That Sucked: Pens Blank Caps 4-0

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:( (Photo credit: Rob Carr)

Ian Oland birthday card of the night. (Photo credit: Brouwer Rangers)

Ian Oland birthday card of the night. (Photo credit: Brouwer Rangers)

A few years ago, the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins rivalry was the NHL’s top draw. Led by the league’s best players, the teams spawned epic playoff series and fantastic regular season games. Eventually, though, Sidney Crosby got hurt and Alex Ovechkin got stale. For the past couple seasons, Caps-Pens has been a bit hollow.

This year, however, Ovi vs. Sid is relevant again: Crosby came into the game tied for the league lead in points, Ovechkin was tied for the lead in goals. Wednesday, the Caps were just one point behind the Pens for the Metropolitan division lead. With NBC in town, the good old days of the late ’00s were back — even if Brooks Laich didn’t give a crap.

Unfortunately, the game was less Snovechkin and more 2009 Semifinals game seven.

Paul Martin put the Pens up early through a screen that make Braden Holtby look foolish. Rejected Gossip Girl character Beau Bennett stretched the lead to two on a two-on-four — yes two-on-four — for Pittsburgh midway through the first. The second frame was utterly boring until ya boy Sidney Crosby unleashed an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot on the power play to put the Pens up by three. James Neal added another in the third.

Worst. Pens Blank Caps 4-0.

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laichscoar

Brooks Laich has taken a lot a heat for his play this year. Our commentariat is in full revolt over Adam Oates’s insistence on keeping him on the second line, even though he and his linemate Troy Brouwer have posted awful numbers. Well, Friday night against the Red Wings, Laich registered his first goal in almost a month.

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Marcus Johansson’s Lucky Goal Leads Caps Past Wild

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Photo credit: Rob Carr

The Washington Capitals were outplayed by the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Despite Troy Brouwer’s protestations otherwise, the Caps were steadily outshot — attempted or on goal — throughout the game. Nevertheless, winning hockey games always requires some luck, and the Caps had it late against the Wild.

“Sometimes you gotta get goals like that,” head coach Adam Oates told reporters. “It took a lot of work and we fought through a lot of frustration.”

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laich-ovi-commercial

While I was watching The Daily Show last night, a new national commercial for Verizon Wireless popped up on the screen. I pretty much ignored it until I heard the word “Ovi.” uuuuuuuuAH? You know I re-wound that ish on my DVR.

Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich star in a new commercial for Verizon where they show up out of nowhere at a local hospital. No, they’re not there for the dude in pain laying on the gurney. They’re there for his son suffering from an acute case of #FOMOH: The Fear Of Missing Out on Hockey.

And Brooksie and Ovi are about to operate.

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Photo credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals have a very busy week: four games in six days. As Alex Ovechkin returns to the line-up, Capitals head coach Adam Oates decided to shake-up his lines. The changes are drastic.

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Missing Defense, Missing Teeth: Flames Drop Caps 5-2

StupidHelmets

Look at these idiots. (Photo credit: Derek Leung)

Hey!

Hey!

Utterly stunning as it may be, the Washington Capitals came into Saturday’s late night bout against Calgary on a three game winning streak after a pair of 4-1 victories and shootout nail biter in Winnipeg. With a newly even record, the Caps looked to put themselves above .500 for the first time this year with a win against the lowly Flames. They didn’t.

Kris Russell scored just over a minute into the game after a horrid opening shift for the Caps. It didn’t get better. Jiri Hudler put the Flames up by two with some net crashing. Jason Chimera got one back for the Caps on a nice backhand shot in front. Mike Cammalleri, though, just continued the bloodletting. Holtby pulled, Holtby mad. In the second, the Caps were better. Aaron Volpatti‘s muffled wrister found the back of the net to put them within one heading into the final frame. That period was stupid. Cammalleri potted another. Curtis Glencross added one more. Flames drop Caps 5-2.

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Steve Oleksy’s Amazing Curl-and-Drag — Really

OleksyFight

Pure skill. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

On Saturday night, the Washington Capitals got back on track with 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The skillful play of the new second line was the story, especially Martin Erat and his three assists. Erat, though, wasn’t the only flowing haired playmaker on the ice. That title also belongs to Steve Oleksy, who made a sublime curl-and-drag on Brooks Laich’s second period tally.

Picking up the puck from Martin Erat, Oleksy charged towards the faceoff dot. Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson attempted the poke check, but Steve O went all sick nasty, blowing past him. Oleksy then dished the puck to the front of the net and Laich finished the play. Beautiful.

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Apparently everything is happening today (or at least this is the first I’ve seen it). Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich has been named to Vanity Fair’s not-at-all-trashy 10 Best Players Players in the NHL list.

Brooksy, please come up to the podium and say a few words.

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Disaster Game: Avs beat Caps By a Lot

Patrick Smith

Photo: Patrick Smith

Disaster game. The Capitals had just one win going into Saturday’s thing with Colorado, a shootout win over a reliable bottom-5 team. Despite that and the team’s myriad weaknesses, we had good feelings going into this one.

Nope.

John Carlson started the game off with an own-goal, tipping in a centering pass from Alex Tanguay past Michal Neuvirth. Matt Duchene made it 2-0 for the Avs a few minutes later, roofing the puck after a duel with Karl Alzner.

Human baby Nate McKinnon scored his first NHL goal while the Caps were being penalized for being too manly.

Tanguay got a shorty early in the third period as the game descended into burn-the-tape territory, but soon after that Eric Fehr finally beat Varlamov with a quick shot set up by Jason Chimera. The glimmer of hope lasted all of 20 seconds before Jamie McGinn made it 5-1 for Colorado. That’s how it ended.

Avs beat Caps 5-1.

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Caps Players Signed One of Those Awful Toasters

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Photo credit: Amanda H.

[Editor's note: When Washington Capitals fan Amanda H. went to the Caps Season Ticket Holder party at Six Flags last year, she had Martin Erat sign a photo of Filip Forsberg. This year, she one-upped herself. We'll let her explain.]

Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: Amanda H.)

Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: @Komissarov95)

I had debated for a few days what I should get signed at the season ticket holder party. I have a ton of Caps stuff, but nothing really stood out to me, until about twenty minutes before I had to leave. Long forgotten due to the poor toast it makes (No, seriously it’s very bad toast, I have yet to find a setting that toasts most of the bread without burning the other half), my Capitals toaster sat on a shelf, not having been used in months.

Images of walking around an amusement park carrying a toaster danced in my head. It was too amusing to turn down. I have a suspicion those events might be slightly tedious so I felt like this might spice things up. At the very least it’d give me something to say to the players instead of just awkwardly standing in silence. I cleaned it up a little and tested to make sure the sharpie would actually stick. It did!

When my friend Alyssa and I arrived in the parking lot, I had a moment of doubt. Am I really going to go get a toaster signed? Why didn’t I clean it thoroughly beforehand? I figured that either way, this would be a great story and probably worth the effort. I went through security and the bag check. The guy checking my bag thought my toaster was pretty cool.

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