Caps at Flyers Pregame: End of the Road (Trip)

pano

Photo: 365 days of april

Listen up, you ignorant lemmings! You think the Caps are good just because they’re on a 103-point pace and haven’t lost a game since the late 80s? Well, you gotta be better than good to beat the Philadelphia Flyers. You think, just ’cause they’re 24th in puck possession, the Capitals are gonna run roughshod over ‘em?

Yeah, probably.

But the Caps are on the back half of a road back-to-back, and the Flyers are gonna do nasty stuff after the whistle, so really anything can happen.

7 PM on CSN. Crash the net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 21-11-7 52.0% 100.2 23.1% 79.2%
Philadelphia Flyers 15-18-7 48.1% 101.7 22.0% 75.0%

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Nothing Can Stop Us Toniiiiight: Caps beat Leafs 6-2

Graig Abel

Perfect picture is perfect. (Photo: Graig Abel)

Setting the scene: One of the world’s best scorers in a foreign country on a team that has consistently failed to meet sky-high expectations. After hitting rock bottom in puck possession under their disastrous former coach, they’ve got renewed hopes.

I honestly forget what team I was writing about there, but here’s my recap of Wednesday’s Caps-Leafs game.

The Caps struck first as Evgeny Kuznetsov carved the Toronto defense to set up Marcus Johansson.

The Leafs returned fire in the second period with a tip-in goal by Daniel Winnik. Eric Fehr got a shorthanded goal with the help of Jay Beagle to put the Caps back in the lead, then Brooks Laich scored off an offensive-zone faceoff to make it 3-1. Toronto responded with a rebound goal by Trevor Smith, but Marcus Johansson got his second of the night a couple minutes later.

In the third, Eric Fehr got his second of the night as well. I haven’t seen Bernier stunned like that since the time someone asked him who Nelson Mandela was. Alex Ovechkin got the empty-netter and that was that.

Caps beat Leafs 6-2! Bailamos!

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Caps at Leafs Pregame: Phil the Thrill

For once, it’s not our team that’s the hot wreck. The Capitals, with their stable coach and winning record and improving possession, traveled to Toronto last night in anticipation of tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs, who just fired coach Randy Carlyle and are currently in the process of deciding whether or not they should maybe eat their young.

7 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 20-11-7 52.0% 100.2 23.5% 78.9%
Toronto Maple Leafs 21-16-3 44.9% 101.7 20.1% 82.2%

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No Winter Classic Hangover: Caps beat Panthers 4-3

Patrick McDermott

Anteater! (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

Were you expecting a low-key game following the literal fireworks at the Winter Classic? The Caps’ home game against the Florida Panthers was kind of sleepy for a bit, but in the end this was another thrilling example of Caps hockey. Nice start to 2015.

The game was scoreless after twenty minutes, but don’t worry: the second period more than made up for the boredom.

Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal on an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot in the second. Vincent Trocheck got a ridiculous goal to tie it for the Panthers, and then Dylan Olsen used an abundance of screens to put Florida up 2-1. No worries though, as Brooks Laich sniped an outside goal just past halfway through #rego to knot it up again. Karl “Dad Strength” Alzner and the second line beat Luongo to make it 3-2 going into the second intermission.

Top-liner Andre Burakovsky swept in a lay-up from the weak side to put the Panthers in a two-goal hole in the third period. Nick Bjugstad scored an impossible goal with an empty net and two minutes left to make it a one-goal game late, but the Caps emerged victorious over an Eastern Conference rival.

Caps beat Panthers 4-3. Big two points.

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Week 12 Snapshot: The Schmidtuation

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Photo: Amanda Bowen (See more!)

The Washington Capitals are looking pretty darn good overall. A whole lot of people saw them play a thrilling game against the Stanley Cup favorites on Thursday, and they just wrapped up a month that saw them become the hottest team in the league.

That’s the past. Looking at the schedule ahead, the Capitals face a murderer’s row of — well, just check this out:

  • Panthers
  • Leafs
  • Flyers
  • Red Wings
  • Avalanche
  • Flyers
  • Predators
  • Stars
  • Oilers
  • Blue Jackets
  • Penguins
  • Canadiens

Okay, actually, the Capitals could win a heluva lot of those games in January. Still, they should never stop trying to improve. There’s the usual stuff about optimizing forward lines and evening out defensive deployments, but one player in particular has caught my attention in the last week for his conspicuous absence from play. In today’s snapshot we ask, “What’s the deal with Nate Schmidt?”

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Caps vs Panthers Pregame: Brunch, Anyone?

panthers

After our first Friday and Saturday off in forever, man, the Capitals will play host to the Florida Panthers for an afternoon matinee at Verizon Center. If you’re searching for a narrative, “Winter Classic hangover” should be a good one.

Watch with us at 3 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 19-11-7 51.1% 100.3 23.0% 78.0%
Florida Panthers 17-10-9 52.2% 99.4 14.6% 81.0%

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The Awesome Index: The Winter Classic, Ranked

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The lasting image of the Winter Classic, as far as I’m concerned (Grab by @myregularface)

The Winter Classic was awesome. So very, very awesome. I’ve got a lot to say about it that couldn’t be fit into a game recap, so here’s special, super-sized edition of the Awesome Index.

Get a comfy chair. This is going to be a long one, but it’s going to be awesome.

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Caps beat Blackhawks 3-2 in Winter Classic!

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

It’s the Winter Classic! Hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park, the Washington Capitals played maybe their most important game since the 2013 playoffs. It was a terrific affair: Two great teams on a great sheet of ice, in front of 42,831 fans and one guy in a Crosby sweater, playing wide-open hockey punctuated by all the hockey nonsense that makes this game so compelling. The result of the game is almost secondary, but I bet you might care.

NHL outdoor goal-scoring leader Eric Fehr struck first, converting an early breakaway. Alex Ovechkin crashed the net, exploiting chaos to put the Caps up 2-0 in the first period. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: that lead did not hold. The Hawks won a power-play faceoff shortly before Patrick Sharp got a sun-drenched shot past Braden Holtby. John Carlson’s turnover in the second period led to Brandon Saad tying the game, which is how it stood after forty minutes.

Then, with twelve seconds left in regulation and the Capitals on the power play, Troy Brouwer swatted a loose puck behind Corey Crawford.

Caps beat Hawks 3-2! The Caps are undefeated outdoors!

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The Winter Classic Will Start on Time

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Take that, Sun Monster! The NHL has announced the Winter Classic will start on time as scheduled.

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Caps vs Hawks Pregame: The Winter Classic

The Washington Capitals’ all-time outdoor scoring leader, Eric Fehr.

Let me start with this: Welcome to 2015, RMNB. I hope it’s a safe and happy one for you, and I hope you eat delicious food. That’s important.

In a few hours, or– if it’s sunny, a few hours after that– the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks will drop the puck at Nationals Park in DC for the Winter Classic. There’s gonna be pageantry, patriotism, and marked-up merchandise. There’s also going to be hockey. Let’s talk about that last part.

The game starts 1 PM on NBC, unless it starts later, which we don’t know yet.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 18-11-7 51.1% 100.3 22.9% 77.8%
Chicago Blackhawks 25-10-2 54.9% 100.7 18.7% 90.5%

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