Skinned: Canes Thump Caps 4-1

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Photo credit: Rob Carr

The Capitals’ power play, the main factor behind Washington’s early wins, has dropped off. So, too, has their penalty kill. Still, the team is finding ways to win — barely. Though they got four points over the weekend, both games took extra time. Nevertheless, the team’s five-on-five play has been improving. Would it be enough to defeat the new old division rival Canes?

The Caps played well in the first, with Jason Chimera nearly converting early on a scrum in front to give Washington the lead. Carolina, though, struck first. After Eric Staal fed him the puck from behind the net, Hockey Bieber — that would be Jeff Skinner — took a shot from the goal line. Braden Holtby couldn’t make to the near post in time as the puck deflected in off his nether regions.

In the second, things got out of hand. Midway through the frame, lil’ Skinner was at it again with fly ball from the near circle. Less than three minutes later, the Hurricanes pushed the lead to three as Andre Sekera unleashed a blast from the point on the power play that Holtby never saw. Point number three for Skinner. Fifty-three seconds later, it got even uglier when Jiri Tlusty put a nasty backhand top shelf. Ugh.

For the final frame, enter Philip Grubauer. The Caps didn’t show much life in the third, but at least Mike Green got on board for the first time since the Obama administration with a power play marker. Nothing more. Canes thump Caps, 4-1.

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Joel Ward Scores Lucky Goal, Doesn’t Believe in Luck

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“Woooo!” (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

Joel Ward has had a couple of hot streaks in his career. In fact, he’s making $3 million a year partially because of one (13 points in 12 games) during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Nashville Predators. Despite his playoff success, Ward’s recent regular season results have been unimpressive. In his first year with the Caps, we scored just six goals in 73 games. Last year, in a lockout shortened season, he had eight. Eighteen games into the 2013-14 campaign, he’s matched that total.

“When he came here obviously he had a great playoff for Nashville,” head coach Adam Oates said after the game. “When we’ve talked, him and I, I expect him to play now like he does in the playoffs, every night. Now, that’s a playoff game. We need these points.”

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera has signed a two-year extension, keeping him in D.C. through 2015-16. Chimera will make $2 million per season beginning next year– a $275k raise over his current contract.

The Ice Cheetah has had a strong start to the season, scoring 11 points in 16 games after managing just 14 points in 47 games in 2013. Chimera had a four-game goal streak last week while playing with Joel Ward and Mikhail Grabovski on the third line.

This is a classic George McPhee move: a two-year deal for a guy he likes and a term he likes. But Chimera will turn 35 in May, so will this deal be worth it in the end? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo credit: Len Redkoles

Photo credit: Len Redkoles

Designed by Ian Oland.

Alex Ovechkin is the Washington Capitals. He is the face of the team, and he’s the biggest piece of their offense. Coming into Friday game against Philadelphia, Ovechkin accounted for almost a third of the team’s goals (10 of 32). So when news broke that he would miss the Flyers game with a veiled upper-body injury, we wondered where the offense would come from. Friday it came from, well, everywhere as the Capitals dominated the Flyers 7-0.

Chiefly, it was Washington’s third line of Joel Ward, Mikhail Grabovski, and Jason Chimera providing the firepower, scoring four of the game’s seven goals. Ward, in his first career hat trick, notched three. All in all, members of the line registered an amazing 10 points in 60 minutes. Since being placed together on October 18th, the trio has been masterful, registering nine of the team’s 18 even-strength goals since Adam Oates’s line shuffling. That’s, like, half of them. Not bad for bottom-six guys.

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Photo credit: Derek Leung

The Washington Capitals gave up three goals to the Calgary Flames in the first period on Saturday night. With his team on the verge of a total collapse, head coach Adam Oates pulled Braden Holtby from net, looking to change the game’s momentum. We thought at the time that the Holtbeast did not handle it well.

Holtby skated over, lifted up his mask, and began hurling profanities towards the bench. Later, when we saw a second angle on CBC’s After Hours, Caps defense coach Calle Johansson seemed very interested in what Holtby was saying.

Wednesday, on DC101’s Elliot In the Morning, Caps forward Jason Chimera was asked about the blow-up during an interview with the popular radio host.

In an honest response, The Ice Cheetah explained that Holtby was trying to fire up the team. Chimera even intimated some of what Holtby said when he came to the bench.

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WardGoal

Yeah.

Yeah.

Photo credit: Jason Franson

Back in ye olde days of 1997, the Edmonton Oilers drafted a hometown boy named Jason Chimera with their fifth-round pick. The Medicine Hat Tiger (taken ahead of ya boy Matt Cooke in case you were wondering) was known then, as he is now, for his speed. Tonight, Chimmer visited his old ‘hood and went about creating a great narrative with his second period goal. Or so we thought.

With five minutes left in the middle frame, John Carlson lobbed the puck to the front of the net, deflecting off someone in front. Chimera, playing for a myriad of friends and family, acted like he got the tally and the Rexall Place scorekeepers followed suit. The Chim Dog, though, gave Craig Laughlin the real story. (Chimmer was money in his two appearances on CSN by the way. After the game, he used a naughty word — or said something about a duck — when talking about the Caps cycle game. Don’t you know little kids are watching post game shows at 12:30 in the morning, Jason?)

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¡Bailamos! Caps beat Oilers 4-2

Greg Fiume

Sasha Fierce (Photo: Greg Fiume)

Shut up with your 1-4 record. When the Washington Capitals suited up to face the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, their sole purpose was to rid themselves of the abysmal record they shared with a certain other Washington team. An explosive second period helped them do just that.

Edmonton’s Boyd Gordon scored first, seizing on a bad breakout by the Caps. After some feisty forechecking by the second line and Steve Oleksy on the blue, Brooks Laich scored his first of the year– a point-blank wrister.

The second period was a flurry of PPGs as Joel Ward knocked on the back door and Troy Brouwer got a one-timer from the slot. In the middle of that tasty man-advantage sandwich was a mean-ass slot goal from Alex Ovechkin.

Tough-acting Will Acton got a late one from the crease.

Convincing win.

Caps beat Oilers 4-2.

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Matching Sashas: Canes beat Caps 3-2

derpy

Derpfaces akimbo (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

It has been a long, five days since the last Washington Capitals game. The world just feels different now, ya know? The temperature dropped 40 degrees for one thing. Alex Ovechkin surrendered the scoring lead to a tween for another. No matter: the Carolina Hurricanes came to town and we finally got our hockey back. If you were looking for an even-strength exhibition, whoops.

Jason Chimera scored– doesn’t matter how; he just did. Elias Lindholm scored the first goal of his career in the second, a weird one that bounced off of John Carlson’s skate.

Ugh, I hate weird goals.

Alex Ovechkin scored a weird goal by deflecting Steve Oleksy’s shot, introducing all kinds of brownian motion that Khudobin couldn’t savvy. Soon after that, Alex Semin tied the game by converting a 5-on-3 pretty much instantly.

The Capitals defense reasserted its crumminess in the third, as John Erskine (6’4″, 220 lbs.) was unable to box out Nathan Gerbe (basically Rudy from the movie Rudy).

Canes beat Caps 3-2.

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Caps Players Signed One of Those Awful Toasters

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Photo credit: Amanda H.

[Editor's note: When Washington Capitals fan Amanda H. went to the Caps Season Ticket Holder party at Six Flags last year, she had Martin Erat sign a photo of Filip Forsberg. This year, she one-upped herself. We'll let her explain.]

Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: Amanda H.)

Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: @Komissarov95)

I had debated for a few days what I should get signed at the season ticket holder party. I have a ton of Caps stuff, but nothing really stood out to me, until about twenty minutes before I had to leave. Long forgotten due to the poor toast it makes (No, seriously it’s very bad toast, I have yet to find a setting that toasts most of the bread without burning the other half), my Capitals toaster sat on a shelf, not having been used in months.

Images of walking around an amusement park carrying a toaster danced in my head. It was too amusing to turn down. I have a suspicion those events might be slightly tedious so I felt like this might spice things up. At the very least it’d give me something to say to the players instead of just awkwardly standing in silence. I cleaned it up a little and tested to make sure the sharpie would actually stick. It did!

When my friend Alyssa and I arrived in the parking lot, I had a moment of doubt. Am I really going to go get a toaster signed? Why didn’t I clean it thoroughly beforehand? I figured that either way, this would be a great story and probably worth the effort. I went through security and the bag check. The guy checking my bag thought my toaster was pretty cool.

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Photo credit: Oksana Zolotar

When the Washington Capitals traded Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, we felt like a chapter in the Book of the Caps had come to a close: ridiculous, post-game celebrations.

We were wrong.

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