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Sabres at Capitals In-Game Blog: 03-27-12


 

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Lightning at Capitals Postgame Videos 03-08-12


Below are interviews from Washington Capitals Brooks Laich, Karl Alzner, Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, and Dale Hunter following the team’s 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Lightning at Capitals In-Game Blog: 03-08-12


 

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Predators at Capitals In-Game Blog: 12-20-11


 

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Rangers at Capitals Postgame Videos 11-25-11


Below are interviews from Washington Capitals Karl Alzner, Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Troy Brouwer, Nicklas Backstrom, and Bruce Boudreau following the team’s 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers.

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Jets at Capitals In-Game Blog: 11-21-2011


Pregame Preview:

Coming off a four-game losing streak, the Caps returned to Verizon Center on Monday night and improved their home record to 7-1-1 with a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Now the Caps hope to build off of that win against a Winnipeg Jets team that has won three straight after a five game winless streak. That streak included a 4-1 win over the Caps in Winnipeg last Thursday. The Jets, formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, become the first team from Winnipeg to travel to Washington since the old Jets (now the Phoenix Coyotes) tied the Caps 1-1 on January 16, 1996 at USAir Arena.

Right winger Eric Fehr also makes his return to the nation’s capital as a member of the Jets after being traded this summer in return for a 2012 4th Rounder and prospect Danick Paquette. Fehr made his season debut on Saturday after spending the first 19 games on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury. In six seasons with the Capitals, he logged 46 goals and 93 points in 230 career games.

Tonight Alexander Semin returns to action after sitting out Monday night as a healthy scratch while Joel Ward is benched for sleeping in and missing a team meeting yesterday.

Fehr will be in the starting lineup. He received a nice cheer from the Verizon Center crowd when his name was announced on the big screen.

Another familiar friend, the Rally Balloon is featured on tonight’s intro video. That was quick. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kings at Capitals Postgame Videos 2-12-2011


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Bears Return Phantoms’ Favor


Facing the same team, the Philadelphia Phantoms, in the same venue that they suffered one of their most heartbreaking losses on home ice five years ago to the day, the Hershey Bears exacted a little morsel of revenge, clawing out a 3-2 win over the Phantoms at Giant Center.

Hershey goaltender, Michal Neuvirth, coming off a disappointing effort the previous night in Philadelphia, was often times spectacular while picking up his 9th win of the season, stopping 29 shots that included four breakaway type launches.

Bolstered by the return of Greg Amadio and Graham Mink to their lineup, the Bears were a busy bunch in the opening moments of game, firing shots from all angles at Phantoms goaltender, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, yet failing to find a way to beat the veteran netminder through the first 13 minutes of play.

Kyle Wilson, who had not found the back of the net at Giant Center since February 11th, finally found a hole in Aubin’s armor, wristing home his 27th goal of the season at 13:25, with the Bears in the midst of their third power play of the stanza.

“The d-man gave me a little room on the wall, and I walked out,” said Wilson. “The other d-man had to cover Bouchard. I took a shot and the goalie didn’t see it because Gordon was there putting up a solid screen.”

Wilson dented the twine again early in the second period, converting from close range to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Francois Bouchard, who was denied earlier in the shift from close range by Aubin, picked up the only official helper on the tally; however, referee, Kyle Rehman, earned a “phantom” assist, getting in the way of an attempted clearing attempt by the Phantoms.

“Not much I had to do, but find a good spot for him. He (Bouchard) put it right on my tape, and I just tapped it home,” Wilson said.

Coincidental penalties, just 10 seconds after the goal, to Hershey’s defensemen, Dean Arsene and Staffan Kromwall, set the stage for Philly’s first goal of the evening, a 5-on-3 power play strike from Luca Sbisa, which was his first goal of the season.

Sbisa’s goal was the last goal of the second period, and Wilson was denied his hat trick at seven minutes after being sprung by a long outlet pass by Amadio, who returned after a 17 game absence.

“I don’t think it was overly tough to stay positive (while not playing), but definitely it was a mental battle to keep pushing myself to be in tip top shape when I came back,” said Amadio.

Shortly after Neuvirth denied Patrick Maroon’s point blank attempt, Kronwall scored the eventual game-winner at 14:49, making the score 3-1.

“Joudrey won the draw clean,” said Kronwall, whose goal was his 2nd in a Bears’ uniform. “I saw the other guy was kind of cheating on me, and I cut across and somehow it made it through.”

With the Phantoms on the power play, and Aubin on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Maroon cut Hershey’s lead to 3-2, banking a shot off of Hershey defenseman, Karl Alzner, at 18:34.

Philly failed to get the equalizer in the final seconds of play, despite some intense moments which included Amadio defending the Bears’ den without his stick by gloving the puck out of harm’s way.

“I had no stick and I saw the puck,” said Amadio. “It was just a reaction that I dove and hit it with my hand, and thank God it went into the corner.”

With their win, the Bears clinched the AHL’s Eastern Division Championship; yet, Kronwall still sees room for improvement in his team’s play.

“I’m not very happy with the way we played. You’ve got to give them credit, but I don’t think we played at all the way we should be playing right now going into the playoffs.”

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Panthers Devour Caps 5-3


My mother always told me “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Unfortunately, Mom probably didn’t realize I’d take up sports-writing as a hobby, and that part of sports-writing is that you have to say some not nice things. Especially when your team goes out and plays a game like the one the Caps played tonight.

 

I know she’ll be reading this, so, sorry Mom…in advance.

 

A quick shout out – Before I get to the game stuff, which you really probably already know about anyway, and probably aren’t in any big rush to hear about yet, I’d like to thank John and Winnie, two die-hard season ticket holders that kept me entertained prior to tonight’s game.

 

If you happen to have the chance to meet them at the Green Turtle at Verizon Center, buy them a beer, they are good company.

 

Does this make my butt look big? – At the beginning of the game, the camera-person found the fan with the “rally horn” and he was displayed on the scoreboard doing what he does best; blowing his horn to the familiar “LET’S-GO-CAPS” cheer.

 

Unfortunately, the camera person must not have noticed the rather large woman who was bent over her seat right next to him until after her butt was taking up most of the scoreboard. To their credit they tried to stay with the “rally horn” fan, and tried to pan over as much as they could to spare the crowd as much of the unintentional mooning as possible, but there was no escaping it.

 

I wonder if anyone told her.

 

The phantom goal – Alex Ovechkin is so gifted he can will the puck into the net without ever touching it. The Caps goal in the first period was officially credited to Nicklas Backstrom, but it sure looked like Ovie had given the Caps a 1-0 lead on the power play.

 

Apparently what happened was that Nick’s shot hit a defender’s skate and went in. Alex had wound up to get the one-timer to the left of the net, and did in fact swing, so it made it look like he had scored. Gotta give those scoring officials credit, they have the sharp eye!

 

Wait; there’s two more periods? – At the end of the first period the Caps looked to be pretty fairly in control of the game. They had a 1-0 lead, and were leading in shots 8-4. Two of Florida’s four shots came near the end of the period on the power-play.

 

See if I ever say anything nice about you again! – Jose Theodore was coming off a shutout performance, and seemed to be handling his rebounds well. Just as I finished making a note about how he’s starting to look good he gave up his first goal of the night.

 

See if I ever say anything nice about you again; Part Deux! – After his first couple of games, it’s hard to remember that Karl Alzner is a rookie. He certainly looked like it tonight. He was caught out of position early in the first period, but was saved by the quick stick of Sami Lepisto. Early in the second period he over-skated Ville Peltonen who stopped short, used Alzner as a screen and beat Jose Theodore for the Panthers first goal of the night.

 

Later in the second period he had the misfortune of being in the way of David Steckel’s break-out pass and had the puck ricochet off his skate to beat Theodore 5-hole.

 

What’s the fastest way to kill a penalty? – Score on yourself! They’ll never expect that and you get your guy out of the penalty box quicker! Alzner’s (ahem) goal was a PPG that was credited to Jay Bouwmeester, and a little less than five minutes later, Shaone Morrison was in the crease with Theodore when Bryan McCabe snapped off his wrister.

 

The puck actually bounced off Morrison and into the net.

 

I haven’t heard the Boo-Birds of winter in a while – As the second period wound to a close the boo-birds let their dissatisfaction be known. There weren’t very many of them, but in the absence of anything worth cheering about, their voices were heard.

 

I guess when you’re 9-0-1 at home; you aren’t going to hear much in the way of dissatisfaction.

 

Where’d everybody go? – By the start of the third period, less than half the 16,792 fans who had attended tonight’s game had left. Those that stayed made sure they pointed out whatever it was that the Caps were doing wrong.

 

Several times throughout the third period, the scoreboard operators tried to get the fans back into the game with their “MAKE SOME NOISE” graphics and “The Good Ol’ Hockey Game” song, but fans of a team that is losing 4-1 were having a hard time figuring out what they wanted to make noise about, and certainly were in no mood to sing.

 

No Excuses – This was the first time I’ve had the chance to sit in on a press conference with Couch Boudreau after a Caps loss. He neither made, nor would accept any excuses for the way the Caps played tonight. When asked about the goals that bounced in off of his own players he replied with “Yeah, but didn’t our first goal go in off one of their guys? At least the goal we got was shot by one of our guys.”

 

When asked about his team looking lethargic he agreed “Yeah, they did. Quite frankly it was the least energy that I think we’ve had all year. I talked about how we needed to have a lot of energy tonight because their team was coming off a big win in New York, and they’d be ready to play us. I don’t know what it was. I have no idea. I mean, maybe we had too many days off.”

 

When asked about Theodore’s performance giving up four goals on 16 shots he said “He was like the rest of the team. The biggest problem is when the goalie is like the rest of the team, he stands out like a sore thumb, but he probably wasn’t any worse than the rest of our players.”

 

When asked about the apparent inexperience on the blue-line he said “I dunno, we talk about inexperience at this level, but I mean it’s the common sense plays they’ve been doing since they were thirteen years old that were the ones, and it wasn’t just the inexperienced guys that were makin’ ‘em.”

 

I wouldn’t describe Coach Boudreau as seething, but I tell you this much…

 

…I wouldn’t want to be a Washington Capital that had to report to practice in the morning!

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Mighty Bears gain talented trio


In a move that significantly bolsters an already impressive Hershey Bears lineup, the Washington Capitals assigned forwards Chris Bourque and Quintin Laing, and defenseman Karl Alzner to the AHL club on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

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