Tag Archives: East Coast

Braden Holtby; the future of the franchise?

16 Apr

Ever since I’ve been following the Caps, there has been some kind of goalie drama. Theodore or Varlamov in the Playoffs? Varlamov or Neuvirth as starter? Who are we keeping and who are we trading? Enough already! Luckily, this season they seem to have finally gotten their panties out of a wad and settled on the dynamic duo Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth. The next Batman and Robin? Not quite, but dependable netminders who can help the Caps achieve Playoff success? The results so far are promising.

At the start of the season, Oates made it clear neither goalie was a starter and that whomever could win would play. Admittedly, the start of the season was rough for fans and the team who stayed in the bottom 10 for weeks. As the season progressed and the team started to come together and string points together, the goalies got into a rhythm themselves.

Holtby

Holtby, who had a Playoff season no one would’ve expected, got off to a rocky start which caused some to question to letting Vokoun go. Was Holtby’s success just a flash in a pan? Does he need more time in the AHL? This talk was laid to rest quickly when the Caps started winning at the hands of Holtby’s saves.

Holtby’s stats are impressive being a rookie in the NHL faring only worse than some of the most experienced goalies in the NHL like Henrik Lundvquist. What does this say about our rookie goaltender? He’s one to keep, that’s for sure. Not only is he in the top 10 f0r goals against, saves, shootouts, and wins but his other stats don’t lag to far behind either.

As I always say, stats aren’t everything. This holds true for every player in every position, but Holtby’s stats support his talent and ability to play behind a team that’s had quite a rocky season. In the end, I see Holtby staying with the Caps for a long time. Will he be a franchise player like Brodeur with hall of fame career? Who knows, but if he keeps playing like this there’s nothing stopping him.

Caps are in the Playoffs…for now

11 Apr

If you’ve been following the Caps these season, you know all to well the uphill battle they’re fighting to get enough points to get in the Playoff race. Let me back up a little and explain how the playoffs are organized and all this point business.

In the NHL, you get two points for winning a game. Pretty simple, right? Well, if your team goes to overtime (also referred to as OT) because you’re tied both teams are awarded one point and the team that wins gets another point effectively winning two points.

Now, there are two divisions in the NHL; the Eastern division nnd the Western division. These are divided into multiple divisions, which I won’t get into because it can get a little confusing, but eight teams per division make the Playoffs.

This is due to the accumulation of points. the top three teams per division are ranked in the top three (that’s a good thing because you play inter-divsion until the Finals and it goes one-eight, two-seven, three-six, and so on) so if you win your division you’re assured a Playoff spot.

Luckily for the Caps, they play in the worst division in the league. While they may have less points than the team in eight, they have more points than anyone in their division therefore effectively making the Playoffs in a good place. That make sense?

As I was saying before, the Caps have been fighting an uphill battle to make the Playoffs this year. But they’ve been fortunate to be placed in a division with the likes of the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, making them the winners (so far!) but there are two weeks left int he season meaning the Caps have enough time to screw things up royally with teams like Lightening, Bruins, Senators, and Canadiens coming up.

If they go on a tail spin like they were on much of this season, the Jets (who are only two points or one game away from them in the standings) could easily win the division and effectively make the Playoffs. With things so close in the Eastern Conference, there’s no way the Caps can make the Playoffs except by winning their division.

 

image

 

.

That being said, the Caps “top guns” have finally been showing up and producing like they’re paid to do. Ovi? He’s the gold star of the week on NHL Net. And for good reason, he’s had 7 goals in the past three games! He, really the whole team, have been showing they’re serious business this season. Let’s hope they can keep it up. Once you make the Playoffs, anything can happen! The LA Kings are prime examples being the first team int he eighth spot in the Playoffs to win a Cup.

CHIMRAWR

12 Jan

This season’s been nuts. Jason Chimera, of all people, lead the team in scoring until early December, the Caps fired their Coach, Ovie doesn’t have 20 goals yet, and consistency.

I talk about Chimera, not only because he’s found his scoring stick, but because he got the GWG last night. FOr a guy who’s supposed to add “character”, he’s been adding a whole hell of a lot of scoring “character”.

Not only does he have 4 more goals than he did last year, but he’s dominating in points as well only 5 away from his season total last year. Not bad for a career 3rd liner, eh?

Last night was only proof that Chimera is the kind of player the Caps need more of. He’s a solid all around player; being able to contribute to scoring, setting up plays, the occasional fight, and a key physical presence in front of the net.

Last night was really a corner turned for the Caps. Not because they won, but how they won. They won by listening to their Coach and following his game plan and playing as a team and not as a group of talented guys.

Albeit, the game didn’t exactly start out the way you want, but they got their act together part way through the second and it was on in the third. The Caps kept it simple and dominated the Pens, from a physical and scoring stand point.

The Caps did score only one goal in the first, but they had higher quality scoring opportunities. Not to mention Hendricks being on absolute fire last night, if half the pucks he shot at the net went in the Caps would’ve won by a land slide.

Last night was an example of how the Caps should play if they really want to be a threat this year. If they keep playing hard and with the same intensity exhibited last night, they’re going to be in good shape come Playoff time.

On the third day of Christmas, a true Caps fan said to me…

12 Dec

Flyers suck! Is what you were thinking, right?

Tonight marks the second time these two clubs meet, out of the four times total this season. The last time the Caps and Flyers met, things were going great. The Caps were undefeated and were on an 7 game winning streak with no clouds in view.

Fast forward to now; the Caps 17th in the league, with Philly 3rd. While those stats are pretty bad, the Caps are on the turn around having won their last two games and ready to make it a full-fledged winning streak by adding one against a bitter rival.

This game isn’t going to be a piece of cake for either team. Both want to win, to beat a rival and to improve their standings. The Caps are also still transitioning into the new system Coach Dale Hunter has set out for them, although things did seem to finally click the other night when the Caps played Toronto, beating the Leafs 4-2.

The Flyers are also battling injuries with Chris Pronger out due to an eye injury, which follows his reoccurring knee injuries. The Flyers are on a winning streak as well, which makes this game even bigger. No predictions from me tonight, but expect an intense game, as usual when playing a rival.

That’s all for tonight folks! I have a Caps game to watch and some Government to  do.

Caps vs. Devil wears Prada (3-2 SO)

14 Nov

Better late than never, no? With Hugh Grants “Pop Goes my Heart” blaring in the background infused with baby wails; I recall that late and cold night.

The Caps did part two with the christmas ornaments Devils in the Phone Booth this past Saturday. You read that right, folks. The Caps played the Devils back to back. Don’t ask me why, Gary Bettmen’s the one with all the crazy scheduling ideas.

the second game went down as you might expect; the Devils were tired and angry. The Caps were also tired and angry, just about different stuff. The Devils were angry about losing and the Caps were angry about accountability. Different messages, same vein, eh? At any rate, the Caps came out strong in the first making it 2-0 via Speedy feet Chimers and Brouwer.

The Devils decided that just wouldn’t do as they came back with a presence in the second and third periods to make the score tied at 2-2 by Skyora and Carter. While the Devils had it going on, clearly, the Caps were about as mobile as my Great Grandmama in a wheel chair. Not so much. They recorded just 2 shots on goal! I’m pretty sure my high school’s A team could do better than that.

If you thought the second was drier than the Grand Canyon, you’d be wrong. The third period was icecapades lead by, your favorite, #6 Dennis Wideman! Someone give that man a sticker, preferably sparkly. The Caps and Devils had a total of 9 shots on net. Either they were really tired or the defense was spectacular. I’m just going to go with the first due to our recent issues…

With no score in the last 20 minutes of regulation; the Caps were headed to fan favorite, Overtime! Overtime was even more depressing as both team only recorded one shot on net and no score resulted. You know what that means folks, Shoot out.

Was this the part where I switched to watch Pineapple Express because Shootouts always make me super nervous? I can neither confirm nor deny this. Either way, the Devils ended up with one more goal via David Clarkson with the fourth shootout goal.

All in all, it was a decent game. I wasn’t impressed with the second or third perod but considering they had worked their butts off the night before and were dead dog tired, I give them a pass. Also, a pat on the back for Wideman. Really great job, you workhorse. And a pat on the back for the other hard workers, you know who you are.

%d bloggers like this: