Totally not a picture of Grubauer btw. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)
The Washington Capitals had a great chance to jump up the Southeast Division in Saturday’s game at the New York Islanders. For awhile it looked like the Caps could do it, but then two rotten, late-game penalties by Mike Ribeiro and Jeff Schultz put it out of reach. A great opportunity, squandered.
Isles beat Caps 5-2.
Kevin Dineen needed more than a timeout tonight. (GIF by welshhockeyfan)
The Florida Panthers opened tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals with four straight shots on Braden Holtby in the first 1:44 of game action. They looked sharp. They looked ready to get out of the Southeast division cellar. The wheels fell off 24 seconds later.
As John Erskine wound up from the Panthers’ blue line — in what he would later admit was just a dump-and-change — Florida’s starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom mis-judged Erskine’s blast and allowed the puck to squeak through his seven-hole. 1-0 Caps.
2:36 later, the Capitals would score on their very next shot, as Markstrom was caught off guard by Wojtek Wolski‘s strong net crash. Enter Scott Clemmensen.
Clemmensen gave up two more goals — one to John Carlson and another to Mike Ribeiro — in the next six shots. The Capitals received a standing ovation and headed into intermission with a 4-0 lead, their biggest goal explosion this season.
“I don’t know what to say,” Markstrom told reporters after the game. “It was terrible. I feel like I let the team down. I am there to stop pucks, and I didn’t do that tonight.”
Now enjoy fun facts from the first period –plus video of all four goals.
Photo credit: Greg Fiume
The Washington Capitals just freaking obliterated the Florida Panthers. I don’t know how else to say it. Any flowery language would make the point less elegant: this was a thrashing. One of these teams is the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the other one is the Washington Capitals.
We learned that early, as John Erskine’s muffinly dump-in baffled Jacob Markstrom. We were reminded soon after– when Wojtek Wolski caught a Steve Oleksy pass and made it 2-0 on the Caps’ second shot. That was enough for Markstrom, who got the hook in favor of Scott Clemmensen, who promptly gave up two more goals on the Caps’ next four shots– one from Carlson, one from Ribeiro.
That was all in the game’s first 10 minutes. I could go on, but you get the idea. This was all Caps. Even when the shooting slowed, Braden Holtby was so on top of his game that this was never really a contest.
Caps beat Panthers 7-1.
Okay, this one makes somewhat less sense. (Photo credit: Rob Carr)
Busy day! The Capitals have announced they have re-signed tough guy D-man John Erskine to a two-year contract extension worth just south of $4 million. Erskine is the team’s lowest-ranked defenseman when it comes to possession, although he’s not getting tagged for that yet in the goals-against department. He’s currently eating up career-high minutes– 19:30 per game.
Here’s Sky’s tweet, also timestamped weirdly:
#Caps officially announce the John Erskine two-year extension for 3.9 mil, 1.9 mil in 2013-2014, 2 mil in 2014-2015
— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) February 25, 2013
So… thoughts? Press release below.
The Capitals have been undefeated, 3-0-0, ever since fans sacrified a rubber cow and goat at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. That doesn’t mean the games have been pretty. Or graceful.
For example, take a look at Thursday’s game against division rival Tampa. The Capitals gained a 4-1 lead, only to surrender two third period goals and barely escape with a win. There were missed poke checks, goals scored from a seated position, and lots of enthusiastic coaching. You know: Caps hockey.
Presenting… the best pics from Caps at Lightning!
GIF by welshhockeyfan
Unfortunately for John, this is not going to be a fun story. Towards the end of the third period, with the Capitals down 5-4, Big John jumped off the bench as the Florida Panthers came down the ice for a 4-on-2 break. Instead of actually contributing to the play, Erskine falls onto his back and does a 360-degree tumble onto his face. Or in Fedor’s words, he “Colaiacovo’d.”
Saturday night, John Erskine was suspended for three games and fined $24,324.33 for his elbow to the head of Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. Erskine, whose play has earned him a sweater in five consecutive games, will sit out Sunday’s game at home against the Penguins, Tuesday’s game against Toronto, and Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh.
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
DFL. The Washington Capitals came into Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers in dead last place. Not in the southeast, not in the east. In the whole damn league.
Here’s the part where they turn it around.
Halfway into the game, Bruno Gervais sent a loose puck deep into Holtby’s net. Nick Backstrom tied it up with his first goal of the year, a patient deke to beat Ilya Bryzgalov one-on-one late in the second. Troy Brouwer took the lead with a brilliant near-side roofer. Wojtek Wolksi robbed Baby Schenn and put a one-touch goal on Bryz to make it 3-1. The Flyers got one back with a Brayden Schenn rocket right as the power play expired.
Caps beat Flyers 3-2.
GIF via welshhockeyfan
Late in the first period of Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Big John Erskine got himself into some trouble. Skating up the ice, Erskine connected with Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds, drawing blood but no penalty.
As you can see, Erskine’s elbow makes contact with Simmonds’ face. The question Brendan Shanahan will be asking is whether or not Erskine was putting himself in a defensive posture– or whether there was a suspendable intent to injure.
Photo credit: Sean Kilpatrick
The Washington Capitals started something with their first win on Sunday and sought to keep that going against the Ottawa Senators. The Caps brought a sense of coherence and confidence to their game that we haven’t seen in a long time, but the game’s back half started sagging and one bad penalty cost them everything.
The Capitals gave Troy Brouwer his second goal of the year, a net-crashing backhand set up by some hardworking hockey from Wojtek Wolksi and the Caps D-corps. Matt Hendricks deflected Jay Beagle’s wide-angle shot into the net to give the Caps a 2-0 lead. The Senators got on the board with a Condra shot deflected off of Jim O’Brien. Milan Michalek tied it up with a tricky backhand off the faceoff that eluded Neuvirth. Former Cap Sergei Gonchar got the game-winning goal on an undeserved power play in the games final minutes.
Sens beat Caps 3-2.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.