Slump Round-up

March 10th, 2009

I’m not panicking about the losing streak. Here’s what the Washington media and blog-types have to say about the Caps’ recent slump. I agree with the spirit of Peerless’s take: You can’t win them all.

Post: Boudreau Urges Capitals to Be More Aggressive

Times: Boudreau adjusting his tone with Caps

Peerless: The Plight of the Division Leader

Caps 5, Panthers 3. Kozlov scores? Yes!

January 20th, 2008

Ovy and Backstrom are pleased with the standings.This was a perfect Saturday night hockey game in DC. The Caps were killing in the first, slacking in the second, and dominating in the third. Similarly, we watching at home (and probably twofold for those in attendance) were cheering, shaking our heads, and staring in disbelief respectively.

Excluding the scary second-period wakeup call during which Florida came back to tie the game after being down by 3 going into the middle frame, the Capitals looked like a truly elite team on the Verizon Center ice. The final 5-or-so minutes were unbelievable, with puck movement and possession the likes of which Caps fans usually only see when watching Detroit play on Versus.

If it wasn’t for Tomas Vokoun, the score could have been 10 – 3.

Read on »

Ovechkin: Cap for Life - 13 years, $124 million

January 10th, 2008

Wear it forever, Ovy. Wear it forever.Well maybe not that long. But Tarik El-Bashir at the Post says in his blog that the deal is done. He witnessed the hand-shaking and paper-signing and everything is now official.

At the Season Ticket Holders meeting, Ted Leonsis announced that the Ovechkin contract was indeed for 13 years at $124 million, the richest contract in hockey history. So Nashville, Toronto, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Montreal… Tough break, but maybe you’ll have better luck next decade.

And to George McPhee, please sign this man next:

I'm Mike Green and I need a contract, please.

Photo of Alex and Alex from OffWingPhoto.com

Caps 0, Boston 2. Beatable indeed!

January 6th, 2008

This was another one of those games where the Caps look strong, are looking to keep rolling with a lot of momentum, and then fall flat.

It was against Boston this time, losers of 6 of their last 7 coming into the game. They can now say that they are winners of 2 straight as they grinded over the Caps tonight. It was mostly a game of turnovers, shutdowns, and pretty solid goaltending on both ends. Unfortunately, sometimes the team that’s breaking a losing streak beats the team that’s trying to continue a wining streak. Read on »

Caps 3, Lightning 2. Back on the stick.

December 27th, 2007

After losing a perfect opportunity to make some real headway in the standings against the Canadiens and Islanders, the Caps finally come away with 2 points in yesterday’s game against the Lightning.

It wasn’t as much as a close one as the score would suggest, but the deciding goal was scored with only a few minutes left in regulation. It was a nail-biting scenario actually, as the goal went up for review for a while before officials finally called it good. The controversy was over a net being shoved off the pegs (conveniently by a Tampa D-man) right as the puck was pinballing over the goal line.

The goal stood though, and the Caps held on to edge past the Lightning, whose recently recalled goalie Ramo put on a great showing. It was a fun game to watch and a good first game for newly non-interim head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Read on »

Caps 2, Canadiens 5. Yikes.

December 21st, 2007

I think a few quotes from the Caps after the game sum this game up just fine.

Bruce Boudreau: “You are going to make mistakes. It’s making the mistakes and recovering from them [that matters]. [The Canadiens made] a lot of mistakes but they got away with them because we couldn’t finish… Sometimes you have to have that save at the right time.”

Kolzig: “It seemed like every shot they had was a chance that ended up in the net. As a goalie you hate those nights because you look at the stat sheet and say, ‘ Boy, what did [I] do tonight?‘ It’s an awful feeling.”

Yes, almost every shot did end up in the net. 5 of 21, to be exact. Just about a quarter of the shots went in. A save percentage of .761. Kinda pathetic.

Kolzig: “We had our chances at the other end. Give Huet credit; he played well. But they also suffocated us around the net pretty well and we weren’t allowed to get any secondary chances.”

It would be nice if our defensemen could suffocate guys in front of the net, instead of leaving them so wide open that they could have turned a backflip before shooting into the empty net, TOM POTI.

It’s one thing to lose a game to a better team (Detroit) and put on a good showing. It’s a something completely different to lose against a team that you should be able to beat while putting on a good showing on one end of the ice only. I guess that’s what dumb penalties and laziness gets you, though.

Read on »

Skating with Jurcina and Laich

December 19th, 2007

Juice's Jockeys.Well, not WITH, but definitely on the same sheet of ice.

Yesterday I went to Kettler Capitals Iceplex to get an hour or so of ’stick n shoot’ time as I often do when not working. When I was paying for the session, I heard a hard crossbar hit and then saw a puck come flying out of the Capitals rink to land about three feet away from the front desk. I looked on the ice and there were Milan Jurcina and Brooks Laich with the two or three civilian guys that were already out on the ice for the stick n shoot.

Brooks Laich was wearing his practice uniform, white jersey. Milan Jurcina on the other hand was wearing extremely short red spandex undershorts and a matching spandex t-shirt. And that was all. Another skater asked me who those two were (I told him), and why on earth Jurcina was in his underoos. I speculated that it was probably due to him being European.

The pair were basically just messing around, though they did work on deflections for about 5 or 10 minutes. It’s funny to watch a 6′5″ Slovak shoot bombs from the blueline in his underpants. GM George McPhee came down and talked to the boys for a few minutes, too. The only interaction I had with the guys was a little give-and-go with Brooks Laich. I didn’t want to bother them. Especially scantily-clad Milan, who seemed to be having the time of his life.

They left the ice after about 45 minutes. I then saw Bruce Boudreau walk by while I was cranking one-timers. I waved to him from the ice, and he was nice enough to smile and wave back before continuing on his way. This is the sort of stuff that used to happen when I lived in Piney Orchard, where I had the opportunity to skate with Peter Bondra, Mike Eagles, and Jim Carey one Easter. Makes me nostalgic and even more excited for the game tomorrow! GO CAPS!

Caps 3, Red Wings 4 - Shootout. One point? Sounds good!

December 17th, 2007

Yet another in a string of great games for Washington. From the get-go, the Caps applied great pressure and even had the Red Wings on their heels. It was a physical game too, with unlikely contributors like Brian Pothier laying guys out in the neutral zone.

These are the kind of games that the Capitals need to play if they’re going to jump up the divisional and league standings. I’m excited for the game on Thursday, which I am happy to be attending live.

Read on »

Caps 3, Lightning 2. Right back in it!

December 16th, 2007

Brent Johnson: No sweat.The Capitals rode the wave of varied scoring to wash over the Lightning in another closely contested game. This victory makes Washington winners of 4 in their last 5, something that is refreshing to be able to say.

Alex Ovechkin’s point scoring streak came to an end, but it didn’t matter much. Goals from the second, third, and back lines proved enough to take this one from a Tampa team that is very tough to beat at home. Combine that with solid goaltending by Brent Johnson, and we have the beginning of Washington’s next winning streak.

Read on »

Caps 3, Sabres 5. Dissapointing, to say the least.

December 14th, 2007

Buffalo Cows.What a terrible third period by the Capitals. They let in a big softie almost immediately at the start, falling behind for the first time in the game. They get the luckiest of breaks for the tying goal. Then they absolutely fall apart and spend almost the entire remainder of the period in their own end. Maybe they’re tired from playing so much this week, but there’s really no excuse for letting your opponents make you look bad the way the Caps did.

This third period was made even more disappointing by the fact that Washington played like winners for the most part of the two previous frames. They kept up with the speedy Sabres, shut down their power play, and got their own man-advantage unit to click for the first time in a while.

But dumb breakdowns at the ends of the first and second and the entirety of the third led to the home team’s downfall on this evening.

Read on »