Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: There is No Second Line

From somekindofhockeyblog

The Caps still haven’t lost in #rego since December 2nd, so it’s important to not be a cranky grinch when they lose games in the 20th round of the shootout or make harebrained lineup decisions. We’ve had both of those things this week.

Washington will be hosted to a night of dating, discussion, and more by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Starting at 7 PM and airing on CSN, the Caps intend to keep their point-streak alive.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 14-10-6 50.8% 99.2 27.1% 77.5%
Columbus Blue Jackets 13-15-2 46.3% 98.2 22.5% 77.8%

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

TomWilsonPatrickMcDermott

Artsy. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Tom Wilson needs to play like Tom Wilson,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said early this month. “If Tom Wilson starts to play like someone else, then he won’t be on the first line.”

It’s been over a month since the bellicose winger got promoted to top line duty. He was in full bloom on Thursday, agitating the Blue Jackets all night. His premiere moment of belligerence came midway through the second period when Wilson goaded James Wisniewski into taking four minutes of penalty time for attempting to disfigure Wilson’s face.

Wisniewski’s assault failed, his stick snapping upon contact with Wilson’s chin.

Continue Reading

Power-Play Pity Party: Blue Jackets beat Caps 3-2 (OT)

Patrick McDermott

This is what the Caps’ other goalie looks like. In case you forgot. (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

I don’t know what I was expecting from Thursday’s Caps-Blue Jackets game, but it wasn’t this. I didn’t expect the glut of special teams and an explosive start for the home team. The pair of goalie interference calls were the Spanish Inquisition of penalties. And while I guess I saw the Caps’ offensive doldrum coming, I didn’t expect that depressing finish. This was a weird one– and it was not particularly pretty.

A little over three minutes in, John Carlson released a point shot at the tail end of a 5v3. Eric Fehr tipped that in, though we think Alex Ovechkin might have had a piece of it. The Caps dominated much of the period, but Nick Foligno tied it up with a giftwrapped goal in the fifteenth minute. The second period went scoreless despite a four-minute power play for the Caps.

Troy Brouwer masterfully tipped in a wide cannon from Matt Niskanen midway through the third to put the Caps up, but Kevin Connauton got a weird shot from outside past Braden Holtby’s left flank to tie it just 99 seconds later. That’s how it looked at the end of rego.

Jason Chimera got sent to the Sasha box in overtime, where Nick Foligno ended it with a snazzy shot.

Lumbus beats Caps 3-2 in overtime.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Caps vs Blue Jackets Pregame: Take Karl to #TheBank

horton

Fresh off a three-win road trip, the Washington Capitals have returned home… to spawn …and then to fight the Columbus Blue Jackets. At 7 PM at Verizon Center, the Caps will play host the the beat-up Blooj, the league’s most injured team by a mile.

If the Caps keep playing like they have been, they should be able to get their first four-game winning streak since April of 2013.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 13-10-4 51.1% 99.2 28.8% 76.2%
Columbus Blue Jackets 10-15-2 46.3% 98.0 23.0% 76.3%

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Caps vs Blue Jackets Pregame: Happy Veterans Day!

Jamie Sabau

Photo: Jamie Sabau

Can they make it three? To beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals might want to try playing the full sixty minutes of the hockey game.

Then again, the Blue Jackets are pretty bad. We shall see at 7 PM tonight– either from your seats on Verizon Center or via the good people at CSN Washington.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 6-5-3 53.2% 99.1 28.9% 77.1%
Columbus Blue Jackets 4-9-1 47.9% 96.8 22.4% 76.9%

Programming note: I might be on the road, so you might get a very special, very русский recap tonight.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

columbus-blue-jackets-flag-penguins-exhibit

Photo: @tim_guthrie

Since entering the NHL in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been a laughingstock. Sure, Rick Nash’s goal scoring gave them some respectability, and they had that weird playoff appearance in 2009, but it wasn’t until last week that I finally found respect for the franchise and its fans.

First, on Saturday, Columbus won its first ever playoff game. They beat the Pens (whom I really, really hate) in double overtime.

Then something magical happened at the Columbus Zoo, which changed everything.

Continue Reading

blue-jackets-fan-refs

Midway through the third period of that awful game, I got a little confused when I looked at the background behind Sergei Bobrovsky. There I saw two NHL referees drinking beer in the front row. “What the hell,” I said to myself. “That’s so unprofessional.”

Then I saw them bang the glass after a big Bobrovsky save, and it occurred to to me that these guys weren’t actually scorekeepers or even referees. They were Blue Jackets fans. Clever, clever, awful Blue Jackets fans.

Continue Reading

craig j spearing

“Shoggoth” by Craig J. Spearing

It’s f@$&ing freezing here and I didn’t eat dinner. My dog is being an @%^$*. A water main exploded up the street from me, so there’s a river of ice outside my door that has its frozen heart set on shredding my #brittlegroin. Everything sucks and so do you.

Here’s my recap of the Washington Capitals at the Columbus Blue Jackets. Read it at your peril.

The first-period Caps gave up a pair of shorthanded breakaways, the second of which resulted in a Columbus goal. Then Ryan Johansen escaped some decidedly dainty defense to make it 2-0. Brandon Dubinsky’s softy on Braden Holtby early in the second period made it 3-0, and Ryan Johansen got his second goal a little after that.

I drifted into rage blackouts and delirium, but I came to momentarily as Joel Ward got a shorty of his own halfway through the middle frame. Eric Fehr tricked one past Bobrovsky to make it 4-2 and somewhat interesting, but Cam Atkinson extinguished the rally with a quick-response goal.

Blue Jackets beat Caps 5-2.

Continue Reading

Lumbus beats Caps 5-1

eeyore_depressed

The Washington Capitals needed a win on Friday to avoid their third four-game losing streak of the season. You’d think they could get it against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but you’d be wrong.

To make matters worse, I’m drinking Coors Light, which is a beer in the same way John Erskine is a pro hockey player. Barely.

Tom Wilson nullified a Caps’ powerplay to make it four-on-four, and soon after that, John Carlson’s trip made it four-on-three for the Jackets. James Wisniewski made the Caps pay for that, and then Cam Atkinson made it 2-0 before the first intermission after Dmitry Orlov was unable to clear the crease.

Ryan Johansen scored for Lumbus early in the second, chasing Grubauer from net and bringing in fresh-faced Braden Holtby. With the help of Martin Erat and some traffic up front, John Carlson got a long puck past Bobrovsky at the halfway point. The Caps had a flicker of life.

Mark Letestu extinguished that flicker with a snazzy near-side goal early in the third. Then Cam Atkinson peed on the embers.

Blue Jackets beat Caps 5-1. The Caps have lost four games in a row. This beer tastes awful.

Continue Reading

Shorties Galore! Caps beat Jackets 4-3 (OT)

Ovechkin hair cut - Patrick McDermott

Check out Alex Ovechkin’s buzzcut (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets are division rivals now. Seeing as the last fifteen years of Caps rivalries in Southeast were pretty mild, that doesn’t mean much. Lumbus at Washington got off to a sleepy start, and by the time the pace picked up the Caps were already behind on the scoreboard. Some late-game dramatics from the summertime surprise we call Grabo got the Caps into overtime, where the Captain did his thing. You know how it is.

The first period happened and then it was over. I don’t remember much about it frankly.

The Capitals surrendered a shorty goal in the second as Troy Brouwer coughed up the puck to Brandon Dubinsky, who eluded Holtby’s poke check. Then Martin Erat fenced off the Lumbus D to set up John Carlson for a layup: tie game.

The Caps got their own shorty in the third when Joel Ward snatched up a hardaround and beat Bob. Lumbus locked it up at two as Jared Boll tapped in a long bomb. Mike Green and the top line gave Cam Atkinson a breakaway to take the lead, but Mikhail Grabovski tied it up using the mystical art of awesomesauce.

And then Ovi won it in overtime by crashing the goddamn net. Because he’s Ovi.

Caps beat Jackets 4-3 (Overtime)!

Continue Reading