Francois Lacasse

How Russians ice fish. (Photo: Francois Lacasse)

The Washington Capitals hadn’t won a game since January 10th, and that was against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are barely a hockey team. I don’t know why, but the Capitals thought, “hey, maybe we can end this seven-game losing streak against the Montreal Canadiens.” The Habs are the rogues of the PDO world, the Bael the Bard of hockey, most famous for felling the dominant 2010 Capitals and ruining our precious franchise for years. This shouldn’t have been the game where the Caps come back around again, but nothing makes sense in this stupid sport. The Capitals exploded for four goals in the second period and Braden Holtby earned a shutout to end an infinite long streak, recapture the team’s confidence, and make a whole bunch of attendant fathers happy.

Alex Ovechkin opened up scoring right after a second-period power play expired with one of the most lacrostic, greasy-yet-skillalicious goals Hogwarts has seen these many years. Then a puck that John Erskine didn’t even mean to shoot somehow found the twine to make it 2-0 Caps early in the middle frame. Jay Beagle got his first goal of the year, hitting a wide-open net thanks to Tom Wilson’s pass. On the delayed penalty, John Carlson lofted a lazy puck towards the net, improbably beating Carey Price thanks to a deflection.

Carey Price got pulled. Peter Budaj took the spot. Alex Ovechkin set up AHL stud Casey Wellman for his first goal of the year midway through the third.

Caps beat Habs 5-0! Braden Holtby gets the shutout! Losing streak over!

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The Montreal Canadiens Tonight in One GIF

Coming into Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Washington Capitals had lost seven straight games. Thankfully, the Habs made the Caps look like the hockey Harlem Globetrotters. The Canadiens allowed Washington to score four goals in the second period. After that fourth goal, the Caps had more tallies than the Habs had shots on net.

Understandbly frustrated, the Candiens’ Brendan Gallagher tried to break his stick at the end of the second stanza. He failed at that too.

Poor Habs.

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Neuvy Upsetted, Fehr Resplendent, Caps beat Habs 3-2 (SO)

beagle - Patrick Smith

Beagle is out of the doghouse do you get it doghouse his last name is a breed of dog. (Photo: Patrick Smith)

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you have a relaxing day full of casual conversation and limited stress? Weird, the Caps did the same thing on Friday night against the Montreal Canadiens. Showing no signs of fixing their endemic and fairly obvious problems,  the Caps gave away the lead with a slow start, allowed a goal right after they scored, and still got a W. How about that?

Danny Briere got denied on a wraparound attempt but forced it through Holtby’s five-hole for the only goal of the first period. Mikhail Grabovski cut Peter Budaj’s purse in the second and alleyed Eric Fehr’s oop to tie the game, but Tomas Plekanec tied it up less than two minutes later on an odd-man rush. With 5:27 left in the third, Eric Fehr set up Mikhail Grabovski for a big big big tying goal.

Into overtime we came and went. You know what’s next, right?

Shootout bullets!

  • Eric Fehr SUNK IT
  • Eller roofed it past Holtby
  • OVI SCOAR
  • Desharnais went wide, then short-side to score
  • Backstrom blockedstrom
  • Galchenyuk denied
  • Grabograbograbograbograbograbograbo grabo’d
  • Plekanec refused

Caps beat Habs 3-2 in the shootout! Losing Streak OVAR!

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Habs beat Caps 3-2, But What About the Vamwolfbies?

Neuvy sad - Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

The Washington Capitals had a simple challenge when they faced the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. Back on Wednesday, the Capitals had managed exactly zero shot attempts on the Penguins before the game was out of reach. And while the possession game was a disaster, the team chose to blame it on “execution.”

inigo montoya word

After that bad start on Wednesday, the team had a simple task: do better in the first period this time.

Could they pull it off?

gladiator thumbs dow

No.

No, they could not.

A bad breakout pass from Alex Urbom to Mikhail Grabovski led to a turnover for the Habs, whose Travis Moen didn’t have much of a challenge from Mike Green: 1-0 Habs. David Desharnais tipped in a high puck to make it 2-0 in the first period. And then Danny Briere made it a three-spot converting a power play while Marty Erat was in the Sasha box.

Alex Ovechkin saved a bit of face with a very, very wide-angle shot to score on a late-period power play.

The second period was quiet, which is a bad thing if you were hoping for a Caps comeback and a good thing if you thought it could get even worse.

Alex Ovechkin got his 19th of the season tipping in a long bomb from John Carlson, but 6-on-5 didn’t earn the Caps a tying goal.

Habs beat Caps 3-2. Boo.

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Caps beat Habs 5-1: Alex Ovechkin is Good at Hockey

alex-ovechkin-celebrates-goal

Photo credit: Francois Lacasse

The Washington Capitals’ final road game of the season was a demonstrable blowout. The Montreal Canadiens, purportedly a good hockey team, played like a troop (sorry, troupe) of clowns led by their porous ringleader Carey Price. The Habs got just one past Braden Holtby, and the Caps served wings and discount pizza to their loyal fans.

Caps beat Habs 5-1.

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Francois Lacasse

Photo credit: Francois Lacasse

The Washington Capitals have had it too good for too long. After filling their greedy maws at the trough of the Southeast for so long, they traipsed up to French Canadia to lay a beating upon the beast of the Northeast, the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs, sporting one of the best power plays and possession numbers in the league, were a worthy foe, but the Caps had Ovi. And that’s all you really need these days. Just a big plate of Ovi and wash it down with some Backstrom. Put some greasy Fehr in there if you want, but Ovi is the main dish.

Caps beat Habs 3-2.

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carey

[Ed. note: Oh my. Here we are, once more, teetering on the precipice. Wisenheimers will tell you stat this and odds that. But the PuckBuddys roll different. Yes, PuckBuddy Jason Rogers is back again - you think you could scare him away? - with searing insights into the coming game. Which is, we all agree, big. As in... big. Like nobody frackin' breathe until we wrap this one up. It's a messy job, but someone has to do it. Even former Premier William MacKenzie King is watching. Here's Sperm Whale Jason.]

BradenHolbeastThe Morning Skate: I don’t mean to rain, sleet, or snert on anyone’s victory parade, but the Capitals play in a garbage division. It’s a division so abysmal that next year it will be forever struck from the NHL pantheon, and utterance of its name will be forbade as heresy. But, I believe the Capitals are far and away the best team in the Southeast, the veritable creme d’ la crap, if you will. This game against a very good Habs team will provide a measuring stick for how far the Caps might go in the playoffs. So let’s hope that distance is measured in good ol’ American miles, and not kilometres (freakin’ socizlists.)

The Puck Drop: Secondly, this game matters because we mere mortals get to watch Alexander Ovechkin play hockey again. Now tied for the lead league in goals, OBESTkin is scoring all over the place like Maria ain’t watchin’ (BOOM.) Dale Hunter was content to use him like a tarp, lazily casting him across the penalty kill and hoping he made something happen… somehow. Adam Oates is using Ovi’s precision and power like a shotgun that shoots micro-scalpels.

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Collapse: Habs Hammer Caps 4-1

Canadiens destroy Caps 4-1

Oy. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

[Editor's note: With RMNB's Peter Hassett out in California for the week, the PuckBuddys recap the latest Caps loss.]

Sometimes, platitudes are the only comfort we have. Like “Third time’s a charm!”  Or “All in to win!” Or “Shomer f—-n shabbos!” Yeah, like that.

Be real. We went into this game feeling queasy; like Taco Bell Doritos Volcano Nachos queasy. Walking into Verizon we were already outscored two-to-one in the first two games; an unappealing start. Some pointed fingers at Coach Adam Oates‘ inability to instill discipline. (Those worries may have been answered by Oates’ curious decision to bench Marcus Johansson and Matthieu Perreault, and then re-start Matty.) Some demurred that the team is still learning a new coach and new style, and we’re willing to go some distance here. A few fickle fingers pointed at under-production by Ovi, Holtby, Greenie, Carlson

Enough. Tonight brought one hard answer: the Capitals aren’t firing.

The first frame saw some testing on both sides of the other’s defense. Good efforts by Green, Backstrom and Ribeiro, and a surprising amount of icing from Montreal. Michal Neuvirth made several great saves (a few too close,) and we were hopeful with Nicky’s late flick to Wojtek Wolski until Ovi spoiled that. The PPs yielded nada, leaving both teams relatively balanced both offensively and defensively (though the Habs lead with hits.)

Rly?Second period: oh crap, 5 on 3? Ovi and Brouwer leave the Caps naked, yet Beags and Carlson, while never clearing it out, keep the Caps alive. Then with only :04 in the first PP, Plekanec cracks one in (with Markov on the assist) bumping the Habs up 1-0. Moments later, Andrei Markov (with Pacioretty) snaps one over Neuvy’s shoulder bringing the Canadiens up 2-o. Oxygen slowly leaving Verizon. Can it get worse? Yes. Rene Bourque sails it down the side and snaps it to Brian Gionta, who knocks it past Neuvy, tippling the score at 3-o. You want more? Francis Bouillon, on assist from Josh Gorges, blows one past a clueless Neuvy; Habs go up 4-0, Caps fans register their displeasure.

Third quarter squishes out with pretty much everyone in the wrong spot at the right time. Shots still favoring the Caps, although you’d never know that. Time dribbles by, our RMNB editors suggest a game recap isn’t even worthwhile. We soldier on, as does Matt Hendricks. At least someone’s trying. So is Beags to Chimera to Joey Crabb! Well at least John Carlson’s hair won’t get shutout, even though he’ll get one last penalty.

SCORE: Canadiens 4, Capitals 1

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Matt Hendricks: The Not So Secret Weapon

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

The surprise is that there was no surprise.

With the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens locked at two as the clock hit zero in overtime, Matt Hendricks got ready to take the ice for the shootout. The fourth liner, not one of the highly skilled Russians or Nicklas Backstrom in his grand return, was set to shoot first in the most important gimmick of season — that is, if you don’t count the one 48 hours ago. And once again Hendricks made the moves you know by heart: fake, leg lift, deke, deke, wrist shot, score. Eight goals, 12 opportunities, one move.

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Neuvy smirks after taking a Rene Bourque slapshot off the mask. (Via @WashCapsRock)

The Washington Capitals’ season is still on shaky ground. Buffalo’s loss to Pittsburgh on Friday kept their hopes alive, but Saturday’s game versus the Montreal Canadiens held huge determinative power. Perfect time for a Comebackstrom.

After having his initial shot blocked, Alex Semin found a wide-open Mathieu Perreault in the slot, for a one-timer. 1-0 Caps. Unguarded in front of the net, Matt Hendricks hit Jay Beagle with a cross-crease pass to put the good guys up 2. Erik Cole then scored a momentum-killing goal with one minute left to go in the first.

In the second period, the Canadiens dominated. Tomas Plekanec tied it up when he went around a slow-skating Roman Hamrlik and scored on the backhand.

After multiple scoring chances for both teams in the third period, the game went to Overtime. Then the shootout. Thanks to goals by Matt Hendricks and Alex Semin, Caps win 3-2.

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