Caps vs Sabres Pregame: “Weakest Competition Yet”

noaa

Photo: NOAA

When the Washington Capitals play the Buffalo Sabres tonight, they’ll be playing one of the worst teams in memory. You could say the Sabres are the Caps’ “weakest competition yet,” but you’d be doing so at your own peril. First, you should verify your translation, and second, the Sabres have won their last two games.

If the Caps fall into another lull, the Sabres, now cured of snowbound cabin fever, will attack. Instead, the ideal outcome would be the Caps helping Buffalo on their quest for McEichel with a clean, blowout, rego win. 7 PM on CSN. Game on.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 9-7-3 55.99% 98.90 24.1% 82.0%
Buffalo Sabres 5-13-2 42.01% 99.28 6.8% 78.2%

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Ohai Neuvy!

Ohai Neuvy!

It is with heavy heart that we regret to inform you the PuckBuddys will be going dark for a week or two. Should anyone find themselves in need of a quick dose of fabulousness, we suggest watching this super-cut of Michael Kors being arch and catty on Project Runway.

However, we did have time to eke out one more pregamer with a blogger from the opposing city. This week’s game: the Buffalo Sabres.

If it seems like Buffalo– the city and the team– have been cursed by the Frost Giants lately, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. The city and its eastern suburbs are reeling under more snow in a couple days than they usually get in a year, and let it be known they get an f-ton of snow every year. Worse for Sabres fans, their squad just has been iced out offensively so far this season, with a few notable exceptions, and despite some great forward talent and rebuilding, they’re just not that good this year. Buffalo: Washington understands your pain.

For more insight into the Sad Sabres Fans Being Sad, we spoke with Andrew Boron, managing editor and snow-shoveler extraordinaire at the superb Sabres blog Die By The Blade for the inside track on the team, and how today’s game may shake out.

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Caps at Avalanche Pregame: The Return of Bailamos?

ovi-mo

The Capitals aren’t scoring much lately. Alex Ovechkin, the mustache guy above, hasn’t scored since [checks watch] the late 80s. Actually 11/11. Tonight the Caps will be guests of the totally bad hot mess Colorado Avalanche.

Tonight should… SHOULD… herald the return of Bailamos. 9 PM on CSN. Do it.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 8-7-3 52.19% 98.69 24.6% 82.0%
Colorado Avalanche 6-8-5 44.13% 99.65 13.4% 88.2%

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Caps at Coyotes Pregame: Let’s Get Some Points This Week

doan-skittles

Shane and his Skittle stick.

I need a win. You need a win. The Caps need a win. Arizona is as good a place as any to get one. This whole week is as good a time as any to get some.

Stay up late with us, 9 PM, and watch the Washington Capitals in the high desert as they try to get the win they should got off the Arizona Coyotes back in early November. It’s on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-7-3 52.33% 98.64 25.9% 80.7%
Arizona Coyotes 8-9-1 48.40% 98.80 20.0% 77.0%

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Caps at Blues Pregame: Last Night Never Happened

From tumblr, obviously

Let’s shake it off. Let’s pretend that game didn’t happen.

The Caps will play their first game… since Tuesday… tonight in St Louis. It’ll be on CSN Plus, which stinks, but at least it’s not against the Devils. Of course, the Blues are an even better team. Gonna need to crash the net. 8 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-6-3 52.84% 99.23 25.9% 80.0%
St. Louis Blues 11-4-1 53.06% 101.78 27.1% 78.6%

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Caps vs Devils Pregame: Top-Line Beagle At It Again

schneider

With three wins in the rear view, the Capitals prepare to host the New Jersey Devils tonight at 7 PM. If you’ve got any anxiety about this game, let me put you at ease: Jay Beagle’s got this.

CSN-DC. Holtby vs Schneider. Take Burra to #thebank.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-5-3 52.83% 99.41 28.0% 78.8%
New Jersey Devils 7-7-2 49.55% 101.42 20.4% 66.7%

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Caps vs Blue Jackets Pregame: Happy Veterans Day!

Jamie Sabau

Photo: Jamie Sabau

Can they make it three? To beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals might want to try playing the full sixty minutes of the hockey game.

Then again, the Blue Jackets are pretty bad. We shall see at 7 PM tonight– either from your seats on Verizon Center or via the good people at CSN Washington.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 6-5-3 53.2% 99.1 28.9% 77.1%
Columbus Blue Jackets 4-9-1 47.9% 96.8 22.4% 76.9%

Programming note: I might be on the road, so you might get a very special, very русский recap tonight.

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Caps vs Canes Pregame: Can We Go For Two?

sashas

The Caps played maybe their worst game of the season on Friday night. And they won! Nothing makes sense anymore! Why even try!

Let’s see if they can do it again against Alex Semin (if he’s not scratched) and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Puck drops at Verizon Center a little after 8 PM on CSN Plus.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 5-5-3 53.1% 99.1 28.6% 78.3%
Carolina Hurricanes 4-6-2 51.4% 95.7 17.8% 81.0%

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Caps at Hawks Pregame: Crash the Net, Must the Win

green toque

Elite defenseman. Elite toque. (Photo: Caps Instagram)

October 25th. I remember it well. It was a simpler time, back when the Caps still won hockey games, children spoke only when spoken to, and women knew their place.

Since then everything has gone wrong. Personally, I blame Congress.

(And volatile shooting percentages endemic to small sample sizes, particularly for a team that is not sufficiently aggressive during 5v5 when leading.)

Alright. Road game against the Chicago Blackhawks, who might be the best team in the league (Neil has them fourth in his power rankings). After losing to the Coyotes and the Flames, it would only make sense for the Caps to beat these guys. right?

Late game. 8:30 PM on CSN Plus. Grab a beer and watch with me. From your couch. Alone. Forever alone.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 4-5-3 54.4% 97.8 29.3% 79.1%
Chicago Blackhawks 7-5-1 56.1% 99.5 18.9% 92.7%

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Ovechkin Toews

On any given night, there’s a fanboy somewhere, watching a hockey game and saying “Well, we shoulda won that, it was just a fluke we didn’t.”

Caps fans have been saying that a lot lately. Weird puck squirts. Dominating play but no points. Mystical karmic forces aligned against Washington until its NFL team changes its name, or some such.

Point is, if you find yourself resorting to the fluke argument too often, chances are pretty solid you’re really not talking about flukes, but something else. Fixing that something else is starting to become an issue now, and seeing as we’re going up against our Winter Classic rivals tonight, this game needs to provide clues as to what, exactly, needs fixing.

Chicago is a dominating team with a corps of dominating players, despite some of their early going this season. I’d like to say something rude about all those young punks like Toews, Kane, Van Riemsdyk (which always makes me think of hipsters with funny little beards), and even some of the elders, but I can’t. They’re just that good.

Chicago itself is another story.

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