Caps vs Senators Pregame: All About Alex

Photo: Bruce Bennett

The Senators come to town tonight for a battle of capital cities. The Senators are not very good. The Caps are very good. But hockey is a game drenched with randomness, so being the superior team doesn’t assure victory.

Alex Ovechkin goes for 500 tonight. In today’s snapshot, one thing we talked about is the fact that it seems impossible to appreciate him enough, no matter how much we appreciate him. What a treat it is to be on the planet Earth as a Caps fan during Ovechkin’s career.

With where the Caps are in the standings right now, I’d take an Ovi goal over a Caps win tonight, if you forced me to pick.

The game starts at 7 and will be on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 31-7-3 51.7% 101.9 25.6% 84.9%
Ottawa Senators 20-16-6 46.3% 101.2 18.6% 77.1%

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Caps at Rangers Pregame: No Mojo

marcus

Happy Saturday, hockey people. In just a few hours, the Capitals will take the ice at Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rangers, who aren’t very good anymore. But that’s no reason to get cocky; the Caps will be without their sterling third line center, Marcus Johansson, who is serving a two-game suspension.

Puck drops at 1 PM, and coverage is on CSN. I’ll be doing a light recap with heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 30-7-3 51.7% 102.2 25.4% 84.6%
New York Rangers 22-14-0 48.2% 102.7 19.3% 80.5%

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Keep the Car Running

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

We’re almost to the second week of January and the top two teams in the Metro are set to clash for an important divisional match-up. Well, as important as a game can be when the first place team is 12 points ahead of the second place team.

It may have feel like the Caps results have dipped a bit lately, but the good guys are still 8-1-1 in their last 10 and continue to rack up the points at a dizzying rate.

If you believe in things like statement games, tonight might be one of those as the Caps face one of the best non-Caps teams in the conference. If you don’t believe in statement games, tonight is just a chance to put another two points in the bank.

Regardless of how you want to look at it, tonight is a chance for the Caps to keep the pedal down as they try to pull further away from the pack. Keep the car running, if you will.

The game’s on CSN tonight. Puck drops at 7 PM. Peter’s got your game coverage.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 29-7-3 51.6% 102.1 25.8% 84.2%
New York Islanders 22-13-5 50.4% 100.9 18.8% 85.6%

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Caps at Bruins Pregame: Banged Up

warmups

Tom Wilson leads warm-ups (From Capstagram)

A shorthanded Caps team is in Boston tonight to face the shorthanded Bruins. No one likes the Bruins. No one likes Brad Marchand. Marchand won’t play tonight. He’s suspended for being a nincompoop.

The Bruins sit in fourth place in the tightly packed Atlantic Division, where no team can seem to decide if they’re any good or not.

Puck drops at 7 PM. Time for a new streak.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 28-7-3 51.4% 102.1 25.6% 84.5%
Boston Bruins 20-13-4 49.6% 100 28.6% 82.4%

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Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: Unreformed Torts

The Capitals went 19 days and 9 games without losing until the Carolina Hurricanes cracked the code on New Years Eve. On the back half of back-to-back games, with mounting injuries, blah play during 5v5, and a terrible performance by the second line, the Caps were bound to lose that game from the first puck drop.

Now, in a brand new year and with a bit of rest, the Caps are poised to start a new streak, starting with Lumbus, who are tortilly turrible.

Puck drops at 7 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 28-7-2 51.4% 102.0 25.2% 86.1%
Columbus Blue Jackets 14-22-0 47.2% 99.0 17.4% 81.2%

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Caps at Hurricanes Pregame: Days Gone By

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Hello from the bleeding edge of another year nearly done. Before you bust out the sparkling white and snog someone special, let’s do watch some hockey together.

Tonight it’s the Carolina Hurricanes, who are a listless, nondescript hockey team not worthing analyzing in depth right now except to say that they are better at 5v5 than Washington, who, on the other hand, are fresh off a costly win over Buffalo that left Nick Backstrom and Jay Beagle injured. There are injury updates, but you’ll have to follow me down to read them.

Puck drop’s early: 6 PM!

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 28-6-2 51.6% 102.2 25.2% 85.7%
Carolina Hurricanes 15-17-0 52.8% 97.3 17.5% 77.9%

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Caps vs Sabres Pregame: Living Well Is The Best Revenge

smokey

The Sabres come to down on Wednesday night and the Caps only focus should be on getting two points. The Caps beat the Sabres 2-0 on Monday night. In that game, some stuff happened and some people were upset about it and some people are expecting more stuff to happen tonight. Noted face masher and sub-replacement level NHL player Zach Sill has been recalled to suit up for the guys in red.

I, for one, hope the Caps expend effort only on being the better hockey team. I don’t care about “the code” and I don’t care about sending any message other than we’re the better hockey team and we’re going to beat you.

Is this a good time to talk about how dumb fighting is? Regardless of what argument can be made for the purpose fighting serves, it doesn’t outweigh the health consequences, both short-term and long-term. You can call me anti-fighting, but I prefer to think of it as anti-brain injury or anti-CTE. My argument is that fighting in a hockey game isn’t worth dying over. I have a hard time believing there is a “yeah, but…” that can change my mind here.

Too many ex-enforcers have died prematurely or had serious health consequences as a result of fighting. The guys out on the ice, even the ones wearing the wrong colors, are fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and so on. Their families shouldn’t lose even a single day of experiences with their hockey playing loved one just because the dude bumped a goalie or whatever it is that people think we should risk brain injury to stand up against.

Play the game. Win the game. Don’t participate in activities that are likely to give you a brain injury. Puck drop’s at 7 PM. Coverage on CSN.

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Caps at Sabres Pregame: Some of Y’all Might Be With This

chimmers

Photo: Maddie Meyer

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the rest of the NHL this season, the Buffalo Sabres are actually fielding a competent hockey club in 2015-16. They are a young team with some exciting players and a really good coach whom you might recognize.

The Sabres made a couple savvy trades over the Summer, picking up quality players that other teams, for one reason or another, didn’t want. They also added rookie Jack Eichel with the second overall pick. Eichel is only 19 and it’s a decent bet that he’ll be one of the top player in the league within a couple seasons.

They also have the best goal song in the NHL. More on that below. 7pm game. CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 26-6-2 51.0% 102.2 25.2% 84.5%
Buffalo Sabres 15.16.4 47.4% 98.8 20.4% 78.2%

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Caps vs Canadiens Pregame: The Curse of the Sasha

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

After no games for three days, the NHL is back. Whether you celebrated Christmas with your family while jamming to 101.9’s commercial free Christmas music or Christmas isn’t your holiday, it’s time to get back on the horse. Everyone ready?

The Canadiens are 1-9-0 in their past 10 games and are clinging to the Atlantic Division lead. The Curse of the Bambino has nothing on the Curse of the Sasha.

Our main homies over on CSN have the call at 7 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 25-6-2 51.0% 102.0 25.7% 84.7%
Montreal Canadiens 20-13-3 53.9% 99.4 19.5% 84.9%

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Caps at Hurricanes Pregame: Oh My Sweet Carolina

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

In a game that can’t possibly be more exciting than the past two, the Caps visit the Hurricanes in Raleigh tonight. While the past two games have been as thrilling as could be, it’d be nice to see the Caps play a steadier game tonight and not have to rely on an improbable onslaught of goals to secure the two points.

Speaking of an improbable onslaught of goals, Cam Ward is expected to start in goal for the Hurricanes. He’s terrible.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 24-6-2 51.2% 101.9 26.2% 83.7%
Carolina Hurricanes 13-15-5 52.4% 96.8 18.3% 76.3%

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