Back to Full Power: Caps Beat Sabres 5-3

i

Nineteen seconds, one goal. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

The Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres are neck-and-neck in a battle for playoff position. The Caps are just one point behind the Sabres as the lockout shortened regular season begins to come to a close. One problem, though: the spot they’re fighting for is 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

This season has been pretty abhorrent for fans in Buffalo and Washington. The Caps, however, still have time to salvage this year. Playing in hockey’s weakest division, the Caps came into Sunday’s game nine points out the the Southeast-leading Winnipeg Jets with 21 games left to play. But if Washington want to be playing hockey in May, that drive has to start now. Maybe it did. Thirty hours after the start of their deflating but fight filled 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, Washington showed no St. Patrick’s Day hangover (I’m sorry).

Caps beat Sabres 5-3.

Continue Reading

The Bold and the Bloody: Bruins beat Caps 4-1

Brian Babineau

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

The Boston Bruins are the best team in the East. I think they’re the East’s best chance at winning the Cup this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them or that I didn’t want the Washington Capitals to crush them on Saturday afternoon. That didn’t happen though. The Caps struggled on defense, and their offense needed help to get the puck behind Anton Khudobin. The game got a little wild in the second and third periods, which is just how the Bruins like it.

Bruins beat Caps 4-1.

Continue Reading

Please, Gnome More: Leafs beat Caps 3-2

patrick mcdermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

I wrote on our mission statement that hockey should be as fun to read about as it is to watch. So what happens when hockey– Caps hockey at least– becomes a chore? Tuesday’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals was another messy loss, and gnome amount of puns will cheer us up right now.

The Leafs scored first, JVR seizing upon a communication breakdown between Neuvirth and Poti behind the Caps net. JVR struck again after Washington’s defense temporarily lost motor function. Marcus Johansson got his first of the year late in the first after Tomas Kundratek gave him a nice feed at the back door. Korbinan Holzer got his first NHL goal with a tricky long bomb. Mike Ribeiro executed a nice zone entry and passing sequence by sinking a powerplay goal, but the Leafs emerged victorious.

Leafs beat Caps 3-2.

Continue Reading

What is Wrong with Marcus Johansson?

Marcus Johansson-2

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

For the Capitals, there’s a lot to keep track of right now. We’ve noticed Alex Ovechkin’s scoring slump, a whole lotta penalties, and some bad breaks for the goalies. One thing we haven’t noticed is Marcus Johansson, and that’s a big problem too.

In 2011-2012, Johansson scored 14 goals and 32 assists, shooting a pretty boss 15.6%. That was enough to make him the team’s third best scorer behind the Alexes, a crucial piece of a lean team.

Not so much this year. Through seven games, Johansson’s stat line looks like this: 0, 0, 0%.

Continue Reading

Graig Abel

Photo credit: Graig Abel

Remember how we were whining about losing that game in Ottawa? How it wasn’t fair? How we were skeptical that lady luck would ever swing the Washington Capitals’ way?

Not tonight. The Caps’ loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs wasn’t an artifact of luck, but rather the sadly predictable result of a penalty parade.

Mike Ribeiro hit up Joel Ward on the weak side for an easy opening goal. JVR tied it up with a rebound goal during a super-sized power play for the Leafs.  Alex Ovechkin recorded a PPG with a nasty wrister to restore Washington’s lead. Then the Capitals killed off a eleventy billion penalties. The Leafs tied it up in the third when Nikolai Kulemin ate snow to knock home a loose puck behind Neuvy. The Leafs stole the lead with a Matt Frattin net-crash halfway into the third.

Leafs beat Caps 3-2.

Continue Reading

Alex Ovechkin (2 of 2)

Adam Oates talks to Ovi during practice on Saturday. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

Alex Ovechkin has become a one-dimensional player. Once the league’s most creative and premier scorer, Ovi has been stymied by his apparent unwillingness to change — at least so far. His struggles at right wing in the first three games this season demonstrated that much. After just eight periods, the exercise ended. Ovi was back at left wing.

Ovi’s switch has been the story of the season so far for the Caps. But not everybody thinks it should be.

“Are we talking about Ovi again? That’s bulls—t,” forward Troy Brouwer told me when asked about Ovechkin’s play this season.

“It shouldn’t be difficult,” Brouwer said. “He’s a right handed shot, he should be able to play right wing. It should be hard to play your off wing.”

Continue Reading

Ovi and Mojo Collide

Tuesday morning, the Washington Capitals scrimmaged the Reading Royals at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, winning in a nail biter by a score of 8-0. During the first period of the game, Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson violently collided into one another. Since the game wasn’t broadcast online, we had to rely on tweets and blurry photos to try to imagine what happened. We all thought the worst.

Thankfully, both players ended up being okay, but after investigating CSN’s video of the hit, we don’t know how.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Alex Ovechkin lay on the ice in pain

Noooooo! (Photo credit: Stephen Whyno/The Washington Times)

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals scrimmaged their ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. With a shortened training camp, the Caps need every opportunity to get into game shape. But with the regular season just days away they also don’t want to get hurt, and Washington had a bit of a scare on that front.

As Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson were skating in the neutral zone, they collided brutally near center ice. Both players laid on the ice in pain and were slow to get up.

While Johansson managed to stay in the game, the Capitals’ captain, who was bleeding from the chin, had to leave the ice for repairs.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Marcus Johansson at a Karlskoga gas station

“Uhhh, can somebody pick me up?” (Photo credit: VF-Sport)

After sixteen straight hours of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to the framework of a new CBA at 5:45AM Sunday morning, effectively ending the lockout. Across the globe in Sweden, Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson, who had been playing for BIK Karlskoga of the second-tier HockeyAllsvenskan league, was on the bus heading towards Skåne for his team’s game against Malmö on Monday.

As Johansson and the team received word the lockout was over, the bus immediately pulled over at a Karlskoga gas station and dropped Johansson off. “It all happened very quickly,” cracked Johansson to the Swedish website VF-Sport (Värmlands Folkblad) an hour later.

Below, the jump, Jacob Ware (@JacobWare95) translates Johan Eriksson’s full conversation with Mojo, as the Capital travels home to Karlstad.

Continue Reading

Photos: Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia Win Channel One Cup

“Russian Machine flex for the ladies.” (Photo credit: sportbox.ru)

On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin and the Russian National Team defeated Finland 3-1 to take the 2012 Channel One Cup. During the three-game tournament, Russia dominated, outscoring their opponents 14-2. Ovechkin, who mostly played on the team’s third line, had two points in three games — a goal and an assist. Team Sweden, who saw Nicklas Backstrom score three points and Marcus Johansson record his first national team goal and points, was the runner-up.

Below the jump, we have a few more photos from Russia’s post-game celebration.

Continue Reading