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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In the final minute of last night’s game, Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek had a run-in with Braden Holtby. It did not end well for Vanek.

Or his stick.

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Milan Lucic has a history of running goaltenders. Tonight he tried to do it to Braden Holtby. Instead he got butt-checked.

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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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Photo: Caps Instagram

Braden Holtby has been busy this year, playing in 53 of the Capitals’ 62 games. Maybe that’s why he just unveiled his fourth new mask of the 2014-15 season. Painted by Swedish artist Dave Gunnarsson, the mask integrates some design features from Holtby’s Winter Classic bucket. The hand-painted Uncle Sam portrait, an homage to Olie Kolzig, returns on the chin.

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The Caps Are Straight Dominating the NHL’s Leaderboard

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Photo: @capsfan74

On February 19th, 2015, let it be remembered that 59 games into the season, the Caps were straight pwning the NHL’s leaderboard. Alex Ovechkin leads the league in goals (38) and Nicklas Backstrom leads the league in both assists (45) and points (63). Ovi is also third in the league in points and trails Backstrom by two.

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