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He’s ready. Are you? (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

One-by-one, as they stepped off the ice and into the locker room at their Virginia practice facility, mic flags went flying into the faces of members of Washington Capitals. Tonight, the team will play its eighth game seven since the Ovechkin era began. Five of those games have ended with crushed looks on the faces of the boys from Arlington. The questions were obvious.

“The media is the only people that bring up the past,” Jason Chimera scoffed. “It’s history for a reason. We wanna make our own history tonight.”

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The second period of game six was intense. There were many dangerous scoring chances, including this shot by Mikhail Grabovski.

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Philipp Grubauer Will Start Game Two

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The Washington Capitals just announced that Philipp Grubauer will get the start tonight over Braden Holtby who is under the weather. Justin Peters will serve as the back-up. We knew something was up when the Holtbeast didn’t come out this evening for his pre-game visualization routine.

Around 6:45pm, Holtby arrived at Verizon Center according to CSN’s Jill Sorenson.

Alex Prewitt reports that the Caps will leave for New York immediately after the game and practice there Saturday.

So tonight should definitely be interesting with Grubi in goal!

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Braden Holtby Sick, Philipp Grubauer Recalled

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Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Good morning, Caps fans. Everything is fine on this lovely spring gameday morning except your franchise goalie is sick. Alex Prewitt reports that Braden Holtby isn’t feeling well today. We don’t know exactly what that means yet, but the Capitals have recalled Philipp Grubauer from the Hershey Bears.

At least Caps fans are having fun with it.

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Photo: @WashCaps

At mid-season, Braden Holtby was near the top of almost every important goaltending statistic in the NHL. He was also starting nearly every game for the Washington Capitals.

NBCSN’s Pierre McGuire asked the Holtbeast in January about his heavy workload after a nationally televised game (which he won). Holtby’s response:

Since then, Holtby has played even more. He’s got a 41-19-10 record, nine shutouts, a 2.21 GAA and .923 save percentage. He’s set a franchise-record 24 consecutive games and faced over 2000 shots. If Holtby plays Saturday against the Rangers, he’ll match Olie Kolzig‘s franchise record for most appearances in a single season (73). If that happens, Holtby, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, would become the 21st goalie in NHL history to play in 73 or more games in a single season.

So, the question is this: Should the Caps rest Holtby on Saturday?

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Caps Take Three Penalties in Brutal 1:38 Span

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The Ottawa Senators are an insane 16-1-1 with the Hamburglar in net, so we knew before the game it’d take a herculean effort from the Washington Capitals to win. But instead, the Caps came out flat and made a myriad of mistakes. First, they gave up an early even-strength goal to young star Mark Stone after a bad shift change.

At this point, the Caps went HAM and took three minor penalties in 1:38.

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Photo: @WashCaps

The Washington Capitals have a tradition. Whenever any player scores a milestone goal, the players who assisted will pose together with the puck. This explains the belly laugh-inducing photo of the Sashas and Jason Arnott from a few years ago.

On Thursday night, Alex Ovechkin cheesed for the camera after scoring his franchise-leading 473rd goal and to his right was… Braden Holtby? That can’t be right.

Okay, I’m checking the box score and yes, this is correct. Let’s see just how this happened.

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In this week’s snapshot, Peter offered his assessment of the Caps’ chances this Spring in the playoffs:

However they looked in October and whatever hot streaks we’ve seen this season, the Capitals are not a championship team. (Or, if they are, we haven’t seen evidence of it lately.) They’re not bad like under Adam Oates (and for that I am grateful) but they’re not great. They’re just good. They’re a good team with a good coach.

Unless the bounces go bad or they draw a tough team, these Capitals should make it into the second round of the playoffs. No further.

I tend to agree with Peter. The Caps are a solid team. And while anything can happen once you get into the playoffs, I wouldn’t put any kind of money on this being the Caps’ year. They are a good team, but they are not currently a Cup-caliber team.

But, like I said, anything can happen once you’re in the playoffs. So let’s look at three reasons the Caps could win the Cup, beyond the fact that hockey, much like life, is often more random and unpredictable than we can comprehend. And then to be end on a downer, we’ll look at three reasons the Caps won’t win the Cup.

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Photo: Monumental Network

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman released his latest 30 Thoughts column on Tuesday. He had a blurb about defenseman Mike Green, who will be unrestricted free agent this summer.

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