Tuesday night, Philipp Grubauer posted his first-ever shutout in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. While it was technically Braden Holtby’s night, Grubi proved himself to be a capable backup, stopping all 18 of the Avs’ shots. Grubauer’s efforts were later recognized in the locker room, where he was awarded the Will Over Skill robe.
Yes, you read that correctly. The WILL OVER SKILL robe.
Alright, listen. There was a game and the Caps won, but all I really care about is that Nate Schmidt scored. I’m not gonna play it cool and dedicate just a single, solemn bullet to Nate’s goal because you will all know I’m being disingenuous.
So here, up front, is John Walton calling Nate Schmidt’s goal.
And up top is a photo of him being happy because that’s what he does. That’s what relentlessly positive Nate Schmidt does.
And here’s what I looked like after the goal.
Anyway, the Caps beat the Bruins. John Carlson also scored. Holtby got a shutout. Let’s talk about it.
Caps beat Bruins 2-0.
Photo: Patrick McDermott
The vibe was weird in Friday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals. The Caps were playing for nothing but honor, but the Hawks were jockeying for playoff position. You couldn’t tell by the tilt of the ice. The Caps played a sloppy– but productive– game led by the team’s 1C, Jay Bodenheimer Beagle.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 51st goal of the year on the power play from the remotest bastion of the Ovi Spot. Jay Beagle took two swipes to make it 2-0. Nick Backstrom eliminated the two-goal lead with a no-angle bank shot off Antti Raanta’s buttocks. Beagle struck again before the second period was done because nothing makes sense in an absurd universe upon which all meaning is a deliberate projection.
Nothing in the third. Sorry, Jay.
Caps beat Hawks like a million to nothing.
Photo credit: Jonathan Kozub
Braden Holtby‘s 35-stop afternoon in Manitoba puts him in a three-way tie in shutouts (3) alongside Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Phoenix’s Mike Smith.
I guess the first thing I should say is that shutouts, while awesome, are kind of a silly way to evaluate a goalie. Goalies don’t control the number of shots they face, just the percentage of that number they stop. That in mind, I thought we’d do a quick comparison of how these guys came to be the league’s shutout leaders.
Photo credit: John Woods
The Washington Capitals looked like a troubled team before Saturday’s game at the Winnipeg Jets. With a grinder on their top line, a goal-scorer in Wojtek Wolski scratched in favor of a tough guy, and more injured players than you can shake a groin at, expectations were low for the early afternoon rumble in Manitoba. For twenty minutes, those expectations were met, and then the Capitals took control of their destiny and looked like a damn fine hockey club.
And oh yeah: Braden Holtby.
Caps beat Jets 3-0.
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
After letting the Jets steal two points on Friday, the Washington Capitals direly needed a win against the Minnesota Wild to keep them off the golf course come April 8th. Aware of this fact, the Capitals played a smart game– even after getting the lead.
A little over 30 minutes in, Alex Semin accelerated into the Wild zone and set up Jason Chimera for a smart opening goal. Mathieu Perreault crashed the net for a goal on an undeserved power play. Alex Ovechkin did the Alex Ovechkin thing in the third. Caps beat Wild 3-0.
Photo: Greg Fiume
The Washington Capitals reclaimed the Southeast Division lead with a thunderous victory over the Florida Panthers, who kind of sucked. It’s possible that the Panthers expected to play the doughy 2011-2012 Capitals. When the Caps came out all tumescent instead, the Cats were probably bewildered. Great game.
Mathieu Perreault scored on the games first shot, a plucky shut set up by Jason Chimera just 13 seconds into the game. Alex Ovechkin zipped past the Florida D to convert on the power play. Jason Chimera opened the second period with a shorthanded goal, his second of the year. 10 minutes later, Alex Ovechkin’s blazing fast wrister surprised Scott Clemmensen. No goals in the third period. Caps beat Cats 4-0.
Photo credit: Francois Lacasse
On Saturday afternoon The Washington Capitals got to feed at the trough of the league’s sideshow, the Montreal Canadiens. That doesn’t mean this game was zany and fun or anything, just kind of sad.
Dennis Wideman scored off the faceoff, firing a weird knuckle puck that dropped behind Peter Budaj. The Caps held Montreal scoreless through a sloppy second period. Matt Hendricks swept in a goal on a yawning net to make it 2-0. Alex Semin drew a penalty shot and slapped home the three-spot goal. Caps beat Habs 3-0.
Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz
The Washington Capitals invaded Montreal like pillaging barbarians, and they only needed 16 shots to do it.
Hometown boy Mathieu Perreault ripped a wrist-shot high on Carey Price’s far side to score in the first five minutes. Marcus Johansson had to fence with Andrei Kostitsyn, but he got a shot off to make it 2-0. Alex Ovechkin’s puck slipped through a few legs during a supersized power play. Caps beat Habs 3-0.
Photo credit: Jonathan Kozub
After Tuesday’s crushing defeat, the Washington Capitals hoped a trip to the frozen north and the Winnipeg Jets would bring good fortune. It was a tight one. A goalie’s duel. A game of inches.
We were scoar-less forever until Alex Ovechkin fired off Marcus Johansson’s tee-up. Caps beat Jets 1-0. Shut out for Michal Neuvirth!
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