“I think it’s huge for us,” defenseman Nate Schmidt said. “I think with this team, we showed tonight, we don’t need everybody going. We have secondary scoring. It takes a lot of the pressure off some our top guys.”
One of those top guys, in fact, is Schmidt. Since Brooks Orpik went down with a lower body injury in early November, Schmidt has been called on to play on the top defensive pairing with John Carlson, one of the team’s stalwarts for the past five seasons. Against the Canadians, Schmidt tallied two assists, tying his career high in points and helpers.
On December 26, 2015, In Game Recap, By Chris Gordon
Photo: Maddie Meyer
Ah, where were we? Yes, hockey! It’s like ballet on ice. You get the idea. Facing off against the Montreal Canadiens in their first game since Monday, the Washington Capitals got the jump early, showing no ill effects — but maybe a slight tan — from their Christmas break.
They pressed Habs netminder Mike Condon — minding the cage because Carey Price is out with a Michal Neuvirth — early, converting 6:45 into the game when Evgeny Kuznetsov redirected Nate “Heart Eyes Emoji” Schmidt’s slapper from the high slot.
In the second, the Caps jumped back on the board when Jay Beagle fired a rifle from the near circle on a three-on-four after an excellent setup by Tom Wilson. Montreal cut the lead in half on the next shift, as Washington’s second line repeated failed to clear the defensive zone. Eventually, Daniel Carr popped in the rebound off Andrei Markov’s wrister from the faceoff dot. The Caps continued to shower Condon in pucks, but the Canadiens reserve netminder held strong as Washington took a one goal lead into the final 20.
In the third, Jason Chimera picked up a loose puck, shot forehand, and flew one-legged toward victory. Caps top Habs 3-1!
On December 26, 2015, In Pregame, By Patrick Holden
Photo: Bruce Bennett
After no games for three days, the NHL is back. Whether you celebrated Christmas with your family while jamming to 101.9’s commercial free Christmas music or Christmas isn’t your holiday, it’s time to get back on the horse. Everyone ready?
The Canadiens are 1-9-0 in their past 10 games and are clinging to the Atlantic Division lead. The Curse of the Bambino has nothing on the Curse of the Sasha.
Our main homies over on CSN have the call at 7 PM.
On December 3, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
There’s a scene in Marvel’s Avengers where Iron Man and Loki are talking trash before the big fight. Iron Man plays his trump card, “we have a Hulk,” and then a long, exciting action sequence follows. The Capitals’ performance in Montreal on Thursday would be a bit like that if, instead of fighting for their lives, the Avengers just sorta chilled out and made their “Hulk” do all the work.
Tom Wilson scored on his first shift, a decent snipe after Brooks Laich did work along the boards. The Canadiens tied the game in the second with Lars Eller’s stuff-in goal, but the Caps took a lead to the second intermission thanks to TJ Oshie, ostensibly. The Habs tied it again early in the third with a shorthanded goal by Brian Flynn, but Oshie again restored the lead by being only barely involved in Karl Alzner’s long bomb.
Caps beat Habs 3-2. Seriously, they won that. I don’t know how. The six-game win streak continues!
On December 3, 2015, In Pregame, By Patrick Holden
Photo: Susan Walsh/AP
WAKE UP, WE’RE BACK!
So, there’s, like, a hockey game tonight in Montreal between two teams who are near the top of the standings in the best league on the planet Earth. One team will wear a dark sweater, the other a light sweater. They’ll skate up and down the ice trying to put the black disc thing into the net thing. Whoever does this more often over at least 60 minutes of hockeying with be considered the better hockeyers for that night and be rewarded with two points in the standings.
Some players will do things well and people will be pleased. Some players will do things badly and people will be outraged in a disproportionate manner, probably in 140 characters or less.
What’s that thing called? That thing when you have the puck and then you shoot it at the other team’s net? It’s a word that’s like “trying to score” except it’s one word instead of three, and I think Canadians pronounce it wrong.
Whatever it was, it was missing in Montreal for most of Thursday night. The Capitals played a lot of defense, but less so of the other thing until they had surrendered the lead. Then Alex Ovechkin did his thing: spat in the dirt, said nyet, and made this a goddamn game.
Enjoy this one.
It was the Canadiens who scored first, with Jeff Petry beating Braden Holtby after a penalty expired early in the second period. Joel Ward struck back with a lovely rush goal on an odd-man rush, and then Alex Ovechkin broke Peter Bondra’s all-time scoring lead with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. The Canadiens instantly returned fire with goals by Tom Gilbert and Lars Eller– thanks to bad defense and badder bounces, respectively.
The Caps earned a power play in the third, and Alex Ovechkin converted it to tie the game with nine minutes remaining. John Carlson unleashed a bomb from another power-play, maybe tipped by Joel Ward, to give the Caps a late lead. With Curtis Glencross in the box for a silly penalty, PK Subban scored a gorgeous game-tying goal to force overtime
Galchenyuk did not put the biscuit in the basket.
Kuznetsov did not put the biscuit in the basket. Stupid post.
Desharnais did not put the biscuit in the basket.
Backstrom did not put the biscuit in the basket.
Parenteau did not put the biscuit in the basket. Flashy glove save.
Ovechkin did not put the biscuit in the basket. Hart showdown.
Patches did not put the biscuit in the basket. Diving save by Braden.
This is it. This is the final stretch of the regular– sorry, #rego– season. From here until the 11th, the Caps will face a gauntlet of tough teams, all of whom are in the playoff race. We begin tonight with the Montreal Canadiens. If the playoff started today, two things would be true:
the Caps would face the Habs in the first round
you’d be like wtf mate, s’pose t’be 82 games
(Also you’d be Australian, I guess.)
A ton of stuff can and will change between now and the final game of the season, especially if you look at the Metro standings, but I like the way it all looks. Puck drops at 7:30 PM on CSN.
On January 31, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Ryan Remiorz
I hate goalies. I want all the games to end 7-5 and all the goalie to leave dejected. I didn’t get what I wanted on Saturday afternoon. The goalies for Washington and Montreal were buttoned up tight– keeping this game scoreless all the way though #rego.
Everyone clear the ice so Price and Holtby can decide the game with a Handsome Off.