Entering the season, there were plenty of reasons to doubt if Jason Chimera could be a meaningful contributor. Save for the playoffs in which he look re-energized, 2014-15 was a lackluster season for the Ice Cheetah, spending time as both a healthy scratch and a fourth liner in Barry Trotz‘s first season behind the Caps’ bench. Combine that with this being Chimera’s second mediocre regular season over the previous three seasons (2013-14 being the exception) and Chimera now entering his age-36 season, many people, myself included, were skeptical of his ability to contribute in 2015-16
But somehow, someway, Chimera’s production has bounced back. There’s plenty of reasons to be suspicious of how sustainable this production is moving forward, but that doesn’t take away the 30 points Chimera has chipped in through the first 54 games.
St. Cloud, Minnesota, native and Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt was all smiles in a pregame interview before tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
It was a beautiful mess, just like Jason Chimera’s conversation with John Walton Wednesday.
The Washington Capitals organization gives out a program during games called “Breakaway.” Inside, it features various Caps players and their various (potentially embarrassing) survey answers. Kuzy, I’m sure, loves the surveys (Ian really enjoys that Vine), and some might even say he has a bad romance with them.
I learned a lot . . . maybe too much — such as Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s favorite musician being Lady Gaga. One can only imagine how excited he was to watch the singer perform the national anthem at Super Bowl 50. Let’s look at some other tidbits that thornescratch over on Tumblr provided us with.
The Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL by a country mile. All that winning breeds a happy, playful locker room. And we have another ridiculous example of this courtesy of the Capitals and radio announcer John Walton.
Wednesday after practice, Walton interviewed Jason Chimera for a Rinkside Update. Chimera’s teammates then tried their best to torpedo the interview.
On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal, becoming the 43rd player in NHL history to accomplish the feat. I said on Monday night after our 11th article relating to the goal, and I will say it again during our 12th: there were so many tiny, wonderful moments contained inside that one, we’re still sorting through them all.
Over the offseason, three-time Stanley Cup champion and man nicknamed Mr. Game Seven, Justin Williams, said that he signed with the Capitals because his son Jaxon thought Alex Ovechkin was “the best.”
While Williams didn’t assist on the tally, he was on the ice when Ovechkin scored. And just like he has been all throughout his career, Williams was calm under fire, remembering to pick up the milestone puck before joining in on the team’s celebration.
Old man Jason Chimera notched his 11th goal in the first period of the Blue Jackets game, but that’s not important. Not to take anything away from Chimera, but straight-up, you could have scored on this pass. Your pomeranian could have scored on this pass.
Yeah, Evgeny Kuznetsov did it again. Look at this pass. Just look at it.
Photo: Nick Wass
Last season, Capitals forward Jason Chimera was at times in open revolt against head coach Barry Trotz. The veteran winger tallied just one goal in his first 18 games. By December, he was a healthy scratch for the first time since 2013. He sat in the press box again later that month, a demeaning moment captured by EPIX’s Road to the Winter Classic crew.
“I think it’s embarrassing as a player when you get sat out,” Chimera said at the time. “I think as a player that’s played a long time, it’s embarrassing.”
On the same goal, Caps forward Jason Chimera put the Habs away and reached the twenty-point plateau for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
After a set play off a breakout, Tom Wilson redirected a Nate Schmidt pass to a streaking Chimera. The Ice Cheetah put on his jets and beat Mike Condon on the breakaway.
Tom Wilson showed how hard his fists could be in the first period. In the second, Willy Baby showed his hands could be soft too.
After racing to a turnover in the Habs offensive zone, Wilson flung a pass behind his body to a trailing Jay Beagle. Beags skated to a better shooting angle before fling a wrist shot past Habs goaltender Mike Condon. Craig Laughlin called the goal, Jay Beagle’s “best shot of his career.”
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