Archive for the 'NHL' Category

21
Dec
10

Capitals Finally Win

By Jesse Jones

The Washington Capitals were on an eight game losing streak, the longest under coach Bruce Boudreau.  During the streak, the Caps were never outshot, and seemed to have been giving up goals easily.  There was some speculation that if the team kept losing, Boudreau would be fired, despite the fact that the team had won three straight division titles, and was the number one overall seed in the playoffs last year.

One day after a crushing defeat in Boston, the Caps traveled further north to Ottawa to face the Senators.  Things seemed like they were going to remain the same, as the Caps fell into an early 2-0 hole after the first period.  After that, it seemed like the Caps were back.  They scored three goals in the second period, two by Mathieu Perreault, and another by Eric Fehr, and held the Senators scoreless for the rest of the game to win 3-2.

The losing streak was over.

The losing streak has dropped the Caps into third in the division, behind Atlanta and Tampa Bay, and sixth in the conference.  Washington will look to get on track and bounce back to the top of the conference where they belong, starting tonight, as they try to win their second straight game, hosting the New Jersey Devils, a team that beat them 7-0 during the losing streak.  After that, the team will host Pittsburgh Thursday.

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08
Nov
10

Caps Beat Flyers In OT

View from my club level seats last night

By Jesse Jones

The Philadelphia Flyers (9-4-1) came into Washington yesterday to face the Capitals (9-4-0) , who had won three straight games.  Both teams had nearly identical records, and both are sitting atop the East early in the season.

The scoring started in the tenth minute of the first period when the Flyers’ Nikolay Zherdev scored his fourth goal of the season.  In the eighteenth minute, Eric Fehr scored his third goal of the season to tie the game at 1 a piece.

The second period was just the first, as Philly scored first, followed by an Alexander Semin power play goal to tie the game up.

The third period saw no scoring, despite a four minute penalty on Chris Ponger and a two minute penalty on Sean O’Donnell which saw multiple chances for the Caps to take the lead.  At the end of three, the score remained 2-2 and the game took extra minutes.

Minutes were not needed in overtime, only 29 seconds.  Still on the power play, Mike Green scored the game winning goal to give the Caps the 3-2 lead and improve their record to 10-4-0.

Washington outscored the Flyers 39-25 in the game, and goalie Braden Holtby saved 23 shots to help the Capitals win.

The Caps are atop the Southeast division and are now atop the Flyers for first in the East with the tiebreaker.  Both teams have 20 points.

The Caps travel to New York tomorrow to face the Rangers at 7.

12
Oct
10

Caps Start Season 2-1

By Jesse Jones

Last season was supposed to be the season the Washington Capitals won it all. The team had the best offense and the best record in the NHL, and faced the eighth seeded Montreal Canadians In the playoffs. But the team failed to perform in the playoffs, and lost in seven.

Now it’s a new season, and the team is hungrier than ever, as they should be. They have arguably the best player in the league, the best offense, and one of the best coaches. But what’s been lacking was consistent goal tending and defense.  So, in order to make a change, the team let go of goalie Jose Theodore and decided to go with two young net-minders in Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth.

After a 5-1 preseason, the Caps finally took the ice to start the regular season in Atlanta October 8.  Things started out good for the Caps, as Brooks Laich scored the first goal of the season between the two teams.  But the momentum would not hold up, as the Thrashers scored the next 4 out of 5 goals between the two teams, including two by Evander Kane, and the Caps lost the season opener 4-2.

The following day, Washington had their home opener against the New Jersey Devils.  After falling behind 2-1 in the first period, the Caps played lights out and scored six straight goals, including two by Alexander Ovechkin, and Washington got their first win of the season 7-2.

Last night, the Caps had their second straight home game, this time hosting the Ottawa Senators.  Alexander Semin started the scoring in the first period, but the Senators tied the game up in the second.  Shortly after, Eric Fehr scored his second goal of the season to put the Caps up 2-1, before Ottawa tied it up 2-2 in the third, sending the game into overtime.  With 30 seconds left in OT, the captain, Alex Ovechkin , scored the game winning goal, and his third of the year.

After three games, the Washington Capitals have a record of 2-1, and have 4 points in the standings.  The goal tending of Neuvirth has been enough to help solidify the defense in the absence of Varlamov.  The team will look to improve their record and gain more points tomorrow night when they host the New York Islanders.

24
Sep
10

Caps On HBO

sid ovie

By Jesse Jones

The Washington Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in this year’s Winter Classic at Heinz Field January 1, 2011.  It is one of the biggest games of the regular season for the NHL, with two great teams with great young players, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, and not to mention the fact that they are rivals.

Because of all the hype for this game, the NHL has decided that it needs to capitalize on this.  Starting December 15, the NHL and HBO will air four one hour-long episodes on HBO’s series “24/7”.  The show will be just like Hard Knocks, and will follow both teams leading up to the game and after the game.  A lot of behind the scenes action will be showed, and it’s a great chance for fans to see different sides of their favorite teams and players.

The NHL will most certainly grow in popularity because of this show, and once again, the NHL got it right.

29
May
10

Caps-Penguins in 2011 Winter Classic

Picture from Winter Classic in 2008 between the Sabres and Penguins

By Ben Linton

Ovechkin and Crosby. Capitals and Penguins. Two of the biggest player/team rivalries in the sport of hockey will collide on New Years Day at Heinz Field. This will be the fourth installment of the Winter Classic, where teams play an outdoor hockey game, ad element that has been recently implemented to get some buzz growing about the sport.

I really think this is a great thing for the sport of hockey. Recently the sport has gained a lot more notoriety with its superstar players like Ovechkin and Crosby, underdog stories like the (gulp) Canadiens and Flyers (down 3-0 in playoffs, came back to win series), and with this Winter Classic. It seems like hockey is on the rise and headed in the right direction, which is a good thing to see.

18
May
10

Backstrom Signs Huge Deal

nicklas backstrom

By Jesse Jones

Nicklas Backstrom had a huge year for the Washington Capitals this season.  He had career-highs in goals, 33, and assists, 68.  These 101 points propelled him into fourth in the league in points.  He has also played in every game for the past three seasons.

Backstrom’s performance helped the Caps to a record setting regular season (yes, the playoffs were a complete dissappointment), and he was rewarded with a 10-year, $67 million contract with Washington.

This signing is the second huge deal from the Capitals and general manager George McPhee.  Three years ago, Alexander Ovechkin signed a 13-year, $124 million contract.  Ovechkin and Backstrom are the Caps two best players, and now they are with the team for the next decade.

Yes, the regular season success has not been rewarded with much success in the playoffs, but the front office is doing a great job.  They are bringing in guys that want to win, and have the talent to do so.  Washington was so close to having a championship this year, but couldn’t win when it counted.  Now that they have secured the best two players on the team, maybe other stars from the NHL will see the committment from the front office, and help Washington get its first ever Stanley Cup.

28
Apr
10

State of Emergency

By Ben Linton

They have the best record in the National Hockey League. They clinched the number one seed in the east division and home ice throughout the playoffs. They held a streak of 14 consecutive victories at one point this season. They possess the reigning MVP of the league. So why can’t the Washington Capitals put away the Montreal Canadiens like they are supposed to?

Sadly, the NHL’s most dominant team has struggled to put away the eight-seed Montreal Canadiens, leading them to play in a game that will not make, but only break their season. You see, a game seven victory will not even boost to morale of the Capitals team, because they were never supposed to be in such a predicament to begin with. Even if they win, they will still have immense pressure on them to live up to their expectations of hoisting the trophy at the end of the season.

How did they get here? The dreaded powerplay and an opposing goalie that is playing unconscious right now are the main reasons why the Canadiens have stuck around for so long. The Capitals have been plagued by the Canadiens penalty kill and have only scored one goal on a powerplay the whole series, a total of 1 for 30. Washington is also out-shooting Montreal 250 to 178, but have failed to capitalize on these opportunities. Part of this can be credited to Canadiens’ goalie Jarsolav Halak, who holds a .931 save percentage throughout the series and has been an absolute nightmare for the Caps’ offense.  All these things combined has made a recipe for disaster.

So when the Capitals take home ice Wednesday Night, something they have been unable to protect this far into the playoffs, expect a whole different attitude. So much more rides on this game, other than just advancing in the playoffs. The Capitals have been the only bright light in a sports town that has seen its beloved Redskins go 4-12, the Wizards disappoint to an unbelievable degree, and the Nationals possess the worst record in the MLB in 2009. Right now, the Capitals are the only thing sports fans in D.C. have to hold on to. And if the Caps happen to let Game Seven slip, all hope for sports in the nation’s capital may slip as well. Game 7 will be of monumental importance (no pun intended).




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