On November 21, 2015, In Game Recap, By Chris Gordon
Photo: Patrick McDermott
It’s a Saturday night and all of you get free Egg McMuffins in the morning. That’s what happens when you play the Colorado Avalanche. Let’s go wild.
The scoring started just three minutes into the pre-holiday tilt when Jason Chimera fed the puck to Justin Williams from behind the net just after an Avs penalty expired, suggesting that Chimmer, despite previous evidence to the contrary, may in fact have motor skills.
Then, just over four minutes later, Nicklas Backstrom made another slick pass from behind the net, as Alex Ovechkin put home the one-timer for his 485th career tally.
Not to be outdone, Evgeny Kuznetsov decided to make his own awesome pass from below the red line, giving John Carlson his first point in seven games.
Then… unabashed glory. With 43 seconds left in the opening frame, Nate Schmidt, your favorite hockey player and also the best hockey player, scored, firing home an unassisted tally that was pure fake money. What a period.
The Caps jumped on the struggle bus in the second as Cody McLeod and Nathan MacKinnon cut the lead in half.
In the third, the Caps got back to doing their thang, with Kuznetsov giving the fans some free wings to go with their McDonald’s breakfast item. Dmitry Orlov chipped in with the world’s most ridiculous goal, before the Avs got one back on a deflection. Karl Alzner then added the cherry to your hockey game sundae. Ten goals, four by Washington defensemen, three by Russians. Fourteen Caps had points. Fun night! Caps top Avs 7-3!
On November 21, 2015, In Pregame, By Patrick Holden
Photo: Amanda Bowen
Saturday! Caps hockey! Against a terrible hockey team!
I mean, seriously, look how bad the Colorado Avalanche are. The Y axis only goes up to 46 percent for shot-attempt percentage!
This isn’t to say that the Caps are assured victory. Hockey can be really random. It’s a game of probabilities and isn’t deterministic in nature. So, maybe the Caps will lose. But, when you’re playing a bad team at home, it’s obviously best to grab two points.
On January 12, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Nick Wass
The Washington Capitals played exactly the right kind of game against Patrick Roy’s Avalanche on Monday. They had the puck a ton, they crashed the net for a depth goal, and they made the visitors pay for losing their temper. Would’ve been even better if the Caps didn’t hit the post eighty three times.
Jay Beagle, yes, Jay Beagle scored first– knocking in Tom Wilson’s rebound. Alex Tanguay got a beneficial bounce during a second-period power play to tie it up, but Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps back the lead with a power-play marker.
Caps beat Avs 2-1! The Caps are finally hot at home.
Last year’s surprise superstars, the Colorado Avalanche, are now fifth in the Central Division. I expect the Dallas Stars to pass them this month, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Minnesota Wild turn things around, so the Avs might be in the division basement by season’s end. Bummer.
That said, they’re on a 3-game winning streak right now and have a hot goalie. The Capitals have the opportunity to run the Avs down tonight at Verizon Center. This upcoming weekend on the road is looking tough, so it’d be good to get out ahead tonight.
On November 20, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Righteous photo (Photo: Doug Pensinger)
The Washington Capitals are bad with the lead. They demonstrated as much on Thursday night when their conservative play caused two blown one-goal leads. The Colorado Avalanche, who are really bad, genuinely outplayed the Capitals as soon as the Caps took the lead– a continuation of a pattern we’ve seen since week two of the season.
But when the Caps are scrappin’, they’re one of the best in the league. Blowing two leads just made Alex Ovechkin more dangerous on Thursday night. Here’s how it went down.
Ovechkin made some nasty moves in the second period to find Nick Backstrom, which was a weird reversal of roles for the Caps’ first goal. The Avs tied it up promptly after as Nate MacKinnon beat Nate Schmidt and Evgeny Kuznetsov failed to mark the trailing Danny Briere– freaking Danny Briere— who tied it up. No worries though, as Jason Chimera restored the Washington lead with a dart to the top corner.
The Caps played bad hockey in the third period until Tyson Barrie beat a fumbling Capitals defense to tie it. That woke the Caps up. Alex Ovechkin went Rambo style into the Colorado zone, scoring solo on his own rebound during 4-on-4 hockey. The Caps withstood a late attack and took the win in rego.
On November 20, 2014, In Pregame, By Peter Hassett
The Capitals aren’t scoring much lately. Alex Ovechkin, the mustache guy above, hasn’t scored since [checks watch] the late 80s. Actually 11/11. Tonight the Caps will be guests of the totally bad hot mess Colorado Avalanche.
Tonight should… SHOULD… herald the return of Bailamos. 9 PM on CSN. Do it.
On November 10, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
This guy. (Photo: Doug Pensinger)
The Capitals kind of blew it on Saturday night. Easing off the metaphorical gas in the third period, they gave the Coyotes the opportunity to tie the game and end Washington’s winning streak. That was a disappointment and perhaps reason to lower expectations for Sunday night’s date with the Colorado Avalanche. The back half of back-to-back games, following an overtime loss, played in a city where it’s apparently hard to breathe or something: those are the excuses we might sling around to explain the Caps’ performance. Regardless, they definitely weren’t the better team on Sunday, and despite a good rally in the third period, this was pretty much all Avalanche, all the time.
Cody McLeod chipped up the puck up high to beat Braden Holtby in the first. Joel Ward crashed the net to tie it up in the second, but Nick Holden was like nu-uh and tied it back up 30 seconds later. The Capitals couldn’t score on a longer power play, and then P.A. Parenteau put the Avs up 3-1. Gabriel Landeskog got the dagger with under two minutes left.
Varly’s teammates congratulate him on the win. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)
Photo credit: Patrick Smith
In April 2009, a young Russian goalie by the name of Simeon Varlamov started game two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after number one netminder Jose Theodore’s poor game one. The 21-year-old didn’t speak passible English, sported a unibrow, and soon became the talk of the NHL.
Varlamov allowed one goal in his first game and posted a shutout the next. In six games versus the New York Rangers, Varlamov allowed a mere seven goals. Though the Caps would eventually lose to the Penguins in game seven of the semifinals, it appeared that Washington had found their goalie of the future. But two years later, Varlamov (with the spelling of his name now changed to Semyon) was unceremoniously sent to the Colorado Avalanche for a pair of draft picks.
Varly had become Washington’s main goalie after Theodore departure, but after battling groin injuries as an explosive, athletic goaltender, he struggled to get back in the crease when healthy. Bruce Boudreau, the Caps coach at the time, seemed to favor fellow 2006 draft pick Michal Neuvirth. With his contract up at the end of the 2011-12 season, Varly wanted to be assured of starting spot. The Caps weren’t interested in that. On July 1, Varlamov was sent to Colorado. He signed a three-year contract with the team the next day.
Now, three years later, Varly was back in Washington to face Neuvirth for the first time. At least in the first round, he came out on top.
“I was so nervous,” Varlamov said in much improved English, as his teammates cheered him on in the background. “Lots of memories to play here. That was my first game since I left Washington, that’s why I think I’m too nervous in warmup. My legs were shaking. All of the first period, my legs shaking.”