Hot-heads and High Sticks: Isles beat Caps 5-2

Bruce Bennett

Totally not a picture of Grubauer btw. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

The Washington Capitals had a great chance to jump up the Southeast Division in Saturday’s game at the New York Islanders. For awhile it looked like the Caps could do it, but then two rotten, late-game penalties by Mike Ribeiro and Jeff Schultz put it out of reach. A great opportunity, squandered.

Isles beat Caps 5-2.

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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

[Ed note: PuckBuddy, and hockey’s own Hemingway, Jason Rogers, is back to praise where it’s earned and taunt where it’s needed. Tweeter him now.]

Morning Skate: Don’t look now, but the Caps have won five of their last six, and eight of eleven over the last month. The good guys from DC sit within spitting distance of – dare I say it? – the playoffs. The Capitals, like a port-a-potty with a wayward push, have begun rolling downhill.

This Saturday afternoon, like a matinee at the movies, the Caps’ opponent will be a poorly directed, over-budget flop starring nobody. Yes, the Gortons Fishermen roll back into their harbor fresh from Long Island (Excuse me: Stron-Gisland) to welcome the Caps, and if Uncle Ted has any sense he’ll scotch-guard the locker room.

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Rollercoaster! Caps beat Isles 5-4 (SO)

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

The Washington Capitals began their epic road trip with a stop on the Long Island and its New York Islanders. The game saw the worst and best of the Caps, but it ended the right way.

Matt Moulson scored the game’s first goal, a fluke so dumbfounding I feel drunk trying to explain it. Matt Moulson scored a power play goal off of John Carlson. John Tavares notched another power play goal at the halfway point, but Dennis Wideman returned fire a few seconds later. Before a comeback could gain momentum, Tavares found the back of the net again.  Before the end of the second, Alex Ovechkin caught a rebound and turned it into goal.

Scoarlov.

Alex Ovechkin took three stabs at a puck from descending distances before beating Nabokov and tying the game. Overtime was not OV time, so we needed a shootout to make a decision. Matt Hendricks is your shootout hero! Caps beat Isles 5-4 (SO).

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“What is this doing here?”

Halfway through the first period of Tuesday’s Capitals-Islanders game, Matt Moulson sent a shot towards Michal Neuvirth‘s net. Neuvy got his blocker on it — sending the puck flying into the glass.

That should’ve been the end of that, but the puck bounced back over the net, as if being guided by Satan himself, and deflected off Neuvirth’s erogenous zone before going in the net.

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New York Islanders Pregame: They’re Still Horrible

Here’s Doug Johnson with your pregame report. Read PuckBuddys and then follow ‘em on Twitter.

“What Wha?” There are some things that just aren’t said aloud.

  • Example #1: Oprah is a Fraud. Yeah, she could buy the Nepalese army to storm my house, or hot-wire the RMNB site for combustion, just ’cause I said it. Yet it’s true. Oprah Winfrey is, as we speak, today and into the future, a total fraud.
  • Example #2: Our Politics are a Farce. Do we really need to gut this beast further to illustrate that point? Anyone who thinks our civic culture is robust, please hold your head underwater for five minutes. Questions?
  • Example #3: Caps…Leading the Southeast?! Eighth in the Eastern? And *shudder* five points behind Ottawa? I’m not sure when we signed up to write fiction, but apparently that is now.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

It was an unlikely game. The Capitals dominated the Islanders for most of the hour, but were without a goal until Troy Brouwer finally beat Nabokov in the waning minutes of the third. Brouwer pulled through again in the final minute of regulation, and then we were treated to a sight we haven’t seen enough of lately.

Alex Ovechkin, who extended his Washington Capitals OTGWG franchise record to 11, carried the puck across neutral, skated to the center lane, used New York’s Travis Hamonic as a screen, and scored the game-winner through Nabokov’s five-hole. Video is below the jump.

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New York Islanders Pregame: Five Past Serious O’Clock

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

The Pregame: Strap in, ladies, because here we go. Good news and bad news. And you know which doesn’t come with fancy French nibbles. Radishes for you.

Life Post-Deadline

Ugh, here’s the bad. Over the next five+ weeks, 20 nights, every one of you will be simmered into a jersey jelly of slimy aspic. Demi-glacé, oui? You get it: a trebling, molten slop of hope and desire and fear and torment, exactly as smelly as that sounds, and with no escape possible, all watching on the stovetop that is the Capitals’ next 20 games. Stupid French chefs.

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Editor’s note: Neil Greenberg is not currently affiliated with RMNB and was not consulted for this article.

During Saturday’s game between the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes, play-by-play announcer Howie Rose criticized Neil Greenberg’s list of the top 25 players under 25 for ESPN.com (paywall, but it’s worth it). That list does not include NYI’s John Tavares, who has a team-best 46 points in his third year in the NHL.

During the discussion, Rose calls Neil a “housebound agraphobe.” We can assume he means agoraphobe, since agraphobe is a made-up word that would mean “fear of farmland” or something. Rose runs standard operating procedure for character assassination of a blogger. Four-time Stanley Cup winner Butch Goring joins the routine and accuses Neil of being a provocateur. It’s a comprehensive ad hominem screed, except that they do not mention Neil by name at any point during the two-minute, telecast-padding exercise:

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Video: Troy Brouwer’s Big Hit on Mark Streit

Troy Brouwer’s hit on Mark Streit was the only good thing from the Caps 3-0 loss to the Islanders.

Thanks to Peter Robbio, a scholar and a gentleman, for the video. Go read Chirps from the Ledge.

Flatlining Caps Get Shutout By Islanders, 3-0

Stop showing off, Nabokov. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

Ed. Note: In our continuing quest to bring you the least crappy product possible, we’d like to welcome Ana Hansen of the blog Hockey Yelling to the RMNB team. Ana, a 22-year-old English major at William & Mary, is witty, creative, and mentally unstable. So uhh you better give her a warm welcome in the comments below or else. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Hello Caps world! In the place of your regularly scheduled coverage you’ve got me tonight. My condolences, but not too many of them, because a hockey game happened, and that’s more important than anything else.

We lost this game, which I hope does not mean that I’m bad luck. I will be carefully monitoring this issue from here on out.

To the game, somewhat reluctantly I guess. We were supposed to win this one. The Islanders are not a particularly lethal team, but when they’re given this much space, even they can stumble into a few goals.

Tavares opened the scoring with a redirection on the PP, and the first person to mention his scoring streak gets a punch in the kisser. Parenteau made it 2-0 on a joint effort from Carlzner, Alzner with the giveaway and Carlson screening his own goalie. You’re welcome, Pareteau. Parenteau converted on the PP for his second of the night but luckily by that point, you were probably too numb to feel it. Caps lose, 3-0. Gross.

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