Caps at Rangers Pregame: The Nooner

crosby

I chose this picture of Crosby at Worlds for the top image of this pregame story because I’m a jerk.

Good morning, Caps fans. It’s a beautiful and busy day on the east coast. In just a few hours the Caps and Rangers will be facing off in game two of their best-of-seven series, which started on Thursday about as good as anything can start.

Go make some breakfast, do some chores, maybe get some free comic books. Do it all now because we’ve got a nooner coming. 12:30 on NBC. Caps lead the series 1-0.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Rangers 53-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.8% 84.3%

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SSJ ovi

Graphic: Ondrej T.

The Caps and the Rangers have met in the playoffs a bunch, and that history doesn’t freaking matter at all. These Rangers are faster and less ham-fisted than Tortorella’s. These Capitals are less cautious than Hunter’s and less devastatingly awful than Oates’s. These are basically two new teams, and the Caps are the better one.

7:30 PM at MSG and on NBCSN. Caps in 6. Crash the net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Rangers 53-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.8% 84.3%

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RangersCapitalsJaredSilber

Just last night, the PuckBuddys took delivery of their brand-spankin’-new ginormous UHD TV-monster. We’ve never actually had HD before, so we’re particularly excited to get it just in time for the start of the Rangers/Caps series, so we can actually see every moment that will make us want to vomit in crisp detail.

There’s a lot to feel good about how the Capitals are performing. The Isles series forced them to speed up and sharpen play, and assuming the last game wasn’t an outlier, this is a squad that can take it to anyone. Still, we are up against the Rangers. Again. It’s beginning to feel like the Möbius Strip of playoff hockey.

Once again, we were lucky enough to get a few minutes with Neill Fowler— owner, operator, editor and bottle-washer at New York Rangers Blog, to get his thoughts on the Rangers, the Caps, the series, and why playoff hockey makes us so nauseated. Continue Reading

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Game Seven.

stretch

Photo: Capstagram

I’ll keep this short. You know the stakes.

“It’s game seven. It’s not about the jokes right now.” That’s what Alex Ovechkin told NHL.com’s Katie Brown this morning.

The series is tied 3-3. Winner advances. Loser’s season is done. 7:30 PM with Joe B and Locker on CSN..

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Shut Down the Barn

Thursday’s 5-1 win over the New York Islanders was the best Capitals’ playoff victory win since 2009. Now, if the Caps can get just one goal over the Isles, they can advance to the next round and shut down Nassau Coliseum for good.

Crash the net. Finish the fight. Shut down the barn.

Caps lead the series 3-2. 3 PM on NBC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Paging Enrique

We’re entering the silly portion of the first round, when accrued animosity and perceived mutually added tire pressure become Major Storylines. It’s so dumb, and I love it.

This tweet put it best:

Tonight the Washington Capitals return to the quiet, docile confines of Chinatown to play a hit-free and drama-less hour of hockey against the New York Islanders. No way we Bailamos tonight. No way.

The series is tied 2-2. Tonight’s game is on CSN at 7 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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towels

Photo: The Gormster

We knew the first round was going to be tough as soon as the Caps drew the New York Islanders. They’re a good possession team who kept the Caps hemmed in during the regular season, even if the Caps managed to win most of those games. But I don’t know if we expected the utter 5v5 domination we’ve seen in games one and three. The Isles have just owned the darn puck during evens. There are only three paths to victory tonight:

  1. PDO is magic: Holbest and Halak leaves the gate ooooopen
  2. The spirit of game two: the Caps must have drank their kale smoothies before that one
  3. Special teams are special: It’s time for the best power-play team in the league to show it.

I wanna see all three and bring a certain Enrique video into the postseason.

Islanders lead the series 2-1. The game is on CSN at 7:30 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Noon at Nassau

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

“He acts like it’s his.” That’s how my mom characterized Alex Ovechkin‘s celebrations for other players’ goals on Friday night. And while I used that to make a cheap joke about selfish Russians, my mom was right. Ovi got to celebrate four times on Friday night’s excellent win over the Islanders (one for him, three for others). It was one of the best games these Caps have played all season, and they’re gonna need more of it today on Long Island.

The series is tied 1-1.

Game starts a little after noon on NBC proper, so if you’re watching from brunch and Pierre mentions the Brandon Wheat Kings, take a deep swig of your mimosa.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Down, Not Out

korn

None of these people is Braden Holtby (Photo: Capstagram)

“We got our asses kicked in the first quarter, but it’s time we get up off the mat.”

The Caps lost game one. That’s the past. This is game two.

One of the dozen shots Ovi fires will hit the back of the net. Nick Backstrom will be used to maximum effect. Karl and Niskanen will remind us all how great they were during the regular season. Holtby will be healthy enough to play.

Islanders lead the series 1-0.

7 PM. Verizon Center, CSN, NBCSCN. Do the thing.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Crash the Net

CAPS ISLES

Graphic by Ondrej T.

I don’t have much to say. The time has arrived.

Capitals versus Islanders. 7 PM. Verizon Center, CSN, and USA Network. First team to four wins advances.

Do it.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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