The Caps may have had trouble scoring lately, but on Saturday afternoon players were racking up scores by the hundreds. Then again, the game was bowling. Karl Alzner, Matt Bradley, Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks, DJ King, Mike Knuble, Jeff Schultz, David Steckel, Brooks Laich–plus their wives, girlfriends, and children–took part in “Bowling with the Caps” at Lucky Strike Lanes in downtown DC. The event was all for charity, raising over $60,000 for the Chris Walsh Cancer Survivorship Fund at Virginia Hospital Center.
It was a great time,” Hendricks said. “It’s a lot of fun to get out there and mingle with the fans for a good cause.”
Eighty-four days and thirty-eight NHL games later, that streak would finally end for Ovechkin against a team he consistently has success against: the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Tonight, the Capitals managed to get on the board first for the second consecutive game. Jeff Schultz unleashed a howitzer from the point, and a hard-charging Russian Machine tipped Sarge’s shot past Maple Leafs’ goaltender, Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Despite both teams combining for forty shots through the games first two periods, scoring would not resume until the third.
One minute into the games final’s frame, Ovechkin would strike again, as he set up shop in his new home in front of the net. Unfortunately, the two-goal lead would only last a minute and a half. Leafs’ fourth-liner Tim Brent ended Braden Holtby’s shutout bid, going five-hole after Jay Rosehill’s shot from the point was muffled. The Leafs then astutely seized the momentum and came at the Caps in waves for the next several minutes. That is until Bruce Boudreau wisely called time-out after an icing call.
On January 20, 2011, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
The top line converts, but Ovechkin is pretty mellow. (Photo credit: Lou Capozzola)
I know a special place. A magical place. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where normal men are giants, and struggling hockey teams play like they’ve never been better. A place called Long Island.
The Washington Capitals spent the evening in that benign growth of land dangling unloved off the mainland. There they met the New York Islanders (29th in the league in… oh let’s just say everything). But the Caps didn’t play down to their competition. Instead they looked like the studs we know deep down they really are. But looks can be deceiving.
Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin delivered a masterful possession that Jason Chimera finished off from the goal mouth. Backstrom then broke his 21-game goalless streak by cleaning up an Ovechkin rebound. On a rail, NYI’s Michael Grabner beat John Carlson’s coverage and Braden Holtby’s read to put the Islanders on the board, but the third period was scoreless. Caps beat Isles 2-1.
On January 12, 2011, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Just lie down, Schultzy. It’ll all be over soon. (Photo credit: Scott Audette)
In Paddy Chayesfsky’s Network, seasoned newsman Howard Beale has a nervous breakdown on live television. At the height of frustration, he compels his viewers to open up their windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Don’t know why that popped into my head just now.
The Washington Capitals’ appointment with the Tampa Bay Lightning was supposed to be an impassioned affair: two tied Southeast teams battling for the division lead. That did not happen. The Caps, perhaps reeling from last night’s overtime loss to the Panthers, never really suited up. The ever-improving Lightning took control of the game and never relented.
Dominic Moore waited for the power play to end before scoring, exploiting some lazy defensive work by Washington. Sean Bergenheim followed up with a home-run swing at one of Semyon Varlamov’s flying rebounds. And then Simon Gagne grabbed a loose puck and beat the overwhelmed Varly on the breakaway. The Caps didn’t even try. Bolts beat Caps 3-0.
By the way, Emily is looking for a roommate. Available February 1st, she’s got a single bedroom with a private bathroom and a walk-in closet located just 3 miles from Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Email her if you’re interested. Awesome people only, please. Take it away, Emily.
When I learned that the 2nd annual CapsCare Casino Night and Auction would take place on January 9th, I couldn’t be more excited. I attended the first Casino Night and had a blast, but this year’s festivities hit on the birthdays of both Bruce Boudreau and me. Who could pass up the chance to wear a pretty dress, drink some cocktails, and schmooze with fabulous people on your birthday? Not me.
On December 28, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
The Washington Capitals finally met their playoff pals, the Montreal Canadiens, for the first time since that awful, awful night. Recently de-Halak‘d, the Habs remain a formidable team and one that the Caps had no trouble getting amped up to face.
Hershey import Jay Beagle got on the big board first with a stunning no-look, behind-the-back, knick-knack, paddywack shot over Carey Price’s shoulder. Mike Green took a freight train into a timing play to make it 2-0 off a Nicky Backstrom pass. The score was unchanged until Price abdicated his throne, which is like chumming the water to a shark like Alex Ovechkin. His empty netter finalized the score. Caps beat Habs 3-0.
On December 6, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Mathieu Perreault is the bright spot in this tough loss. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Colton Orr helps D.J. King with some facial redecoration. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Former Caps coach Ron Wilson brought his Toronto Maple Leafs to town looking for some redemption in their beleaguered season. The Washington Capitals meanwhile searched for the first win in their so-far unsuccessful extended home stand and switched up their roster to handle injuries from Sloan, Erskine, Steckel. With Hershey hotshot Mathieu Perreault (hereafter Matthew Perot) pinching in, it looked for a while like the goal-crazy Caps of seasons past had returned. But they leaned back in the third period, and… well, I don’t really have the heart to tell you.
Matty got on the big board on his first shift– less than three minutes into the game, deflecting a wrister off Tom Poti from the paint. Clarke MacArthur responded by shaking off John Carlson and teasing Neuvirth with a pause. It took two swings for Mike Knuble to earn a powerplay goal, the 249th of his career, and regain the lead. Perry struck back from the circles after waiting for a screen. Alex Ovechkin scored a whizzer of a wristshot to give the Caps an insurmountable 4-1 lead. Well, sorta. Mikhail Grabovksi, Tim Brent, and Clarke MacArthur each found their chances to exploit the snoozing home team, evening it up in the final 90 seconds. Overtime came and went. The shootout proved to be Mikhail Grabovski’s shining moment– as a spinarama escaped Michael Neuvirth’s pads. Leafs beat Caps 5-4 (SO).
On December 6, 2010, In Guest Post, By Russian Machine Never Breaks
The estimable Chris Gordon of CapsSnaps.com (@Caps_Snaps) tells us all about the limey culmination of Movember at the British Embassy, attended by three of our favorite lip-adorned Capitals. Take it away, Chris.
It was clear the evening was going to be different when Jeff Schultz and Matt Hendricks showed up at the British Embassy dressed as policemen. Schultz had been combing the Internet looking for prominent mustachioed actors to dress up as: Burt Reynolds or maybe Tom Selleck from Magnum, P.I.
With the Caps on the road, he ran out of time. So MacKenzie Kelley, Schultz’s girlfriend, did the next best thing and bought police uniforms at a costume store.
Getting in the spirit of the event, Dominick Chilcott, the deputy head of the British Embassy, thanked the Caps for showing up as “The Village People.”
On December 3, 2010, In Guest Post, By Russian Machine Never Breaks
Editor’s note: November was a remarkable for the Washington Capitals. Not only because of the team’s success (10 wins in 14 games), but also the mustaches some team members grew. Movember, as it is called, is a month-long charity event to raise awareness for men’s health. Reader Jessica M. shares her story of the Movember party held at Lyon Hall this past Sunday night.
John Carlson poses with Jessica.
Well, this past year has been pretty crappy for me. At 36, I was diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer and underwent four surgeries (including the one that led to the first diagnosis). Thankfully, both tumors were caught early and I am now cancer-free. So I decided to celebrate the hell out of my birthday this year.
My husband Kevin and I had already bought tickets to the Caps/Canes game on the 28th, my birthday– we splurged and got seats four rows off the ice. Now seems like a good time to add that I’ve only once seen a game live that the Caps lost, and that was seven years ago in the pre-Ovi era (I remember because it was on my 30th birthday). So unlike Peter, I have a pretty good record for seeing Caps wins. I have to admit, I was afraid that record was about to go down in flames after the score was tied with 2.2 seconds left to go, but the boys pulled out a win on my birthday! That was present enough right there.
But I had more celebrating to do. We decided at the last minute to get tickets to the Movember party at Lyon Hall. Since I’ve survived cancer this year, it’s become a cause near and dear to my heart. My grandfather died of prostate cancer; my father-in-law thankfully did not, though he did undergo treatment for it. I think it’s really important to raise awareness of certain cancers, both men’s and women’s, that don’t get a lot of attention, so I’m grateful to the Caps for participating in Movember this year. And thanks also to Lyon Hall for hosting the event!
This week we’ll take a quick look at how the top 6 line combos and blueline pairings are doing at even strength and how the goalies are doing overall, with respect to scoring chances. In the following weeks (as I get more comfortable with SQL) I will add goals scored for and against. For now it’s just scoring chances. I use a specific definition of what I consider a scoring chance based on shot quality data and log everyone who is on the ice at the time using the script from Vic Ferrari. As always, you can find the spreadsheet online.