For the third year in a row, Alex Ovechkin won the Breakaway Challenge in the NHL All-Star Skills Challenge last night in Raleigh, NC. In a competition judged by the fans by text voting, each shooter took four breakaway attempts. Ovechkin faced off against goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins. On his winning shot, Ovie used the butt end of his stick to control the puck in over the blue line, then dropped to his knees before flipping the stick around and deking past Fleury to score on the backhand. He won with 39% of the fan votes.
The All-Star Game is today at 4PM. The Caps return to action Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center.
In Canada, the big sport is ice hockey, and it doesn’t get any bigger than “Hockey Night in Canada” in Toronto. Think Monday Night Football in Dallas or Green Bay.
The Caps arrived in town to face the Maple Leafs after a couple of shaky road games and with a minor league goaltender. Alex Ovechkin, who loves a big stage – led the Caps to victory with a hat trick, and rookie goalie Braden Holtby stopped 36 shots as Washington defeated Toronto 4-1 on Saturday night.
None of Ovechkin’s goals were the type of highlight-reel material that Caps fans have come to expect from the Great 8. He scored on a tip in, a rebound, and an empty net. But the common thread was Ovi’s hustle, positioning and discipline – characteristics that are becoming the defining features of the 2011 Capitals. “It’s the only way we’re going to win,” said coach Bruce Boudreau. “Grinding games out is what we’ve been doing lately. We’ll probably continue to do it. … It might not be the most exciting brand of hockey in the world, but everybody seems to like winning hockey these days, so that’s what we have to do.” Continue reading →
Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green are NHL All-Stars. Should the Capitals have had some more? Well, perhaps there is this one guy . . .
At one point this year it seemed like Alexander Semin was a no-brainer All-Star. Through November he was by far the MVP of the Capitals and it looked like in a contract year he was going to play motivated hockey. He was hitting, he was moving his feet and most importantly, he was lighting the lamp.
But, when it comes to end results, it has been effective hockey.
The first period against the Panthers on Saturday night at Verizon Center was atrocious. Washington played a cute but ultimately inefficient style of hockey for the first 20 minutes before grinding through the final two periods to seal a 3-2 victory over Florida.
For most of the night actually, the Capitals were almost laughably bad. Drop passes turned into self-zone clears. Back passes turned into partial Panther breaks and rushes. Giveaways were rampant (12 on the night against the Panthers three) and play was overall sloppy. It was not one of the beautiful games.
There were a few snow flakes in D.C. on Friday, the first of the season and a reminder that Father Winter is just starting his yearly torment.
On Saturday, Washington was hit by an Avalanche.
The Capitals dropped their fifth straight game on Saturday, losing 3-2 to Colorado before the 78th consecutive sellout at Verizon Center.
To be fair to the Caps, they actually played pretty well.
Washington outshot the Avalanche 42-26. Hits were tied at 25 each. The Caps had a solid 13 takeaways. In the third period, attempting to climb out of a 3-1 hole, they dominated the Avalanche zone, forcing Colorado’s young team to hold on for dear life in the last ten minutes of the game, barely squeaking away as the Capitals repeatedly banged on netminder Craig Anderson’s door.
The Caps beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 last night at the Verizon Center in a thriller that saw three lead changes, spectacular goaltending, and a shootout victory for the home team. The teams traded three-goal bursts in the second and third periods as the momentum swung back and forth over 65 minutes. The Caps prevailed in the shootout on goals by Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin and two saves by Michal Neuvirth to earn two points in the standings.
Semin’s full range of talent and fury were on display last night. The speedy winger ended the evening as the first star of the game, but also spent four minutes in the box for needless penalties. He assisted on the Caps’ first goal, scored a power play goal late in regulation to tie the game, then blasted a point blank slapshot shot past Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson in the shootout to seal the win and make up for his two offensive zone penalties. “He was actually sick tonight and we didn’t know if he would be scratched or not until after warm up,” said Boudreau. “But he wanted to play and so he did.”
The Washington Capitals made an emphatic statement in their home opener tonight at the Verizon Center: “This is our house.” After unfurling pennants for last year’s Southeast Division Championship and the President’s Trophy, the Caps soundly beat the New Jersey Devils 7-2 in front of a boisterous sell out crowd.
The Caps bounced back from two early deficits to dominate the Devils in every facet of the game. Scoring short handed, on the power play, and even on a rare penalty shot, the Caps demonstrated their fearsome goal scoring talent, chasing veteran netminder Martin Brodeur after 40 minutes.
The Caps generated momentum early in the first period, keeping most of the action in the New Jersey end of the ice. But two early defensive lapses in the Washington zone resulted in two first period goals for New Jersey. Rookie defenseman John Carlson started the Caps scoring when he intercepted a pass during a line change and scored with a rising wrist shot from just inside the blue line.
As the countdown to voting day continues, many have asked us here at WeLoveDC just who we’re going to endorse for Mayor of the District. We’ve had a long and exhausting debate on our author email list, and quite frankly, we couldn’t come up with a unanimous choice, much less a majority decision. So instead, we decided to offer up our own endorsements for mayor, in our own words.
I know right now you’re dealing with a lot of crap from pretty much every corner because of Wednesday’s loss. So I just wanted to toss in two words you may not have heard much over the last 48 hours:
Those two words are pretty well drowned out right now, given that in true DC fashion, everyone’s getting busy on offering their opinions on what went wrong and what you guys need to do to fix things. And don’t misunderstand me – I have my opinions on the matter as well, but now’s not really the time to list them. I really just wanted to take a moment during all of the hubbub and let you know how I feel as things settle down. They’re simple words, but they need said.
Yesterday’s showdown between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals was everything NBC hoped it would be as their Game of the Week. There was grit, goals, and grudges – all good ratings boosters – despite the fact that neither team had much to play for. With the Caps ensconced in the number one seed and the Bruins in the sixth slot (after clinching earlier in the weekend), it was less about playoff implications and all about momentum-building and individual milestones. In the end, Boston emerged victorious from the shootout with a final score of 4-3 and a three-game win streak heading into the postseason.
Alexander Semin finally reached the 40 goal plateau with a soft shot under Bruins’ goalie Tim Thomas with just over 2 minutes gone in the first. With Semin’s accomplishment – 40 goals, 84 points in a career-high season, it seemed to the sellout crowd that Ovechkin wouldn’t be far behind in ratcheting a few more goals to claim the Maurice Richard Trophy.
With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics kicking off Friday night and continuing throughout the weekend, it’s kind of hard to recall the significant happenings that have occurred over the last two weeks in DC sports.
Last Two Weeks: 4-3
Place:1st in the Eastern Conference
The Caps continued their winning streak with spectacular W’s against both the Penguins and the Rangers, but were stopped at 14 wins on February 10th by the Montreal Canadians in a 5-6 squeaker in OT.
Since their loss to the Canadians, the Caps have lost their last 3 games heading into the two week break for the Olympic games. They still lead the Eastern Conference with 90 points, and their next game will be away versus the Sabres on March 3.
Despite this minor downturn, Mr. Ovechkin is still the NHL’s leading offensive player in both goals (42) and overall points (89). And Alexandar Semin is on a super hot streak, sniping goals left and right, and racking up 5 goals and 4 assists in the last 4 games. Continue reading →
Congratulations to Alex Ovechkin who will put on the Team Captain’s “C” tonight against the Canadiens at the Phone Booth. It’s not immediately clear who will wear the A of the Alternate Captain now that Ovie has given his up, but Knuble and Poti will keep theirs.