Troy Brouwer: 2014-15 Season Review

The hero of January 1st (Photo: Dave Sandford)

The name of the Washington Capitals’ primary, um, uh, secondary scoring threat is Troy Brouwer, and for the second year in a row Brouw cracked twenty goals and forty points.

So, why the heck would anyone ever be down on Troy?

Maybe scoring three goals in the last 33 games, one since April, and none in the playoffs has something to do with it.

By the Numbers

82 Games played
17:31 Average time on ice per game
21 Goals
22 Assists
51.3% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
54.8% Goal percentage during 5v5

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I have a bad habit of nitpicking the public statements of NHL general managers. I have a ton of respect for their talents, and I think their jobs are very difficult, but they’re also kind of terrible at articulating themselves– or maybe they’re just bad at saying things that are supported by facts.

Case in point: Capitals GM Brian MacLellan touting the playoff performance of Tim Gleason.

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Jay Beagle: 2014-15 Season Review

Is the final RMNB beagle.jpg?

It was a good season to be a Jay Beagle fan, which we are. We just watched him wrap up the best season of his career, plus he got a new cell phone. Beagle was so good, he might have just played himself out of a contract.

p.s. I vow to use no dog puns in this whole article.

By the Numbers

62 Games played
12:49 Average time on ice per game
10 Goals
10 Assists
50.9% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
53.1% Goal percentage during 5v5

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Nick Backstrom: 2014-15 Season Review

As the George Harrison of the Washington Capitals, Nick Backstrom is the Quiet One. He’s not flashy and he doesn’t hog the spotlight. He seems almost pathologically humble. We’ve been hearing for so long that he’s underrated– but is he really, truly a great hockey player?

Yes. Yes, he is.

By the Numbers

82 Games played
20:32 Average time on ice per game
18 Goals
60 Assists
54.2% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
50.0% Goal percentage during 5v5

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p-v-i

The Caps are out, but the drama continues.

Here’s how we did last round:

  1. Peter: 3 for 4
  2. Keith, a Coin: 2 for 4
  3. Ian: 4 for 4 oh bravo you special little snowflake you picked against the Caps aren’t you so clever hold on let me put an applause gif in here

Now for the Conference Finals.

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Sad Caps in Sad Photos

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He should of had that one. (Photo: Kathy Willens)

Once again, the Washington Capitals have been unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs in a gut-wrenching game seven after relinquishing a lead. It hurts. The coming days and weeks and months will be filled with chatter about what it all means and who’s a choker and who needs to step up and who’s a leader and other nonsense like that. For now, let’s just bask in the misery.

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Capitals Eliminated by Rangers in Overtime

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The Washington Capitals have been eliminated by the New York Rangers.

There was a moment around lunchtime when I had actually convinced myself game seven between the Capitals and Rangers might not be a low-scoring, one-goal game decided in overtime. Maybe you thought the same. If so, you’re a dummy too. This was always going to be tight. It was always going to be a goalie duel. This was always going to be excruciating. The only thing we didn’t know was that this was the end.

Alex Ovechkin scored in the first period, fighting to win a faceoff then driving to the net as Marcus Johansson dealt him the puck. A glut of penalties sucked up the second period, capped off by Kevin Hayes’ goal to knot the game heading into the third period. The Rangers pushed late, but some great work by the Caps forward depth and Braden Holtby held on for overtime, which is when Josh Groban said

and he was right. The Capitals were frenzied in OT, but a spat of icings gave the Rangers a chance to strike and strike they did. Derek Stepan ended it.

Rangers beat Caps 2-1 in overtime. That’s the end of the season.

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Caps at Rangers Pregame: Into the Breach

For the second time in as many rounds, the Washington Capitals’ season comes down to one game. Tied 3 games to 3 with the New York Rangers, the Caps must win to advance to the conference final for the first time since season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy had to kill Angel to stop Acathla from swallowing the Earth. If the Caps lose, it’ll probably feel about the same as when Buffy had to kill Angel to stop Acathla from swallowing the Earth.

7:30. MSG. NBC Sports. Crash the net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Rangers 53-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.8% 84.3%

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article

Photo: Doug Mills

Your boy Chris Gordon is in The New York Times again, where they call it “Game 7” instead of “game seven.”  This time, Chris writes about the would-be hero of Game 6 (see?), Joel Ward. Ward scored one goal and assisted on two more in Washington’s 4-3 loss to New York. He’s a big-game player, and games get no bigger than the one tonight. Read all about it.

Goodness, this certainly is a large link to the article.

Congrats again, Chris. Please tell Maureen Dowd and David Brooks I said hey.

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Sixty Minutes of Hockey

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

No one knows the agony of games seven like fans of the Washington Capitals. The Caps, we’ve been told, are a team uniquely terrible at playing Big Games, which are bigger than small games, which don’t even get uppercase letters. Washington, led– perhaps only nominally– by Alex Ovechkin, are choking dogs. Or maybe they’re cursed. Basically, they’re cursed, choking dogs who are also lazy and don’t care about team accomplishments and they’re probably all going to go to Russia soon anyw—

Shut. Up.

The past is not always prologue. Sometimes the past is just trivia. Maybe it’s just painful trivia that provides writers a convenient angle from which to cover hockey, but it’s still trivia.

Tonight is game seven, gay sev to us in the know. It’s not the culmination of a franchise or some grand denouement for a city that needs a winner. It’s just an hour of hockey with one winner and one loser, an hour of hockey to determine if this is the end or not. That’s all.

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