Caps at Oilers Pregame: Hi Hendy! Hi Boyd!

So begins the Capitals’ sojourn through western Canada, home of mostly bad hockey teams. We start with the Edmonton Oilers, a team who are probably a lot better than their record seems. It’ll be a late game– puck drops after 9:30 PM, so make sure you do all your homework first.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 3-0-2 52.92% 103.6 25.0% 90.0%
Edmonton Oilers 1-4-1 50.93% 90.80 17.6% 76.2%

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hendricks gordon

Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon, who play on the same line, fml.

The Capitals are off and away on their grand Canadian adventure, and expectations are running high. As Peter noted, the team is looking healthy, playing tighter than they have in a while, and still undefeated in regular play.

Even better, first on our dance card are the Edmonton Oilers, who are not healthy, not playing tight and largely the definition of defeat lately. Plus, they have to spend much of their time in Edmonton, so there’s that, too.

We had a whole schtick worked up about Edmonton the Annoying – perhaps we’ll save it for next time, it was actually funny, which we admit is unusual for us. But sadly, in light of what appears to be a very bad no good day for all Canadians, and even the smart choice to cancel tonight’s scheduled Leafs/Sens match, we just don’t feel like making fun of anyone today, Canadians especially.

So here we give you Oiler insight from baggedmilk”, a cheeky writer up at the OilersNation blog. He’s smart, even if our questions aren’t. Hit him up on Twitter @jsbmbaggedmilk; you can thank us later.

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Caps vs Panthers Pregame: Peters, Panthers, Puppies

I am a puddle. (Photo: Capitals)

The Capitals will wrap up their three-game homestand tonight at 7 PM by showing the Florida Panthers what a packed hockey arena looks like. Tune in to CSN-DC and get ready to welcome Justin Peters, scheduled to make his first start in net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 2-0-2 51.40% 104.2 27.8% 93.3%
Florida Panthers 1-2-1 54.67% 97.8 5.6% 72.7%

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Caps vs Devils Pregame: New Lines, Old Jagr

jagr-old

Tonight at 7 PM, the Capitals will host the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center. The Devils are undefeated and looking pretty boss, unless you actually look at how they play, and then they’re kinda boring. The game is on CSN-DC, and you don’t need to worry about there being any conflicts with baseball because… well… yeah.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-2 48.48% 106 30.8% 91.7%
New Jersey Devils 3-0-0 41.88% 119 25% 82.4%

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oates-devils

“Cautiously optimistic” is one of those contorted bits of language that gets tossed about with abandon in Washington. DC loves bad language; the more obfuscatory and non-committal a phrase, the greater its use. Orwell called it “that mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence,” which makes us laugh because, while Orwell was referring to official British government communications, that seems an even more apt description of the Washington Capitals at several points over the past few years.

Not so this year. The front office, the coaches, Trotz and the team all look like they’re pulling in roughly the same direction. The point is: no modifiers about it. When it comes to the Capitals, call us Optimistic. Ish.

Which brings us to tonight’s tango with the New Jersey Devils (3-0).

Traditionally, this is the point where we trade barbs about the other place we’re playing, noting what a vile and smelly pool of despair it is. But we’re talking about New Jersey here. Saying mean things about New Jersey is like yelling at a sick puppy – it takes no talent and everyone just ends up feeling awful. So let’s just say “New Jersey” and leave it at that.

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Caps vs Sharks Pregame: The Caps and the Captainless

thornton

Ovi got two on Saturday, but it’s a long, hard road to the Richard. And, oh yeah, the playoffs. Coming to Verizon Center at 7 PM are the undefeated San Jose Sharks, perhaps the most Caps-like team in the league when it comes to playoff disappointment.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-1 48.5% 108 22.2% 100%
San Jose Sharks 2-0-0 46.9% 113 8.3% 100%

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Photo: B. Bennett

“Some things are destined to be – it just takes us a couple of tries to get there.” – J.R. Ward. 

Hey guys and gals! The bosses at RMNB foolishly once again gave us access to their site, and in return, we hope to spill a little insight– and fabulousness– about what comes tonight. And not inspire too many hate-filled emails to their box. Not that we care…we don’t get them, so anger-type away!

So, pre-season? Done. Debate about Trotz? On hold. Season opener against the Habs? Mmm, done, and extra soggy. Caps fans exiting extra-pouty? Nothing new.

But this is a season all about new, we thinks. We are witness to a team in transition; a squad searching for its future. And if the early portents are to be believed, we are in for a smashing season. Ish.

OK, in our first season opener Thursday night, we rather unraveled. And…against the Habs. Sure, they were all that last season, but so was Macklemore, and look where he is now. (As in performing at North Dakota casinos?)

The Caps bring a refreshing assortment of new talent (and by new, we’re only grudgingly admitting Orpik) adding to the seasoned talent. That said: Montreal is one thing. Boston is a completely different affair. Or marriage, if you catch our drift.

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Caps at Bruins Pregame: Green Gets the Green Light

The Trotz Caps played a good first game on Thursday but got just a single standings point to show for it. At TD Garden at 7 PM tonight, the Caps will have another chance to prove their mettle, this time against last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winner, the Boston Bruins. To sweeten their chances, the Caps have added last year’s best possession player, Mike Green, to the lineup.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 0-0-1 NotBad% 0.0% 100%
Boston Bruins 1-1-0 TooSoon% ??? 16.7% 85.7%

(Yeaaaah, I’ll get the stats figured out soon.)

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Habs at Caps Pregame: We are Back, PK Subban is Gassy

herewego

For the first time since April somethingth, here comes actual, meaningful Caps hockey! Live from Verizon Center at 7 PM and on CSN Washington. It’s time we got our first real look at the Trotz Caps. Oh snap.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 0-0-0 Infinity% n/a DIV/0% NaNo%
Montreal Canadiens 1-0-0 Whoknows% ??? 0% 66.7%

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No One Cares About Penguins-Capitals Games Anymore

caps pens

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals used to be a big deal, but that was a long time ago. It’s over now– Caps vs Pens is just #anothergame. When the world’s best playmaker, Sidney Crosby, faces off against the world’s best scorer, Jason Chimera Alex Ovechkin, all we can muster now is a yawn.

I can’t even remember the time Crosby and Ovechkin scored matching hat tricks in May of 2009. I have just the vaguest memory of comparing Alex’s three Hart Trophies to Sidney’s one, or comparing Sidney’s Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold to Alex’s really hot and altogether delightful fiancée. I couldn’t recall the Snowvechkin game if you dropped 75 inches of snow on me. And would someone please give me a quick refresher course on the time or seven the Penguins knocked the Capitals out of the playoffs over the last 25 years?

That’s my attempt at a counter-counter media narrative. I’m doing the sarcasm thing again, sorry.

Despite less-than-earnest protestations to the contrary, Penguins-Capitals is still the biggest thing going. And for the first time in eons, Crosby and Ovechkin will meet while the former is healthy and the latter is sick unbelievable))).

Rather than being cynical at the media hype, we should be grateful that we’re so lucky as to witness a good game between these teams again.

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