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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lumbus beats Caps 5-1


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.

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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)!

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Winning Feels Nice: Caps Top Blue Jackets 4-1


Happy times! (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Finishing up their longest home stand of the season, the Washington Capitals took on new look (!) Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday. Facing a bunch of weak teams, the Caps didn’t do well in their last four games of their five game set at Verizon Center, posting a record of 1-3 and falling to 2-5 overall. Yesterday, Adam Oates had enough and went all “Screw everything! YOLO!” on the lines. Erat to the second! Fehr on the fourth! Grabo on the third! Other things! Par-ty!

No offense in the first frame. In the second, though, power play powerhouse Joel Ward rifled one top shelf on Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Caps the lead. Washington added to it about six minutes later when Brooks Laich popped in the rebound after Steve Oleksy’s inexplicably fancy stick work. The Caps took it home in the third with tallies from Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin. Garbage goal for Artem Anisimov late. Wee! Caps top Jackets 4-1.

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Trade: Jeff Carter to LA

We hear LA is looking for shots. Too bad they didn’t specify which kind!

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie , Jeff Carter has been traded to the LA Kings for Jack Johnson and a first-round pick. Puzzlingly, stellar backup Jonathan Bernier was not a part of this deal, even though he was reportedly offered, and Columbus’s goalie situation remains in question.

LA will be taking on Carter’s $5,272,727 cap hit approximately until the sun burns out, and will be looking for Carter to jumpstart their struggling offense. CBJ will be getting folk rock singer defenseman Jack Johnson in return at a cap hit of $4,357,143, which presumably is the kind of young D they were looking for to rebuild their blueline for the future.

This trade will also reunite the walking Axe Body Spray commercial that is Jeff Carter and his longtime teammate Mike Richards, which apparently seemed like a good idea to someone today. Look for widespread shortages in Ed Hardy products to sweep through the LA area.

Trade: Antoine Vermette to Phoenix

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Columbus Blue Jackets have traded center Antoine Vermette to the Phoenix Coyotes for goalie Curtis McElhinney, a 2012 second-round and a 2013 fifth-round draft pick.

Vermette has a cap hit of $3,750,000 and had been projected as a possible option for the Caps themselves, likely because he has a pulse and the letter “C” in his player bio, but we’d remind you that there is certainly another center on the Blue Jackets that seems to be very much up for grabs. Vermette will instead now be providing center depth to a team filling holes for the postseason, while Columbus will presumably gain some breathing room in net from the acquisition of McBackup McElhinney.

We don’t want to jump to conclusions, but this may be an indication that the  Blue Jackets aren’t going to try to make a run for the playoffs this year.

Caps beat Blue Jackets 4-2, Here Comes 2012!

Jamie Sabau

Photo credit: Jamie Sabau

Everyone always has such lofty expectations for New Years Eve. It’s supposed to be a climax, the culmination of the year,whatever. But it’s usually such a letdown, like most of tonight’s battle between the Washington Capitals and league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets. The Caps were disinterested and the Jackets were frustrating until the third act, when Washington injected some drama into the proceedings.

Despite a late flurry from Columbus, the Caps ended the first period unscathed. They weren’t so lucky in the second, as John Moore and Sammy Pahlsson both struck for goals. Alex Ovechkin got one back in the third, finishing off a long sequence in the Columbus zone. Alex Semin tied it up with a lovely lob under the bar. Dennis Wideman got the go-ahead just a few seconds later. Ovechkin converted on a power play.

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