Joel Ward is Going to the Stanley Cup Finals


Nine days ago, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan lamented the loss of Joel Ward during his season-ending press conference.

“I mean, you know, we miss Ward. Joel Ward — he’s the kind of guy we needed in the playoffs,” MacLellan said. “You know, you make changes, and he’s a guy that we wanted back and we didn’t get back. We missed that skill set.”

Wednesday night, the Big Cheese punched his ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals with his new team, the San Jose Sharks. And he was clutch af.

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Sharks beat Caps 5-2: Just Come Home


The Washington Capital’s late-night road trip is finally over, but it did not end in victory. The San Jose Sharks were plainly the better team on Saturday night/Sunday morning, so any talk of locking down a playoff spot will have to wait.

Heyyyy the Caps surrendered the first goal. Klaxons and sirens and Wolf Blitzer shouting at you or whatever. This time it was Jumbo Joe, popping in a rebound on Grubauer. TJ Oshie recorded his 21st goal in the second period, but then the Caps gave up a shorty to Marleau. A Burakovsky-to-Kuznetsov-to-Williams series tied the game after forty minutes.

Joe Pavelski scored on an early third-period power play, followed shortly by a deflection by Dainius Zubrus off Brenden Dillon’s shot. Brent Burns got the empty-netter. Real bad final frame by the visitors.

Sharks beat Caps 5-2. At least it wasn’t a one-goal game!

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Caps at Sharks Pregame: Last Rites For Our Late Nights

Paul Martin, Evgeny Kuznetsov

Photo: Nick Wass

Hello from RMNB, where we’re all having nervous breakdowns at the same time.

Tonight the Caps wrap up their west coast jaunt in San Jose, where they’re expected to get stomped as per tradition. But the Capitals have been defying expectations of late. Their record in one-goal games is still astonishing, and they’ve clutched victory– or at least a standings point– in both their Californian games this week.

Caps at Shark at 10:30 PM on CSN Plus. After this there’s only one more late game, and it’s not until April, we promise.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 49-13-5 51.5% 101.7 23.7% (1st) 84.5% (4th)
San Jose Sharks 37-24-6 51.4% 100.1 21.9% (7th) 79.6% (22nd)

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Ovi-less Caps Get Demolished by Sharks 5-0


Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

With both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom out of the lineup for the first time in years and a mighty Sharks team crashing Verizon Center, it looked like the Caps might have a tough Tuesday. They did.

Just like Saturday, the first period did not go well for the Capitals, with the Sharks peppering Braden Holtby with shot after shot. The Caps got a few odd-man rushes, but nothing else. Joe Thornton converted on San Jose’s zone time with a tip in front of Holtby, putting the Sharks up 1-0 after one. The Caps were lucky it wasn’t worse.

But soon it was. Just two minutes and 36 seconds into the second, Mike Brown (no relation to Katie) popped in a rebound after Chris Tierney skated past a collection of Caps and crashed Braden’s crease. Less than five minutes later, Tomas Hertl made it 3-0 on another rebound put-back, set up by some nice forechecking.

Later in the period, we finally got some good news. Dmitry Orlov scored his first goal since March of last year. Alas, they’ve got this new-fangled coach’s challenge thing in the NHL now and Sharks coach Peter DeBoer used it. And then referee Tim Peel misused it. No goal. Nothing in the third, save for two empty netters. Pretty dumb game. Sharks blank Caps 5-0.

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Late-Night Firewagon: Caps beat Sharks 5-4 (OT)


For years, the Caps and the Sharks played a similar style of hockey that is exhausting but entertaining: fast end-to-end hockey with lots of goals in both directions. Some people hate that (e.g. coaches), but I love it. We got more of that on late Wednesday/early Thursday as Washington and San Jose played hot potato with the lead for three periods and then some.

Jay Beagle scored first, of course he did, by sweeping in a rebound from Brooks Orpik, who in turn was set up by Michael Latta’s strong play behind the net. Brent Burns returned fire in the second period with two goals inside half a minute. Alex Ovechkin served up Troy Brouwer to tie it in the second, but Logan Couture’s wraparound gave San Jose the lead headed into the third.

Jay Beagle got his second goal of the game after an official set a pick for him, and then John Carlson established the lead with six and a half minutes left. Joe Thornton knotted it up just a bit later, beating Holtby on the short side. That pushed us to overtime, where Joel Ward crashed the net for the win!

Caps beat Sharks 5-4 in overtime!

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Caps at Sharks Pregame: Fathers’ Trip Begins

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Washington Capitals

Brown vs Volpatti, last season (Photo: Geoff Burke)

The Capitals have had two full days and then some to recover from that lowly effort against the Philadelphia Flyers. That loss capped off a successful but busy week for Washington, and now they start another busy week– this time in California, going up against some of the best teams in the league.

For starters: the San Jose Sharks, who the Capitals last year defeated on the road for the first time. Maybe they could do that again?

It’s a late game, so get all your homework done before you tune in. 10:30 PM on NBC Sports.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 28-16-10 52.4% 100.4 23.1% 80.4%
San Jose Sharks 28-20-7 51.9% 99.1 20.6% 81.5%

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Let’s hope this goes better this time around (Photo: Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports)

Pity poor San Jose. So close to San Francisco, and yet so powerfully, profoundly uncool. So flooded with tech start-ups and venture capital money, yet unable to afford anything interesting downtown. So little meth, so much meh.

The exception that proves the rule in this case is the San Jose Sharks. Even before the era of the awesome Todd McLellan, the Sharks were and remain perennial challengers in the playoffs. Their roster isn’t exactly packed with brand-name star power, but that hasn’t held them back any– this year or those previous. Hey, any team that takes the ice through the mouth of a giant shark while Metallica blares is OK in our book.

Both the Sharks and the Caps might enter tonight’s game thinking they’ve got a little something to prove. For our part, Sunday’s smothering by the filthy Flyers at Verizon stung– at least, we hope it stung enough for the Caps to step up their game.

Today we have the treat of hearing from David Pollak, who covers the San Jose Sharks like a blanket for the San Jose Mercury News, with his views of Todd McLellan’s squad, and how things might shake out at the Shark Tank tonight.

Pollak is one of the sharpest hockey reporters around, and better still, he didn’t make fun of us for our lame questions.

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The Cardiac Caps are Back: Sharks beat Caps 6-5 (SO)

Patrick McDermott

Irwin is an anteater. (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

It’s started as badly as you could imagine. After just 10 minutes, the Caps trailed the San Jose Sharks 3-0. But a stirring effort in the second period brought the Caps within striking distance. Remember, last season, when the Caps would go down two goals and you knew it was over? Well, now that’s over.

Matt Irwin connected for two in the game’s first five minutes, followed up by John Scott (seriously) five minutes later. Holtby out, Peters in.

The Caps got three back in the second period, including Ovi’s third of the year, but the Sharks led 4-3 going into the third.

Tommy Wingels kicked off the third period with either a hardnose goal or Carlson and Orpik just gave up. No matter, Ovi neutralized it with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot with under 10 minutes remaining. Troy Brouwer stalked up to Niemi’s net like a panther before tying the game from the slot.

Overtime was thrilling but didn’t give us a result, so…

Shootout bullets!

  • Backstrom did NOT put the biscuit in the basket
  • Marleau did NOT put the biscuit in the basket
  • Kuznetsov did NOT put the biscuit in the basket
  • Pavelski put the biscuit in the basket
  • Fehr did NOT put the biscuit in the basket

Sharks beat Caps 6-5 in the shootout.

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Caps vs Sharks Pregame: The Caps and the Captainless


Ovi got two on Saturday, but it’s a long, hard road to the Richard. And, oh yeah, the playoffs. Coming to Verizon Center at 7 PM are the undefeated San Jose Sharks, perhaps the most Caps-like team in the league when it comes to playoff disappointment.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-1 48.5% 108 22.2% 100%
San Jose Sharks 2-0-0 46.9% 113 8.3% 100%

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21 Years Later, Caps beat Sharks 3-2 (SO)


Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez

There we were– at #RMNBParty6, pretending like we knew how to recap a game when really we had spent 87% of the night discussing World of Warcraft and prom dresses. Somewhere in the middle there we watched a hockey game between the Washington Capitals and the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are and were a great team, but the Caps had a certain degree of scrappiness– a certain I do not know what– to buck 21 years of losery.

The Caps kicked it off with a goal attributed to Joel Ward Eric Fehr though technically an own goal. Then Patrick Marleau struck back. James Sheppard put the Sharks up, but the fourth line did good to tie it in the third. That was Chris Brown’s first career goal.

Overtime yielded no decision so the game went to the shootout.

Kuznetsov scored. Fehr did not. Backstrom sunk it, ending a 21-year losing streak in San Jose and taking 5 of 6 points from a California road trip.

Wow. Holtby, am I right?

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