On February 19, 2015, In Pregame, By Peter Hassett
I thought a picture of Ovechkin laughing is appropriate right now.
The Capitals are finally home after their longest road trip of the season. The Caps took 6 out of 8 standings points on that trip. That smiling goof in the GIF above– he scored 8 points.
And yet the team still isn’t where want them. Holding onto a wild card spot is too humble. The Caps will play three of their next four at home and against three division teams. Now would be a good time to climb the standings.
Let’s start with the Winnipeg Jets, who aren’t really as bad as I have said. Puck drop at 7 PM on CSN.
On February 6, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Alex Brandon
The Washington Capitals knew they needed points badly going into the Olympic break, and this game against the Winnipeg Jets seemed like a prime opportunity to get them. One problem: they didn’t really have the ingredients to make it happen. With Grabovski and Green out, Neuvirth sick, and a whole bunch of Hershey squirts filling out the blueline, the Caps had to get a little lucky to get two points out of this one.
Troy Brouwer put Marcus Johansson’s pass in the net about five minutes into the game, but a defensive-zone turnover tied it back up (Erat helped).
Dustin Byfuglien gave the Jets the lead in the second with a pretty goal allowed by some weak Capitals defense, but Tom Wilson evened it up in the third period by catching a rebound low in the slot. Alex Ovechkin recorded number 40 with a dirty one with 12 minutes left, and Troy Brouwer made it a two-goal game with a pretty sweet backhand move.
Playing the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Troy Brouwer scored a powerplay goal — his third of the year — off a pretty, pretty pass from Nicklas Backstrom. Brouwer got mobbed by his teammates, skated back towards the bench, and… hey wait a second.
On October 22, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
“In the shower I use a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask, which I leave on for ten minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine.” (Photo: Jonathan Kozub)
The Capitals finally got the heck out of Dodge following a miserable homestand. The first game of their road trip found them in frosty Winnipeg, where the Capitals hoped to rid themselves of the gremlins in their defense and get an easy win from a soft opponent.
Haha. As if.
We were goalless until Mikhail Grabovski broke the tedium four minutes into the second period, sweeping a rebound home. The Caps swiftly surrendered that lead on a shorty by Bryan Little. To make junk worse, Andrew Ladd tipped in a Grant Clitsome shot just 70 seconds later. Luckily the Caps still have one guy who can deliver this season: Alex Ovechkin got two late in the second: a breakaway and a set play off the faceoff. Call it the Ovisplosion. Of course, Blake Wheeler knotted it at 3 goals apiece before the buzzer.
Troy Brouwer put then Caps ahead again in the third period, taking a Jedi pass from Nicky Backstrom right up in the kanooblian paint. Little got his second of the night a bit later as the Caps were unable to escape their own zone.
Into overtime we came and went without a result.
Wheeler had nothing for Holtby.
Grabo musta left the smooth moves elsewhere on his attempt.
Little’s attempt got kicked away.
Ovi couldn’t get a nibble from Pavelec.
Ladd beat Holtby stick-side to put the dirty Peg up.
Nicky B had a sneaky delay to tie it up and send us into extra rounds.
Jokinen wasn’t jokining with a sly five-holer. (Sorry.)
Brooks Laich roofed it, so kept on going.
Setoguchi got a low one on Holtby.
Troy Brouwer roofed it, so we kept on going.
Evander Kane got denied as the puck rolled on him.
On September 4, 2013, In Preseason, By Peter Hassett
Winnipeg and DC are 1500 miles apart. The Capitals spanned that distance five times in the last two seasons, but thanks to the glory of realignment, that number will be just ONE in 2013-14.
Winnipeg is actually closer to LA than DC, but when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated in 2011, Winnipeg kept its spot in the Southeast Division because reasons. That sucked– not just for players, who endured long plane rides to the exotic and un-parked realm of Manitoba, but also for fans who had to wait until 10 PM later for the puck to drop in an interdivisional game. No more. In 2013-14, the Caps will have five 10 PM starts, and they’re clustered together in two convenient trips to the Western Conference.
Winnipeg is no longer in the southeast, and all is right in the world. On behalf of the Association of American Geographers, I’d like to thank Gary Bettman for the sudden outbreak of cartographical sanity.
On April 23, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
MVP. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)
And so we said goodnight to the Southeast Division. With one last dance between the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets (née Atlanta Thrashers), the stakes were a division title and a guaranteed ticket to the postseason dance for the home team. It was a barn-burning good time, which doesn’t sound like a good time if you own a barn but you don’t so it was. The Capitals came out of the gates shooting and hardly stopped to catch their breath. All four lines were clicking, and that’s exactly the kind of hockey we want to see one week before the playoffs start.
Alex Ovechkin is the best.
Caps beat Jets 5-3. The Capitals make the playoffs. The Capitals are Southeast Division champions.
On March 22, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Eff you. Brouwer is an anteater. (Photo credit: Travis Golby)
On Thursday, the Washington Capitals beat the Winnipeg Jets by coming out shooting and then protecting the lead. On Friday night’s insta-rematch, the Caps didn’t own the puck by any measure, but they did carpet bomb the Thrashers so decisively that no one noticed. Goals went like this: Brooks, Brouwer, Beagle– and then Ovi and Green jumped in to disrupt the literary consonance– and then Byfuglien, and then Ovi again for some kind of poetic unity. It was a blowout when the Capitals needed it most.
Okay, maybe they coulda used it more at the beginning of the season. Sure. No no no, that’s a fair point. I hear you. Yeah. Okay. Listen I don’t wanna fight tonight. It’s Friday and the Caps won and won big. Can’t we all just get along?
On March 21, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Marianne Helm
The Southeast Division Farewell Tour kicked off with a battle between the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets. The Capitals managed to continue their strong five-on-five play from Tuesday and convert it into two early goals. Big Buff and the Jets tried to mount a comeback, but the Caps stuck two more daggers in ‘em instead. And oh yeah: Braden Holtby had his fourth perfect game this year.
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.