Caps at Sabres Pregame: Stack the Pads, Pad the Stats

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That pic is from 2011 and it’s awesome. (Photo: Gary Wiepert)

The Capitals played terrifically last night en route to a shutout win over the rival Boston Bruins. That was a high-stakes game against a good foe. Tonight: not so much.

Tonight the Caps will pad their stats and hopefully not blow a solid chance at two points on the road in Buffalo.

Puck drops at 7 PM. The game’s on CSN Plus, so if I find out you watched the NBC Sports feed I will flip out on you.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 37-23-10 51.8% 100.3 25.0% 81.3%
Buffalo Sabres 19-43-6 36.6% 100.1 10.9% 74.7%

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Alright, listen. There was a game and the Caps won, but all I really care about is that Nate Schmidt scored. I’m not gonna play it cool and dedicate just a single, solemn bullet to Nate’s goal because you will all know I’m being disingenuous.

So here, up front, is John Walton calling Nate Schmidt’s goal.

 

And up top is a photo of him being happy because that’s what he does. That’s what relentlessly positive Nate Schmidt does.

And here’s what I looked like after the goal.

Anyway, the Caps beat the Bruins. John Carlson also scored. Holtby got a shutout. Let’s talk about it.

Caps beat Bruins 2-0.

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Caps vs Bruins Pregame: The Big Game

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This might be the most important game of the season. The Bruins, on a hot streak, have surged from no-man’s land. The Capitals are injured and sick, they can’t score to save their lives right now, they’re basically out of the division race, and they’re barely holding onto a wild card spot.

This a four-point game, and it will factor large into who does what after April 11.

7:30 PM on NBC Sports. I’m going to puke.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 36-23-10 51.7% 100.3 24.6% 81.0%
Boston Bruins 36-22-10 52.3% 100.5 17.8% 82.1%

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Caps beat Bruins 4-0, Ovi Nets Two, Holtby Perfect

Brian Babineau

Photo: Brian Babineau

Sore over losing a well-played game on Thursday, the Capitals came out blazing against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Spurred by a two-spot from the captain, the Caps had this one covered early– but a sterling effort from Braden Holtby made it a lock.

Alex Ovechkin kicked his season off with an Ovi goal from the Ovi spot on the power play. Before the first frame was over, Ovi added another– this time at evens, but again assisted by Nick Backstrom.

The second PP unit made it 3-0 in the second period as Mike Green swept in a one-timer from the weak side.

In the third, Andre Burakovsky fed John Carlson in the high slot to make it 4-0 [Update: The goal is now credited to Joel Ward]. The Bruins got cranky and cantankerous and canker sore but couldn’t score because they stink.

Caps beat Bruins 4-0. Holtby is the best.

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Photo: B. Bennett

“Some things are destined to be – it just takes us a couple of tries to get there.” – J.R. Ward. 

Hey guys and gals! The bosses at RMNB foolishly once again gave us access to their site, and in return, we hope to spill a little insight– and fabulousness– about what comes tonight. And not inspire too many hate-filled emails to their box. Not that we care…we don’t get them, so anger-type away!

So, pre-season? Done. Debate about Trotz? On hold. Season opener against the Habs? Mmm, done, and extra soggy. Caps fans exiting extra-pouty? Nothing new.

But this is a season all about new, we thinks. We are witness to a team in transition; a squad searching for its future. And if the early portents are to be believed, we are in for a smashing season. Ish.

OK, in our first season opener Thursday night, we rather unraveled. And…against the Habs. Sure, they were all that last season, but so was Macklemore, and look where he is now. (As in performing at North Dakota casinos?)

The Caps bring a refreshing assortment of new talent (and by new, we’re only grudgingly admitting Orpik) adding to the seasoned talent. That said: Montreal is one thing. Boston is a completely different affair. Or marriage, if you catch our drift.

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Caps at Bruins Pregame: Green Gets the Green Light

The Trotz Caps played a good first game on Thursday but got just a single standings point to show for it. At TD Garden at 7 PM tonight, the Caps will have another chance to prove their mettle, this time against last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winner, the Boston Bruins. To sweeten their chances, the Caps have added last year’s best possession player, Mike Green, to the lineup.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 0-0-1 NotBad% 0.0% 100%
Boston Bruins 1-1-0 TooSoon% ??? 16.7% 85.7%

(Yeaaaah, I’ll get the stats figured out soon.)

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Hahahaha, Elliot (Photo: Guerin Austin)

For five years, the beautiful and talented Guerin Austin was a familiar face to Caps fans. The former Miss Nebraska was the in-game host of Capitals games at Verizon Center during the team’s greatest years. She also won three local Emmys hosting “Caps Red Line,” the Caps-produced television show that airs on the Monumental Network and NHL Network.

In 2013, Austin left the team for bigger and better things. After spending the last year doing a bunch prominent gigs, Austin has been hired by the Boston Bruins-owned media company NESN to be the team’s new rinkside reporter.

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Photo: Rob Carr

For 10 years, Jarome Iginla was the captain of the Calgary Flames. He was the franchise, in the same way Alex Ovechkin is now synonymous with the Washington Capitals. But in Iginla’s last few years with the team, the Flames got bad. Wanting to win a Cup before his career was over, Iginla engineered a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins last year, spurring the Boston Bruins at the last second. The closest Iginla had ever come was a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2004.

Ironically, the Bruins headed to the Final against the Blackhawks last season, with another year ticking off on Iginla’s career. He signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Bruins this offseason. At 36, Iginla is on the top team in the east. The Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division by beating Washington on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s been a fun year,” Iginla told reporters after the game. “It’s been fun to win games and battling at the top of the league, to be on some streaks as a group and see them go in too. It’s been fun.”

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Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Unlikely Goal in Final Minute

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The Capitals sort of played a stinker against the Boston Bruins. There was precious little to enjoy about the game: a couple flashy saves by Braden Holtby, Jason Chimera crashing the net, maybe Ian rocking the spandex with the Brouwer Rangers. Thanks to the game’s final minute, we can add one more to that list: Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s stinger of a goal.

Seemingly defeated by Carl Soderberg’s insurance goal with seven minutes left, the Caps struggled to put together any kind of offensive push in the closing minutes of rego. Troy Brouwer made one such push, but the Bruins D tied him up. That play looked like it would fizzle like so many others against Boston.

Enter the New Guy.

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Bruins beat Thrashers 4-2

Patrick Smith

What is the Buffalo guy doing here? (Photo: Patrick Smith)

The Washington Capitals were poised to seize a wild card slot with a win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon. That’s exactly what would have happened except for the small matter of Boston absolutely dominating the game.

This is going to be one of those recaps.

AARP member Jarome Iginla scored his first of two goals in the second period, exploiting a breakout by the Capitals. Carl Soderberg got a powerplay marker from the not-perimeter while Eric Fehr was in the box. Iginla scored again a few minutes later, but Jason Chimera ended the shutout with a crash-the-net tap-in late in the second period.

The Bruins made it 4-1 on a soft charging call against Alex Ovechkin. Soderberg kinda interfered with Holtby as Bergeron swept the goal home, but no matter: the game was already over at that point. Evgeny Kuznetsov got a fancy no-angle goal in garbage time.

Bruins beat Caps 4-2.

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