Capitals Weekly – The Calm Before the Deadline

Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of March 13th though 19th.

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  • Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 – New York Islanders v. Washington Capitals
    • On Tuesday night the Capitals would open up their week with a battle against the New York Islanders, and in the first period it would be a rather quiet period. However at 12:21 Anthony Mantha would break the stalemate as he would jam the puck past Semyon Varlamov to give the Caps the 1-0 lead.
    • In the second period things would get interesting as Brock Nelson would score for the Isles early in the period, but it would be clear goalie interference as Anders Lee had his stick between Vitek Vanecek’s legs and when Vanecek tried to move side to side Lee’s stick interfered with his right skate. The Caps would rightfully challenge the goal, but the officials deemed that there was no goalie interference on the play despite the replays showing there was. As a result of the failed coach’s challenge the Caps would get a two minute minor for delay of game to put the Isles on the powerplay. The Caps would kill off the penalty, and then look to score for themselves to retake the lead, but the Islanders would challenge for offsides, and after seeing the more definitive angle it was clear the Caps were offsides so the goal was disallowed. Then in the final three minutes of the period Kyle Palmieri would get one past Vanecek on a 2 on 1 cross ice slot pass to give the Isles the 2-1 lead.
    • Then in the third period Matt Martin would get called for holding, but for some odd reason Alex Ovechkin would get called for unsportsmanlike conduct despite being hauled down by Martin. After the four on four was over it would be Dmitry Orlov with a spectacular play to feed Axel Jonsson-Fjallby for his first career NHL goal to tie the game at two. A little less than five minutes later Evgeny Kuznetsov would win an offensive zone faceoff cleanly to Ovechkin who would snipe it past Varlamov for his 37th of the season and to pass Jaromir Jagr for third all time in NHL goal scoring with 767 and give the Caps the 3-2 lead. However, the lead would not last long as Noah Dobson would do a shot from the point that would hit off of Vanecek’s pads with the purpose of creating a rebound which Anders Lee would put top shelf to tie the game at three and send the game to overtime.
    • After a scoreless overtime period this game would go to the shootout, and in the eighth round Mantha would call game as he would score and Vanecek would shut the door on Lee to give the Capitals the 4-3 victory over the Islanders.

  • Some notes on my end. The Isles first goal should have been 100 percent waved off due to goalie interference and should have been a 3-2 victory in regulation for the Caps. The fact that the officials AND Toronto did not see it as goalie interference is a farce. It was clear that Lee had his stick in Vanecek’s legs and made contact with his foot to prevent him from being able to move side to side. The offsides call on the Caps goal that was waved off was the right call though. It was also very suspicious that Ovechkin was called for unsportsmanlike conduct when Matt Martin clearly hauled him down. Felt like the refs did not want the Caps to have a powerplay, which they didn’t have one all game.
  • Now to address the Isles third goal as I’ve seen some people blast Vanecek. While yes, his rebound control could have been better during the game, he was still very solid throughout the game. Now for the third goal, and I noticed this all game, the Isles were aiming their shots to hit off of Vanecek’s pads so he couldn’t control his rebounds. It’s a smart play to do if you ask me, and that’s why Lee got the late goal in the third period. Dobson aimed his shot to hit Vanecek a certain way so the rebound would go the way Dobson wanted it to. It’s not an easy thing to do, but players look to do that from time to time. This time around it worked out for the Isles. Just something for the Caps and Vanecek to work on before their next game.
  • Thursday, March 17th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Columbus Blue Jackets
    • Back on the road the Capitals head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for the fourth and final time this regular season. In the first period the Caps would strike early as Anthony Mantha would get set loose by TJ Oshie for a breakaway, and Mantha would slide the puck between the legs of Joonas Korpisalo, a potential trade target for the Caps, to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. Then later in the period Mantha would get a lucky bounce as his shot would go wide but it would hit off the boards hard and bounce off of Korpisalo’s foot and into the net to give Mantha his second of the game and grow the Caps lead to two. In the final five minutes of the period the Caps would go to the powerplay on a Sean Kuraly slashing penalty, and despite some solid zone time and some chances, the Caps would net capitalize on the opportunity. Then Alex Ovechkin would get called for interference to put the Jackets on the powerplay, and the Caps would kill the Jackets powerplay opportunity.
    • In the second period the Caps would strike fast as Martin Fehervary would score 80 seconds into the period as he would also slide the puck between Korpisalo’s legs to grow the Caps lead to three. The goal would end Korpisalo’s night as he would get pulled for Elvis Merzlikins. Then we would see some fireworks as Kuraly would hit Dmitry Orlov in the head and Orlov would take exception to that as both men would go to the box for illegal check to the head and roughing respectively, but Kuraly would also get a roughing minor which would put the Caps on the powerplay for the second time this game. On the extra man advantage the Caps would not score, and then Mantha would go to box for unsportsmanlike conduct to put Columbus on their second powerplay of the game. On this powerplay Oliver Bjorkstrand would score on the tic tac toe play to cut the Caps lead back down to two. However, the Caps would get another chance on the powerplay as Jack Roslovic would go to the box for slashing. This time it would be Ovechkin on the powerplay with a powerful wrist shot to give the Caps their three goal lead back. The Caps would be buzzing after the goal, but Garnet Hathaway would go to the box for interference to put the Jackets back on the powerplay. The Jackets would get some good looks on the powerplay, but they would not be able to convert on the powerplay. Late in the period Tom Wilson would go to the box for cross checking to put the Jackets on their fourth powerplay of the game. The Caps would kill it off and head into the second intermission with the 4-1 lead.
    • Early in the third period it would be some crazy hockey as there would be chances on both ends, but Patrik Laine would redirect the puck past Vitek Vanecek to get the Jackets back within two less than two minutes into the period. Then moments later Dean Kuken would accidently backhand the puck past Merzlikins to give the Caps the 5-2 lead. Connor McMichael would get credited for the goal since he was the last one to touch the puck for the Caps before Kuken would put the puck into his own goal. Not even midway through the period Nic Dowd and Roslovic would take coincidental minors, and interestingly with a little less than 13 minutes left in the period while on the 4v4 the Jackets would pull the goalie, but Conor Sheary would put the puck into the empty net to grow the Caps lead to four. Jakub Voracek would go to the box to put the Caps back on the powerplay, and Evgeny Kuznetsov would roof it to give the Caps the 7-2 lead. Wilson would go to the box for slashing as the refs just can’t put the whistles away, but the Jackets would not be able to capitalize on the powerplay. Then the refs would call another penalty, but this time to Gustav Nyquist for tripping, and on their fifth powerplay they would try to get Mantha the hat trick, but they would be unsuccessful on the opportunity. At the end of it all the Capitals would defeat the Blue Jackets 7-2.
  • Friday, March 18th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Carolina Hurricanes
    • I missed this game due to being in Philadelphia for the IMPACT Wrestling tapings so I present to you Dickson’s recap from Saturday morning’s Daily.
    • In Raleigh the Capitals visit the Hurricanes and in the first period, Seth Jarvis scores his ninth of the year to give Carolina the 1-0 lead. Then, Washington gets a pair of goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov, scoring his 21st, and John Carlson, scoring his 11th. In the second, Vincent Trocheck scores his 17th, and then Seth Jarvis scores his second of the night, to give the Canes the 3-2 lead. Then in the third, Alex Ovechkin nets his 39th of the year to tie the game. In the shootout frame, Alex Ovechkin scores the lone goal to give the Capitals the 4-3 win over the Hurricanes.
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News and Notes

  • The Dominance of Ovi Continues
    • On Tuesday night Alex Ovechkin would net goal number 767 to surpass former Washington Capital Jaromir Jagr for 3rd all time in NHL goal scoring. Ovechkin now sits behind Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894) in the all time list.

Storylines

  • The Trade Deadline
    • With the Trade Deadline on Monday everyone is waiting to see what the Caps will do. Will they get another netmimder to compliment Vanecek, or do they stand pat for now. Only time will tell.

Upcoming Schedule

03-20-22 DAL v. WAS

Sunday, March 20th, 2022 – v. Dallas Stars – 5p ET

TV: SN, NBCSWA, BSSW

03-22-22 STL v. WASTuesday, March 22nd, 2022 – v. St. Louis Blues – 7p ET

TV: NBCSWA, BSMW

03-25-22 WAS v. BUFFriday, March 25th, 2022 – @ Buffalo Sabres – 7p ET

TV: MSG-B, NBCSWA

03-26-22 NJ v. WASSaturday, March 26th, 2022 – v. New Jersey Devils – 7p ET

TV: NBCSWA, MSG+

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