Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DC Sports Box: Caps Pick Up Goalie Huet at Deadline

Uhh ... what?

Where did that come from, Mr. McPhee?

After all this talk of standing pat and going with what they've got, the Caps have been one of the most active teams on NHL trade deadline day, adding Montreal starting goalie Cristobal Huet, Columbus center Sergei Fedorov and Vancouver forward and pest Matt Cooke.

So far I've only gotten to the Huet-for-nothing deal. Err ... Huet for a second round pick in 2009.

Check out my opinion piece at DC Sports Box:
Caps Pick Up Goalie Huet at Deadline

Still no word on what this means for the tandem of Kolzig and Johnson, although there's still a few minutes until the deadline so who knows.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New in the Shop: Mike Green T-Shirts!

Or should I say "generic shirts of a hockey player who happens to be named Green and scores in overtime a lot." Or Grien. Or Gruen. It could be any of those. There's really no way of distinguishing.

Here's the image on the front:

But rest assured, it doesn't say "BeltwaySportsBeat.com" on the front there. (It's on the back. Sorry.)

Here's where you can buy them by the dozen ... or one at a time. But why would you stop at one? Beltway Sports Shop.

You can also get these 3" x 5" stickers, which don't actually say BeltwaySportsBeat.com anywhere on them:


Monday, February 11, 2008

DC Sports Box: Green's OT Goal puts Caps Over Rangers, Back into Division Lead

And just like that, the Caps are back in first place for another day. (And check out the Rangers' faces behind Green in that picture. Awesome.)

Here's the link to my recap on DC Sports Box, with some decent quotes from the locker room:

Green's OT Goal puts Caps Over Rangers, Back into Division Lead

The Hurricanes play the Bruins tomorrow night and can knock the Caps back to second, but for now the Caps are in first in the Southeast as they head into a three-game road trip that will pit them against division rivals Atlanta, Florida and Tampa Bay.

It's time for the Caps to prove that they're ready to win these "playoff-type" Southeast games and start knocking down the teams they're now trying to stay ahead of. I want 6 points. And honestly, anything less than five would be disappointing.

That's right. I'm setting the bar that high.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Capitals in First Place

In the Southeast Division.

And Atlanta plays tonight and could take the lead with a win.

But for now, it feels good to wake up and see this:

And here's my obligatory two-games-in-one-article recap of the Caps short road trip:
Capitals Take Division Lead with Back-to-Back Wins

I'll be back in the press box for both of this weekends games, and they're big'uns.

On Friday the Caps start a 16 day stretch during which they play seven games, starting and ending with the Hurricanes. Breaking down those games, there are:

Five vs. the Southeast (vs. Carolina, at Atlanta, at Florida, at Tampa Bay, at Carolina).

Two vs non-Southeast teams that are fighting for eighth in the Eastern conference (vs. New York Islanders, vs. New York Rangers).

And four of the seven games are on the road.

If the Caps can earn nine or more points between now and February 23, they're going to be in fantastic shape heading into the last six weeks of the season.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Thank God we got the win, or I probably would have fought him."

Quote of the Day, Capitals Edition.

On referee Bill McCreary running some interference for the Blue Jackets by taking out Shaone Morrisonn and giving Rick Nash a clean breakaway (video below):

"It was a great hip check by Billy there. ... I don't know what he was doing in the middle, but everybody makes mistakes. Thank God we got the win, or I probably would have fought him."
--Caps Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn
Courtesy of The Washington Times, Feb. 6, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Quote of the Week

"We're only going to score 17 points? ... OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points."
--New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady
January 30, 2008


Yahoo! Sports Box Score


Sunday, February 03, 2008

DC Sports Box: Caps Dominate Everywhere but Scoreboard, Fall to Atlanta 2-0

I didn't cover last night's game. My friend and new favorite writer, Abram Fox, filled in and wrote a great article:

Caps Dominate Everywhere but Scoreboard, Fall to Atlanta 2-0

It really was a disappointing loss. The caps had so many chances and failed to score, and Atlanta only managed 13 shots and scored twice. Sometimes the better team does not win the game.

The key now is to not let this linger and to get back at it on Tuesday in Columbus.

It sucks to lose to a division opponent in a big game, but my feeling since the Caps got to .500 has been that what it would take to make the playoffs is another stretch of six wins in a row -- or winning seven of eight or eight of ten -- while breaking even in the rest of the games. That would have them finishing six or seven games over .500, which should have them right in the mix for both eighth place in the East AND the Southeast Division lead.

So you can't put too much weight on one game, as important as it seemed at the time. There are still 29 games left.

Friday, February 01, 2008

DC Sports Box: Banged Up Ovechkin Buries Four to Lead Caps to Thrilling Win


That game was something else. Every time the Caps seemed to have the Canadiens buried (3-0 in the first, 4-2 in the third), they came back, including a soul-crushing, game-tying goal with 32.6 seconds left after Guillaume Latendresse yanked a puck from under Olie Kolzig's body before the refs whistled the play dead.

And despite that, to still come back and win ... that's something.

Here's a link to my recap from DC Sports Box:

Banged Up Ovechkin Buries Four to Lead Caps to Thrilling Win

For such a dramatic game, the post game quotes were kind of disappointing. Maybe everyone was just exhausted physically and mentally.

Also, as strange as it is to say in a game where one guy scored four goals and assisted on the other, the Caps really got production from a lot of sources. Viktor Kozlov had a goal and a pair of assists, Tom Poti made a nice play on the Kozlov goal, Milan "Juice" Jurcina had an assist on a smart give-and-go with Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz made a nice play in overtime to get the puck to Ovechkin on the game winner and Mike Green had a pair of secondary assists.

Another thing I noticed during the game: Nicklas Backstrom (one assist) is becoming a hell of a two-way player. He got in deep in the defensive zone a couple times and was able to break up plays and pick Canadiens' pockets. Having him on the top line really frees Ovechkin up to take some risks and make things happen.