Former Capital Jaromir Jagr just hit a milestone against the Capitals. The 44-year-old Jagr became the third player of all time to score 750 career goals. The tally, Jagr’s second career goal on Braden Holtby, came after the Czech rifled a one-timer past the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner.
Tonight, the Caps are gunning for their third straight win. They’ve got a killer second line, and the power play has finally clicked. Yeah, yeah–it’s early in the season, but things are looking really good.
Tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers takes the Caps down south to Sunrise, Florida, where today’s high is a balmy 83 degrees. In addition to fabulous weather, the Panthers also boast a 2-0-1 record. Their lone loss, like the Caps’, was in the pesky ol’ shootout.
The Panthers secured the Atlantic Division championship last season before getting booted in the first round. This season, they’ve returned as a younger, better team. They’re currently a top possession team–as are the Caps. This should be a jolly good game. Puck drop is at 7:30 on CSN.
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After beginning the year zero for eight on the power play, the Capitals burst out of their goalless drought Tuesday night with two goals in five opportunities. Nicklas Backstrom may be the most important player on the Capitals’ power play, according to the CSN poll between periods last game, but some love needs to be given to the point men. When John Carlson and now, Dmitry Orlov get shots through and feed pucks accurately to Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals power play is virtually unstoppable.
Thursday morning in Florida, three Capitals players sat on a bench and waited for the team bus to take them to practice. Brett Connolly and Andre Burakovsky furiously fidgeted with their mobile phones while Caps goaltender Braden Holtby worked on a crossword puzzle.
Tuesday night, Dmitry Orlov delivered a perfect hip check to Matt Duchene. The hit lit up both Duchene and social media, garnering nearly 4,000 retweets on the NHL’s Twitter account in 24 hours.
On Wednesday, Orlov spoke about his highlight-reel play with local media. The Russian defenseman was quick to show concern for the Avalanche forward, saying “I think it’s good that [Duchene] didn’t get hurt and was still in the game… and that we win that game.”
Orlov’s full comments on the hit are below.
Hello, RMNB family.
About five years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since that time, my family, led by my Mom, has held a number of fundraisers for Team Fox, the fundraising program at the Michael J. Fox foundation.
This year, one of the fundraisers we are doing is a Caps raffle. The proceeds from the Caps raffle will go to support my cousin Colleen who is running in the NYC marathon in support of Team Fox. All of the money donated to Colleen’s fundraiser will go to Team Fox.
The Jay Beagle Goodwill Tour made its way to Verizon Center Tuesday night. Days after Beags gave away and individually autographed two dozen pucks to children at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the fourth-line center struck again during warmups ahead of the Caps game against Colorado.
Beagle tossed a puck to a tiny Caps fan named London who was holding a sign that read, “I <3 83. Happy Birthday Jay Beagle.” Then, after I assume some prompting by mom, Beags literally stopped what he was doing on the ice and took a picture through the glass.
For the first three games of the season, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have been split up. Though this separation may not last long, and though they have spent some time apart during their years in DC, splitting them up is definitely a deviation from the norm. One impact of this change is forcing opponents to make a tough decision in how to match lines against the Caps.
But another major impact is the way the Caps are matching up against the opposition’s top line. Barry Trotz had generally preferred a power vs power matchup, often pitting the Backstrom-Ovechkin line against the other team’s top offensive line. With the duo broken up, the tough task of playing against the opponent’s top line each night has been assigned to the Caps second line of Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Backstrom.
So far, through an admittedly tiny sample of three games, the results have been outstanding. Not only has the Caps’ second line stifled the offense of the opponent’s top line, but by controlling the puck and going on the attack, they’ve been forcing the top offensive weapons of the Caps’ opponent to spend more time on defense than offense.
Ted Leonsis sure had a fun night. He watched his team shut out the Avs, he gave Braden Holtby a guitar, he did some intense iPhone swiping, and then he made an ambush cameo on CSN. I guess you can get away with that when you BASICALLY OWN THE CHANNEL NOW.
Following a dominating performance in their 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, let’s take a look at some numbers that show what the Caps did well–and some that show what they did not-so-well.
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