The Washington Capitals held an optional practice in front of a full house, Saturday. Half the team, including Head Coach Barry Trotz, was not on the ice. Everyone was energized and in high spirits from the 6-0 shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks the night before.
Instead of a puck, Daniel Winnik started the warm-up with a perforated practice golf ball. Later Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt shared a silly moment after Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov put a shot past the netminder. Holtbeast playfully slashed Schmidt’s legs, whose dramatics ensued for a fun set of images. Holtby’s face after his payback was priceless.
Post-practice Matt Niskanen even tried to hide from the camera and we shared a laugh. It was a great welcome back to the hockey grind. Enjoy these snaps from the morning practice.
The Capitals’ defeat by the Penguins last season was due in part to Pittsburgh’s bottom six outplaying Washington’s. In the offseason GM Brian MacLellan vowed to make an upgrade the team’s third line his number-one priority. That upgrade was the acquisition of Lars Eller.
Through 32 games in a Caps’ uniform, Eller has posted just six points. Some people have been understandably underwhelmed by his lack of production. After all, the lowest point total Eller has posted in the previous five seasons is 26 points. Eller’s 15-point pace is not impressive.
But underneath his lagging production, Eller has brought stability and strong play to a Caps’ third line that needed it badly. And, while this strong play will need to drive more production at some point, there’s reason to believe the third line is in good hands with Eller at pivot.
The Washington Capitals lost to the New York Islanders 4-3 Tuesday night in their first game back from Christmas break. The game featured many controversial moments, none of which were more controversial than this late second period shift change.
As the Caps swapped lines, someone face-planted while coming onto the ice. But who?
It’s time for another edition of RMNB investigates!
The Washington Capitals have been on a roll with bobbleheads this season. In August, we got Dmitry Orlov, our favorite unsung Russian defenseman who wasn’t even under contract with the team at the time. On November 8, we had the most consequential election of our time, as Braden Holtby beat out two other candidates to be immortalized in resin. A little while later, the Capitals released a divinely inspired Alex Ovechkin bobblehead.
On Friday morning, the Caps unveiled their latest creation: Lars Eller, depicted in the most glorious form of artwork, the bobblehead.
Saturday night’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals was billed as a sparkling goaltending matchup, featuring Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price for the Habs and Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby for the Caps. Unfortunately for Washington, Price sat idle in his net for large stretches of the game. The Capitals managed just 21 shots on goal in 60 minutes of play, losing 2-1 in regulation.
“We were close enough to get a point, but not good enough to win a hockey game,” head coach Barry Trotz told reporters after the game. The loss ended Washington’s six-game winning streak. The Capitals had scored at least three goals in each of those wins.
Monday morning, depth forward Paul Carey was re-assigned to the Hershey Bears, suggesting that Lars Eller is near a full recovery.
Eller, who sustained an undisclosed upper-body injury during Friday night’s game against the Red Wings, has not participated in a Caps practice since. The third line center took the ice during the Caps’ family skate Saturday. On Monday, Eller skated before the rest of the team had practice, Caps’ Head Coach Barry Trotz was optimistic.
The Washington Capitals made it through the first month and a half of the season without injury. And then Friday night happened. Four players went down the tunnel with injuries in a horrifying first period. TJ Oshie, Lars Eller, and Andre Burakovsky did not return to the game. Tom Wilson was the only player to make it back.
On Saturday, the Capitals announced that Oshie would be out week-to-week while Lars Eller will be out day-to-day with upper body injuries.
The Washington Capitals had a disaster scenario unfold during the first period of their game against the Detroit Red Wings. Four different forwards — TJ Oshie, Lars Eller, Andre Burakovsky, and Tom Wilson — went down the tunnel with injuries. Three of them — Oshie, Eller, and Burakovsky — did not return with what Barry Trotz termed as upper-body injuries. Oshie, Eller, and Burakovsky will all be reevaluated tomorrow.
Lars Eller has scored his first goal as a Washington Capital. Early in the first period of Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers, Eller made a savvy deflection to beat Lundqvist.
The goal is noteworthy because it gives the Caps the lead and because it’s Eller’s first goal since joining Washington this summer, but mostly because — check out the great play by Brooks Orpik!
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