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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Caps vs Rangers Pregame: Felina

nassau

This is where the Isles play. That’s not where the Caps will play today and it’s not the place where the team they’re playing today plays, but it’s the place where the team they’re playing next week will play and how much they’ll play there depends on how the Caps play against the team they’re playing today. Please don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be dammit, this is the final #rego pregamer of the season. Don’t make a scene.

The New York Islanders. They’re not the team the Caps will play; they’re just the team the Caps will be thinking about as they play today. The Penguins’ loss last night (p.s. ha) means the Caps and Isles will certainly meet next week in the first round of the playoffs. The only question is how many games the Caps will have to play at Nassau. If the Capitals win today, it’ll be less. Errr… fewer. Dammit, final pregame of the season and I can’t remember which word to use.

Anyway, Caps and Rangers at home at noon thirty on CSN. Right in the middle of your beautiful Saturday when you’d otherwise be gardening.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-25-11 51.9% 100.4 25.0% 81.3%
New York Rangers 52-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.7% 84.6%

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Caps vs Bruins Pregame: Fight for Home Ice

galiev

Since their last game, the Capitals secured a playoff spot. At this point it’s really unlikely they’ll even need a wild card spot. Tonight’s game against the formerly big bad Bruins and Saturday’s finale against the Rangers are really about vying for the home-ice advantage that being a higher seed affords.

If that makes this game less exciting for you, let me remind you that Alex Ovechkin will be playing in it.

Puck drops at 8 PM on stupid NBCSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 44-25-11 51.9% 100.2 25.3% 81.3%
Boston Bruins 41-25-13 51.9% 100.3 17.9% 81.9%

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Caps at Red Wings Pregame: Happy Easter!

easter

The Spirit of ’87

Happy Easter, which is traditionally a good holiday for the Washington Capitals, yes, definitely. The Capitals squandered a comeback and a chance to lock a playoff spot last night, but no worries– it’s not like the Wings are a strong 5v5 team with good coaching and a distinct home-field advantage.

Puck drop at 5 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 43-25-11 51.9% 100.2 25.2% 81.3%
Detroit Red Wings 41-24-13 54.1% 99.8 24.1% 80.9%

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Caps at Senators Pregame: Clench for the Clinch

carlson-anderson

With just one week left in the NHL regular season, the Capitals are sitting comfortably in the Metro standings. With a regulation win over the Ottawa Senators tonight, Washington could guarantee a playoff appearance.

(I am constitutionally and stylistically opposed to the typical clinching idiom. I literally hate it literally.)

Game is at 7 PM on CSN. I’ve got a bunch of family in town, so Chris Gordon will be recapping the game in my stead.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 43-25-10 51.8% 100.1 25.3% 81.9%
Ottawa Senators 39-26-12 50.4% 101.2 16.0% 82.1%

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Caps at Habs Pregame: The Metro Got Tight

capstagram

Photo: Capstagram

This is it. This is the final stretch of the regular– sorry, #rego– season. From here until the 11th, the Caps will face a gauntlet of tough teams, all of whom are in the playoff race. We begin tonight with the Montreal Canadiens. If the playoff started today, two things would be true:

  1. the Caps would face the Habs in the first round
  2. you’d be like wtf mate, s’pose t’be 82 games

(Also you’d be Australian, I guess.)

A ton of stuff can and will change between now and the final game of the season, especially if you look at the Metro standings, but I like the way it all looks. Puck drops at 7:30 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 42-25-10 52.0% 100.2 24.4% 82.0%
Montreal Canadiens 47-22-8 48.4% 101.5 16.4% 84.0%

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