Power Play Pathetic: Flyers beat Caps 3-1

monumental

Photo: Monumental Network

The imposters dressed as the Washington Capitals did not play up to their kidnapping victims’ standards on Sunday afternoon. Hosting the vastly inferior Philadelphia Flyers (at least, inferior when compared to the real Capitals), the fake Capitals seemed stuck in the mud. Even with a ton of power-play opportunities, the Copita1s couldn’t win this one.

Mark Streit beat Braden Holtby with a deflection late in the first period to put the Flyers up. That lead held for most of the second period, until Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.

Wayne Simmonds scored the game-winner for the Flyers with a great release (and bad coverage by Alzner) just four minutes into the third. Then Jakub Voracek got an empty netter. The Caps played like a butt.

Flyers beat Caps 3-1. Philadelphia phugly.

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NHL: Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

Photo: E Hartline 

I could use this space to talk about how Caps-Flyers games tend to devolve into nastiness and how Washington hasn’t really beaten Philadelphia yet as soundly as they should.

Instead, I want to talk about Al Koken, whose 30 years covering the Caps for CSN (and HTS) will be celebrated today. Is there anyone outside the team who knows them better than Al? He’s an institution; his voice has been a part of my experience with the Caps since the beginning. Before that even: Koken covered the Caps in their inaugural eight-win season.

A lot has changed, including the name of the network he works for. Also we eradicated smallpox somewhere in there.

Sunday’s broadcast will find Al in all sorts of roles: he’ll do play-by-play for one period, analysis for another, and ice-level reporting for the third. Game starts at 3 PM on the station formerly known as Home Team Sports.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 28-15-10 52.5% 100.8 23.4% 80.9%
Philadelphia Flyers 22-22-8 48.5% 100.6 23.3% 75.0%

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Rob Carr

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! 

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Caps vs Flyers Pregame: Can’t Stop Winning

The Caps can’t stop winning. I’ve seen them try to stop winning twice in the last week, but they lost at stopping winning, so they won instead.

Maybe they’ll stop winning at tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but they’ll probably blow it again.

Puck drops at 8 PM, so get some dinner beforehand. Maybe some pasta primavera? Your call. I’m not the boss of you. Game’s on NBC Sportsnet (boooo!).

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 23-11-8 50.9% 100.8 24.0% 79.0%
Philadelphia Flyers 17-19-7 48.4% 100.3 23.3% 74.0%

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Bruce Bennett

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.

Someone in orange scored during OT.

Bleep bloop doop. Whatever. In Overtime.

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: End of the Road (Trip)

pano

Photo: 365 days of april

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?

Yeah, probably.

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.

7 PM on CSN. Crash the net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 21-11-7 52.0% 100.2 23.1% 79.2%
Philadelphia Flyers 15-18-7 48.1% 101.7 22.0% 75.0%

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My friend Steven Frietas did some cool stuff at the preseason game against the Flyers the other night. By now you’ve already seen Amanda Bowen’s beautiful photos, but now please check out some of that same action in slow motion.

My favorite spot is Niskanen, without a stick, smushing R.J. Umberger (I think) into the glass.

Enjoy, and please follow Steven on the Twitters; he’s hilarious.

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mcphee

Yo, I need to draw your attention to this quote from George McPhee, reported by Katie Carrera on Wednesday night.

“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.

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This is Not My Beautiful House: Flyers beat Caps 6-4

Vinny - Matt Slocum

Photo: Matt Slocum

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.

Flyers beat Caps 6-4.

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simmonds-holds-erskine

Simmonds holds Erskine as Lecavalier connects with a haymaker. Disgraceful.

Who had “line brawl” on their Flyers-Capitals bingo card? Really? All of you? Okay, cool.

Well… did you “three dudes jump on Erskine?” Exactly!

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