Week 20 Snapshot: Roughing Up the Scrubs

Photo: Amanda Bowen

The Washington Capitals had a good week. With three wins in four games, the third best possession in the league, and five goals from the world’s best scorer despite him missing a game to injury, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

Okay, maybe you could say that a week of games against Buffalo, Toronto, and Columbus isn’t exactly indicative of the broader NHL’s competition level. But with only 15 games left in the regular season, every shot, goal, and win counts that much more– even if it just means the team is more confident as they face down some much tougher teams next week.

In this week’s snapshot, we look back with curiosity and forward with optimism.

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Everybody Scores: Caps beat Sabres 6-1!

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“Finally! We are anteaters!”

The Buffalo tank job made a stop in DC, and boy was it fun. The Sabres scored the game’s first goal, and we were scared for a moment, but then tanks gonna tank.

No, really. There was a moment when the 2014-15 Capitals were losing to the 2014-15 Sabres. Johan Larsson actually beat Braden Holtby after the top line lost a defensive-zone faceoff and then got a little careless in their own zone. The Caps took over after that. Mike Green carried the puck all the way down below the goal line and set up Curtis Glencross for his second goal in a Caps uniform.

Jay Beagle ground out a goal in the second period, and Brooks Laich got the monkey off his back before the second intermission. Joel Ward made it 5-1 with a superhuman effort in the power-play paint, and Marcus Johansson got a Swedish wraparound on an uninterested Sabres defense late.

Caps beat Sabres 6-1.

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Caps vs Sabres Pregame: Ovi’s a Game-Time Decision

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When it comes to being bad: 1974-75 Capitals > 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres

The Ovechkin-less Capitals had a hard time generating offense against the Wild the other night. Even if Ovi misses tonight’s game (which is a possibility), the Caps will have no excuse should they do it again. The 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres are one of the worst NHL teams of all time and they like it that way. They even traded away Michal Neuvirth to make the team worse. Worse!

I mean, they’re still not as bad as our beloved 74-75 Capitals, who won just 8 (great) games and got outscored 446 to 181. So if anyone tries to say the Sabres are the worst team of all time, you have my permission to Kanye them.

Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 35-21-10 51.5% 100.3 24.2% 81.3%
Buffalo Sabres 19-41-5 36.4% 100.2 11.4% 74.8%

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No-vechkin, No Points: Wild beat Caps 2-1

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Not bad for a snow day! Bravo, fans.

The Caps lacked Alex Ovechkin for their Thursday night battle with the Minnesota Wild. In a curious coincidence they also lacked offense. It was a punishingly tight game, but the Wild eked out an edge late and now leave our snowy town with two points in hand, leaving none for our Caps.

During a first period power play, Curtis Glencross filled the net with a puck and our tummies with a free roast beef sandwich. From then on– nothing until the Wild scrambled the net for the tying goal. With five minutes left, Mike Green got overconfident in the breakout and surrendered the puck to Pominville, who scored again, darn it.

Meanwhile, Marcus Johansson rang the post twice. Shucks

Wild beat Caps 2-1.

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Caps vs Wild Pregame: Snow-vechkin? No-vechkin?

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The view from Capitol Hill (Photo: Kevin Ford)

The National Weather Service determines a blizzard based on high wind speed, not snowfall. Everyone else knows we’re currently experiencing a blizzard here on the east coast. But as far as we know, the Washington Capitals are still on for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

If you’re going, bring a tauntaun and a rugby team. 7 PM, CSN, I guess.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 35-20-10 51.6% 100.4 23.9% 81.1%
Minnesota Wild 34-22-7 52.8% 99.0 15.2% 87.0%

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Nasty Boys: Caps beat Blue Jackets 5-3

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Image by Danny

Raise your hand if you expected Tuesday’s Capitals/Blue Jackets game– the first after the trade deadline– to be a grim, fin-headed mess of a hockey game. The good guys won in the end, but if it costs them Michael Latta for any length of time, I won’t look back on tonight as a victory.

The game started as so many of them do: with Alex Ovechkin opening up scoring, this time with a savvy deflection of Brooks Orpik’s shot. Eric Fehr waited at the doorstep to make it 2-0 before the first period was up, letting us think this would be a secure, uneventful win.

Dumb. The second period was a penalty-laden mess, and it played to Lumbus’ advantage. David Savard and Scott Hartnell each scored with a pair of darts– with Tom Wilson’s net-crash goal in between.

Ovi struck again in the third period because screw the Jackets. Scott Hartnell earned his second while Troy Brouwer was in the box and threatened to tie it on a suspicious late-game penalty, but Holtby was superior. Marcus Johansson got the empty netter and that was that.

Caps beat Jackets 5-3. Let’s get the hell out of here.

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Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: Meet the New Guys

arrival

Photo: Capstragram

The Capitals are in exotic Ohio tonight for a game with the poor Columbus Blue Jackets. Tonight will be our first look at new forward Curtis Glencross and just our second at man-animal hybrid Tim Gleason on the blue line. These guys, plus assorted fellows from Hershey, will be your Caps squad for the duration, so let’s get start on the right foot: a W.

Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN-DC. Drive safe getting home tonight; roads are gonna be nasty.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 34-20-10 51.6% 100.4 23.6% 81.4%
Columbus Blue Jackets 26-32-4 46.3% 98.8 20.4% 80.4%

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#RMNBPartyGr8: Saturday, March 21 at RFD!

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Prepare yourselves. It is time.

We haven’t thrown a real party since last March–when the Oates!Caps won in San Jose. That was way too long ago. We gotta do it again.

Come party with us at RFD on Saturday, March 21st!

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Trade Deadline Disarray: Open Thread

The Capitals have already acquired Tim Gleason and Curtis Glencross, but they might not be done yet. Plus, there’s all kinds of action around the league for us to rubberneck (you just know Toronto’s gonna do something wild today). We’ve created the this thread to capture all the chaos and fun.

The NHL trade deadline is at 3 PM ET. Between then and now, something fun is gonna happen. Sound off in the comments below. (If you want to embed an image or a tweet, just paste the address.)

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happy-burra

Whoa, relax Andre. It’s just an NHL goal. 

We needed this. The Capitals had a rough week, but they capped it off with a steady victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.

Alex Ovechkin was the guy. He scored on his very first shift, using the space allowed to him by a gracious Leafs defense to shoot from the slot. He scored again in the second, snatching Brooks Orpik’s rebound to put the Caps up two.

Marcus Johansson sidled up to the scoreboard with a backdoor tap-in in the third period. Joel Ward launched an ICBM from the Caps’ side of the ice to score an empty netter with five minutes left.

Caps beat Leafs 4-0. Slump busted. Holtby perfect.

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