to get some.

Stay up late with us, 9 PM, and watch the Washington Capitals in the high desert as they try to get the win they should got off the Arizona Coyotes back in early November. It’s on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-7-3 52.33% 98.64 25.9% 80.7%
Arizona Coyotes 8-9-1 48.40% 98.80 20.0% 77.0%

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Week 5 Snapshot: Orpik, Ovi, and Optimization

Scott Rovak

Photo: Scott Rovak

When the Caps were losing games early in the season, it wasn’t a big deal. The Capitals were playing well when you measured their shot-attempt differential, but the goalies were letting in too many goals. Because goalies’ cumulative save percentages are extremely volatile early in the season, and because Braden Holtby’s career save percentage is pretty high, there wasn’t much cause for concern.

Now, after deflating losses to the Blues and Devils– both great possession teams– the Capitals’ possession seems to have eroded a bit. The goaltending, at least Holtby’s 96.4-percent effort on Friday, hasn’t been bad since early November. The problem now is that the Capitals can’t do the thing crucial to winning games: score goals.

You can chalk it up to urgency, and to some extent I do, but there is also mounting evidence that the Capitals are failing to optimize their offense. That’s the topic of this week’s snapshot.

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Lost Weekend: Blues beat Caps 4-1

tarasenko-orlov

Orlov and Tarasenko: BFFs.

The St. Louis Blues are really good. I don’t know if the Capitals are having a bad weekend, or if it’s that their opponents have just been really good. I’m not sure how much it matters: another loss. Zero points on the weekend. Major bummer.

Jori Lehtera scored first, exploiting some distracted defense. Joel Ward tied it up with a lucky long bomb that trickled past Brian Elliott. Before the second period was up, Jaden Schwartz outlasted Karl Alzner in the paint to restore the Blues’ lead. Justin Peters misplayed a puck behind his net (sound familiar?) to give David Backes a lay-up just twelve seconds in the third period. Patrik Berglund made it 4-1 with a lovely, unchallenged passing play late in the game.

Blues beat Caps 4-1.

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Caps at Blues Pregame: Last Night Never Happened

From tumblr, obviously

Let’s shake it off. Let’s pretend that game didn’t happen.

The Caps will play their first game… since Tuesday… tonight in St Louis. It’ll be on CSN Plus, which stinks, but at least it’s not against the Devils. Of course, the Blues are an even better team. Gonna need to crash the net. 8 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-6-3 52.84% 99.23 25.9% 80.0%
St. Louis Blues 11-4-1 53.06% 101.78 27.1% 78.6%

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Devils beat Caps 1-0 And There is Nothing to Say

I don’t know what we were expecting from the Caps’ home game against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are notorious for stifling fun, and the Capitals had Jay Beagle on their top line. Frankly, I blame the NHL.

Nothing happened for nearly fifty minutes, then Braden Holtby made an unwise board-and-out that found Mike Cammaleri. It was barely a hockey game.

Devils beat Caps 1-0.

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