Winning Feels Nice: Caps Top Blue Jackets 4-1

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Happy times! (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Finishing up their longest home stand of the season, the Washington Capitals took on new look (!) Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday. Facing a bunch of weak teams, the Caps didn’t do well in their last four games of their five game set at Verizon Center, posting a record of 1-3 and falling to 2-5 overall. Yesterday, Adam Oates had enough and went all “Screw everything! YOLO!” on the lines. Erat to the second! Fehr on the fourth! Grabo on the third! Other things! Par-ty!

No offense in the first frame. In the second, though, power play powerhouse Joel Ward rifled one top shelf on Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Caps the lead. Washington added to it about six minutes later when Brooks Laich popped in the rebound after Steve Oleksy’s inexplicably fancy stick work. The Caps took it home in the third with tallies from Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin. Garbage goal for Artem Anisimov late. Wee! Caps top Jackets 4-1.

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“Here, You Take the Puck!” Rangers beat Caps 2-0

Greg Fiume

Photo: Greg Fiume

Wednesday night’s bout between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers was billed as “Rivalry Night.” I’m not so sure. While the recent Rags and Caps teams have certainly made like Crystal Lake camp counselors– hooking up every May– the games have been as trite as an overcooked slasher flick. Both teams grew more neanderthal and conservative in the last few years, making for some really stifled hockey. Under Adam Oates’ increasingly offensive system and Alain Vigneault’s canuckley deployment, I hold out hope this will change, but nothing about Caps-Rangers gets me excited.

Those feelings, it turns out, were justified. The Capitals put up maybe their worst game of the year.

Scoreless through the midway mark, the Rangers broke through with a sneaky far-off wrister by John Moore and then a close-up skill move by Ryan Callahan.

That was it. Yuck.

Rangers beat Caps 2-0.

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In the first period, Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward had an Esa Tikkanen-esque miss on a yawning net. After Alex Ovechkin hit Nicklas Backstrom with a beautiful cross-ice pass on a Caps power play, Backstrom fed a wide-open Ward, looking for a tic-tac-toe goal. Ward, seeing that he had to roof the puck over an out-stretched Henrik Lundqvist pad, carefully gathered in the puck on the blade of his stick and shot. Then he whiffed.

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Monday night, after Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward scored his first goal of the year, he returned to the bench to take in the adulation of his teammates.

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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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Photo: @JohnCarlson74

Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward joined former NHL players Jamie McLennan and Jeff O’Neill on TSN 1050 Radio this afternoon. Yes, he spent almost the entirety of the interview talking about his fun excursion in Dallas where he got locked in a hotel bathroom. Better that than his even-strength goal differential.

Here is a transcription of most of the interview. The Big Cheese has a new nickname.

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Photo: @JRandalWard42

Joel Ward spent his morning stuck in a hotel bathroom. The lock on the Dallas Omni bathroom door wouldn’t give, but lucky for Ward his teammates were around to save him. Well, some of them saved him;  others documented the ordeal and shared it with the Internet. Because #Friendship.

Hockey players are just like us.

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While Alex Ovechkin is easily the most celebrated player on the Washington Capitals, someone else was the star of Caps Con.

Everyone say hi to Ovie the Bulldog.

On the top floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ovie’s human parents, Mike and Kim Robertson, set up shop with their leashed and well-behaved pup, greeting Caps fans on their way down to the convention. He made lots of friends.

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Green with his fiancée Courtney Parrie

On Tuesday night, extremely rich and beautiful sports people congregated at the National Building Museum on F. Street for the 10th annual SneakerBall. As described by the SneakerBall website, the event is “the only black tie and sneakers gala that celebrates the best of sports in the region.” SneakerBall awards athletes and sports owners for extraordinary charity work.

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was given with the JB Impact Award, which honors the player who has used sports to most positively impact the area through community service. Green, who was making his first public appearance since getting engaged, does lots for the DC Community and his Canadian homies such as his “So Kids Can” charity, t-shirts, and creating awareness for Calgary Flooding victims.

“It is an honor to receive the JB Impact Award,” said Green in a very press-release-y press release from the Capitals. “I’ve been fortunate to be involved with several projects that have given back to the Washington, D.C., community, and I look forward to another season giving back to those in need through service.”

While you’re happy for Green, you’re just here for the photos of Caps players in suits. It’s okay, I get it.

If you ask me, Karl Alzner hits a homerun with a smart navy blue suit and pants combo. That said, Steve Oleksy also gets points for somehow managing to be in every photo. Also, fake sources tell us that Jason Chimera turned down Tyson Strachan’s invitation to be his date Tuesday.

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It was mid-March and Karl Alzner was on the Internet. Like most twentysomethings, he looked up silly videos on YouTube to kill time. He stumbled across one from early last year — it was of Peter Dill, a basketball player for Seton Hall. Dill scored a single basket in his two years playing for the school, but he did get very excited when his team scored. Alzner played the clip for Mathieu Perreault.

“The guy would just go crazy, pretend he had Thor’s Hammer and he’d be smashing the ground,” Alzner told me Saturday afternoon. “Perry, I could just see his eyes, like ‘this is awesome!’”

“We should do that after we win games,” Perreault responded.

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