Braden Holtby Sick, Philipp Grubauer Recalled

grubauer-clapping

Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Good morning, Caps fans. Everything is fine on this lovely spring gameday morning except your franchise goalie is sick. Alex Prewitt reports that Braden Holtby isn’t feeling well today. We don’t know exactly what that means yet, but the Capitals have recalled Philipp Grubauer from the Hershey Bears.

At least Caps fans are having fun with it.

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ChimeraFall

Photo credit: Alex Brandon

Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Washington Capitals were confident. With a new coach this year, they had turned into a crisp, well-structured team, generally controlling the puck and therefore the play. They finished the season tied for the eighth highest point total in the league.

“In the past we were maybe sort of a rush team,” forward Brooks Laich, a veteran of the light ’em up Presidents’ Trophy winning Capitals of 2010, said. “I don’t think we’re as high flying, high octane offense as we once were, but I think we’re a lot more difficult to play against this way. It should bode well for a sustained playoff run.”

“We’re gonna be ready,” Laich concluded.

They weren’t.

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ovechkin-my-man

Photo: Alex Prewitt

After Tuesday’s practice, NHL.com beat writer Katie Brown noticed Karl Alzner and John Carlson wearing new playoff hats. Overlaid on a silhouette of Abe Lincoln (with a hole in its head*) read the text My Man. Naturally, no one really understood the significance of the phrase or what it was doing on a team-prepared hat. Sure, the Abe Lincoln silhouette was a nod to the Caps’ post-victory Honest Abe award. But what about the phrase?

Brown made Alzner spill the beans.

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caps-home-ice

Photo: @WashCaps

After losing 4-2 to the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon, the Washington Capitals had to wait until after the Islanders’ game this evening to see if they would have home ice against them in the first round or not.

They WILL.

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maruk-keys-game

If you’re not planning to go to the 12:30 PM Caps game, watching it on TV, or going to the DC Hockey Analytics Conference (10 – 5), then I’ve got a fun event for you.

The Frederick Keys will be hosting Hockey Day at Nymeo Field and former Caps’ 60- (and 50-) goal scorer Dennis Maruk will be in attendance signing autographs. First pitch is at 2 PM. I will be there for as long as I can get away with before I’m forced to drive home and GIF an Alex Ovechkin goal.

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You Will Attend the DC Hockey Analytics Conference

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There is a hockey analytics conference in Washington DC this Saturday, and it’s going to be great. Put together by Arik Parnass and Robb Tufts, the event has a list of confirmed speakers that is nothing short of impressive. Check-in start at 9:30 AM and the event starts at 10 AM.

Do you enjoy the statistical analysis posts we do here on RMNB? This event is for you. Are you curious about analytics in hockey but don’t know where to start? This event is for you. Do you want to shake the hand of the famous J.P. of Japers’ Rink? This event is especially for you.

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stan-galiev-capitals-debut

Photo: @WashCaps

With Tom Wilson out with a head injury, the Washington Capitals recalled forward Stan Galiev Tuesday morning from the Hershey Bears. It’s the first time the 23-year-old Russian, drafted in 2010, has ever been promoted to the NHL. For the longest time, it seemed like Galiev, struggling with injuries and system play, was destined to be a top prospect who flamed out. Instead, according to Barry Trotz, Galiev will likely get a uniform Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins after lighting up the AHL this season.

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Caps Clinch Playoff Spot

So I have some good news. Combined with their 2-1 victory tonight and the Senators’ shootout loss, the Capitals are back in the playoffs.

That feels so damn good to type, especially after the Caps missed the dance entirely last season.

Now let’s celebrate. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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Humble Barry Trotz Wins 600th Game as Coach

barry-trotz-600-wins

Photo: @WashCaps

While we are jerks and nitpick his lines, there’s no denying Barry Trotz is one of the most successful bench bosses in NHL history. On Thursday, Trotz recorded his 600th career win after the Caps’ 5-4 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens. That’s a feat that only 12 other men in NHL history have accomplished.

Trotz is the fourth most-winningest active coach in the NHL.

Most of Trotz’s victories, 557, came during his 15 seasons with the expansion Nashville Predators. Thursday’s win marked Trotz’s 43rd with Washington this season.

After the game, he spoke about his accomplishment with The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.

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ovi-51st

Photo: @WashCaps

Alex Ovechkin is the Washington Capitals’ all-time goal-scoring leader.

With a power-play snipe to beat Carey Price in the second period of Thursday’s Canadiens game, Alex Ovechkin scored his 473rd goal as a Capital, finally passing the great Peter Bondra.

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