Broken Noses, Broken Hearts: Wings Beat Caps 4-2

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

I was pessimistic about the Caps entering the season. Early on, however, they proved me wrong. The team went until late October without a loss in regulation, picking of a bunch of standings points. They were strong on both sides of the puck and all the storylines were positive. It was like everyone was Ian: innocent, happy, naïvely carefree.

A trip out west changed that. The Caps lost two of the three played past your bedtime and we came down to earth. Looking to change things, Barry Trotz decided to go with another forceful lineup that he divined using either his brilliant hockey mind or a hat. Perhaps he knows half of you didn’t watch this game either.

The scoring got stared in the first when Braden Holtby took a twirl and a tumble in the crease. The referees, perhaps unaware the Caps play their home game on melted Slurpee, called the goal back, alleging goalie inference on Luke Glendening. Other than a few reorganized faced, the first was otherwise uneventful, though the Wings registered Pantherian three shots on goal.

In the second, things got more interesting. About nine minutes into the period, Marcus Johansson continued his goal scoring streak by putting the Wings up for real this time. Jojo turned the puck over inside the blueline before Gustav Nyquist stretched Holtby’s groin past its breaking point. Bray Bray, though, got even a little over five minutes later with a delicious bank pass to Joel Ward, who fed the puck to a streaking Evgeny Kuznetsov to tie it up on the power play. With 58 ticks remaining in the period, first-liner Andre Burakovsky used his fancy euroness to blow past the Detroit D before John Carlson used the First Amendment to set Troy Brouwer up for the one timer.

Alas, things got rather dumb in the third period. Brooks Orpik and Burakovsky combined for an awful turnover, allowing Justin Abdelkader to tie it. It was basically the FBI building of brutalism.

The party didn’t stop there. John Carlson joined in on the “hey free pucks!” train and Abdelkader twisted the knife. Another for good measure. Wings beat Caps 4-2.

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ovechkin-gives-away-stick-yay

Just like the Vancouver Canucks did on Sunday, the Washington Capitals hosted their own Hockey Fights Cancer night at Verizon Center. The Capitals wore purple jerseys during warm-ups (photos) and 11-year-old blood cancer survivor Ryan Darby got to participate in the ceremonial faceoff with Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg and Caps captain Alex Ovechkin.

Darby, cute as a button, clapped wildly as Ovechkin made his way to the dot. Then he got a special surprise when they were done: a game-used stick from Alex Ovechkin.

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Screengrab by @Daryoush_Hockey

Midway through the first period, Braden Holtby went behind the net to play a dump in. After he chipped the puck to Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen, Holtby skated back to the crease. And that’s when things went terribly, terribly wrong.

Holtby’s skate blade got caught in a rut on the ice and fell over. It was not graceful.

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Jason Chimera’s Grotesquely Broken Nose

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Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera went for a big offensive zone hit on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith. Smith however, noticed the hard-charging Chimera coming and leaned into him with his shoulder. Chimmer fell over hard, then made his way to the bench.

When NBCSN cameras caught him with trainer Greg Smith, we were met with the most brokenest nose in the history of broken noses.

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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.

Except, that’s not exactly what he said.

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Caps vs Red Wings Pregame: Fehr or Wilson?

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With a disappointing road trip through western Canada in the rear view, Barry Trotz and the Caps hope to recapture the magic with a home game against Detroit. The Caps’ lines are all-new, and a familiar face might be returning to action. There’s a lot to look forward to, but the game is on NBCSN, so… uh… Pierre McGuire is back? Puck drop a little after 7:30.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 4-2-2 54.0% 102.3 25.9% 80.0%
Detroit Red Wings 4-2-2 52.3% 98.9 6.7% 96.2%

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Swede-on-Swede

A little Swede on Swede action at last year’s Caps Wings match

About that recent little jaunt to the land of moose and Anne Murray that was supposed to be a skip through the daisies? Exactly. And let us never speak of it again.

For the most part, the Caps are still playing their best in several seasons, we’re seeing skill from young and old alike, and our goaltending worries appear to be over. But tonight we face a team that’s also resurgent, skilled, and with new blood in the net.

The Red Wings should worry you.

They’re older than us by nearly five decades, they’re Cuppier than us by about everything, they’re Swede-ier than us av en skit belastning, their unis are hands-down the best anywhere, and they’ve got octopi. We’ve got Winger.

But they do have to live in Detroit, so there’s that.

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Broken up.

“But, Peter,” you might say, “what could be awesome about the Caps losing two out of three games on that road trip?”

A good question, hypothetical reader into whose mouth I have put words. While the Caps played awesome in western Canada, the results were not uniformly awesome. We’re gonna have to dig deep this week to find the coolest stuff in the Caps’ world.

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ovechkin-nuzzles-puppy

“I must nuzzle you.”

The Capitals Dog Calendar photoshoot is the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve brought you photos, 35 even cuter photos, and puppy selfies. Now: GIFs!

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.”

Yes, Mike Green’s wife, Courtney Parrie, took the photos for the calendar. She is an accomplished photographer.

The calendars will be put on sale December 2nd at the Verizon Center team store, the MSE Foundation table at section 104, and Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

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It’s Mike Green’s world and we’re all just living in it.

On Tuesday morning, Hockey Night In Canada’s Elliotte Friedman published his latest 30 Thoughts column. The article mostly focused on Randy Carlyle’s hairy situation in Toronto, but it also featured six juicy tidbits of information on the Capitals.

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