Despite the threat of Winter Storm Stella dumping up to a foot of snow on the DC area, and its disappointing aftermath, the thought on many people’s minds this week is tinted green with the arrival of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The Capitals, too, are thinking green, with their own week-long celebration entitled Green Week, which will run March 13-17.
The Thursday March 16th game versus the Nashville Predators is the Capitals’ St. Patrick’s Day celebration game. The team will be wearing special green jerseys during warm-ups, as well as use green tape on their sticks. The jerseys and sticks, along with special green pucks, will be autographed and up for auction. Proceeds will benefit the Anacostia Watershed Society. You can bid on those items now via Handbid.
Take a closer look at these beautiful sweaters.
Caps forward Andre Burakovsky is inching closer to a return after breaking his hand in February.
Tuesday, after the Caps morning skate, Burakovsky said to reporters that he hopes to play in a game next week.
With 95 points in 68 games, the Capitals currently sit atop the Metropolitan Division and the entire league. They are on a four-game losing streak, while the Metro division rival Pittsburgh Penguins have won five of their last six (with a shootout loss last night), tying the Caps in points with exactly the same number of games played.
Regular season success for the Caps has become a punchline. It’s hard to get excited about this final 14-game stretch when all that we really care about is what the team does come April, May, and hopefully June. Which is entirely fair.
But there is a lot left to play for right now, and the stakes are high. The Caps have snuck back into a dogfight for what is a genuinely important number one seed in the Metro. Forget the Presidents’ Trophy, they need to take this division — for the reasons you’ll see below.
As someone who helps runs social media accounts with nearly 80,000 Capitals followers, I’ve stumbled upon a unique position on the internet to make broad observations about where the fanbase sits right now. It’s not good.
Some Caps fans are freaking out right now. A month away from the postseason, the Caps have lost four games in regulation for the first time since Barry Trotz’s first month as coach in 2014. Many have surmised that our favorite team, who once seemed infallible in January and February, peaked too early again. Others worry about the fact that Alex Ovechkin hasn’t scored in ten games. I’ve seen commenters say this season is already over. The community seems fearful about what awaits the Capitals in the playoffs.
My mind has wandered to this place too. And I want to give you the same advice that I told myself: fucking stop it.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has always been defined by his consistency. In November, TSN’s Travis Yost did the math and revealed that Ovechkin had gone the last five seasons without a goal drought longer than six games. None of Ovechkin’s goal-scoring contemporaries — including Corey Pery, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Steven Stamkos, and Tyler Seguin — could claim the same, all experiencing goal droughts in the double digits.
Sunday night, after 12 seasons and 907 career NHL games, Ovechkin finally showed he was mortal, going his tenth-straight game without a goal. It marks the longest single-season goalless streak of Ovechkin’s career.
Last night the Caps polished off a highly unsuccessful California road trip with a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. This was the first Shattless game that the Caps have played since acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk, as the veteran defenseman sat for the first game of a two-game suspension.
Reasonable minds can disagree about how concerned we should be after the team’s fourth straight loss and Alex Ovechkin’s tenth straight goalless game, but the players are looking to course correct as Brooks Orpik called them out and they had a closed-doors meeting after the game.
The Caps’ seemed out of sync from the get-go in this game, with their execution sorely lacking. This was evidenced in their missed shots. Halfway through the game the Caps were hanging tight with the Ducks in terms of shot attempts, actually ahead 21 to 20 at five-on-five. Shots on goal at that time were 14 to eight, however, in favor of Anaheim.
After getting off to the second-best start in franchise history, the Washington Capitals have hit a figurative wall over the last week. The team has lost four-straight games in regulation for the first time since 2014 (October 26 thru November 2, 2014) – the first month under Barry Trotz. The Caps lost all three games of their west coast road trip – a span of three games in four nights (including daylight saving time).
Capitals’ alternate captain Brooks Orpik was asked by Capital Radio’s John Walton after the game what it would take to snap out of this funk. He had a very frank answer.
Forecasts of snow, March Madness brackets and another Capitals loss. I like one of those three March-themed things, but unfortunately we all received the other two as well.
First period? Nada.
Corey Perry capitalized on a Lars Eller turnover and walked both Karl Alzner and Braden Holtby to slot home the first marker of the game. Perry lit the lamp again on a tip-in and Rickard Rakell made it 3-0 quickly after. John Carlson then broke Jonathan Bernier’s shutout bid with a power play goal and we’d end 40 minutes 3-1.
A Ryan Getzlaf power play goal made it 4-1, but seconds later Marcus Johansson wscored to cut it to 4-2. Ryan Kesler, 5-2.
Ducks beat Caps 5-2.
Maybe this three-game losing streak and miserable road trip through California is giving Barry Trotz a migraine headache. Maybe the pollen’s high in Anaheim or maybe he ran out of saline solution for his contacts. Whatever the reason, Barry is wearing glasses behind the bench on Sunday night.
A well-timed salve for the emotionally fragile Caps fans who cannot endure a bit of adversity during a road trip late in a historically dominant season, John Carlson just scored a goal.
And it was on the powerplay too. Will wonders never cease!
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