Last night marked the first time in Alex Ovechkin‘s career he has gone five consecutive games without registering a point. Despite the Caps dominating the Red Wings in possession, they lost again. In fact, they’ve lost three out of their last five games in spite of having the best 5-on-5 possession (56.52% CF) in the entire league, as Adam Vingan reported.
This morning before practice, Ovi came out to the ice early and practiced one-timers from The Ovi Spot, determined to end both trends.
For the last few games, Washington’s offense has been lacking. Alex Ovechkin has struggled to score — going five games without a goal — while the rest of the lines have struggled to click as Barry Trotz’s looks for line combinations that will gel. On Wednesday, they got the offense. Washington clearly outclassed the Red Wings but made a few inexplicable mistakes. They hurt.
“They’re not playing overly poor,” Trotz said after the game. “You’ve just got to put your nose to the grindstone and plow through it.”
“Every turnover we did have ended up in the back of the net a little bit,” he added.
Tonight, the Washington Capitals are on national TV and you know what that means: everybody’s favorite bald commentator is inside the glass! At the beginning of the telecast, Pierre McGuire, the Emmy award winning analyst, talked about the Caps new defensive additions during the offseason: Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen.
On Tuesday night, the Caps released their own video summarizing the event and we learned some of the calendar’s backstory. Carmen Brouwer and Mandy Alzner, owners of multiple cute puppies themselves, came up with the idea several years ago.
“It was just an idea we had,” Brouwer said. “We thought we could be more involved in the community. This is our third calendar. The first year we outsourced the photography, but now we have Mrs. Green and she can do the photography for us.”
Sometimes the most captivating television comes from surprising places. Like, forget putting the twins in a room and forcing them to be funny, just take a camera man along with Caps color guy Craig Laughlin as he goes anywhere. To the grocery store. To the bathroom. Doesn’t really matter where.
That’s what CSN did on Saturday. During the first intermission of the Caps-Flames game, CSN aired a two-minute segment of Locker traveling up to a Calgary mountain top. Sounds simple, but it was a laugh riot.
On Friday, the Washington Capitals got back to business, holding a practice at Calgary’s old Olympic stomping grounds. After the hour-long session was concluded, Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media and was asked about Caps rookie Andre Burakovsky.
Through six games this season, the Burracuda is a point-per-game player, tallying six points and scoring two big goals. When Backstrom first began his North American career with the Caps, he tallied four points – all assists – in six games as a 19-year-old.
Nicky was asked about how he would compare himself to Andre at that age and it’s great stuff.
For three seasons, Matt Hendricks gave his heart and soul to the Washington Capitals. There were big hits, paralyzing shootout goals, and fights. Lots and lots of fights. When Hendricks’ contract ran out in 2013, he signed a new one, a large one, with Nashville– then bounced around until he found a home in Edmonton.
On Wednesday, in what was the weirdest moment of the night so far, Hendricks checked two (2!) guys at the same time, Michael Latta and an Edmonton teammate. Hendricks was then forced to drop the gloves with first-year Caps forward Liam O’Brien.
On Sunday afternoon, Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 1-0 on a goal scored by Casey Wellman with just 1.5 seconds remaining in overtime. Wolf Pack goalie Jason Missiaen made 36 saves on 37 shots over 67 minutes of play, while Caps prospect Pheonix Copley held down the fort for the Bears, recording his first shutout as a pro.
Last season, Adam Oates tried to reinvent Eric Fehr. Instead of being an auxiliary winger, Oates turned Fehr into a checking line center. Actual hockey isn’t NHL 15, so the role was uneasy for Fehr. Center is a greater responsibility than being a scoring winger, offensively and defensively. Pivots are, perhaps, a little smarter than the rest of us. Fehr never quite settled into the position and bounced around the lineup and the press box under Oates. He did, however, find success with Joel Ward and Jason Chimera, inspiring a cult following for the line.
This season, it looked like Barry Trotz put an end to the Eric Fehr 3C experiment, placing the Manitoban on the top trio with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. After Tuesday’s histrionic 6-5 loss to San Jose, Trotz’s shifted his lineup. Fehr was back with Ward and Chimera. On Thursday, the line was Washington’s best. While they only registered one of Washington’s five goals — and it was barely even a goal — the trio shut down the opposition and earned praise from Trotz. Against the Panthers, the third line was again inspired. Chimera had a myriad of chances while scoring Washington’s lone goal of the night. It was set up by a brilliant pass from the corner from Fehr.
“With that line, I think that Fehrsie’s got really good hockey IQ,” Trotz said. “He can read off those two guys.”
“That whole line’s been really good the last couple games,” he added.