Carlson’s Couple Not Enough: Canucks beat Caps 4-3

Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

Like I said in the pregame, it seems like everyone is a little low lately. We really coulda used a soaring, 60-minute game from the Washington Capitals to defeat the traveling Vancouver Canucks. Instead we got a sleepy start and a putrid penalty kill. A couple from John Carlson and a beauty from Brooks Laich just weren’t enough.

The Canucks fourth line won a faceoff in the Caps zone against the fourth line, allowing Bo Horvatt to set up Derek Dorsett for a goal. That’s all we had to speak of in a generally dreary first period.

John Carlson tied the game up in the second, scoring a snazzy wrister via Nick Backstrom with Tom Wilson running interference in front of goalie Ryan Miller. Daniel Sedin restored the Canucks’ lead on a power play, grabbing a pass by from Henrik, who I think is the cuter one. Radim Vrbata put the Caps in a two-goal hole while Jay Beagle was in the box, but John Carlson made it a one-goal game with a brilliant slapper betwixt Ryan Miller’s nethers.

Brooks Laich tied it up with a gorgeous goal during a third-period four-on-four session, but Daniel Sedin got his power-play goal on the rush to restore the Canucks lead with ten minutes left. The search for a tying goal was thrilling but futile.

Canucks beat Caps 4-3.

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Leafs beat Caps 6-2: Farting on a Snare Drum

holtby

Pic by Ian Oland, who I am told wore pants today for the first time in a week.

I don’t wanna write about this junk.

Bad bounces and bad mistakes made the Caps’ road game against to Toronto Maple Leafs a torrid swamp of chumpswargle hockey. I made that word up.

It started innocently enough with a freak bounce of a goal by Morgan Rielly, but then Cody Franson got a sneaky shot from the outside during a Leafs power play to close out the first period.

Holtby took the net for the second and got punctured just 23 seconds in after a turnover by the Carlson-Orpik pairing. Troy Brouwer gave us a glimmer of hope with a hardworking PPG from the slot, but the Leafs answered back like .005 seconds later when freaking David freaking Carlson freaking scored. Tyler Bozak scored his second of the night on a power-play late in the second.

Justin Peters returned to the net in the third, because, why not? Tom Wilson put the biscuit in the basket, making this something less of an abject failure and more of a stupefying bummer. And then Lupul made it an abject failure again. What the heck even is this team?

Oh god it burns. Leafs beat Caps 6-2.

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Bailamos is Back! Caps beat Isles 5-2!

Rob Carr

“Red rover, Red rover, send Niskanen over!” (Photo: Rob Carr)

The Washington Capitals looked terrible for the first ten minutes of their home game against the New York Islanders, and no, I won’t blame the turkey. But instead of a lackluster affair, the Caps woke up and played a competitive game against one of the league’s best– a reward for the 18 thousand fans in attendance and the return of my personal Caps anthem below the jump.

The Capitals’ second power-play unit took the ice in the first period thirty seconds before Matt Niskanen unloaded his cannon through traffic to make it 1-0. A glorious snap shot from Marcus Johansson gave the Caps their first 5v5 goal in forever and made it 2-0, but hold on a sec. In the next 66 seconds, the Capitals’ bottom six allowed two goals– one from John Tavares and one from Anders Lee, to neutralize the two-goal lead before the first intermission.

Tom Wilson absorbed a bunch of Isles defenders to open up a seam for Alex Ovechkin to score halfway through the second period.

In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov feasted upon his second-line spot, scoring at the tail-end of an offensive-zone shift, sliding into the high slot and ripping the puck top shelf. Joel Ward got the empty-netter and there was much rejoicing.

Caps beat Isles 5-2! Bailamos!

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All This Happened, More or Less: Isles Beat Caps 3-2 (OT)

GWG

Photo credit: Al Bello

“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” – Kurt Vonnegut

For years, the Islanders have made that quote ring true. Confused ownership, terrible hockey and of course Nassau Colosseum. The old place will soon be gone from our TV screens. The smell, the lighting, the architecture, the scoreboard stolen from the local high school. So it goes.

Now, though, the Islanders are moving on. Pretty soon they’ll playing their games in a decedent building in Brooklyn. They’re also now good at hockey. The Caps had trouble with that tonight.

The first period was mostly dominated by the Isles. Anders Lee put them up top after John Carlson failed to cling to his man. Washington then released a small furry of shots before Alex Ovechkin got the Caps back in it with another one of them goals from the circle place when his team has more people on the ice. Travis Hamonic then gave New York the lead again when his high flying wrist shot made it past an effectively blindfolded Braden Holtby.

The second was mostly Isles, but the Caps came on towards the end. The Isles took another unnecessary penalty and Ovi did The Thing. 2-2.

Isles pressed in the third but there was nothing doing.

In the extra, scrapeless frame, Nicky grabbed someone’s stick. John Tavares threw his hands in the air. That’s all. Isles beat Caps 3-2 (OT).

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Sabres beat Caps 2-1: Mike Green Hurt, We Are Butthurt

kids

The Sabres aren’t good by any stretch, but the Washington Capitals just couldn’t beat Jhonas Enroth during evens. A little luck and a one weak Caps shift were all the Sabres needed to take the lead in Saturday’s dismal low-scoring affair. Boo.

The Capitals dominated possession in the first period but couldn’t put the biscuit in the basket. They backed off the aggression in the second period, allowing the Sabres to close the gap and even score a weird one off Matt Mouls0n’s stick.

Marcus Johansson drew a penalty on a breakaway in the third. Matt Niskanen scored his first goal in a Caps uniform on the ensuring power play, bouncing off the stick of a Sabres defenseman. Torrey Mitchell, inexplicably, put the Sabres back in the lead with a scrap in the crease with less than 8 minutes left in the game. That was it. Wow.

Sabres beat Caps 2-1.

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Ovi in the Hero Unit: Caps beat Avs 3-2!

Doug Pensinger

Righteous photo (Photo: Doug Pensinger)

The Washington Capitals are bad with the lead. They demonstrated as much on Thursday night when their conservative play caused two blown one-goal leads. The Colorado Avalanche, who are really bad, genuinely outplayed the Capitals as soon as the Caps took the lead– a continuation of a pattern we’ve seen since week two of the season.

But when the Caps are scrappin’, they’re one of the best in the league. Blowing two leads just made Alex Ovechkin more dangerous on Thursday night. Here’s how it went down.

Ovechkin made some nasty moves in the second period to find Nick Backstrom, which was a weird reversal of roles for the Caps’ first goal. The Avs tied it up promptly after as Nate MacKinnon beat Nate Schmidt and Evgeny Kuznetsov failed to mark the trailing Danny Briere– freaking Danny Briere– who tied it up. No worries though, as Jason Chimera restored the Washington lead with a dart to the top corner.

The Caps played bad hockey in the third period until Tyson Barrie beat a fumbling Capitals defense to tie it. That woke the Caps up. Alex Ovechkin went Rambo style into the Colorado zone, scoring solo on his own rebound during 4-on-4 hockey. The Caps withstood a late attack and took the win in rego.

Caps beat Avs 3-2!

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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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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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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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Фото: Джефф Бурк

“Вашингтон” продлил свою победную серию до трех матчей, переиграв дома “Коламбус”, 4-2. После разочаровывающего первого периода, “Блю Джекетс” навязали столичному клубу борьбу и имели шансы свести игру к ничьей, но в решающие моменты “Вашингтон” был чуть лучше.

“Коламбус”, у которого лазарет заполнен чуть более, чем полностью, проиграли перед этой игрой восемь матчей подряд и гордо носили звание худшей команды НХЛ, которая не называется “Баффало Сэйбрз”. Всего “Жакеты” недосчитались, учитывая дисквалификацию Джека Джонсона, десяти игроков основы, в том числе Сергея Бобровского, Нэйтана Хортона, Артема Анисимова и Брэндона Дубински. В итоге, атака “Коламбуса” выглядела как “Джохансен, Фолиньо, Хартнелл и еще кучка каких-то малоизвестных ребят”. В обороне не все так прискорбно, а вот основным вратарем “Блю Джекетс” является Кертис “90,1% отраженных бросков в карьере” МакЭлинни. Здесь должна быть шутка про безработного Илью Брызгалова, но я ее так и не придумал.

Таких соперников надо побеждать. Что и было сделано.

Маркус Юханссон пролез к воротам и затолкнул шайбу мимо МакЭлинни примерно через полторы минуты после первого вбрасывания. Шестью минутами позже, Александр Овечкин забил со своей точки в двойном большинстве (беззащитную тройку “Коламбуса” было даже жалко). Кэм Аткинсон ответил через пару минут выстрелом, который прошил Холтби. Потрясающая комбинация в исполнении Джея Бигла и Никласа Бэкстрема в конце первого периода и Овечкин снова прострелил вратаря “Джекетс”.

Во втором периоде команды голов не забивали на протяжении 19 минут, хотя шансов было немало у обоих клубов. Но в самой концовке “Жакеты” усилиями Давида Савара и не без помощи удачного отскока от Брэйдена Холтби одну шайбу отыграли.

В третьем периоде Юханссон забил красивый гол из-за ворот, по сути обеспечив своей команде победу.
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