Game 2 for Hunter Is Round 2

Posted by Brad Parker

The Caps and Penguins play for the second time this season Thursday night in Washington. As if we need another reason to watch, let’s take another look at what happened on October 13.

It’s 38 days later and Beagle hasn’t played since. Imagine if Dale Hunter had been on the ice that night. Or Thursday night.

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Anything Happening, Caps Fans?

Posted by the LJizzle

So, has there been any big news in Caps Nation since I last posted?

Let’s see, ridiculous losses to Toronto, the Rangers and the Sabres?  Anything worth mentioning there?

Ahhh, the coaching change.  That seems to be the big news of the day (or of two days ago – to paraphrase the immortal words of Professor Dave Jennings, I have a job, people).  Let me stick my two cents in.  Full disclosure – as an Islander fan, I hate Dale Hunter for the Turgeon hit (best line -after Hunter was hired and Kirk Muller, who skipped town on the Islanders, was hired in Carolina, someone on twitter posted, “Who’s hiring Darcy Tucker?”).  Having said that, if Hunter coaches as he played, with a no bullshit approach, it seems to be the style that this teams need.

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History Will Be Made Tonight

Posted by Brad Parker

I think we all know what happens tonight. History will be made. And on a June night, not too far in the future, history will make amends.

Crap, the Capitals Fired Boudreau. Wait, They Replaced Him With Dale Hunter… Shrug?

Posted by IronCityspy

That sentence (and muscle contraction) was more or less repeated by every person with even a casual stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins. An explanation, though, is probably necessary.

While the Washington area generally had fond feelings for Mr. Boudreau, what with his astounding winning percentage, genial attitude and affinity for gym shorts (typically Al Bundying them), the Penguins fans, well, did not. It’s not that we hated him as a person or thought he was any sort of a villain – we just viewed him as something of a buffoon. Now this had little to do with the barbeque sauce incident…or his rotundness… or even his idiotic commercials. No, there was just something fatally missing about his coaching ability. We took comfort knowing that while the Caps would likely beat us in the regular season (as those were the Cap’s playoff games), Boudreau lacked the strategic ability to get the Caps past the Pens in a multi-game series.

Gentleman scholar

It was then with great sadness when we woke up yesterday morning to learn of his dismissal. Visions of the Capitals own version of the 2009 Penguins danced in our heads. Gone was the coach that took a middling, yet supremely talented team from doldrums to respectability. His very simplistic and aggressive style, which had so successfully transformed the Capitals into a contender, was now guilty of holding them back. What was needed now was a heady, strategically minded coach that will create schemes to match the talent. And that is why the Capitals hired…wait…Dale Hunter?

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Sir, Step Away From the Handgun

Posted by LJizzle

Things seem to be relatively calm in a city that routinely gets too high and too low about its Redskins (although it’s impossible, in my humble opinion to be too low about that team – especially since the two quarterbacks that the coach was willing to stake his reputation on – his words  – are awful – doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in a head coach whose genius seems to be tied to having a gentleman whose name rhymes with John Shmelway – but I digress) with respect to the Capitals.  It could be that it’s just turned to November, and people are still distracted by the Redskins, or it could be a sign of relative maturity in the fan base (though recent trips to the phone booth belie this point).  So let’s take a look, given the recent two game skid, of what’s wrong with your Washington Capitals.

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First Week Overview from the LJizzle

Posted by the LJizzle

It’s been a good first week for the Caps. It’s hard to argue with gaining ten out of a possible ten points in your first five games.

You might think “Who have they played?”

I would argue that Carolina is much improved and the Pens are the Pens, but aside from that, it’s not a murderer’s row.

Despite their shopping spree, Florida is just not that good, and I think Tampa Bay is going to backslide as Roloson is starting to show his age.

Vokoun has been good, despite letting in some bad goals from off angles in his first start. The proof for him will be in May, not in October, and he’s not terribly playoff-tested, but if you said to me, “You could have Vokoun for a year for under $2M, or sign Bryzgalov to a stupid 9-year deal that counts almost $6M per year against the cap until he’s 40, I would take the former every time. I’m not sure that Bryzgalov is better than Vokoun, he’s got a history of playoff folds, and it’s a classic Philly goaltending move. The best thing that could happen to Bobrovsky is to get out of there – complete disregard and lack of patience for a promising young talent by Dineen.

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Don’t Forget the Lokomotiv’s

Posted by IronCityspy

Last night’s game was an important one, and not just because it resumed the best rivalry in the NHL. No, it was important because it honored the horrid tragedy of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, which unfortunately puts into stark perspective just how meaningless “the NHL’s best rivalry“ is.

I guess I would be remiss not to make a few quick points about last night’s action, but I leave it to Brad to recount it in gratuitous fashion.

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As I Was Saying …

Posted by Brad Parker

So, we’re back. And we have some cool site news. I am now officially one of two Capitals Correspondents for the awesome misterirrelevant.com. Yeah, we’re not sure how we got Mottram to fall for it but he did.

In case you missed it, our first post went live over there last week. Check it out, it’s disturbing.

We also have two new contributors to the site. We’ll keep you in suspense for now but I will say that one of them is a Penguins fan, so there’s that.

Follow us on twitter, @stopthehats, and look for Mr. Irrelevant post number two this afternoon.

Caps Rout Bruins 4-1 in Opener

Posted by SuckaFish

Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich celebrate Laich's first goal of the season. The Caps beat Boston 4-1.

Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich celebrate Laich's first goal of the season. The Caps beat Boston 4-1. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) (Winslow Townson - AP)


The Caps started what might be their most anticipated season with a nearly perfect game. Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist and Brooks Laich added two power play goals after getting nine all of last season.

Jose Theodore let Semyon Varlamov know that there will be a serious competition for the no. 1 goalie spot. Theodore didn’t allow a goal until 7:56 in the third when the Caps already led 4-0. It came on a shorthanded breakaway and he got a piece of the puck before it trickled in.

There were many reasons for Washington to be optimistic after this game against the top team in the East last year. The Caps were efficient on the power play, scoring twice in five opportunities. Ovechkin got off to a quick start with three points on opening night. The secondary scoring was there, Nicklas Backstrom had three assists, Alexander Semin had two. And Theodore was strong in the net.

The Caps head back to Washington for their home opener Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Drop the Puck! NHL Season Preview Roundup

Posted by SuckaFish

The Caps finally open the season Thursday night in Boston. Here’s a bunch of predictions and features from the experts, and some idiots, to get you ready.

Is This the Year for the Caps? (Washington Post)

Does Alex Ovechkin have a shot at catching Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record? (Washington Times)

2009-10 Washington Capitals Season Preview (Japers’ Rink)

Eastern Conference Power Rankings (Buccigross)

ESPN’s Experts’ Picks (Four letter dot com)

Caps Give Ovechkin a Supporting Cast (Yahoo! Sports)

2009-10 Eastern Conference staff prognostications (Puck Daddy)

Expert Picks (CBS Sports)

SI’s 2009-10 NHL Scouting Reports (SI.com)

NHL Season Preview: Team-by-Team (Sporting News)

Uni Watch: Comprehensive NHL Preview (Uni Watch)

@StopTheHats

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