Caps at Islanders Pregame: Last Stop at Nassau

nassau

Photo: Islesblogger

Barring a postseason meeting, tonight will be the last time the Washington Capitals will ever play at Nassau Coliseum.

Nassau is a weird beast, smallish by NHL standards, hard to reach using mass transit, but beloved for its legacy and dumpy-ness nonetheless.

It was here that Bossy scored at will. It was here that Potvin won three Norrises. It was here that Dale Hunter made the cheapest of cheap shots (and earned what was at the time the longest suspension in league history).

The Isles brought the Cup home to Nassau four times– in a freaking row– in the early eighties. Now, at the edge of 2015, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they do it again. The Isles are a good team, and they’d certainly like to make Nassau proud before they move to Brooklyn, the edge of the island, at the start of next season.

7 on PM on CSN. Let’s say goodbye to the old dump together. Go Caps.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 18-11-6 51.3% 100.1 23.8% 78.2%
New York Islanders 23-11-1 53.0% 99.5 17.9% 74.0%

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: No Holiday Hangover

penguins

How was your holiday break? Did you get any good gifts? I got a neat shirt. Please, please, please tell me you washed your RMNB shirt before you put it on. This is serious, man. Promise me.

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Capitals at Consol. It’s the first match-up of the season between the two– at 7:30 PM on NBC Sportsnet. It’s gonna be a show.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 17-11-6 51.2% 99.8 25.0% 77.4%
Pittsburgh Penguins 22-7-5 50.6% 102.3 23.9% 86.8%

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Caps at Rangers Pregame: We Won’t Go Until We Get Some

hank

Chag Sameach, homies. We’ve got one more game before everyone shuts down for holiday silliness. Problem is– this game’s against the big bad New York Rangers. The Caps and the Rangers are pretty much in the same spot in the standings, so this game will factor big when it comes to sorting the Metro teams.

Join us, won’t you, on CSN for a 7 PM bout at Madison Square Garden. Bring the figgy pudding and adult egg nog. We won’t go until we get some. We won’t go until we get some. We won’t go until we get some. So score us some goals.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 17-10-6 50.9% 99.9 25.3% 77.8%
New York Rangers 17-10-4 49.8% 101.7 15.8% 82.3%

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Sad Lundqvist is sad

Sad Lundqvist is sad.

‘Tis the holiday season and we’re just going to go ahead and assume you’ve all been enjoying the pretty presents being handed out by our Capitals. Greenie going great, Ovi being unbelieoviable, Nicky being all under-stated and awesomely Swedie and such; Brooks and Braden and Beags and every other present that we really really REALLY want this year. (You know which one, Santa.)

We want those sweet, sweet holiday goodies to keep flowing – so no being naughty for us! At least until it’s safe to be smug jerks again. Thus we dispense with the reminders of the smelly awfulness of the Rags (we’re being nice!) and introduce you instead to Joe Fortunato, resident smarty and managing editor at Blueshirt Banter, for his thoughts on tonight’s tilt.

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Caps at Devils Pregame: Moar Points! Never Enough Points!

At 7 PM tonight the Caps will lace up at Prudential Center in hopes of extending their point streak. Well, hopefully they’ll have laced up sometime before 7 PM or else warm-ups would have been a mess, but you get my point. The game starts at 7.

Okay, the broadcast starts at 7. The game will start at like 7:07 or something, but everyone usually agrees that saying it starts at 7 is sufficient. Unless there’s some kind of pregame ceremony, but why are you even bringing that up, you’re making this way harder than it needs to be.

Caps at Devils at 7:07 ish PM, and with any luck they’ll be wearing ice skates by then.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 15-10-6 51.0% 99.5 26.1% 76.3%
New Jersey Devils 12-16-6 49.7% 100.1 22.2% 77.6%

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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”?

That.

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

louuuuu

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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Capitals-vs-Lightning

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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