Photo: Patrick McDermott

Jason Chimera was the goat against Dallas. On Alex Ovechkin’s special night, the 36-year-old wing turned the puck over right in front of the net. With 8:50 remaining, Jason Spezza scored giving the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win.

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They’re Back: Capitals Beat Devils 5-3


Photo credit: Patrick Smith

Greetings, fans! After five and a half months away, fishing, muddin’, and engagin’, the Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center to start a new season with nervous anticipation.

The team laid out the red carpet carpet before the game, showcasing the team’s finest knit ties and undercuts. Afterwards, however, there was hockey to play. On ice. For real.

The Capitals got off to a slow start, going almost five minutes without a shot attempt early in the first period. Then Evgeny Kuznetsov hooked somebody. Uh oh. Naturally, Jason Chimera and Justin Williams immediately blew right past the Devils defense for a short-handed tick-tack-toe. Then, just two minutes and 28 seconds later, the unthinkable. Brooks Orpik, who missed all of the preseason with a wrist injury, scored. It was his first as a Capital and it came on a one-timer.

The Caps, though, like to disappear after they score. Maybe they go play with their ferrets. I don’t know. Something dumb probably. Anyway, because the Capitals played with their ferrets the Devils scored twice in under three minutes, first Adam Henrique and then Eric Gelinas. Then nothing happened for 25 minutes.

That was, until, Alex Ovechkin happened. The captain went end to end, blowing past John Moore before flipping a delicious, crisp and refreshing wrist shot top shelf on New Jersey netminder Keith Kinkaid. Marcus Johansson added another. Oh, and then Matt Niskanen got himself an empty netter. But wait, the Devils came back with one of their own. Shower of goals! Caps beat Devils 5-3!

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Photo: @WashCaps

Over the last few weeks, most of the Caps roster has filed back into Kettler Capitals Iceplex for informal skates. TJ Oshie arrived on Wednesday, leaving captain Alex Ovechkin as the last remaining player out of town. Ovechkin is missing a lot, as these pre-preseason skates are very serious affairs.

Let’s summarize.

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Jason Chimera: 2014-15 Season Review

Jason Chimera is one of the Capitals’ most clutch playoff players, but it’s hard to paint his 2014-15 regular season as anything but a disappointment. With Chimera entering final year of his contract, next season will be an important transition for both Chimmer and the Caps. So what matters more going forward: that rough regular season or the postseason production? Continue Reading

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The Caps have lost in seven games after leading the series 3-1. Some players found this frustrating. One of those players was Jason Chimera.

As he walked to the locker room, the Ice Cheetah slammed his stick against the wall. Evgeny Kuznetsov was nearly hit in the head.

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Last week, Eric Fehr met the media to update them on the injury that has keep him out of the lineup for most of the playoffs. After two minutes of optimism and indirect answers, the scrum was finished. The day’s routine necessity had been completed. As the rest of the media shuffled away from Fehr’s locker, I made an offhand comment that the F-16 was getting ready for flight.

“There are some bad nicknames out there,” he told me. “Of all the nicknames to have, that’s a pretty cool one.”

I asked what he thought of his other nickname, Fehrsie.

“See, that’s the thing: I hate those nicknames,” he said. “Anybody with a last name with a –y on the end would probably be the worst one. Spelling it –ie doesn’t change anything. You need to be creative. As a group we’ve tried to be more creative with guys. We tried to change it up a little bit.”

Inadvertently, I had just stumbled on a massive scoop. Over the next 10 minutes, Fehr revealed the other hidden nicknames of the Capitals locker room. Some you might know– others you don’t.

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Look at Henrik’s eyes! (Photo via @WashCaps)

Jason Chimera, the scourge of the empire state, has put the Capitals on the board. Down 2-0 at the beginning of the second period, Chimera finished off a strong rush attack by Ward and Kuznetsov.

There is life in Verizon Center.

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Photoshop by me

A few days ago, The Washington Post revealed that one of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s nicknames inside the Caps locker room is Harry Potter. Michael Latta and Tom Wilson came up with the nickname, comparing Kuznetsov’s hockey stick to a magic wand.

During the second intermission, Jason Chimera was interviewed by Sportsnet and was asked about the skill set of his young, superstar teammate.

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Photo credit: Alex Brandon

The Washington Capitals dominated play in game seven against the New York Islanders through two periods. They were constantly parked in the Isles zone, putting pucks on goaltender Jaroslav Halak with ease. The Islanders could barely muster a whimper, with just six shots on goal as the middle frame wound down. Somehow, though, Washington hadn’t found a way to convert: missed deflections, timely saves, and bad bounces led to a scoreboard that reflected little about what happening on the ice.

Then, with 1:25 left in the second period, Joel Ward broke through, poking Brooks Orpik‘s shot through the legs of Halak. Verizon Center erupted into a shining display of pure human joy. But it was still full of Washington Capitals fans, ready to have their hearts ripped out with final game, final period collapse. And just three minutes and 13 seconds into the closing frame, Frans Nielsen did just that with an innocent-looking wrist shot from the slot that trickled through Braden Holtby’s pads. With that, the game was tied. Though the Caps had dominated play, the game looked like it would end with another bitter, bruising fight, with one bad bounce deciding each team’s fate.

But instead, the game-winner would buck the thuggery the series had shown. With around seven minutes left in the zero-sum game, Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up Jason Chimera‘s pass at the far wall, before cutting right through the heart of the New York zone. The play was magisterial, with Kuznetsov floated past Islanders defenders. Instead of firing the puck off at his first look at the net, Kuznetsov held on to it until he got to the near circle. That’s when Halak went down. Kuznetsov saw an opening.

“I just put puck in the net,” he told reporters after the game.

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He’s ready. Are you? (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

One-by-one, as they stepped off the ice and into the locker room at their Virginia practice facility, mic flags went flying into the faces of members of Washington Capitals. Tonight, the team will play its eighth game seven since the Ovechkin era began. Five of those games have ended with crushed looks on the faces of the boys from Arlington. The questions were obvious.

“The media is the only people that bring up the past,” Jason Chimera scoffed. “It’s history for a reason. We wanna make our own history tonight.”

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