Caps vs Panthers Pregame: Peters, Panthers, Puppies

I am a puddle. (Photo: Capitals)

The Capitals will wrap up their three-game homestand tonight at 7 PM by showing the Florida Panthers what a packed hockey arena looks like. Tune in to CSN-DC and get ready to welcome Justin Peters, scheduled to make his first start in net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 2-0-2 51.40% 104.2 27.8% 93.3%
Florida Panthers 1-2-1 54.67% 97.8 5.6% 72.7%

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Caps vs Devils Pregame: New Lines, Old Jagr

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Tonight at 7 PM, the Capitals will host the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center. The Devils are undefeated and looking pretty boss, unless you actually look at how they play, and then they’re kinda boring. The game is on CSN-DC, and you don’t need to worry about there being any conflicts with baseball because… well… yeah.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-2 48.48% 106 30.8% 91.7%
New Jersey Devils 3-0-0 41.88% 119 25% 82.4%

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“Cautiously optimistic” is one of those contorted bits of language that gets tossed about with abandon in Washington. DC loves bad language; the more obfuscatory and non-committal a phrase, the greater its use. Orwell called it “that mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence,” which makes us laugh because, while Orwell was referring to official British government communications, that seems an even more apt description of the Washington Capitals at several points over the past few years.

Not so this year. The front office, the coaches, Trotz and the team all look like they’re pulling in roughly the same direction. The point is: no modifiers about it. When it comes to the Capitals, call us Optimistic. Ish.

Which brings us to tonight’s tango with the New Jersey Devils (3-0).

Traditionally, this is the point where we trade barbs about the other place we’re playing, noting what a vile and smelly pool of despair it is. But we’re talking about New Jersey here. Saying mean things about New Jersey is like yelling at a sick puppy – it takes no talent and everyone just ends up feeling awful. So let’s just say “New Jersey” and leave it at that.

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Caps vs Sharks Pregame: The Caps and the Captainless

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Ovi got two on Saturday, but it’s a long, hard road to the Richard. And, oh yeah, the playoffs. Coming to Verizon Center at 7 PM are the undefeated San Jose Sharks, perhaps the most Caps-like team in the league when it comes to playoff disappointment.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-1 48.5% 108 22.2% 100%
San Jose Sharks 2-0-0 46.9% 113 8.3% 100%

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Photo: B. Bennett

“Some things are destined to be – it just takes us a couple of tries to get there.” – J.R. Ward. 

Hey guys and gals! The bosses at RMNB foolishly once again gave us access to their site, and in return, we hope to spill a little insight– and fabulousness– about what comes tonight. And not inspire too many hate-filled emails to their box. Not that we care…we don’t get them, so anger-type away!

So, pre-season? Done. Debate about Trotz? On hold. Season opener against the Habs? Mmm, done, and extra soggy. Caps fans exiting extra-pouty? Nothing new.

But this is a season all about new, we thinks. We are witness to a team in transition; a squad searching for its future. And if the early portents are to be believed, we are in for a smashing season. Ish.

OK, in our first season opener Thursday night, we rather unraveled. And…against the Habs. Sure, they were all that last season, but so was Macklemore, and look where he is now. (As in performing at North Dakota casinos?)

The Caps bring a refreshing assortment of new talent (and by new, we’re only grudgingly admitting Orpik) adding to the seasoned talent. That said: Montreal is one thing. Boston is a completely different affair. Or marriage, if you catch our drift.

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Caps at Bruins Pregame: Green Gets the Green Light

The Trotz Caps played a good first game on Thursday but got just a single standings point to show for it. At TD Garden at 7 PM tonight, the Caps will have another chance to prove their mettle, this time against last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winner, the Boston Bruins. To sweeten their chances, the Caps have added last year’s best possession player, Mike Green, to the lineup.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 0-0-1 NotBad% 0.0% 100%
Boston Bruins 1-1-0 TooSoon% ??? 16.7% 85.7%

(Yeaaaah, I’ll get the stats figured out soon.)

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Habs at Caps Pregame: We are Back, PK Subban is Gassy

herewego

For the first time since April somethingth, here comes actual, meaningful Caps hockey! Live from Verizon Center at 7 PM and on CSN Washington. It’s time we got our first real look at the Trotz Caps. Oh snap.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 0-0-0 Infinity% n/a DIV/0% NaNo%
Montreal Canadiens 1-0-0 Whoknows% ??? 0% 66.7%

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No One Cares About Penguins-Capitals Games Anymore

caps pens

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals used to be a big deal, but that was a long time ago. It’s over now– Caps vs Pens is just #anothergame. When the world’s best playmaker, Sidney Crosby, faces off against the world’s best scorer, Jason Chimera Alex Ovechkin, all we can muster now is a yawn.

I can’t even remember the time Crosby and Ovechkin scored matching hat tricks in May of 2009. I have just the vaguest memory of comparing Alex’s three Hart Trophies to Sidney’s one, or comparing Sidney’s Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold to Alex’s really hot and altogether delightful fiancée. I couldn’t recall the Snowvechkin game if you dropped 75 inches of snow on me. And would someone please give me a quick refresher course on the time or seven the Penguins knocked the Capitals out of the playoffs over the last 25 years?

That’s my attempt at a counter-counter media narrative. I’m doing the sarcasm thing again, sorry.

Despite less-than-earnest protestations to the contrary, Penguins-Capitals is still the biggest thing going. And for the first time in eons, Crosby and Ovechkin will meet while the former is healthy and the latter is sick unbelievable))).

Rather than being cynical at the media hype, we should be grateful that we’re so lucky as to witness a good game between these teams again.

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Boston Bruins Pregame: Last Ride (PuckBuddys Preview)

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Illustration by Rachel Cohen

[Ed. note: Jason Rogers offers his final pregamer of the year. Follow @PuckBuddys if you dare.]

As Boston’s Samuel Adams proclaimed to the city as he read the first draft of the Declaration of Independence from Independence Hall: “King George is a fah-kin’ bastahd, Go Sawx.” And thus from these auspicious beginnings bloomed the blue-collarest, working-classiest, chowdah-guzzlingest town in the country. Boston is a city that spurns academia in favor of arm wrestling, subtlety in favor of soup, and charisma in favor of crème pies. On Saturday, the Goon Squad known as the Bruins lurches into DC like a particularly undeveloped ape.

Last game of the season, folks; let’s go for one more ride. 

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[Ed. note: Oh my. Here we are, once more, teetering on the precipice. Wisenheimers will tell you stat this and odds that. But the PuckBuddys roll different. Yes, PuckBuddy Jason Rogers is back again - you think you could scare him away? - with searing insights into the coming game. Which is, we all agree, big. As in... big. Like nobody frackin' breathe until we wrap this one up. It's a messy job, but someone has to do it. Even former Premier William MacKenzie King is watching. Here's Sperm Whale Jason.]

BradenHolbeastThe Morning Skate: I don’t mean to rain, sleet, or snert on anyone’s victory parade, but the Capitals play in a garbage division. It’s a division so abysmal that next year it will be forever struck from the NHL pantheon, and utterance of its name will be forbade as heresy. But, I believe the Capitals are far and away the best team in the Southeast, the veritable creme d’ la crap, if you will. This game against a very good Habs team will provide a measuring stick for how far the Caps might go in the playoffs. So let’s hope that distance is measured in good ol’ American miles, and not kilometres (freakin’ socizlists.)

The Puck Drop: Secondly, this game matters because we mere mortals get to watch Alexander Ovechkin play hockey again. Now tied for the lead league in goals, OBESTkin is scoring all over the place like Maria ain’t watchin’ (BOOM.) Dale Hunter was content to use him like a tarp, lazily casting him across the penalty kill and hoping he made something happen… somehow. Adam Oates is using Ovi’s precision and power like a shotgun that shoots micro-scalpels.

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