Eighteen years ago today, the Washington Capitals’ longest playoff run in franchise history ended in a whimper. Riding two power play goals from Doug Brown, the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Capitals 4-1 at MCI Center to win their second straight Stanley Cup.
No NHL team has repeated as champions since that year. The Capitals have have not advanced past the second round since, despite winning two Presidents Trophies.
On December 8, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Amanda Bowen
Mike Green returned to Verizon Center for the first time since, eh, I’d rather not talk about it. The Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals played another one of their agonizingly tight games, but it was actually pretty good hockey, so it was fun to watch. But if this game were played in May, I’d be vomiting my soul up right now.
The Capitals didn’t wait long to score. Justin Williams took advantage of a broken play by Detroit to score his 600th career point. A little later, a dumb icing call gave Dylan Larkin the opportunity to set up Henrik Zetterberg for a smooth-looking goal. Detroit took the lead in the second period with Tomas Jurco’s first goal of the season. The Caps drew two penalties in the third period, the second of which Alex Ovechkin converted by crashing the net. Tied at two, the game went to 3v3 overtime, which is basically just NBA Jam for hockey. The Caps had to kill a big penalty in the extra period to force the shootout.
TJ Oshie put the biscuit in the basket.
Gustav Nyquist did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
Evgeny Kuznetsov put the biscuit in the basket.
Pavel Datsyuk did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
If I happened to be attending the game tonight (spoiler: I’m not), I would be in the “No” crowd. If you do plan to whoop Green, just do so knowing that I disapprove of you, your face, and likely your entire existence.
The hopefully whoop-free game will be brought to you by NBCSN at 7:30 PM.
Early in the second period against the Pacific Division leading Kings, Green snapped a 1-1 tie by skating into the slot to collect a rebound and firing the puck past Jhonas Enroth. It was typical aggressive Mike Green hockey. After the tally, Green broke into a smile before being hugged by his teammates, who are not Washington Capitals. Green had spent his entire 10-year career with the Caps before signing a three-year, $18-million deal with the Wings this offseason. Battling an injury for part of the season, he had previously six point in 13 games for Detroit.
“I’ve been kind of concentrating on trying to shoot the puck more and, you know, at least get something created,” Green told reporters after Detroit’s 3-2 victory. “So it felt good today.”
On November 18, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Despite all recent evidence to the contrary, the Washington Capitals are still a hockey team. But Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, the first Caps game since the mid 80s, intimated that the Caps may have diminished in intensity during their long break.
They looked particularly a bit rusty in the early going, especially in comparison to Pavel Datsyuk and Dylan Larkin, who combined for the Wings’ first goal. But on one of their 275 first period power plays, the Caps returned fire with a tip-in by Justin Williams.
No one scored forever, so we went to overtime, where Kuznetsov won it.
On November 18, 2015, In Pregame, By Patrick Holden
Having not played since Michael Scott was still on The Office, the Caps finally get back in action Wednesday night against the Red Wings. It’s been a while so you may be a little stiff. Stretch it out, Caps fans.
The Caps and Wings met last week. The Caps 5v5 effort was pretty meh, but the Wings overall have been a meh team so far in 2015-16. Detroit has been playing better hockey lately, as they’ve been the better possession team in each of their past five games, but they picked only two wins in that span.
The Caps need a better 5v5 performance. Oh, and I dare the Wings to let Ovechkin fire 4,307 shots again. If they employ the same strategy, you can take an Ovechkin record-setting goal to #thebank.
On November 10, 2015, In Game Recap, By Chris Gordon
The Capitals traveled to MoTown Tuesday night, where they still make cars just ones that are a little more Italian. It was a night of reunions and celebrations. But somebody forgot to invite the Caps. The fairy tale was not to be.
The Caps had a torrid pace through much of the first, Alex Ovechkin especially, but they couldn’t crack Petr Mzarek. In fact, the Wings actually scored the game’s opening goal, but Braden Holtby slipped the cookie out of the cookie jar with aplomb.
In the second, the Wings turned the nerd graphs upside down but the Capitals managed to keep the dam from overflowing.
That was until Andreas Athansiou (?) notched his first NHL tally on a fluke sharp angle shot. That was all. Ho hum. Wings blank Caps, 1-0.
On November 10, 2015, In Pregame, By Patrick Holden
Alex Ovechkin stands on the brink of yet another NHL accomplishment. With his next goal, the Caps Russian superstar will break Sergei Fedorov’s record for most career goals scored by a Russian-born player.
Once the actual hockeying starts, you may notice something peculiar: the Red Wings aren’t that good this season. They rank 29th in score-adjusted shot-attempt percentage. Here’s their 4-game rolling shot-attempt percentage compared to the Caps.