Photo: Patrick McDermott
Dudes! Welcome back. Grab a Surge from the cooler and take a seat, let’s do a game recap.
The Washington Capitals, your preferred hockey team, hosted the Montreal Canadiens, who don’t even make us cry anymore, to open up the season. The Caps had poise for a bit but then they didn’t. We’re just 1.22% through the season, so that’s to be expected.
Andre Burakovsky scored just two minutes into his career, a nifty one from the slot set up by Troy Brouwer.
P.A. Parenteau tied it up halfway through the third, but the goal was washed out for goaltender interference. Tomas Plekanec’s marker a couple minutes later had no such controversy and tied the game.
Rene Bourque scored late in the game with an ICBM to Holtby’s far side hahaha nope, hit the post, that’s what you get for being awful, Rene.
Those nullified goals gave us a dry scrape and the first overtime of the season, but no one could score. Dammit, back to the shootout, which the Caps did way too much of last season. But at least we get to do…
Habs beat Caps 2-1 (Shootout).
For the first time since April somethingth, here comes actual, meaningful Caps hockey! Live from Verizon Center at 7 PM and on CSN Washington. It’s time we got our first real look at the Trotz Caps. Oh snap.
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
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!
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.
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?
Caps beat Habs 3-2 in the shootout! Losing Streak OVAR!
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.”
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?
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.
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.
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.
[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.]
The 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.
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.)
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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