Holtby Save on Shorthanded Cogliano Breakaway
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’
The Capitals’ season-long retooling project took a strong step forward last night as an offensive explosion propelled the Caps to a 5-0 win and a shutout for rookie goalie Braden Holtby against the Edmonton Oilers at Verizon Center. The Caps rediscovered the wonders of the power play scoring two goals on the man advantage in the second period. Alex Ovechkin lead the fireworks with two goals and an assist, as Eric Fehr returned from an injury to add two more lamp-lighters.
The retooling effort that got underway in earnest in mid-November has aimed to play a style more suited to success in the post-season. This has included playing “responsible” hockey with a focus on defensive assignments and middle zone traps. After two years of ever-increasing offense firepower under coach Bruce Boudreau, the change has felt more like shock therapy. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘bridgetds’
The Capitals are not playing pretty hockey.
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.
In a Winter Classic between the NHL’s top two greatest players, neither had a hand in the game that unfolded before the 68,111 people at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field or the national audience viewing on NBC. The Capitals, who grabbed two points in a tight Eastern Conference race with a 3-1 win, saw Eric Fehr and Semyon Varlamov show up as the heroes for the evening.
Despite the uncooperative weather, the Caps managed to even the score from the last time the two teams met. The game, originally scheduled to start at 1 pm, had been moved to 8 pm due to a rainy cold front that rolled through the area. As the game unfolded, light rain fell in spots, making the ice less than optimal but still playable; it didn’t hinder either team from plowing full force into the other.
Bottom line, however, was that no one left the game last night unsatisfied. The Winter Classic, much hyped over the last month, lived up to its billing for fans, coaches, and players of both teams. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. “I can’t imagine football players play every game like this. It’s unbelievable. It’s the kind of thing you want to do all the time, go out and play like this.” Continue reading
‘Caps/Habs (April 15, 2010) – 20’
courtesy of ‘Garyisajoke’
Fresh off a career high season, Eric Fehr has extended his stay with the Caps after signing off on a two-year deal worth $4.4 million yesterday afternoon. Fehr had 21 goals and 39 points in 69 games with the Caps last season, even though he averaged less than 13 minutes of ice time a game. Out of all the 20+ goal scorers in the NHL, Fehr had the lowest on-ice average.
Plagued with injuries during the early portion of his career – he was the Caps’ first-rounder in the 2003 Entry Draft – Fehr finally came into his own last season, shrugging off surgery on both shoulders and a major back injury. Having been an offensive force despite the low ice time, his return to the Caps offense should elicit a great sigh of relief for the Rock the Red nation. Fehr had a solid playoff performance last year, with 3 goals and 4 points in the seven game series with Montreal.