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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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Finally. Hell freezes over in a good way. CAPS WIN

Live Hockey is one of the best sports to attend.  We have been going to 10+ games/season the last 7 years and are never disappointed. We were there Wednesday and had tickets for last night but could n

I see what you're saying about to keep pressing, but the Knights had pulled their goalie.  With an extra shooter on the ice, the Caps had to play those last few minutes as an extended penalty kill, wh

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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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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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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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Happily, it seems that the NHL bubble is working very well.  Not a single case reported in the hundreds of players, staff and arena crews.  First of the three seeding games for the Caps was a tie in regulation, a loss in a shoot-out against Tampa Bay.  First period they couldn't keep any offensive zone time but looked stronger as the game progressed against an incredibly speedy Tampa team.  Next game is Thursday against Philadelphia, I believe.  It had been set for 4:00 but that may have changed.

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Caps beat the Bruins 2-1 in a very boring game.  Worrisome that Carlson is still out and still questionable for the first playoff game on Wednesday against Barry Trotz's NY Islanders.  However, the much talked about young defenseman, Martin Fehervary, got 15 minutes of ice time and acquitted himself very well -- led the team in hits, didn't get drawn out of position, fast enough to keep the opponent wingers boxed out.  Holtby is also playing very well.

First playoff game for the Caps is Wednesday @ 3:00 p.m.  Guess I'll have to set the DVR.

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Holtby was fine the first two periods.   Third period, the whole team sucked.  40 minutes out of 60 won't win a cup.  Fingers crossed that Backstrom isn't badly injured and can come back into the series.  Defense is looking very disjointed.  Kempny hasn't recovered his playing style since his surgery, he's been a nothingburger,, and Dillon hasn't meshed completely into the system yet.  They aren't keeping the opposition to the outside.   

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I certainly agree about Fehervary.   I wonder if it would be smart to stick such a hot prospect like McMichael out there in such a chippy atmosphere as his first NHL games.  Gotta weigh the risks, as we may be losing Samsonov if his back and neck injury prove to be too much to overcome in the off season.  

 

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Game time 8:00 tonight.  Nicklas Backstrom is out and following concussion protocols following a late cheap hit in Game 1.  Lars Eller moves up to center in the top 6, back in the game after quaranting following a trip to DC to see his newborn son.  Since Eller has only had one practice and otherwise been off the ice for the past 8 days, he might be pretty rusty.  No word yet this afternoon on the defensive pairings

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A beautiful start to the game that quickly devolved into sloppy, useless play.  On one power play, the Isles cleared the puck 7 times in a row with the Caps chasing the puck out of their D-zone the entire two minutes.  Orlov is playing on his opposite side, and he's notorious for making lousy plays on his good side and that is now compounded with him working off his backhand all the time.  Far too many hail Mary passes to try to move up the ice, instead of controlled, short passes bringing all the forwards up together.  And for Pete's sake, TWO penalties called for too many men on the ice.  Lazy, sloppy play.  Where's the urgency?  Not seeing any fire in these guys after the first 5 minutes.

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Finally, they woke up and started playing their own game again!  Looked dismal for the first 10-15 minutes, then an Isles player slashed Ovi on the back of the legs and Ovi got him in a headlock.  Here's the thing, Ovechkin hits, and hits hard in a game, but rarely, rarely fights.  For him to headlock that guy meant he was very angry, and a mad Ovi is a scoring Ovi.  And score he did, twice, one from his office and one on a drive down the ice.  Kuzy also got a silky goal swerving around defenders and deftly popping the puck over the goalie's leg on the far side.

Nice write-up with video clip highlights here https://www.nhl.com/news/washington-capitals-new-york-islanders-game-4-recap/c-318555140

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Well, they stunk up the place again last night.  D played pretty well, but couldn't get any offense generated.  Kudos to Trotz for keeping his young group disciplined.  Probably our last time seeing Holtby in a Caps jersey.  Rumors about Rierden being canned.  We definitely need a mini-rebuild, and have to see what Seattle picks from us -- rumor there is they will grab TJ Oshie to captain the new team.

 

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Stunk.  It seems that our age and heavy team was a step or three behind the whole series.  Maybe Seattle want Panik, I don't.  Or Boyd.  We got nothing from our 3rd and 4th lines.  And someone needs to light a fire under Kuzy's ass, he can't just play one way hockey.

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Boswell savages the Caps management and players in his online chat today

https://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-boswell-20200824.html?hpid=hp_rightrailtwo-4-4-12-12_live-chat-new-2020%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans&itid=hp_rightrailtwo-4-4-12-12_live-chat-new-2020%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

It was disgusting (to me) to watch. I've seen every minute of the Caps past two post-seasons and more than 50 of their regular-=season games --yes, I watch them a lot more than I write about them-- and, except in '17-'18 after Trotz got all over their asses-- they have always been in love with their own talent. And it's been an anchor. 

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the shortened season starts tonight for the Caps.  Two very young, albeit promising, goalies without much NHL experience behind the oldest and one of, if not the heaviest teams in the league for a short 56 game (vs. 82) game season.  No room to work out a losing streak.  Most interesting off season addition was Zdeno Chara, Big Z, from the Boston Bruins, a 6'8" wall of a defenseman, but old and slow on his skates, but with a wingspan that can stop anything within about 30 feet of his body if his reflexes are quick enough.  Yet to be seen.  Also a new coach in Laviolette known to be demanding, so can he get them off their laurels?  At least he doesn't use that awful power play slingshot to move the puck up the ice.  Can they bring medically sidelined King Henry a cup?  Let's go Caps!

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