Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: There is No Second Line

From somekindofhockeyblog

The Caps still haven’t lost in #rego since December 2nd, so it’s important to not be a cranky grinch when they lose games in the 20th round of the shootout or make harebrained lineup decisions. We’ve had both of those things this week.

Washington will be hosted to a night of dating, discussion, and more by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Starting at 7 PM and airing on CSN, the Caps intend to keep their point-streak alive.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 14-10-6 50.8% 99.2 27.1% 77.5%
Columbus Blue Jackets 13-15-2 46.3% 98.2 22.5% 77.8%

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The Swedish Machine doin' his thing

The Swedish Machine, doin’ his thing with the Florida Cats

You know that scene in the Star Wars movie? The first one…or, the fourth one which was actually the first? The one that was good?

Luke and Han are blasting away at all the awful spaceships that are swarming around outside, and Luke is missing and missing and just shooting impotently away, pew pew pew, until he actually gets one? The one that was headed directly toward him in a straight line at about 10 miles an hour? And he’s so happy and Han says “Don’t get cocky, kid”?


Oh, I can hear you all now, sighing “There goes Doug who knows nothing about hockey and is just a huge wet blanket and shut up.” I mean, those very few of you who actually read these things. Hey, I’m super fantastic happy about how the Caps are playing these days, and I loved seeing Nick “Swedish Machine Never Smiles” Backstrom get a hattie in regular season. And we’re playing the Florida Panthers tonight, who aren’t 1/2 the team Tampa is, or us probably, so there’s no need to worry, right?

Call me Eeyore, but I just can’t get too comfortable with this team. As awesome as they are, I’ve just seen too many times great play slide suddenly into crap.

Speaking of, I’ll say this about Sunrise, Florida, home of the Cats: at least it’s not Fort Lauderdale. Since starting in the 90’s expansion, Panthers management have done just about everything they could to alienate their fans… sorta like another professional sports team that’s become a tire fire since being acquired by a certain weasel, which needs not be named. Even down to the location of BB&T arena where we play tonight, which is located literally ACROSS THE STREET from the marshy, anaconda-filled Everglades. Nice move, Panthers.

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Caps at Panthers Pregame: Ready for Their Close-Up


GIF: We See Red

Tonight is the debut of whatever the name of the show is about the Winter Classic on EPIX. But before that, we’ve gotta watch the Capitals play visitor to the Florida Panthers, who somehow are a pretty good team this season!

The Caps haven’t lost in #rego since December 2nd, and they don’t play to start now. See you at 7:30 on CSN Plus.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 14-10-5 50.9% 99.3 26.5% 77.0%
Florida Panthers 12-8-8 51.4% 99.0 13.8% 80.8%

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Caps vs Lightning Pregame: The Ice Cheetah’s Scratch

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 2.07.18 PM

From Caps Instagram, which I want to call Capstagram, but I won’t.

The Capitals’ last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was probably the best of the season, an encouraging 5-3 win over a good opponent on the road. Now the Caps are home, the winning streak is dead, and we look to claim another pelt from what might be the best team in the league.

Unless you’ve got tickets, you’ll be tuning in with me at 7 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 13-10-5 51.2% 99.1 27.8% 75.9%
Tampa Bay Lightning 19-8-3 53.9% 101.0 18.3% 81.6%

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It’s a peculiar character trait that, sometimes, after having tempted the Fates only to inexplicably emerge unscathed and victorious, one seeks not only to dare the test again, but to do so confidently, even buoyantly. I first knew this the moment after I went skydiving – solo, there were no tandems back then – and mere moments after touching back to Earth I eagerly began planning the next date to fling myself out of an airplane that was perfectly sound.

Such is my mood today as we head into our second tilt in a week against Tampa Bay. Tuesday’s match was a thriller, to be sure, and one that I’m not so sure we had all that locked up. We played like champs nearly the entire 60 minutes, and hooray, we won and bailamoed. Three in a row and we looked great.

But sometimes greatness is a quirk; or worse, a passing wind that blows in only to melt away into the uncaring ether. So poetry.

Hey, we’re going to the game tonight– for that and more I would lurve to see a repeat performance. But the Bolts are still a really good team– consistently so. They’re really just so infuriatingly consistent that I don’t feel like tempting the Fates further by mocking Tampa Bay as being a city so old that “boarding” nearly always appears next to the word “shuffle.” I mean, the GOP 2012 convention actually lowered the city’s median age for about a week is all I’m saying. But not tempting fate.

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Caps vs Blue Jackets Pregame: Take Karl to #TheBank


Fresh off a three-win road trip, the Washington Capitals have returned home… to spawn …and then to fight the Columbus Blue Jackets. At 7 PM at Verizon Center, the Caps will play host the the beat-up Blooj, the league’s most injured team by a mile.

If the Caps keep playing like they have been, they should be able to get their first four-game winning streak since April of 2013.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 13-10-4 51.1% 99.2 28.8% 76.2%
Columbus Blue Jackets 10-15-2 46.3% 98.0 23.0% 76.3%

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Caps at Lightning Pregame: Top-Line Inertia


From the Spoked Blog

The Washington Capitals have won three in a row just once this season– from November 7 to 11. Suiting up in Tampa tonight against one of the best teams in the league, the Caps will have a chance to go for three again. It won’t be easy.

Catch us at 7:30 PM as we follow along, begging quietly for some top-line offense. Game’s on CSN, so Joe B better be wearing something pretty for me.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 12-10-4 51.7% 99.0 28.2% 75.3%
Tampa Bay Lightning 18-7-3 54.8% 101.3 22.7% 80.4%

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Caps at Devils Pregame: Jagr or No Jagr?

Ben Bishop, Jaromir Jagr

The Capitals won a tight, not particularly convincing road game on Thursday night. Tonight at 7 PM, the team continues its road trip with hopes of defeating the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils are a stingy team, best at suppressing shot attempts in both directions, so maybe practice your knitting during this one. It’s on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 11-10-4 52.1% 98.7 27.5% 74.7%
New Jersey Devils 10-12-4 48.8% 100.9 21.2% 74.8%

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Caps at Canes Pregame: Into the Woods


It’d be nice if the Capitals would win a hockey game. Oh, look. There’s a hockey game tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes, eh? They’re pretty bad; maybe the Caps can beat them.

We shall see at 7 PM on CSN-DC. This begins a 3-game road trip that could be impactful on the team’s playoff chances.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 10-10-4 52.2% 98.4 28.4% 74.7%
Carolina Hurricanes 8-13-3 51.5% 97.5 21.5% 83.3%

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Caps vs Canucks Pregame: Good News, Please?


Maybe it’s this head cold, but it seems like everything everywhere sucks right now. Hockey in general, the Caps’ PDO specifically, the weather, treatment of people who aren’t white guys, Detroit’s power grid, Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom. It all just sorta sucks.

Tonight at 7 PM the Capitals have the opportunity to start making things a little better with a home game against the Vancouver Canucks. It’s on CSN-DC and Joe B promised to wear something nice for you.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 10-9-4 52.3% 98.1 28.8% 77.5%
Vancouver Canucks 16-7-1 51.7% 99.0 18.4% 84.2%

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