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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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This is interesting to me, as a hockey neophyte who knows other sports much better. I, too, noticed defenders occupying shooting lanes and blocking many shots. But, shouldn't that be Hockey 101? Table stakes? Shouldn't defenders away be, well, defending?

I compare this to soccer (maybe wrongly). In football, goalies don't typically come under as fierce and as sustained assault as they seem to in hockey. Often, but not always, a goal scored in football is the fault of the defenders more than the keeper. But doesn't seem as much this way in hockey?

Rinks are smaller than football pitches and action moves faster so maybe that's part of it? But why not more blame on defenders when a team loses than the goalie?

A good example from last night was the Rangers' goal when Ovi was beaten by Brassard in a footrace to the Caps' goal. Why not more emphasis on the defenders in that play, rather than the talk about how Ovi, a winger, was out skated?

I think it IS Hockey 101 to some extent...but I guess the Caps just seem better at it, more comfortable with it, whatever.  Even in a recent WaPo article, some of the players were commenting that Holtby's superb performance makes them even more determined to succeed defensively.

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Really great game, and those goals! Shazam!

I love Barry Trotz's perspective, too. And the guy doing most of the hockey writing in the Washington Post of late is great and infectious. My only problem with the Post of late is that, with this being the playoffs, the Caps doing ok in the second round, when I get to the sports section, they are always BELOW THE FOLD! Why?! I mean, today they showed baseball above the fold. The Nats are great but they have months and months of games left ahead of them. THIS IS PLAYOFF HOCKEY!

I will admit their coverage is good, very good actually. I just want to see the big picture of Caps awesomeness ABOVE the fold when it is in the playoffs. \endrant

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Really great game, and those goals! Shazam!

...My only problem with the Post of late is that, with this being the playoffs, the Caps doing ok in the second round, when I get to the sports section, they are always BELOW THE FOLD! Why?! I mean, today they showed baseball above the fold. The Nats are great but they have months and months of games left ahead of them. THIS IS PLAYOFF HOCKEY!

...

Could have sworn that the Caps have been above the fold in the past week. Surely when they clinched the first round?  As for today, Pool Boy, while true baseball has "months and months of games left," yesterday was very notable.  Bryce Harper, the Nats' wunderkind who is still the 4th youngest player in the National League (after 3 full years in the majors), hit three homeruns in one game yesterday.  It's a huge accomplishment for any player, having only been accomplished twice this year.  Harper was the youngest to achieve it since 1969 and the youngest to hit 3 with 5 RBIs since 1955.  For baseball fans (and twitteres), pretty big deal relative to a very cool but non-clinching, Game 4.  If the Caps win in NY on Saturday, I'd bet you lunch that the Sunday coverage will be above the fold and probably front section versus just in sports.

On a related note, check out this piece which posted on WaPo about the Nats players (bunches of them) who were at Verizon last night.  The pics alone make it worthwhile but just really cool to see this kind of camaraderie between local pro teams.

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Could have sworn that the Caps have been above the fold in the past week. Surely when they clinched the first round?  As for today, Pool Boy, while true baseball has "months and months of games left," yesterday was very notable.  Bryce Harper, the Nats' wunderkind who is still the 4th youngest player in the National League (after 3 full years in the majors), hit three homeruns in one game yesterday.  It's a huge accomplishment for any player, having only been accomplished twice this year.  Harper was the youngest to achieve it since 1969 and the youngest to hit 3 with 5 RBIs since 1955.  For baseball fans (and twitteres), pretty big deal relative to a very cool but non-clinching, Game 4.  If the Caps win in NY on Saturday, I'd bet you lunch that the Sunday coverage will be above the fold and probably front section versus just in sports.

On a related note, check out this piece which posted on WaPo about the Nats players (bunches of them) who were at Verizon last night.  The pics alone make it worthwhile but just really cool to see this kind of camaraderie between local pro teams.

The thing about baseball fans is they get giddy about stats. I love stats, but baseball people are just too funny.

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Argh, why did you have to post that article???  I was a perfectly happy Braves fan, sitting over here, hating the Nats...but it's a lot harder to hate them when they do cool things like support the Caps.  <_<

It's the same thing I said when they ran a piece on the news about the Nats players posing with their pets for a calendar - GAH, I can't hate on Bryce Harper when he's posing with an adorable dog!!!!  Here are some preview shots.  Kudos to all the players with rescue animals!

All rivalries and kidding aside, it has been really awesome to see all of the DC teams support each other during this super-fun time of year when many of the sports overlap.  Gotta love the spring!

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The thing about baseball fans is they get giddy about stats. I love stats, but baseball people are just too funny.

Not ALL baseball fans, Pool Boy. Not ALL.  And, not this one so much.  I do enjoy the old math vs new math debate which is part of baseball fandom in the new millennium but think the fixation on math has gotten totally out of hand.  Baseball has great history, character and all kinds of cool qualitative.

Argh, why did you have to post that article???  I was a perfectly happy Braves fan, sitting over here, hating the Nats...but it's a lot harder to hate them when they do cool things like support the Caps.  <_<

It's the same thing I said when they ran a piece on the news about the Nats players posing with their pets for a calendar - GAH, I can't hate on Bryce Harper when he's posing with an adorable dog!!!!  Here are some preview shots.  Kudos to all the players with rescue animals!

All rivalries and kidding aside, it has been really awesome to see all of the DC teams support each other during this super-fun time of year when many of the sports overlap.  Gotta love the spring!

Literally laughed out loud at this!   Suspected (but didn't know) you might be a Braves fan since you were in Atlanta and gave so many of us such great scoop on the food scene there. But couldn't suss out if you had roots in Atlanta.  The nature of the rivalry between the two teams isn't as healthy as other teams but that's mostly the more extreme elements.  Same as with a small segment of the O's fanbase.  I like to think that most people are just good, grounded, and kind, irrespective of whatever sports teams they like.

Still, very funny stuff, bettyjoan. Thank you!

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Could have sworn that the Caps have been above the fold in the past week. Surely when they clinched the first round?  As for today, Pool Boy, while true baseball has "months and months of games left," yesterday was very notable.  Bryce Harper, the Nats' wunderkind who is still the 4th youngest player in the National League (after 3 full years in the majors), hit three homeruns in one game yesterday.  It's a huge accomplishment for any player, having only been accomplished twice this year.  Harper was the youngest to achieve it since 1969 and the youngest to hit 3 with 5 RBIs since 1955.  For baseball fans (and twitteres), pretty big deal relative to a very cool but non-clinching, Game 4.  If the Caps win in NY on Saturday, I'd bet you lunch that the Sunday coverage will be above the fold and probably front section versus just in sports.

On a related note, check out this piece which posted on WaPo about the Nats players (bunches of them) who were at Verizon last night.  The pics alone make it worthwhile but just really cool to see this kind of camaraderie between local pro teams.

Not ALL baseball fans, Pool Boy. Not ALL.  And, not this one so much.  I do enjoy the old math vs new math debate which is part of baseball fandom in the new millennium but think the fixation on math has gotten totally out of hand.  Baseball has great history, character and all kinds of cool qualitative.

Literally laughed out loud at this!   Suspected (but didn't know) you might be a Braves fan since you were in Atlanta and gave so many of us such great scoop on the food scene there. But couldn't suss out if you had roots in Atlanta.  The nature of the rivalry between the two teams isn't as healthy as other teams but that's mostly the more extreme elements.  Same as with a small segment of the O's fanbase.  I like to think that most people are just good, grounded, and kind, irrespective of whatever sports teams they like.

Still, very funny stuff, bettyjoan. Thank you!

I was poking fun at your citing factoids about the Nats game. Not stats per se, but you rattled them off like most other baseball fans. ;-p

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A good example from last night was the Rangers' goal when Ovi was beaten by Brassard in a footrace to the Caps' goal. Why not more emphasis on the defenders in that play, rather than the talk about how Ovi, a winger, was out skated?

 

I'm a little late to this, but when I read your comment my first thought was, "The defensemen pinched".  I didn't see the Rangers' goal, so I just looked it up, and yeah, the defensemen pinched.  (They didn't hang out along the blue line but instead made their way into the offensive zone; a negative result of this can be the other team taking advantage of a turnover because the defensemen are out of position.)

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I am going to choose to believe that the energy they found in the last 40 minutes of the game will carry over to Game 7.  Then again, I am a newer fan, so I don't have to forget about all the disappointments suffered in previous years.

The real question is...where is the best place to watch???  I'm not sure my critters can stand another game - Jason and I get so worked up, and they just don't understand!

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I am going to choose to believe that the energy they found in the last 40 minutes of the game will carry over to Game 7.  Then again, I am a newer fan, so I don't have to forget about all the disappointments suffered in previous years.

The real question is...where is the best place to watch???  I'm not sure my critters can stand another game - Jason and I get so worked up, and they just don't understand!

I'd say Bugsy's in Old Town Alexandria.  Owned by a former Capital, which means they'll actually show the game and care about it.

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Le sigh.  :(

It's hard not to lump this loss in with all of the others that came before...but I do think that this team, under this coach, has a ton of positives and will be really exciting to watch in seasons to come.  Excited that next year will be my first as a season ticketholder.

A loss is a loss. A series loss hurts more, especially since the Caps did not get to the division finals again.

But what a series. It was thrilling and agony filled, but what a great bunch of hockey.

There is hope for this team moving forward, for sure. I can't wait until next season, despite the sting of this loss.

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Sorry all.  I honestly didn't think the Rangers were going to come back from a 3-1 game deficit for the 2nd year in a row.  Great series.  At least one or two people on this board (me & weinoo?) like the result.

I watch more basketball than hockey so I only watched the series in bits and pieces.  I'm convinced that many goals in hockey are a function of luck, being in the right place, hustle, getting your stick on puck a micro second before the opposition, hustle, etc etc.  Its tough to score in hockey  and tougher in the playoffs with everyone diving to block shots on top of tougher defenses and goalies possibly rising to a higher level.

Having said all that, this last series was excruciatingly tough, tremendously close, played on both sides with a lot of heart and effort;  The Caps of this year played differently and looked differently than last year...   Miserable series to lose...but one that had to generate a lot of mutual respect.

@ Caps.  Rest up and go kick their arses next year!!!!!!!

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Having played a lot of soccer in a variety of competitive leagues that is very true.  There are times you are on a team completely dominating the other side and simply for a hundred different reasons such as hitting posts, the slightest of mis hits, some errant sucker getting his body in the way of a shot, a goalie playing his best, and a hundred different situations your dominant team can't score.

Alternatively when the other side is running you ragged and you feel as if they have two more players on the field and dominate the ball 90% of the time, your team manages through luck and circumstance to keep them from scoring....you come out of that game feeling inappropriately better than you are when simply the scoring gods were favoring your team that day.

Excruciating "stuff".   The worst is when the scoring gods turn against you in the 7th game of a tremendously close competitive series as with the 2015 Caps, and they get edged out by the other side.   That takes a good long while from which to recuperate.

Back to the Capitals again. :)

If you look at the regular-season records (Capitals 47-28-7 101 points; Rangers 53-22-7 113 points), one might conclude that the better team won, and that the Capitals almost eeked out this best-of-seven series for the exact reasons we're talking about. This is why, with sports like hockey, and especially baseball, I'm more impressed with regular-season championships - doing it over the long, grueling haul - than I am with individual playoff-series victors. Our world is unfair, because it's the playoff winners who are ultimately remembered, but the best teams are the ones with the best records in the regular season (usually). This is why it's so important to "time" your team's health to peak late in the season.

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I think the reason all of the playoffs series are 7 games long is to take the bounce and luck factor out of it a bit. Refs make or don't make bad/good calls. Lucky bounces happen and then don't. Needing to win 4 games makes this get evened out.

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Dear Caps fans,

Hockey (including the Caps) is an area in which I'm mentally deficient, woefully uneducated, and as ignorant as I could possibly be, especially considering how much I love sports (soccer, we'll get to in due course, but I'm even further behind there).

How about some cheesy listicles about the Caps to enlighten me? (If you want to do hockey in general, we can use this thread.) I do well with bullet points if they're well-conceived and well-executed. It's perfectly possible to make a substantive, educational listicle, especially when the reader takes it and really tries to learn from it.

Lists of 10 things about the Washington Capitols that every dolt, aspiring to be a non-dolt, including me, should know (with hypertext so I can click on the words and phrases for more information).

With frozen gratitude,

I. Dono Jack

PS - Ironically, I've been to 5-10 games and have loved them. In all honesty (to tell you where I'm starting from), if I had to tell you how many players were on the ice at one time, I'd have to look it up - oh, I could take a good guess (my guess would be 6 from each team: a goalie, 3 forwards, and 2 defensemen), but that's all it would be is an educated guess. I don't know the rules, the penalties, the periods - come to think of it, I don't know much at all. I think "Icing" has something to do with shooting the puck down two lines without anyone else touching the puck or something (but then why would a power-play defense sending it down to the other side of the rink not be icing?) I think "Off-sides" is when you skate down further than where any defenders are (but that seems weird to me - why *wouldn't* you want to do that, on a breakaway for example?). I could not name one single player on the Caps right now (is "Olie the Goalie" still around?) Oh! We still have Alex Ovechkin, right? Yeah, I saw the film of that ridiculous goal where he's sliding past the goal sideways and somehow flicks it in - athleticism transcends individual sports. Anyway, this probably gives you a pretty good picture of where I'm starting from. My lack of knowledge about hockey is shameful, and I'd really appreciate the chance to learn. You know, I could go to Wikipedia and teach myself, but there's something infinitely more rewarding about hearing it from people you're internet-pals with - maybe that's why this community flies, or at least glides.

I really look forward to reading any answers, and I promise to study them and learn them. (Daniel, get ready for soccer, because you're in the on-deck circle).

The things I know, I know incredibly well; the things I don't know, I don't know at all. I'm weird like that. And I *hate* not knowing things more than you could ever imagine.

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I hate the Caps, but fully admit that Ovechkin is in the top 10-20 goal scorers of all time.

If you watch one thing...

Does Ovi backcheck this year without suffering a decrease in point production?

Tough to catch on TV sometimes, but...

When the other team takes control of the puck closer to the Caps goal than Ovechkin is how hard does he try to get back to the puck?

Boudreau convinced Ovi to backcheck, but he also put in place a system that killed his offense.

All right - a second thing. Learn the numbers of the top 2 forward lines (the guys that get the most ice time). When you are watching a game and see someone who you have no idea who they are - how does the flow of the game look? Are they holding their own? Getting dominated? Beating the crap out of a team that is less talented or just cruising?

---

Alex Ovechkin (DonRocks)

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Best team in the NHL right now. 

During the winter I'm much more of a basketball than hockey fan.  Did play both as a kid, and have some fond memories of outdoor hockey on a nearby frozen pond even as I was a miserable skater.   Occasionally in my teen years I'd get tickets to Madison Square Garden in NYC to see either the Knicks (basketball) or Rangers (Hockey).  Assuming it was my money they were always nose bleed seats high up in the upper tiers and least expensive.   One thing I learned was that hockey is very exciting no matter where you are sitting; basketball far less so in the nosebleed seats where the details are  lost in distance and tiny size of the players far far far down the court.  Hockey always fast paced, constant movement, hitting, neat plays and visually so even when perched at the top of the arena.

I've watched a bit of this years Cap's though I haven't been to a game.  Even I can see it.  They are playing well on both sides of the rink.  Hard nosed.  Great season.  Hope they avoid bad injuries!!!!!!!!

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I've watched a bit of this years Cap's though I haven't been to a game.  Even I can see it.  They are playing well on both sides of the rink.  Hard nosed.  Great season.  Hope they avoid bad injuries!!!!!!!!

that's the thing....they've had some great players sidelined on a protracted basis with injuries (Orpik out 2 months and counting, Beagle out for 6 weeks, Latta has missed more than he's played in the past month, etc.) and not only do they keep winning but they're increasing their margin over the rest of the league.  The players being called up from Hershey are doing a masterful job stepping up and the regular players are switching positions, changing up the lines and taking on new duties.  It's a joy to watch them.

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This is a quote I didn't expect to see in the WaPo sports pages, especially about hockey:

Fact is, we haven't seen this before. Virtually no one has. The Caps have more wins through their first 57 games than any team in the history of the league. They have the most points through 57 games of any team in 35 years. Since Jan. 3, they're 15-3-1; the much-worshiped Golden State Warriors are 18-3 in that same span. To say "we've seen this before" is both empirically incorrect and a bit gauche, like scoffing at the arrival of Rose's Luxury because Washington already had a Morton's.

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This is a quote I didn't expect to see in the WaPo sports pages, especially about hockey:

Fact is, we haven't seen this before. Virtually no one has. The Caps have more wins through their first 57 games than any team in the history of the league. They have the most points through 57 games of any team in 35 years. Since Jan. 3, they're 15-3-1; the much-worshiped Golden State Warriors are 18-3 in that same span. To say "we've seen this before" is both empirically incorrect and a bit gauche, like scoffing at the arrival of Rose's Luxury because Washington already had a Morton's.

I thought that was a really good article.  I know I'm definitely enjoying this regular season ride!

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This is a quote I didn't expect to see in the WaPo sports pages, especially about hockey:

Fact is, we haven't seen this before. Virtually no one has. The Caps have more wins through their first 57 games than any team in the history of the league. They have the most points through 57 games of any team in 35 years. Since Jan. 3, they're 15-3-1; the much-worshiped Golden State Warriors are 18-3 in that same span. To say "we've seen this before" is both empirically incorrect and a bit gauche, like scoffing at the arrival of Rose's Luxury because Washington already had a Morton's.

This is truly amazing, and I had absolutely no idea.

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If anyone is interested, I have one extra ticket to each of the games next week (Tuesday vs. Penguins, Wednesday vs. Maple Leafs, and Friday vs. Rangers) - hubby is traveling.  The down side is that you'd have to sit next to me.   :P

For the Tuesday or Wednesday games, I might be willing to part with both tickets if you'd rather attend with someone else.  Just PM me if you are interested or have any questions.

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If anyone is interested, I have one extra ticket to each of the games next week (Tuesday vs. Penguins, Wednesday vs. Maple Leafs, and Friday vs. Rangers) - hubby is traveling. The down side is that you'd have to sit next to me. :P

For the Tuesday or Wednesday games, I might be willing to part with both tickets if you'd rather attend with someone else. Just PM me if you are interested or have any questions.

I hope you got to see Pittsburgh.

"Capitals Rally to Defeat Penguins, 3-2" by Jenn Menendez on post-gazette.com

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On 3/1/2016 at 0:10 AM, DonRocks said:

I hope you got to see Pittsburgh.

"Capitals Rally to Defeat Penguins, 3-2" by Jenn Menendez on post-gazette.com

I watched it on TV, and it was pretty exciting!  I still think there's room for improvement (especially in the 1st period), but I'm feeling pretty good about a possible 1st-round playoff series against the Pens.

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17 hours ago, bettyjoan said:

So, I was a little off in my prediction - turns out we'll get the Pens in the 2nd round instead.  Who's stoked?!?!  (Hint: ME)

I'm stoked and I'm a little nervous.  the Pens are such a tough team.  I know we can beat them, but I also know they can beat us.  May the puck luck gods be on our side and let Holtby be like velcro!

 

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We need to tie up the series tonight.  With Letang out on suspension for this game, the Pens have called up a couple of slower, heavier, hard-hitting players from their AHL team.  I get their reasoning and I also hope it's bad for them because the best thing the Pens have going for them in this series is their speed.  I'm hoping that we can grind them into submission tonight.  Go Caps!

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I'm assuming that the pain of last year's playoffs is the reason why this thread has gone dark, but I'm also interested in folks' thoughts about this year's team...

Of course, "this year's team" is essentially the same as last year's team, but the results thus far have been pretty different.  At this relatively early point in the season, I'm inclined to be perfectly satisfied - after all, being the winningest team in hockey last year did bupkis for us - but I know some people who are already worried.  I'm concerned about the power play (lack of) production, but otherwise still thinking things will be okay in the long run...

Go Caps!

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I'm liking the young blood on the team, and loving the play of Nisky, Winnik, Beags and Justin Williams. I don't think they get credit for the hustle they bring and I wish more of the team had that 3rd and even 4th effort when they're on the ice. Williams is who I always notice gets to and stays at the front of the net in traffic and it's surprising he hasn't pushed more pucks in yet this season.  

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