The start of the Caps/Leafs game was strange. Leafs’ grinding extraordinaire Matt Martin opened the scoring with a breakaway goal. But I want to focus on the opening face off.
As the Leafs gained possession off the draw, the puck deflected off Nikita Soshnikov’s stick and into the Caps bench. The puck struck Caps Head Coach Barry Trotz square in the forehead.
We’re back already? The Caps come into today’s 2nd half of a back-to-back against the Toronto Maple Leafs who have been off for two days. Lets hope that the extra rest does them no good.
The Caps and head coach Barry Trotz were able to roll all four lines against the Buffalo Sabres in a relatively easy victory last night and our Vezina Trophy winning goaltender is back in the cage.
However, Toronto is a young team that loves to get up and down the ice with pace and will willingly turn any game into a shootout, so tired legs especially on defense could be an issue. We’ll also get our first look at rookie phenom Auston Matthews, but hopefully he stays off the score sheet.
Puck drop is at 7:00 on CSN+ and your various streaming outlets.
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||8-8-4||50.28%||100.0||21.1%||82.0%|
The Hershey Bears were able to beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 in the first leg of a home-and-home, Friday night. The Bears would receive a strong outing from goaltender Joe Cannata stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Liam O’Brien began the scoring for the Bears early in the first. After Springfield finished the period up 2-1, the Bears would score four unanswered goals to win the game 5-2.
Last night the Capitals kept on rolling by beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 for their second win in a row (and sixth in their last ten.) Goaltender Philipp Grubauer played a standout game and ticked off the “W” in front of his parents and girlfriend. And the depth chipped in some welcome scoring, with Daniel Winnik and Brett Connolly both finding the back of the net.
Not long ago we discussed some worrying trends after a loss to the Blue Jackets, and while this wasn’t a dominant game, the Caps have continued to climb out of their mini-rut. They have been above 50 percent possession in seven of their last nine games, and have had the better of scoring chances in five of those.
Oh thank goodness, there’s Caps hockey. Let’s all take a break from that conversation with our extended families about how the real world has become Purge: Anarchy and instead talk about how the Caps whipped the Sabres on Black Friday.
Daniel Winnik and his horseshoe mustache kicked us off by sticking with a scoring play started by Lars Eller. Marcus Johansson doubled Washington’s lead by rescuing Justin Williams’ interrupted pass and burying the puck behind Anders Nilsson.
Sam Reinhart ended Grubauer’s shutout bid in the third after some sustained pressure by Kyle Okposo. Hardworking Brett Connolly occupied the slot and slammed a goal with 4 minutes to go.
Caps beat Sabres 3-1!
Before Friday, Philipp Grubauer had made 36 career starts in the NHL. Grubi’s parents had not been lucky enough to catch any of them live.
That all changed on Friday. Barry Trotz named Grubi the starter after the morning skate, which was perfect because Peter and Susi Grubauer were in town for their son’s 25th birthday.
Caps rookie Zach Sanford has naught to show for his 17-game career but a single assist. That nearly changed on Friday evening, as Sanford made a scoring drive that looked like the work of an all-star.
Check out these moves.
With the holiday season upon us, we’ve updated the RMNB shop just in time for Black Friday. We’ve got multiple new shirt designs, which are described below. We’re also offering 15% off and free shipping on all orders. Just use the coupon code 2016OMG.
We have now reached the point in Alex Ovechkin’s legendary career where almost every goal he scores and almost every point he tallies is historic. Wednesday night, Ovechkin tallied three goals – his 16th career hat trick. Let me put that in perspective for you.
According to @StatsCentre, the official stats account for TSN’s SportsCentre, that tied Ovechkin with former Capitals forward Peter Bondra for the most hat tricks since the 1995-96 season. Ovechkin played his first game on October 5, 2005.
In late June, the Vegas Golden Knights’s inaugural roster will take shape during the NHL’s first expansion draft since the turn of the millennium. The Washington Capitals are bursting with talent everywhere on their 22-man roster, which is why they will likely lose a beloved member of the organization.
While that’s a depressing thought, I do have some good’ish news. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston got his hands on the memo which outlines the 66 players that are currently considered exempt from the expansion process (because of no-move clauses). The Caps are one of four NHL teams that do not have any players that fit that bill. So that means, the players the Capitals choose to protect — a) seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or b) eight skaters (forwards/defensemen), and one goaltender — will be protected because of strategy and not because their hands are tied with bad contracts.
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