Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, and Seattle Kraken. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of February 27th though March 5th.
- Monday, February 28th, 2022 – Toronto Maple Leafs v. Washington Capitals
- On Monday night the Caps would open up the week with a tilt against the Maple Leafs, and in the first period Michael Bunting would score 2:35 into the game to give the Leafs the quick 1-0 lead. A little later into the period Evgeny Kuznetsov would go to the box to put the Leafs on the powerplay but the Caps penalty killers would be up to the task to keep their deficit to one. In the final five minutes of the period things would get lively as Conor Sheary would strike to get the Caps on the board, but tallies from William Nylander and Justin Holl would give the Leafs the 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
- In the second period Bunting would go to the box early for holding, but the Caps would not capitalize on this powerplay. However, the Caps would get a second chance as Pierre Engvall would go to the box for tripping, and this time the Caps would strike as Tom Wilson would net his 16th of the season to get the Caps back within one. Before the second period would end both teams would trade powerplay opportunities, but neither team would score as the Leafs would hold onto the 3-2 lead going into the intermission.
- 49 seconds into the third period Kuznetsov would go to the box for hooking, but it would be the Caps striking while shorthanded as Wilson would net his second of the game to tie the game at three. Shortly after killing off the Kuznetsov penalty Lars Eller would go to the box, and then much later in the period Wayne Simmonds and Trevor van Riemsdyk both would go off for roughing. However, the final five minutes of the game would not be kind to the Caps for the second time this game as Rasmus Sandin and Pierre Engvall would score to give the Maple Leafs the 5-3 victory over the Capitals.
- Full Disclosure: I was in my video editing class when the game was being played so I was unable to watch it live. I saw Alex Ovechkin’s frustrations after the team lost and where he broke his stick in frustration, and I agree. It has been a frustrating time for the Caps, and makes you wonder what’s going on in that locker room, and what the team is trying to do to fix it.
- Thursday, March 3rd, 2022 – Carolina Hurricanes v. Washington Capitals
- After the announcement that the Caps would head back outdoors next season they would take on their 2023 Stadium Series opponent and host Carolina Hurricanes in a very important Metro Division matchup. In the first period the Caps would control the play early on. The Caps would get the first powerplay as a result of their play, but the Canes first over penalty kill would be up to the task. The Canes would get their chance at the powerplay as Evgeny Kuznetsov would go to the box, but the Caps would kill it. The Canes would get themselves into penalty trouble near the end of the period as Ethan Bear would go to the box for holding and Brady Skjei would head to the box for high sticking to give the Caps the two man advantage. While on the two man advantage Kuznetsov would strike to give the Caps the 1-0 lead.
- In the second period the Caps would get the early powerplay as Sebastian Aho would go to the box, and the Caps would create some quality chances, but they were not able to capitalize on those chances as the Canes kept the Caps off the board while on their fourth powerplay of the game. The Caps would keep up the play against the Canes and it would pay off as the Nic Dowd/Garnet Hathaway line would add Conor Sheary with the loss to Carl Hagelin to injury and they would generate chaos in the offensive zone which would lead to a Martin Fehervary goal to grow the Caps lead to two. As the period would continue the Canes would show their frustrations, and it would result in a Derek Stepan penalty to send the Caps to the powerplay for the fifth time this game. On the powerplay Frederik Andersen would do a bad clearing attempt that Kuznetsov would intercept, and lead to great passes by TJ Oshie and John Carlson to get Alex Ovechkin the puck and the one time bomb for his 33rd of the season and 763rd career goal to give the Caps their second powerplay goal of the game and grow their lead to three. Shortly after taking the three goal lead Garnet Hathaway would go to the box for interference to put the Canes on the powerplay, but the Caps would be up to the task and kill off the penalty and get some chances themselves while shorthanded. However, in the final minutes of the second period Ovechkin would go to the box for hooking to put the Canes back on the powerplay.
- To start the third period the Canes would have an abbreviated powerplay, but the Caps would kill off the penalty. Throughout the majority of the period the Canes would control the play and outshoot the Caps 17-6, but an elbowing penalty to Brady Skjei with three minutes left in the game would put the Caps on the powerplay for the sixth time this game, and the Canes would kill it off, but as the powerplay ended it would be Dmitry Orlov scoring to give the Capitals the 4-0 victory over the Hurricanes, and give Vitek Vanecek his third shutout of the season.
- Saturday, March 5th, 2022 – Seattle Kraken v. Washington Capitals
- For the first time ever the Capitals would play host to the expansion Seattle Kraken, and in the first period both the Caps and Kraken would play more of a feeling out process during the first half of the period, but at the 1130 mark Tom Wilson would pick up the puck from Alex Ovechkin and drive the net to bury the puck to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. 34 seconds later Dmitry Orlov would blast a bomb from the point that would beat Chris Driedger five hole to give the Caps the two goal lead. John Carlson would get hooking, and while the Caps would keep the Kraken off the board during the powerplay, shortly after it would end Joonas Donskoi would score to get the Kraken back within one.
- Going into the second period Colin Blackwell would strike 58 seconds into the period to tie the game at two. A few minutes later Garnet Hathaway would go to the box for tripping, but once again the Caps would be up to the task and kill off the penalty. at the half way mark of the period Jaden Schwartz would get called for hooking, and on the powerplay Conor Sheary would strike with a juicy rebound in the crease to retake the lead for the Caps. In the final minute of the period Carson Soucy would go to the box for holding to put the Caps on their second powerplay of the game.
- To start of the third period the Caps would have and abbreviated powerplay, and 47 seconds into the period Alex Ovechkin would rip a bullet from his office to grow the Caps lead to two and have the Caps go a perfect two for two on the powerplay. later in the period Hathaway would go back to the box for tripping, however the Kraken would not score on that powerplay either, and in the final minutes of the game Sheary would net his second of the game when he would hit the empty net to give the Capitals the 5-2 victory over the Kraken.
News and Notes
- Carl Hagelin is out indefinitely due to a serious eye injury.
- Hagelin had surgery on his eye Tuesday night after suffering the injury.
- Hagelin does wear a visor, but does not wear it properly as he has it risen above his eyes instead of having it cover his eyes which is how it should be worn.
- The Caps are headed back outdoors as the NHL announced on Thursday that the Carolina Hurricanes would be hosting the Caps for the 2023 Stadium Series which will be played at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC in February 2023.
- This game will mark the fourth time the Capitals will play outdoors.
- Caps Head Back Outdoors
- The Capitals announced that they had placed forwards Joe Snively and Carl Hagelin on LTIR.
- The Caps also activated forward Anthony Mantha off of IR.
- The Powerplay is Waking Up
- While I have talked poorly about the Caps powerplay there was a week where the Caps powerplay was really good, but I erred on the side of caution as I wanted to see a bigger sample size and thanks to Caps PR we have those numbers that we can look at. In the Caps past 13 games they have gone 13 for 43 for a very respectable 30.2 percent. The Caps have also scored on the powerplay in 10 of those 13 games as well.
- This is very promising for the Caps as we loom closer to the trade deadline, and make their push to the playoffs, but let’s see who their powerplay performs in these next ten games as well.
- Mantha’s Back
- Anthony Mantha returned to the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. His return felt like it brought a calm to the Caps locker room, and throughout the two games that he’s played in thus far the team has been playing more confidently. The Caps are getting healthy and the return of Mantha is a piece that has been missing for a while for this team.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 – @ Calgary Flames – 9p ET
TV: SNW, NBCSWA
Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 – @ Edmonton Oilers – 8p ET
TV: TNT, SN, SN1, TVAS
Friday, March 11th, 2022 – @ Vancouver Canucks – 10p ET
TV: NBCSWA+, SNP
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