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Tag: Washington Capitals


The Caps struck first with a bit of a soft goal past Fleury’s glove hand. Then the first career Golden Knights goal for Ryan Carpenter. Vegas outplayed Washington in the first period, but the opposite occurred in the second. Both periods ended tied. Washington scored right away but Vegas got the next two including the game winner a by Alex Tuch. Grubauer spilled it and Tuch was able to punch it in.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Washington Capitals at Capitol One Arena.

  • Comparing arena experiences in Anaheim, Los Angeles, Dallas, and now Washington; T-Mobile Arena really is on another level.

Three Stars
*** Matt Niskanen
** Alex Tuch
* Reilly Smith

Instead, Washington Was The Flat Team; We’re OK With That

Had to go with a Haula picture after his excellent acting as Santa for the Happy Haula-Days skit. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Did the Golden Knights get the best from the Washington Capitals last night? Braden Holtby didn’t think so.

We just weren’t mentally prepared to work, skate, or anything. Against a team like that you can talk about them being a first-year team, but you know what they play like. They work, and we didn’t work. -Braden Holtby, Capitals Goaltender

We’ve heard many excuses from losing teams this season, but this is the first time a losing opponent admitted his team wasn’t prepared to play.

There is no excuse for that against any team. -Holtby

Ovechkin said it could’ve been a lot worse, had it not been for his goaltender.

We knew it was going to be hard with back-to-back. Again, I think if not for Holtby it would be like 10-0 at the first period. That’s why he’s one of the best goalies in the league, if not the best goalie in the league. He gave us a chance and we couldn’t come back -Alex Ovechkin, Capitals Captain

Holtby agreed, but gave Vegas the credit.

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Vegas came out and jumped all over the Capitals in the 1st period scoring three times and getting a ton of other scoring chances. A couple early penalty kills in the 2nd cemented the lead and the Golden Knights coasted to a relatively easy shutout victory. That concludes a 4-0-1 homestand against three of the best teams in the NHL. Vegas will head into the Christmas break as the #1 team in the Western Conference by point percentage.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Guest Post: Golden Knights Christmas Wish List

Three Stars
*** Alex Tuch
** Nate Schmidt
* Marc-Andre Fleury

Primed For A Pre-Holiday Letdown?

When the Golden Knights returned from their successful trip to Nashville and Dallas, coach Gerard Gallant was definitely a bit concerned about the five-game homestand centered around the Christmas break.

Sometimes around the holidays, your focus is somewhere else. We talk about that, let’s make sure we are focused on these next five games and then the holidays start. You’ve got kids and families around for the holidays. Sometimes it’s easier to be on the road. We’ve just got to make sure we are focused. -Gerard Gallant on December 11th

Human nature sucks sometimes. Tonight has a real good chance to be one of those times. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Well, they must have been focused because the Golden Knights have put together a stretch of three wins in the first four games and have racked up seven of the eight possible points along the way.

But there’s still one game left on this homestand and it may just be the stiffest test of all of them. Washington plays the style of game that Vegas has struggled with. They take care of the puck in their own end, they are strong in transition, and when they get set up in the offensive zone they are lethal.

A 3-1-1 homestand would certainly not be viewed as anything but a major success considering the opponents the Golden Knights have faced. However, for most players and coaches normally when asked about stretches of games coaches and players tend to resort to the old cliche of “the next game.” That wasn’t so much the case, much to my surprise, for Gallant looking ahead to this one.

I admitted to you, we had five games before the break and they were all home games. I probably said let’s do real well here and right now we’re doing real well, we’re 3-0-1 in those five games. I want to win that next game, it’s an important game, but we’ve had a great stretch with this five game run no matter what happens. (extended pause) But I want to win it! -Gerard Gallant

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Taking Nate Schmidt Caused Change In Plans On Grubauer For Washington

Doubt this reminder is necessary, but here it is anyway, George McPhee was the general manager of the Washington Capitals for 17 years from 1997-2014. He was fired at the end of the 2014 season because the seemingly championship quality roster just couldn’t get over the hump and win the Stanley Cup.

McPhee moved on to work with Garth Snow and the New York Islanders, Team Canada at the IIHF Worlds, and eventually, take the job in Vegas. The Capitals are well, still the Capitals.

So when the Expansion Draft rolled around, to many, Washington was one of the most interesting selections of the 30 McPhee and Vegas were to make. Most believed the pick would be Philipp Grubauer, the backup goalie who was drafted by McPhee in the 4th round in 2010. Grubauer was one of the league’s best #2 goalies in 2016-17 and appeared to be the perfect option to fill the same role behind Marc-Andre Fleury as a Golden Knight.

But no, instead, Vegas picked Nate Schmidt, the 25-year-old defenseman that went undrafted out of University of Minnesota and signed with Washington (McPhee) in 2013. Schmidt had a +22 rating last season and is +34 in the past two seasons, his first full seasons at the NHL level. Schmidt came over as a restricted free agent whom Vegas clearly had future plans.

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Alexander Ovechkin Coming To Vegas… NOT

They did it again, they made him get out of his worn-out lazyboy. Its time again for everyone’s least-favorite uncle, Uncle Sour. Just like his frustration from the Claude Julien and Daryl Sutter to Vegas reactions, the overreaction of a possible Alex Ovechkin to the Golden Knights trade is getting silly. I ask one simple question, does it make sense for Vegas or Washington?

That’s a team (Vegas) that can take anybody. But what are they going to give. That’s the problem, they have nothing to give. If ownership is ready for that, there’s your chance. Here’s your chance and it’s not coming every year. –Renaud Lavoie, Sportsnet

Lavoie suggests the Golden Knights are a open for other team’s trash. The idea of an expansion team taking “anybody” is bad business, especially for the future development of the franchise. The team is blessed with a fresh cap, why would they want to instantly weigh it down with a contract like Ovechkin’s? Lavoie also mentioned Vegas would have nothing to trade back. Which is another reason this deal won’t happen. The organization has plenty to offer but it’s not mortgaging the future for a 31-year-old winger. The former Caps GM was brought to Las Vegas to build a wining franchise long term, not a three-year fading All-Star team.

What other GM in the NHL will be given the leeway to build a roster like McPhee? He knows this and will be patient building a wining franchise. Sending future first-round picks to the Capitals for their HoF sniper is goes against the strategy he’s been preaching since he first got here. Possibly, in a few years when McPhee’s sitting on a potential playoff team Ovechkin could make sense. By then, his contract length will be much more manageable and the price tag on Ovi will have gone way down.

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Study: Fans Are Concerned About Expansion, But Not Terrified

Here in Vegas it’s all positive news about the expansion draft and the rather loose rules that should allow the team to be filled with some solid talent. But around the rest of the country, and Canada, it’s obviously being viewed a bit different.

Every team in the NHL is going to lose at least one player if the league does indeed to expand. Seeing as teams can only protect one goalie, three defenseman, and seven forwards, deeper rosters are certainly at risk of losing a good piece.

So, I decided to take to Reddit to get a gauge of how scared fans really are about the possibility of an expansion draft and the ramifications it will have on their favorite team.

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Double Minor With Jason Pothier – 1/30/16

Dennis Wideman is a punk. Hockey refs are awesome. The state of the Capitals, and a little All Star Game stuff. Jason heads back to the box to give you the latest in hockey news. It’s Double Minor with Jason Pothier.

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When Building An NHL Team, Goalie Comes First

Most successful teams are balanced with a great offense and a great defense. In all sports one player can make the difference, but overall balance is the plan. However, in hockey and football one position truly makes the difference for teams to succeed.

If an NFL team doesn’t have a great quarterback chances are the team isn’t still playing. Same with the NHL, to have success a team needs a goaltender. Not an average one either, a goalie that can anchor a team like Dominik Hasek did. In both sports teams need an elite star that can individually lead them to victory.

This weekend the Golden Boy will defend his title against the legendary Peyton Manning who is relatively beaten up but good enough to be there. On the NFC side, two QBs having career years will face off. Carson Palmer and Cam Newton are former Heisman winners and ready to win their first Super Bowls. They may not be the top four best QBs in the NFL, but they are some of football’s best. All four of them have a good chance of winning this year’s Lombardi trophy.

Now the NHL isn’t so far off. Most of today’s best teams have the leagues best goaltenders. Sure I know an NHL team needs a solid two-way center, a sniper, and a deep blue line. However, those teams are still backed up by the NHL’s best. Let’s take the LA Kings as an example. You could argue Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar  are the best players at their position. Doughty and Kopitar will both tell you without their stud goalie Jonathon Quick they wouldn’t be two-time Stanley cup winners.

Over on the Eastern Conference Alexander Ovechkin gets all the praise for lighting up the lamp in DC, but he has a lot of help. Goaltender Braden Holtby is playing out of his mind and anchors the best team in the east. Down south the surprise Panthers are led by their thirty-six year old Vezina finalist goaltender Roberto Luongo. He’s always been a top tier goalie, but this season he has shown he’s still elite. Plus he’s always lead the NHL with his slick salad. This talented Florida team is geared up for a serious postseason run in front of Roberto. Here’s more on glorious heads of hair.

Some of you will argue that Corey Crawford isn’t a top tier goaltender. Hey, I understand the evidence is there. Joel Quennville has had to pull his starter on multiple occasions. Scott Darling has his own fan page thanks to a few stinkers from Crawford. Chicago is also loaded so Crawford doesn’t have to be the star like Carey Price in Montreal. Even after being pulled, Crawford was there at the end stopping Stamkos clappers.

If the trend continues, this year’s Stanley Cup winner will have a steady goaltender leading the charge. Keep in mind the 2012 Kings Cup winning team was an #8 seed. That’s when the Jonathan Quick show began, and it hasn’t stopped airing. LA proved seeding doesn’t matter in the playoffs, and a hot goalie is the key. That’s why teams like the Rangers, Bruins, Predators and Ducks still have a fighting chance in the playoffs. Their goaltenders give them a chance to win on most nights. So this when you’re watching the NFL playoffs, look at the four remaining quarterbacks and ask yourself a question. Would these four teams be playing without these QBs? Chances are no, and the same will be said come Stanley Cup time. The teams remaining will have an outstanding netminder.

Mock Expansion Draft – Protected Players – Washington Capitals

The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.

Next up, we have the Washington Capitals. The Capitals are being represented by Adam Stringham from

Protected Players

Analysis from

The Capitals have elected to protect 1 goaltender, 5 defenseman, and 9 forwards for the Mock Expansion Draft. The team has made a conscious effort to retain their younger/skilled players at the expense of some valuable veteran leadership. Sure, Brooks Orpik’s foot speed might not be what it used to be… but wouldn’t he be a great first captain for some brand new organization?

In all seriousness Philipp Grubauer is the player that was the hardest to leave unprotected but in the end it was the only logical choice. The Capitals have strong organizational goaltending depth in Vitek Vanecek (2nd Round, 2014) and Ilya Samsonov (1st Round, 2015).

The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.

To see more team explanations just like this one, check out The Sin Bin Mock Expansion Draft Landing Page.

Special thanks again to Adam Stringham from Be sure to follow @JapersRink on Twitter, and heck, throw us (@SinBinVegas) a follow too while you’re at it.

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