It’s been a tough week.
Gotta check out SHOE’s interview with Braden Holtby, where he dishes dirt on Alex Semin’s English skills.
Maybe Pinizzotto and Andrew Gordon can carpool together on their way down.
UPDATE 1PM: The good folks in the Capitals organization confirm that five players missed practice, and players are told to stay away if they’re feeling ill as a precaution.
Slumber party. (Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin)
There’s no way the Capitals can lose four in a row, especially if three of the four are held in the friendly climes of Chinatown. Against the Florida Panthers– improbable. With eight powerplay opportunities– inconceivable. Shut out– should be impossible.
Prepare to have your minds blown.
We were scoreless until one second remained in the second period. Michael Frolik plopped a loose puck into a wide-open net. Halfway into the third period, Steve Bernier shoved in another loose puck after two failed attempts. Mike Santorelli converted on a late-game powerplay in a similar breakdown. That’s it. That’s the whole dang scoring recap. You didn’t even see a Capitals player in this paragraph, did you? Panthers beat Caps 3-0.
Don’t we all?*
The Capitals (along with DC101’s Elliot Segal and Alan May) participated in the laudable Toys for Tots at Toys R Us, and there’s awesome video. File this alongside Caps-in-police uniforms, pouring beer for charity, and skating with kiddies: nice for the community, but severely undercutting the bloodthirsty, grandmother-kicking reputation we want for our team.
More silly pics behind the jump.
Mathieu Perreault is the bright spot in this tough loss. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Former Caps coach Ron Wilson brought his Toronto Maple Leafs to town looking for some redemption in their beleaguered season. The Washington Capitals meanwhile searched for the first win in their so-far unsuccessful extended home stand and switched up their roster to handle injuries from Sloan, Erskine, Steckel. With Hershey hotshot Mathieu Perreault (hereafter Matthew Perot) pinching in, it looked for a while like the goal-crazy Caps of seasons past had returned. But they leaned back in the third period, and… well, I don’t really have the heart to tell you.
Matty got on the big board on his first shift– less than three minutes into the game, deflecting a wrister off Tom Poti from the paint. Clarke MacArthur responded by shaking off John Carlson and teasing Neuvirth with a pause. It took two swings for Mike Knuble to earn a powerplay goal, the 249th of his career, and regain the lead. Perry struck back from the circles after waiting for a screen. Alex Ovechkin scored a whizzer of a wristshot to give the Caps an insurmountable 4-1 lead. Well, sorta. Mikhail Grabovksi, Tim Brent, and Clarke MacArthur each found their chances to exploit the snoozing home team, evening it up in the final 90 seconds. Overtime came and went. The shootout proved to be Mikhail Grabovski’s shining moment– as a spinarama escaped Michael Neuvirth’s pads. Leafs beat Caps 5-4 (SO).
It’s not like the Washington Capitals have a hard time getting pumped up for a intra-division game. Facing the Atlanta Thrashers at home tonight, the Caps put a season-high 46 pucks on net (with another 20 attempted). But Ondrej Pavelec stood like a giant in the Atlanta net, turning away all but one of those pucks. At least it wasn’t a shutout.
Rich Peverly deflected a monster shot from Byfuglien to create the first goal of the night. Penalty engine Alex Burmistrov recorded the second goal, a brilliant chip shot from no angle. At the end of a long shift in Atlanta territory, Alex Ovechkin ended his nine-game goal drought with a one-timer assisted by the other Alex. After David Steckel took a controversial kneeing penalty, Andrew Ladd took only eight seconds to score the game’s final goal. Bummer. Thrashers beat Caps 3-1.
Mike Ribeiro punishes the Caps for one of their many penalties. (Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez)
The Washington Capitals have just played their second game in as many days. Facing the surging, workman-like Dallas Stars, the Caps debuted their newly acquired defender Scott Hannan. But the Stars saw the Caps coming.
Mike Ribeiro connected on the fourth of five Dallas powerplays. The Caps did not respond until the third period, when Mike Knuble one-timed the puck from the weak side off a great pass from Mike Green. Only twenty seconds later, Brandon Segal undid Knuble’s work and reset the Stars’ lead. In the final ten seconds, John Carlson scored the GTG goal only to be waved off for interference against a crease-crowding Alex Ovechkin. Well done, officials. You have bested our Caps again. Stars beat Caps 2-1.
Varlamov takes on all comers. (Photo credit: Tom Gannam)
[Ed. note: Peter has a fever and is kind of loopy. Go easy on him.]
Tonight the Washington Capitals had their first chance to exact vengeance on Jaroslav Halak since he shut the Caps down in the playoffs. Now suiting up with the St. Louis Blues, Halak is the most foreboding embodiment of the Capitals’ postseason woes besides perhaps the Caps themselves. In an uneven effort, the Caps managed to exorcise- at least partially- those Halak-faced demons. But the big story was Semyon Varlamov, who padded his highlight reel with some improbable, firecracker saves.
Brooks Laich scored a PPG on the Caps second shot of the night, a high puck right up in Halak’s face. Boyd Gordon recorded his first tally of the year by Jedi-mind-tricking Halak to bobble the puck in himself for the second time this year. The Blues woke up with a screened spin-shot from Alexander Steen that Varly never saw coming. In the third period, Knuble and Backstrom swapped roles: near the paint, 19 converted the rebound off 22’s high-slot slapshot. In the final minute, with the Blues net abdicated, Alex Ovechkin gave Nick Backstrom the empty-net goal layup. Caps beat Blues 4-1.
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