Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks, and Dallas Stars. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of January 23rd though 29th.
- Monday, January 24th, 2022 – Vegas Golden Knights v. Washington Capitals
- To kick off the three game week, the Washington Capitals would host the Vegas Golden Knights, and in would be a rather quiet one too. In the first period both teams would trade powerplay opportunities that neither team would capitalize on.
- In the second period Michael Amadio would score for the Knights, and it would also be the only goal of the game as well. After giving up the goal the Caps would get a 1:57 5 on 3 powerplay, but it would be the Blaine Forsythe Way as the Caps would not do a damn thing with the two man advantage. Then the Caps would give the Knights back to back powerplays, but the Caps penalty killers would be up for the task both times to keep them only down by one.
- Then in the third period the Caps would have 1:45 of carryover powerplay time, but they would not convert on it for the fourth time of the game. There would be two more powerplay opportunities in the game, but neither the Caps of Knights would capitalize as Vegas would hold on for the 1-0 victory over the Caps.
- So full disclosure, I didn’t see the game due to my class starting that night, but from what I can gather the Caps put up a good effort and played solid defensively. Both Vitek Vanecek and Robin Lehner would play spectacular goaltending. Key thing is that powerplay. Blaine Forsythe is hell bent on not changing a damn thing with the powerplay and it’s pathetic.
- Wednesday, January 26th, 2021 – San Jose Sharks v. Washington Capitals
- On Wednesday night the Capitals would host the San Jose Sharks to end their short homestand. In the first period Noah Gregor would open the scoring for the Sharks as he would score by banking the puck past Ilya Samsonov off of a Brent Burns pass through the slot for the 1-0 San Jose lead. The Sharks would outshoot the Caps 14 to 8, and neither team would get a powerplay opportunity in the period.
- In the second period Nicolas Meloche would net his first career NHL goal to grow the Sharks lead to two. Shortly after Tomas Hertl would go to the penalty box for high sticking, but the Caps wouldn’t do much with this powerplay opportunity. Then later in the period Jonathan Dahlen would head to the box for slashing, and while the Caps first powerplay unit would be useless, the second unit would try to change things up and generate a few chances, but ultimately not score. Dmitry Orlov would go to the box for Holding, but the Caps penalty killers would be up to the task as they would kill off the penalty to stay down by two at periods end.
- Then in the third period Daniel Sprong would score 14 seconds into the period to get the Caps on the board and within one, but goals from Dahlen and Andrew Cogliano would give the Sharks the 4-1 victory over the Capitals. The Caps would get one more powerplay chance, but again, useless.
- Being at the game I could really see a lot of the glaring issues facing the Caps and one of them is that they really need to do some changes behind the bench with the first one being Blaine Forsythe because it’s evident that he refuses to change the powerplay. Also, we need to accept the fact that the young kids are going to need to get more playing time and continue to develop because Anthony Mantha will not be back for a few more months due to shoulder surgery, and TJ Oshie needs to stay out of the lineup until he is fully healthy. So while these two players heal up and prepare to come back at 100 percent, the Caps need to get back to that next man up mentality that guided them to the Stanley Cup in 2018 because right now, this ain’t it.
- Friday, January 28th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Dallas Stars
- In Dallas the Stars would honor Sergei Zubov as they retired his number 56 to the rafter, and Braden Holtby would take on his former team in the Capitals for this little trip out to Texas. In the first period the Stars would strike early, but a coach’s challenge would have the goal waived, and moments later the Caps would go on the powerplay. In what many consider a miracle the Caps would change things up as Tom Wilson would strike from the faceoff circle to give the Caps the 1-0 lead 89 seconds into the game. then the Caps would go back onto the powerplay and John Carlson would one time a bomb from the point to grow the Caps lead to two and have the Caps goa perfect two for two on the powerplay for the night. Then later in the period Trevor van Riemsdyk would score to grow the Caps lead to three.
- In the second period Carlson would get hit with a double minor for high sticking, but the Caps would be up to task and kill off the penalty to go a perfect three for three for the game. After the penalty kill Connor McMichael would strike on a Lars Eller feed into the slot, and Nicklas Backstrom would pick the corner to give the Capitals the eventual 5-0 victory over the Stars.
- Nothing happened in the third period outside of Holtby being pulled to start the period, and the Caps only generated two shots on goal, but it was an overall solid defensive effort to keep the Stars off the board and Vitek Vanecek was spectacular in net stopping all 29 shots for the shutout. Good to see the powerplay changing things up finally and having guys shoot from different places too. Shifting Wilson from the front of the net into the faceoff circle was a nice change with a different look for getting shots off. Overall this was a great game that the Caps really needed.
News and Notes
- Rough week for the Caps overall losing two out of three was not very good, and while the powerplay was a perfect 2 for 2 in Dallas, it was still awful the two games before. It’ll be interesting to see how the powerplay responds against Pittsburgh and Edmonton this upcoming week. Did what we see be a one off, or is the powerplay finally getting it’s groove back?
Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 – @ Pittsburgh Penguins – 7p ET
TV: NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022 – v. Edmonton Oilers – 7p ET
TV: TNT, SN, TVAS