As unlikely as it may have seemed nine days ago, the Washington Capitals have defied the odds, shaken off some stinging recent defeats and secured a place in the Stanley Cup playoffs starting next week.
The Caps defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 last night at Verizon Center before a raucous sellout crowd. Washington took an early 3-0 lead, survived a mid-game rally by Florida, then played aggressively down the stretch. Combined with the Buffalo Sabres’ loss in Philadelphia a few minutes earlier, Caps fans were able to celebrate their team’s success in the final home game of the regular season. Continue reading →
Last year at this time, DC was buried under Snowmaggedon. The Caps lit the region with a hard-fought win over the Penguins as everyone prepped for the Super Bowl. This year, it’s deja-vu…sorta.
The Caps came into this afternoon’s contest on a mission to establish themselves and their game plan. After their dominating win over Tampa on Friday, it was imperative the Caps continue their new-found momentum as the Pittsburgh Penguins visited the Verizon Center.
Pittsburgh, however, arrived missing two of their marquee players. Sidney Crosby was currently out of the lineup due to lingering concussion symptoms from a Jan 5 game against Tampa Bay, and Evgeni Malkin was out, awaiting a second opinion on his torn MCL/ACL in his right knee. (Malkin may be out for the season at this point.) Continue reading →
The Caps opened up their 2010-11 campaign last night in Atlanta. With high expectations for the team by many, the Caps were looking to jump out of the gate to redeem themselves from last season’s playoff collapse.
With only six shots in the first period, it wasn’t exactly a well-oiled Caps machine that hit the ice. Showing signs of struggle all through the evening, especially in their own zone, the Caps ultimately skated to a 4-2 loss to the new and improved Thrashers.
The evening started out rough as Atlanta’s starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec collapsed, unconscious, to the ice just over two minutes in. Pavelec was taken off the ice on a stretcher and regained consciousness later in the evening at a nearby hospital. (According to the Thrashers this morning, no serious health problems have been detected and Pavelec remains under observation.)
Congratulations to the Washington Capitals for setting a franchise record last night! With their 4-1 whipping of the Boston Bruins, the Caps are sitting on an amazing 11 game win streak, stemming back from Ovechkin’s anointing as team captain.
It wasn’t a sure thing until the third period, however. Both teams fought a solid game through two periods, and the 1-1 score going into the last 20 minutes reflected it. But, as seems to be standard Caps operating procedure lately, around five minutes in the Caps just exploded. Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin made Boston’s Matt Hunwick pay on a turnover to gain the Caps’ first lead of the game. Boyd Gordon dropped in his second of the season and then Ovie capped it with an empty netter. Mike Knuble continued his strong play of late with the tying goal early in the second period.
The Caps are sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 10 point lead over New Jersey and face the New York Rangers tomorrow at Madison Square Garden.
ESPN is reporting Brooks Laich signed a 3-year deal worth $6.1M, ending his arbitration suit. If he can maintain his frenetic scoring pace, he’ll be a bargain-basement steal for the Caps and another feather in McPhee’s hat. If he slacks off…well, I’m sure the fans will let him know.
Also of note, the Capitals and Sergei Fedorov came to a deal; the former Red Wing signed a one-year contract worth $4M – surprising, since it’s a 34% pay cut from his prior contract. Most likely, it has to do with the reported friendship with a fellow Russian, some guy named “Ovechkin.”
Now that the dust has (partially) settled, let’s look at the Capitals. Yes, that’s right, I said Capitals. Hockey in July.
Because the summer is when a team’s foundation is made.
First off, Brooks Laich and Shaone Morrisonn elected to take the team to arbitration. Nothing to get worked up over, just that Ted’s going to pay a bit more for their services if things proceed as normal. Laich wants about double of his current $725,000 salary.
Matt Cooke has gone north and signed with the Penguins. Not terribly surprising, after Matt Bradley signed his three-year extension back in May. Continue reading →