holtby-crushes-moen

Photo via @zeekcw

Braden Holtby has always been an aggressive goaltender. From stealing sticks of opposing players to jumping into scrums, the Holtbeast is not afraid to assert himself. Heck, he’s even slashed Evgeny Kuznetsov in the ankles. Well, two nights after jumping on top of Erik Condra, Holtby cross-checked Travis Moen into the air after the Canadiens forward skated just a wee bit too close to the net.

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Game Over Green: Caps Edge Bolts 6-5 (OT)

caps-beat-lightning

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Thursday night against the Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals continued their march up the Eastern Conference standings with some Ovi scoring and Brouwer yelling (what else is new) as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes. Tonight, they looked to extend their six-game winning streak against another flailing Southeast Division team from more humid parts, the Tampa Bay Lightning. They did. It was fun ’cause the Caps scored a lot of goals, until Tampa did that too.

It started with a Brouwitzer, then a Hillen blast (just kidding), and then some Russian dude with a missing tooth. In the second it was JASON FREAKING CHIMERA, Panik for Tampa, Panik puns for people on Twitter, and a Fehr tap in. The third, as usual, was where the Caps screwed things up, with two St. Louis goals, another for Panik, and one for Purcell. However…

OVERTIME = GAME OVER GREEN.

In the end, there were wings for the people in the stands and two points for the people on the ice. Caps edge Bolts 6-5 (OT).

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Francois Lacasse

Photo credit: Francois Lacasse

The Washington Capitals have had it too good for too long. After filling their greedy maws at the trough of the Southeast for so long, they traipsed up to French Canadia to lay a beating upon the beast of the Northeast, the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs, sporting one of the best power plays and possession numbers in the league, were a worthy foe, but the Caps had Ovi. And that’s all you really need these days. Just a big plate of Ovi and wash it down with some Backstrom. Put some greasy Fehr in there if you want, but Ovi is the main dish.

Caps beat Habs 3-2.

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JackHillen

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

At 7:30 PM, Jack Hillen was stepping onto the ice at an arena just outside Miami. He had chatted with his wife Caitlin, nine months pregnant with their second child, four hours earlier. She was doing well as the couple prepared for the birth of their second child, due on April 17. It was a pedestrian game for the 27-year-old defensemen, playing just under 17 minutes. He was on the ice for one goal in the Washington’s 4-3 win over the Panthers. Outside the visitor’s locker room at BB&T Center, though, Hillen got some news.

“Congratulations, you had a son,” Team Services Manager Ian Anderson told him.

“Oh, you mean she’s in labor?” Hillen responded.

“No, you had a son,” Anderson said.

“That came quickly,” replied Hillen.

“I didn’t know,” Hillen said Sunday night as he stood in front of Alex Ovechkin’s locker at Verizon Center. “I didn’t know.

“What can I say?” he continued. “Everything was fine. I had no idea. It was just a normal day.”

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Courage Caps (14 of 14)

Photos by Chris Gordon

The past decade has seen the United States involved in two wars — one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. We’re all aware of them, we’ve seen the headlines. But for most Americans, the country’s battles are an abstraction. It’s something on the news, not part of the stories of other human beings.

Some Americans, though, can’t remove themselves from them — the wars have taken members of their family. Husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers: the all have loved ones who will never come home. This has unfolded thousands of times throughout the past 12 years.

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Aaaand We’re Back: Bolts beat Caps 6-3

Photo credit Scott Audette

Photo credit: Scott Audette

Welcome back, everybody! After 250+ days, we’ve finally got new Capitals hockey to watch and kinda enjoy. I say kinda because these Capitals, whom those not dissuaded by cliché might call the new-look Caps, didn’t have their act together on Saturday. Opening the season in Tampa, the Capitals had troubles with even-strength offense and all kinds of special-teams stuff.

Eric Brewer scored the first anti-Caps goal of the year with an outside shot that caught Holtby screened by his own defenders. Joel Ward tied it up with a first-period powerplay goal assisted by Tom “Iron Groin” Poti. That tie was shortlived, as Vincent Lecavalier exploited a defensive breakdown by Holtby & co. to score an easy one.

Joel Ward recorded a second goal to tie the game early in the second period, but Martin St. Louis restored the Tampa lead with a powerplay sweep-in a few minutes later. Wojtek Wolski ingratiated himself to Caps fans with a crucial four-on-four goal late in the second, knocking a rebound past Anders Lindbäck.

Martin St. Louis got his second of the night, a heartbreaking  shot from outside during a third-period 5 on 3. Cory Conacher scored the first goal of his career, also the night’s proverbial dagger, on a 3-on-1 breakaway. Ryan Malone scored on the powerplay to make it painfully obvious that the Caps were gonna lose.

Bolts beat Caps 6-3.

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Remember All Those New Caps Players?

WolskiCrabb

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Me neither.

Since the Caps last played hockey– sometime during the Medieval Warm Period, they’ve lost a few guys. Alex Semin left via free agency for Carolina, Mike Knuble returned to the exotic beauty of Michigan, Tomas Vokoun made a pit stop in Breezewood before heading up to Pittsburgh, and Dennis Wideman got such a ludicrous and undeserved payday in Calgary that you’d think he had left congress to start lobbying for the MPAA.

You’re gonna see some new faces on Saturday night, so here’s a quick refresher on the additions the Capitals made just before the lockout sucked the last ounce of joy out of the universe.

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Ovechkin speaks to the media

Miss the media? “Not really,” says Ovechkin. (Photo credit: @SWhyno)

This morning, a bunch of Washington Capitals players jumped back on the ice for an informal practice. Those who skated include Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Mike Green, Mike Ribeiro, John Carlson, Michal Neuvirth, Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jack Hillen, and John Erskine.

At 11am, Caps general manager George McPhee then spoke to the press for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth. GMGM revealed that injured defenseman Dmitry Orlov is “improving” but questionable for opening night (but you already knew that), and side-stepped questions on Nicklas Backstrom’s health, acknowledging that the team can’t examine him until a new CBA is ratified. Hershey Bears defense prospect Cameron Schilling will also be given a shot to make the team out of training camp. McPhee’s full comments are below.

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Caps Sign Defenseman Jack Hillen

The missing piece! (Photo credit: Frederick Breedon)

The Caps have signed defenseman Jack Hillen, a former Nashville Predator who was UFA this summer at the age of 26 after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Preds. The Capitals have signed him to a one-year, one-way deal worth $650,000.

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