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The Washington Capitals (1974-), Eastern Conference, Metropolitan Division - Moved from Capital Centre in Landover to Capitol One Arena in Chinatown, 1997 - STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS 2017-2018

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The faceoffs aren't terribly out of whack, 44/56, but of course you want to be on the winning side of that percentage.    You'll see more hits by the team with less puck possession -- they're the ones trying to force a turnover and get possession back, so being on the low side of that number means you're the one controlling play.   With the shots blocked, that's due to Caps taking so many more shots on goal that Tampa had to deploy their bodies to try to stop them more often.  

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On 11/25/2019 at 2:58 PM, DonRocks said:

For those of us who remember how *terrible* the Capitals were in 1974, this is incredible:

"Caps Make 37-Year Climb to Top of Wins Ladder" by Mike Vogel on nhl.com

Not only the best record in the past 37 years, but also the best record this decade:

"An Era To Remember: Capitals Will Finish 2010s as the Winningest Team of the Decade" by Samantha Pell on washingtonpost.com

I commented on this article on the Post's website, but does anyone remember why the Capitals went from being so bad, to being so good, beginning with the 1982-1983 season?

I have memories of atrocities in 1974-1975 (my eighth-grade English classmate, Danny Bosis, wrote a persuasive essay titled, "The Washington Capitals Are the Worst Team in the National Hockey League" (*)), but I was at college in 1982-1983 and didn't follow hockey at all.

(*) If anyone cares, mine was, "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the Best Player in the National Basketball Association."

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George McPhee became general manager that year -- he's currently GM at Vegas, taking them from a first year franchise to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018.  Also a coaching change to Bryan Miller.

I didn't know about the coach, but I suspected (had to confirm via Google) that GMGM came on board around that time.

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3 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Not only the best record in the past 37 years, but also the best record this decade:

"An Era To Remember: Capitals Will Finish 2010s as the Winningest Team of the Decade" by Samantha Pell on washingtonpost.com

 

The article about the past decade was interesting.  I wouldn't have had the faintest idea.  Long term excellence combined with competing for the championship every year.  Only one Stanley Cup but lots of division championships.  Sustained excellence.

It seems to me Leonsis is very hands off on the sports management side of the teams and leaves the decisions on players up to the pros.  It has really worked this past 10 years for the Caps.  Remarkably so.  I think he tried to emulate this on the Wizards and its been a complete failure.  Twice his teams had playoff eligible teams and both collapsed.  The current team had 3 loaded high draft choices who ultimately had salaries that blew out the team....and they ultimately weren't that good relative to the competition.  On top of that the third player didn't merit his salary, and the first player with the largest salary blew out his leg---UGH.   What works one time might not be a perfect measure for success for the future.

Anyways a decade of Caps marvelness.  That is quite an achievement.

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Went to the Ottawa game Tuesday - after the Caps got down a goal in the 1st period they went out and killed it scoring 6 unanswered goals in periods 2 & 3. I thought Oshie or Ovechkin was going to get a hattrick, both finishing with 2 goals each. We have a great Goalie in Holtby, but rookie Samsonov is fun to watch and looks great.  CapOne Center was packed despite the poor weather and typical gridlock with an inch of snow on the the ground.

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Win or loose the product they put on at home is top rate.  My wife saw the Golden Knights in Vegas, she said arena was just ok.

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Caps are going thru their typical mid-season slump lately and it's been painful to watch them lose to teams they should beat handily.  But it's a long season and the all-star break is coming up to give most of them a chance to recover, rest and re-set for the push to the playoffs.  

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43 minutes ago, weezy said:

Caps are going thru their typical mid-season slump lately and it's been painful to watch them lose to teams they should be handily.  But it's a long season and the all-star break is coming up to give most of them a chance to recover, rest and re-set for the push to the playoffs.  

I almost prefer the slump now, so they can come back stronger, meaner, faster...!

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Hope we get Caps vs Bruins in the Eastern final. They are clearly the two best teams this season. The Bruins issue has been OTs and Shootouts.

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They had mandatory practice Sunday which seemed to unleash the Fury in the 1st period of last nights game. Ovechkin had two (2) quick goals and then in the 2nd period they were pretty flat - hung on to 2-0 lead for the Win.  Be interesting to see how they play Thursday against the Devils after losing 5-1 last week.  Crowd was decent for a Monday nite in January - but a fair number of empty seats. The CAPS have been using Samsonov a decent amount lately and the kid is doing VERY well in goal (1st shutout last night).  It will be interesting to see if Holtby here next season since his contract is coming up and the rookie is making $1.4M vs Holtby's $5M+ this season.

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On 1/14/2020 at 8:46 PM, Ferris Bueller said:

They had mandatory practice Sunday which seemed to unleash the Fury in the 1st period of last nights game. Ovechkin had two (2) quick goals and then in the 2nd period they were pretty flat - hung on to 2-0 lead for the Win.  Be interesting to see how they play Thursday against the Devils after losing 5-1 last week.  Crowd was decent for a Monday nite in January - but a fair number of empty seats. The CAPS have been using Samsonov a decent amount lately and the kid is doing VERY well in goal (1st shutout last night).  It will be interesting to see if Holtby here next season since his contract is coming up and the rookie is making $1.4M vs Holtby's $5M+ this season.

I've been reading some sites and it seems very unlikely that we'll be able to keep Holtby after this season due to the salary cap, what Backstrom will be paid going forward, what goalies are going for on the market these days ($10M), and looking ahead to who else we need to sign / re-sign looking at the future.  Caps have been excellent about finding and building goalie talent in their pipeline.  Samsonov is getting back-to-back starts and will be in net against the NJ Devils tonight, to start bringing him up.  Copley is solid as a #2 and can be brought up from Hershey and Vanachek in Hershey could also be brought up to work as a #2.  I've seen a couple of rumors of trading Holtby before the end of the season to get maximum value for him and buying some better blue-liners, but that seems pretty far-fetched to me, as it's unlikely you give up a Cup-winning goalie as you're heading into the playoffs.  

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My two sons who play and follow hockey say the Caps need a strong Dman or 2 to make a long playoff run.  Their argument is good Dmen will drive opposing shots down and those that are taken will be from further away.  Only way this will happen is to trade Holtby before trade deadline.

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It's a very tough call b/c the most important defenseman is the goalie.  Plus you have to look at who is available to trade for, and frankly, I'm not sure there are any high-caliber D-men that we can get at this point in the season who play a similar enough system that slotting them in is better than a crapshoot.  Thankfully, Jensen is starting to hit his stride and has learned the system and the stats show definite improvements for when he is on the ice, and Siegenthaler keeps getting better and better.  That long reach of his and his willingness to block shots is great.

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Great game last night vs the NJ Devils, whom the CAPS lost to by 5 recently.  A 5-2 WIN with Ovechkin contributing his 25th career hat trick was excellent.  The actual hats on the ice kept coming for probably 5 minutes and the turnout pretty decent for a Thursday night.  Dinner at The Smith prior to puck drop was actually very good as well.

Samsonov played pretty well - the CAPS giving up a goal on their own power play advantage but the kid is quick and seems to have the speed needed for a decent future in the NHL. 

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