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Friday, October 7, 2011

Opening Night 2011-12 Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  October 8, 2011, 7:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 4-8-0-0
Caps Game 1 Record: 17-17-2-0
All-Time vs. CAR: 41-23-7-6
All-Time at home vs. CAR: 23-11-2-2
Last Season vs. CAR: 5-0-1
Last Meeting: 3/29/11, WAS 1 CAR 2 OT-SO

This Year:
WAS Record: 0-0-0
Standings Points: 0

CAR Record: 0-0-0
Standings Points: 0

Probable Line-Ups:     
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 20 BROWER, 90 JOHANSSON, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 21 LAICH, 42 WARD
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 15 HALPERN, BEAGLE
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 6 WIDEMAN, 44 HAMRLIK
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 29 VOKOUN

Forward Line 1: 15 RUUTU, 12 STAAL, 36 JOKINEN
Forward Line 2: 23 PONIKAROVSKY, 53 SKINNER, 22 DALPE
Forward Line 3: 19 TLUSTY, 16 SUTTER, 59 LAROSE
Forward Line 4: 39 DWYER, 37 BRENT, 13 STEWART
Defense Pair 1: 6 GLEASON, 25 PITKANEN
Defense Pair 2: 28 FAULK, 51 KABERLE
Defense Pair 3: 5 ALLEN, 4 MCBAIN
Goalie: 30 WARD
Back-up Goalie: 33 BOUCHER

Washington – 3 POTI (groin) LTIR, 4 ERSKINE (upper body) IR

CAR – None

Caps Milestones:
Jason Chimera needs 2 goals to reach 100 in his career.


The Capitals start a new season at home against SE Division rival Carolina. The Caps look a bit different this season as new players were brought in after last season’s second round playoff exit. Washington brought in veteran free agents all over the lineup. The biggest surprise was picking up stand out goaltender Tomas Vokoun after trading Semyon Varlamov to Colorado. He took a pay cut to come to Washington because he wants to win and that’s what we fans love to hear. Look for this game to start off fast. Carolina will be in the second half of back-to-backs so the Caps need to match their energy to start and turn in up in the second period. I think Carolina will have a tough chore trying to beat the Caps at home on opening night.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 CAR 2

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Capitals Cut Some More

Yesterday saw the Capitals fall in Baltimore 2-0 to the Nashville Predators in their first action of the preseason.


Prior to the game the following players were sent to their junior teams:

Samuel Henley, Luke Lockhart, Garrett Ross, James Oligny

In addition, Tyler Ludwig and Taylor Stefishen were cut. Stefishen was acquired during the summer in a trade with Nashville. If the Caps sign him prior to June 1st they will have to send a 7th round draft pick to Nashville.

Good luck to all the young men.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Cuts

The Capitals trimmed their roster for the first time with the following cuts:

Edmondson, Reid
Frazee, Thomas
Tabisz, Nick

As well as returning the following to their junior teams:

Carrier, Samuel
Elliot, Mitch

Good luck in all endeavors young men.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Capitals Return to the Ice for 2011-12 Training Camp Tomorrow

The Caps open this season training camp on Saturday September 17th and the Kettler Iceplex in Arlington, VA. The following is the roster of players expected to attend:


23           C             AUCOIN, KEITH
19           C             BACKSTROM, NICKLAS
83           C             BEAGLE, JAY
36           R             BOUCHARD, FRANCOIS
56           L              BOURQUE, CHRISTOPHER
20           L              BROUWER, TROY
64           F              CARROL, ANDREW
25           L              CHIMERA, JASON
67           R             FORD, MATT
43           L              GREENTREE, KYLE
15           C             HALPERN, JEFF
38           C             HANSON, CHRISTIAN
26           C             HENDRICKS, MATT
90           C             JOHANSSON, MARCUS
34           F              KANE, BOYD
17           L              KING, D.J.
22           R             KNUBLE, MIKE
58           F              LACROIX, MAXIME
21           C             LAICH, BROOKS
53           L              MICFLIKIER, JACOB
51           F              MINK, GRAHAM
8              L              OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER
85           C             PERREAULT, MATHIEU
16           C             POTULNY, RYAN
24           F              RECHLICZ, JOEL
28           L              SEMIN, ALEXANDER
42           R             WARD, JOEL

27           D             ALZNER, KARL
57           D             BAIER, PAUL
59           D             BROUILLETTE, JULIEN
74           D             CARLSON, JOHN
62           D             COLLINS, SEAN
4              D             ERSKINE, JOHN
52           D             GREEN, MIKE
44           D             HAMRLIK, ROMAN
46           D             MCNEIL, PATRICK
45           D             MISKOVIC, ZACH
72           D             ORESKOVIC, PHIL
3              D             POTI, TOM
39           D             RICHMOND, DANNY
55           D             SCHULTZ, JEFF
41           D             WELLAR, PATRICK
6              D             WIDEMAN, DENNIS


70           G             HOLTBY, BRADEN
30           G             NEUVIRTH, MICHAL
35           G             SABOURIN, DANY
29           G             VOKOUN, TOMAS

Click here for the official Schedule of Events 


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Playoff Round 2 Game #4 Recap: Caps 3 Tampa Bay 5

In the end the Capitals just couldn't get it done. The team lost Game #4 5-3 and were swept out of this year's playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Washington had no answer for Tampa's 3rd line line of Sean Bergenheim, Dominic Moore and Steve Downie. The trio combined fro 2 goals and 6 point in Game 4 and gave the Capitals fits all series long. The game started with the Capitals sticking to their game plan and methodically trying to break the Tampa 1-3-1 trap defense but the Lightning scored the first goal with Alex Ovechkin in the box for a charging penalty. Washington responded with a power play goal of their own when Ovechkin's point shot deflected off Jason Arnott and Marco Sturm's shoulder into the net. At the beginning of the second period the Caps started getting sustained pressure in the Tampa zone but couldn't solve the Tampa goalie Dwayne Roloson. Then the Lightning counter attacked and in a goal mouth scramble the loose puck found its way onto Bergenheim's stick and he flipped it into the Capitals net for a 2-1 lead. Tampa stretched its lead to 3-2 when Begenheim put back a rebound from a Moore shot. Washington got renewed life a little over a minute later when John Erskine intercepted a clearing attempt and threw a shot at the net that beat a surprised Roloson to bring the Caps back to within one at 3-2. The goal was like a jolt of electricity to the Caps, who's energy level was noticeably raised. This carried over to the third period as the Caps swarmed the net but Sturm was called for goalie interference and the penalty kill went to work. After killing off the first minute of the penalty Tampa retook their two goal lead when a point shot beat a screened Michal Neuvirth who threw up his hands in frustration as the screen was by two of his own teammates. The Caps really began pressing and a turnover led to another Lightning goal. In a last attempt to get back in the game, Washington pulled Neuvirth for an extra attacker and John Carlson scored to bring the Caps back to within two. The Caps battled all the way to the final horn but it was not enough. All was done for this season's Washington Capitals. After all this team was been through this season it seemed like they were destined for much more but such is the way in sports. So, we say goodbye to this year's Washington Capitals but fear not, they will return again next fall to embark upon another marathon journey to claim the elusive Stanley Cup. I would like to add a big thank you to all the readers who have been following this year's team with me, it sure has been a lot of fun.

Of Note:
  • Michal Neuvirth stopped 32 of 37 shots and finished the playoffs with a 4-5 record. He sported a 2.34 GAA and a save percentage of 0.912 in his 9 games. The rookie was solid and seemingly unflappable in net. The Caps have a real winner in this kid.
  • Alex Ovechkin had 1 assist in Game 4 and 2 goals and 4 points in the series. In this year's playoffs he was easily the best player on the Capitals with 5 goals and 5 assists to boost his career playoff totals to 25 goals and 25 assists in 37 games.
  • The Capitals gave up 2 power play goals on 5 attempts in Game 4 and finished the post season with 5 goals against on 38 chances while the power play went 5 for 35 with 1 power play goal in Game 4.
  • Jason Arnott had 2 assists in the game and Brooks Laich had 1. Laich almost had a goal in the first period when he deflected a John Erskine shot square off the left post. 
  • Boyd Gordon won 9 of the 12 face-offs and led the NHL in face-off percentage winning 68.8% of the draws he took.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Game Highlights:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Playoff Round 2 Game #4 Preview: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL

When:  May 4, 2011, 7:00 PM

All-Time Playoff Series Record vs. TAM: 0-1
All-Time Playoff Game Record vs. TAM: 2-7
Last Meeting: 2003, WAS 2 TAM 4

This Year:
WAS Record: 48-22-11
Standings Points: 107
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st

TAM Record: 46-25-11
Standings Points: 103
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 5th    

2010-2011 Regular Season Series: 4-1-1
Nov. 11, 2010 WAS 6 TAM 3
Nov. 26, 2010 WAS 6 TAM 0
Jan. 4, 2011 WAS 0 TAM 1 (OT)
Jan. 12, 2011 WAS 0 TAM 3
Feb. 4, 2011 WAS 5 TAM 2
Mar. 7, 2011 WAS 2 TAM 1 (OT-SO)

Playoff Series Schedule and Results:
Apr. 29, 2011 WAS 2 TAM 4
May 01, 2011 WAS 2 TAM 3 (OT)
May 03, 2011 WAS 3 TAM 4
May 04, 2011 at Tampa
May 07, 2011 at Washington*
May 09, 2011 at Tampa*
May 11, 2011 at Washington*
*If required

Probable Line-Ups:     
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 90 JOHANSSON, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 18 STURM, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 23 HANNAN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

Forward Line 1: 6 MALONE, 91 STAMKOS, 9 DOWNIE
Forward Line 2: 16 PURCELL, 4 LECAVALIER, 26 ST. LOUIS
Forward Line 3: 49 B. JONES, 19 MOORE, 10 BERGENHEIM
Forward Line 4: 18 HALL, 44 THOMPSON
Defense Pair 1: 2 BREWER, 5 OHLUND
Defense Pair 2: 7 CLARK, 39 LUNDIN
Defense Pair 3: 8 R. JONES, 77 HEDMAN
Defense Pair 4: 47 BERGERON
Goalie: 35 ROLOSON
Back-up Goalie: 41 SMITH

Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, 6 WIDEMAN (lower body) DTD

TAM – 12 GAGNE (undisclosed) DTD, 13 KUBINA (undisclosed) DTD


Its do or die time for the Capitals. They are in a 0-3 hole and must win the next 4 games to advance to the next round. It’s a daunting task but if it’s going to happen it starts tonight. The Capitals need to tighten up on their systems and play with what Tampa is giving them. They had a tremendous second period last night but followed it with a terrible third. Look for the Capitals to come out strong in the first period tonight and play an aggressive forecheck and funnel everything to the net. I expect a more even effort and the Caps will need contributions from its third and fourth lines. Alex Ovechkin has been good in this series but he is going to have to take his play to another level. It all starts here in Game 4. The Caps need a win and I think they get it.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 TAM 1

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