Clash of the Alexes: Blues beat Caps 4-3

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

Per tradition, we begin every Super Bowl Sunday with a Capitals game packed with all the intensity you’d expect from a rivalry matchup. Except this was the Blues, for whom the Caps have no special animosity as far as I can remember. Yet, there we were, watching the hits pile up in an ugly but mostly entertaining hour of hockey– except for the whole losing part.

Steen got it first, beating Peters on a rebound during a first-period power play. Ovechkin did the same with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot seven minutes later. Steen got his second on the rush during a bad change, which Ovi responded to by harrying the Blues during 4v4.

Dmitrij Jaskin interrupted the Alexes to score on one of Justin Peters’ many rebounds, giving the Blues the lead after forty. Vladimir Tarasenko broke the Caps back with a rush goal six minutes into the third period.

Karl Alzner brought the Caps back within one goal in the third period as the top line did the net-front presence thing.

Blues beat Caps 4-3.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Week 15 Snapshot: Throwing Away the Halo Effect

burra

There’s this one peccadillo in hockey discourse that is bugging me more and more. I don’t know if anyone else experiences it this way; let me know.

If I say a player had a bad game, people might hear me say that the player is bad. If I say I’d rather someone not play on a top line, people might hear me say I don’t like that player. If I say a player’s contract is very bad, people might hear me say that player himself is very bad.

But I didn’t say that, and I definitely don’t think that.

I’m not sure how to do this more precisely in the future. How can we offer a criticism (or a joke) about Jason Chimera without committing character assassination? How can we separate discussions of Jay Beagle’s deployment and Brooks Orpik’s contract from descriptions of those player and those persons?

Because I like Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera and Brooks Orpik. A lot. They wear the right colors. They’re my guys.

In this week’s snapshot, we go a little bit deeper– because “this guy sucks” is never helpful to the discussion and almost never correct.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Ryan Remiorz

Photo: Ryan Remiorz

I hate goalies. I want all the games to end 7-5 and all the goalie to leave dejected. I didn’t get what I wanted on Saturday afternoon. The goalies for Washington and Montreal were buttoned up tight– keeping this game scoreless all the way though #rego.

Then, in overtime, Patches got a deflection to beat Braden and win it for the Habs,

Habs beat Caps 1-0 in overtime.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Caps at Habs Pregame: Back-to-Back Brunch Games

price

He’s still too pretty to be hurt.

Hoo boy, how much fun was that last game? I still can’t get over it.

But I need to get over it. Here comes the Montreal Canadiens, who are not good enough to deserve their number-two slot in the Atlantic Division. The Habs are on their way down, and with a little luck our Caps will help their along way.

Puck drops at– [checks watch]– wow, 1 PM. It’s on NHLN and CSN. Let’s do it.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 25-14-9 52.4% 100.3 24.1% 80.6%
Montreal Canadiens 31-13-3 48.8% 102.0 27.6% 84.9%

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Photo: Chris Gordon

We’re 31 days out from the NHL trade deadline on Monday, March 2, 2015, which is also Method Man’s birthday.

This Washington team is pretty good, and they’re likely to secure a playoff spot, but they could always be better. Their defense corps is solid for the first time in decades, but they’re one injury away from disaster. And the high price tag on that defense has left the forward lines a bit shallow.

With just $2.5 million of cap space (according to NHL numbers), the Capitals don’t have a lot of room with which to get better. That might cause Brian MacLellan, heading into his first trade deadline as general manager, to make some deals. With seven Capitals heading into unrestricted free agency this summer and another eight looking to negotiate new deals as restricted free agents, there’s a lot of potential moves that could be made.

With all that in mind, I’ve asked Ian and Pat to join me in playing thumbs-up/thumbs-down on every Caps free agent.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Utter Domination: Caps beat Pens 4-0!

Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

RIP The Great Losing Streak of 2015. Early on, the Caps played an even game against the Penguins, but Washington had a secret weapon in its captain. Alex Ovechkin positively lit up Marc Andre Fleury in the first and second periods, which was way more than Pittsburgh and their erstwhile star player could offer.

Ovi’s first-period goal came at even strength, deflecting Alzner’s shot with a little net-front presence. Ovi’s second-period goal came on the power play, set up by Mike Green.

Eric Fehr and Mike Green interrupted Ovi’s party in the third, crashing the net for Fehr’s goal and scoring Green’s while on the rush. The game dissolved into chaos late as Holtby helped kill penalties to secure the shutout.

Caps beat Pens 4-0! Losing streak over! Two shutouts in a row against the Pens! BAILAMOS!

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

JK, Ovi is Now the NHL League Leader in Goals (GIFs)

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 9.43.09 PM

Our earlier post is already out of date. With his power-play goal in the second period, Alex Ovechkin is now sole occupant of the NHL’s goal-scoring lead.

That goal was the second of the game. It’s also the second by Ovi in this game. He’s the only thing that matters tonight.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Alex Ovechkin Is Tied for the League Lead with 28 Goals

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.32.00 PM

Like most of you, we were skeptical of Jay Beagle‘s spot on the top line, but darned if Beags didn’t make it happen for the Caps on the game’s first goal, a deflection by Alex Ovechkin off Karl Alzner‘s shot.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Caps vs Pens Pregame: Desperate Much?

gross-downie

When you’re on a four-game losing slump, the very best thing you can do is play one of your biggest rivals on the second day of a back-to-back.

The Pens are pretty banged up, but the Capitals are full-on desperate right now. I’m expecting fireworks. It’s on that NBC Sports’ rivalry night thing at 8 PM.

Crash the net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 24-14-9 52.5% 100.1 23.9% 80.1%
Pittsburgh Penguins 27-12-8 52.3% 100.7 23.0% 87.1%

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

How to Be a Female Hockey Fan: The RMNB Guide

tyler

The internet, as we all know, is a meritocracy. Especially in the hockey corner of the internet, who you are doesn’t matter so long as you bring high-quality, incisive commentary.

That’s why I– as a straight, white man– was so surprised and so disappointed to learn that some women were not being treated well online.

While some might assume that this abuse is a predictable symptom of the internalized misogyny endemic to sports and the abject failure of society to educate its young men on how to treat women as if they are human beings with rights and dignity equal to their own, I think that’s letting the women off the hook.

Let me explain.

Ladies,

Girls,

Women,

The only reason the boys are being mean to you is that you’re not being a good hockey fan. If you’d only learn and practice the basics of hockey fandom, you’d find that how you get treated has nothing to do with your being a woman or not.

I’ve prepared a list of very simple rules that, if you follow them, you’ll definitely be welcomed as another one of the guys.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: