On January 14, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Rob Carr
So ends a very successful home stand for the Washington Capitals. Defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in #rego, the Caps earned their seventh consecutive win at Verizon Center. It was all but decided in the first three minutes, but we went ahead and did another 57 minutes for fun.
When Jason Chimera notched a goal just three minutes into the game, we thought we’d have a goal-scoring bonanza on our hands. Instead, we went the distance without another entry on the scoresheet. I think we can all agree that’s okay.
Caps beat Flyers 1-0! Braden Holtby records his fourth shutout of the year!
On January 8, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Kuzy’s face (Photo: Bruce Bennett)
Did we expect anything better from Capitals at Flyers? The road-weary Caps played bad hockey and still got a point, thanks to our friends in black and white stripes and our old buddy PDO. Lemme tell you ’bout it.
Things started off well enough when Alex Ovechkin notched a power-play goal off an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. The Flyers tied it up with a casual goal by Sean Couturier against Green-Schmidt and the fourth line. Then nothing happened for a long time.
In the third, Karl Alzner sent a shot from the blue line that Nick Backstrom deflected in to restore Washington’s lead. It didn’t last. R.J. Umberger scored on a one-timer after Holtby failed to settle a bounce from behind, pushing this one to overtime.
Listen up, you ignorant lemmings! You think the Caps are good just because they’re on a 103-point pace and haven’t lost a game since the late 80s? Well, you gotta be better than good to beat the Philadelphia Flyers. You think, just ’cause they’re 24th in puck possession, the Capitals are gonna run roughshod over ‘em?
But the Caps are on the back half of a road back-to-back, and the Flyers are gonna do nasty stuff after the whistle, so really anything can happen.
“We play a system where teams get probably more shots the way we play but most of them are from the outside, we’ll allow those. In some ways that might be better for this particular goaltender.”
This is not the sort of thing a professional hockey person outside of Toronto should say. This is not a thing that any grownup with even a passing acquaintance with the concept of probability should say.
Allowing more shots is never good. Every shot carries with it a discrete chance that it could go in the net. More shots: more goals.
And the Caps don’t possess some newly discovered, sui generis ability to limit their opponents’ shot quality with reliability. If they did, we’d see it in the stats. So George McPhee should not be saying the equivalent of “We let the other guy take a crazy ton of shots because we’re the first team in hockey history that is actually magical.”
Nope, nope, nope. And Wednesday’s loss to Philadelphia is evidence of the cosmic wrongness.
This is the “game” recap. I’m putting game in scare quotes, because I don’t know what the cram happened during this Philadelphia Flyers-Washington Capitals …event. The Caps looked like a clown trying to fight off a direwolf with a whiffle bat for the first 45 minutes. And then– and I have no idea how they did it– they started stabbing their way back.
Here’s the part where I summarize the scoring. I don’t wanna do it. It’s like that episode where Josh Lyman is talking to Adam Arkin and he can’t differentiate music from gunshots. Okay, here goes (deep breath.)
Claude Giroux feasted on a puck stolen from Hillen for number one. Jakub Voracek snuck one through traffic. Claude got another, and then Adam Hall. Forgive me for not remembering how: rage blackouts. Joel Ward got the Caps on the board, followed by an Ovi goal from the Ovi spot and a dart from Troy Brouwer. All of a sudden, the blowout was a one-goal game.
But then Voracek got away from the Caps defense — namely Mike Green Eric Fehr– by using the rarely seen technique of skating. 5-3. Brooks Laich tapped a Mike Green shot to make it 5-4, but then Steve Downie got the empty-netter.
The Washington Capitals wrapped up a weekend of early games by taking on the Philadelphia Flyers at noon on–
[NBC CHIMES DROWN OUT REST OF INTRODUCTION]
— my grandmother riding by on a bicycle giving me the finger, and a duck!
The Caps and Flyers are a resurgent rivalry that rarely leaves us lacking drama. This was no exception.
Dmitry Orlov capped off some great zone time by putting a one-timer past Steve Mason. Claude Giroux tied it up with an in-and-out goal that took 90 seconds of game time before the refs figured it out. Marcus Johansson got in the paint to deflect in Jason Chimera’s pass as a power play expired. Nick Backstrom won a scramble with Steve Mason, but the war room in Toronto didn’t have enough evidence to overturn the no-goal call.
Alex Ovechkin abandoned the puck behind the net during a power play, allowing Adam Hall to tie the game with a shorty, but no worries: Jay Beagle got a pass off Joel Ward to score from exactly zero feet out. Dmitry Orlov got his second goal with a nice little mudskipper of a shot from the blue line and through some traffic up front.
Jakub Voracek scored on a screened Holtby during Orlov’s five-minute major penalty and then set up Giroux for the game-tying goal with just over a minute left.
On December 17, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Len Redkoles
All I wanted from this Capitals-Flyers game was a quiet affair, free of histrionics, that ended in a regulation win. After what feels like weeks of the cardiac Caps and their inconceivable comebacks, I need the hockey equivalent of warm milk and a Downton Abbey marathon. Despite my earnest pleadings, I was denied a calm, drama-free night. Instead I got a decent hockey game that devolved into something dumb and violent. And not dumb and violent in a fun, hockey way– where there’s lots of big, clean hits and chirping. No, we got the kind with the post-whistle scrums, the fights that lead to injuries, and the bad hits that lead to injuries and suspensions. Dumb.
In perhaps his most sedate goal yet, Alex Ovechkin put an indifferent backhand past Steve Mason during an early power play in the second period. The Flyers responded immediately– like any true Caps opponent– with a snazzy goal by Jacob Voracek. Then Eric Fehr realized he was wearing his Winter Classic uni and decided to score one of his own, taking a pass from Troy Brouwer below the goal line. Matt Read and company outworked Carlzner and the top line to tie the game again.
Then Tom Wilson put a dirty hit on Brayden Schenn and the Flyers punished the Caps for it. Twice. Wayne Simmonds added to the rout in the third, taking a gimme puck from John Carlson before beating a besieged Braden Holtby.