Monthly Archives: February 2009

Upcoming Matchup 2/28 @ Bruins

bruinscapitals2

 

 

 

 

© Photos courtesy of Google

Saturday February 28, 2009 @ 1 PM @ Fleet Center

TV: CSN-DC                                            Radio: Listen Live!

39-18-5 Record 42-12-8
2nd Conference Standing 1st
14-12-4 Away v Home 21-4-4
3-2-0 Last 5 Games 3-2-0
24.2% (3rd) Powerplay 22.8% (5th)
80.0% (20th) Penaltykill 83.6% (5th)
83 Points 92
207 Goals For 212
179 Goals Against 138

Notes:

  • The Bruins are coming off a 6-0 stomping of the Ducks, but had two key players leave the game–Marc Savard and Milan Lucic
  • Boston goaltender Tim Thomas leads all goalies in save % with .934 and goals-against-average with 2.01
  • Norris Trophy candidates Mike Green and Zdeno Chara will faceoff agasint each other
  • Green has goals in his previous 2 meetings against the Bruins, and leads all defensemen with 23 goals
  • The Bruins lost back-to-back games against Southeast Division foes Lighting and Panthers last weekend
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Semin leads Caps to Victory 4-3

© Photo Courtesy of the National Post

© Photo Courtesy of the National Post

The Caps were able to edge Atlanta last night to give rookie goaltender Michal Neuvirth his 2nd win in 2 starts.  Alex Semin started the game with a powerplay goal, assisted by Alex Ovechkin who continued his 3-game point streak.   Ovechkin also got into a scuffle with Marty Reasoner after getting high-sticked.

Atlanta only managed to send 24 shots at Neuvirth as the Caps pummeled Lehtonen with 40.  The powerplay was almost unstoppable going 3 for 8, and giving the Caps a 2-0 lead early in the first.  Mike Green recorded his league-leading 16th powerplay goal of the season, and tied the Caps record held by Scott Stevens for most PP goals by a defenseman.

Brashear got into a pretty epic fight against Eric Boulton in the 2nd…

Unfortunetly, Atlanta struck right after to tie the game up and give the Thrashers some hope.  They were only able to record 11 more shots in the game as the Caps dominated.

The Caps took a 2-goal lead in the early stages of the 3rd period and controlled most of the game.  The Thrashers struck on a shorthanded goal by Todd White with just under 2 minutes remaining.  Neuvirth came up with a couple key stops right at the end of the game to kill the chance of a comeback.

Michael Nylander took a seat last night most likely because he only has one point in 8 games.  He was replaced by Kozlov who was put back with his old line of Ovechkin and Backstrom.  With the deadline approaching, Nylander might be on the trading block.

3 Stars:

* Alex Semin *

** Mike Green **

*** Ilya Kovalchuk ***

 

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Around the League: Headlines

Video of the Day: Alex Kovalev–AK27

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Upcoming Matchup 2/26 vs Thrashers

capitals2atlanta

 

 

 

 

© Photos courtesy of Google

Tuesday February 26, 2009 @ 7:00 PM @ Verizon Center

TV: CSN-DC                                   Radio: Listen Live!

38-18-5 Record 22-33-6
2nd Conference Standing 14th
24-6-1 Home v Away 12-16-4
3-2-0 Last 5 Games 3-1-1
23.8% (3rd) Powerplay 19.8% (13th)
80.0% (21st) Penaltykill 74.9% (29th)
81 Points 50
203 Goals For 180
176 Goals Against 214

Notes:

  • The Thrashers have one of the worst penalty kills in the league–look for some powerplay production out of the Caps
  • The Caps are 2-2 in their last 4 games at home but still hold the best home record in the Eastern Conference
  • Alex Ovechkin has a goal and an assist in each of his last 2 games
  • Viktor Kozlov is expected to make his return after being sidelined with a groin injury since Feb 3rd
  • Make sure you tivo “Day in the Life: Mike Green” on the NHL Network which starts at 7 PM as well

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Caps Lose Lead in 3rd

Flyers Capitals Hockey

© Photo courtesy of Daylife.com

After obtaining a 2-goal lead early in the 2nd, the Caps gave up 4 unanswered goals to fall to the Flyers 4-2 last night.  Special teams played a huge role in the game, as well as a handful of missed opportunities that could have swayed the game in the Caps favor.  

Backstrom struck first on the powerplay against one of the best penalty killing units in the league.  Ovechkin found the back of the net early in the 2nd for his 44th goal of the season.   The Caps missed 2 shorthanded breakaways which would have given them a more substantial lead.

The Flyers penalty kill stood strong the rest of the game stopping 6 powerplay opportunities to keep the game within reach.   The Caps took a seat in the box 4 times in the 2nd, and gave Philly a 5 on 3 chance that was capitalized on by Claude Giroux.  Despite all the missed opportunities and penalties the Caps went into the 3rd with a 2-1 lead.

About halfway through the third, things started to get ugly for the Caps.  Scott Hartnell tied the game up with a snipe on a 3 on 2, Jeff Carter banged in a rebound off Theodore to take the lead, and Arron Asham gave the Flyers some insurance after walking 2 Caps defenders.  All 3 goals were scored in just over 3 minutes of playing time to give Philly a 2-goal lead.

Usually if this happens in a game, Caps fans would expect a comeback to unfold but 2 more dumb penalties halted any chance of such a scenario.  I wouldn’t put any blame on Theo for his play.  He made some incredible saves, including a one-timer with about 10 seconds to go.  The lack of defensive urgency in front of the Caps netminder was evident and is something that must be addressed.

Brooks Laich told the Post’s Tarik El-Bashir that penalties and missed opportunites factored into the loss.

“This is the new NHL. They want to limit the obstruction and we just seem to take lazy, undisciplined sometimes they can be criticized as selfish penalties,” Brooks Laich said. “Every game we shoot the puck in our zone over the glass we’ve got to limit that. I don’t know, it’s got to stop.”

The Flyers didn’t get any production on the scoreboard from the red-hot Mike Richards, but they finally saw a spark from Jeff Carter who was scoreless in his previous 5 games–this was mostly due to a juggling of lines by head coach John Stevens putting Carter with Lupul and Hartnell.

3 Stars:

* Jeff Carter *

**Scott Hartnell **

*** Antero Niittymaki ***

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Around the League: Renney fired by Rangers

tom-renneyThe New York Rangers fired Tom Renny today, and look to replace him with Tom Tortorella.

After going 2-5-3 in their last 10 games the Rangers decided to do what we were all thinking and get rid of Renney.  His lax coaching style will be replaced by a more fierce coach in Tortorella, in hopes to bring some accountability to the lack of production by their superstars.

Read the full story here from Bob McKenzie of TSN or from the Rangers Website.

© Photo courtesy of Google

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Upcoming Matchup 2/24 vs Flyers

philadelphiacapitals2

 

 

 

 

 

© Photos courtesy of Google 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 @ 7 PM @ Verizon Center

TV: CSN-DC                                  Radio: Listen Live!

38-17-5 Record 31-17-9
2nd Conference Standing 4th
24-5-1 Home v Away 14-9-6
4-1-0 Last 5 Games 2-3-0
24.1% (3rd) Powerplay 23.3% (4th)
79.8% (20th) Penaltykill 82.9% (8th)
81 Points 71
201 Goals For 189
172 Goals Against 169

Notes:

  • The season series between the two squads is tied at one a piece
  • The Caps are an Eastern Conference leading 7-2-1 in the month of February, only 2nd behind the Canucks for the league-lead
  • The Flyers’ Mike Richards has 8 points in his last 2 games, and is 1st in the NHL with 9 shorthanded goals
  • Look for special teams to make the difference in this game, with the Caps needing a little more luck on the penalty kill
  • Alex Ovechkin has 6 goals in his last 5 games. He also has 21 points in 14 games in his career vs Philly, but he is -2 with zero points against them this season
  • Check out his game winning goal from last year’s playoffs…

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