Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pack yer bags


"Simply Sensational!" has moved to new digs.

Check out our new home at CapitalsGains.com.

The quantity of posts will start up back up again, Exam Week did not kill me, it only killed the quantity of posts on the site.

I hate to leave the Simply Sensational name, but I think it's for the best. In one year, you guys help make this site relevant in the Capitals blogosphere. Now, let's do it for Capitals Gains.

See ya on the other side!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finals Week...



As many of you have noticed, this site has not been updated as much as it used to be. I attribute that to a change of schools (Penn State-Harrisburg to James Madison University), where JMU's workload dwarf's that of PSH. Gone are the days of sitting in my apartment in the middle of Pennsylvania with a notepad and 34 firefox tabs open, desperately trying to find a relevant statistic.

Now with Exam Week upon us (college kids), it's now time to study more than you sleep, procrastinate more than ever, and live off Adderall and Red Bull (kidding, everyone knows you shouldn't take addy and Rd Bull).

I've knocked out two exams and have two to go. Meaning, that the site will remain quite for a few more days. But, it's like that saying, "It's always calmest before the storm."

I have great news and there are going to be some pretty big changes coming about. These changes should take place within the next two weeks (fingers crossed). You will love the changes. I will love the changes. And I cannot wait. See you then!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sports Jobs with Junior Seau - Caps Edition




From VERSUS-

VERSUS Sports Jobs with Junior Seau visits the Washington
Capitals
, where Junior tries his luck as equipment manager. In this scene,
Junior practices with Alexander Ovechkin and the team and hand delivers box
seat tickets to owner, Ted Leonsis. Junior even receives his own
personalized Washington Capitals jersey!
Catch this episode December 9th at 11:30PM ET.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.versus.com/sportsjobs


Sorry about the lack of posts fellas (and ladies). Explanation tomorrow (with video).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Capitals-Canadiens Winners & Losers

Winners:

Eric Fehr. This is the year guys. This is it. It's been six (going on seven) years since we drafted him, but this is what we've been waiting for. Six goals in the past 12 games. We just have to thank god Gabby didn't put him in on the shootout. That could have been bad (well, not as bad as his last attempt).

Semyon Varlamov. 14-1-3 in the NHL. Nuff said. Good luck getting your job back Theo.

Alex Ovechkin. Injury? What injury? Ovi dangled (thanks for saying that 4256459 times Locker) all night long and finished with a goal and an assist. Although I've come to assume that he'll score on every time he gets a breakaway so props to CP for shutting down Alex twice. He also added on six zero hits.

Nicklas Backstrom. Did have one giveaway (one more than he's usually good for)...Made up for it by winning the game. 47% from the dot isn't terrible. Let's see more shots on net, though.

Brian Pothier. He has become a (very) poor man's Mike Green. Gotta love the fact that he's willing to drive the net and pay the price late in the game. Why was he ever a healthy scratch?

Alexandre Giroux. Just kidding!

Medium:

Mathieu Perreault. Keeps creating = keeps playing with the Caps.

Karl Alzner. Picks up his first assist of his career in 20+ minutes. More King Karl plz.

Jay Beagle. Almost knocked in Ovechkin's rebound. Shoulda, woulda, coulda Jay. Next time.

Losers:

The Rooster. Boo! Hiss! Dude, seriously go away. Who died and promoted him to the first line? Okay maybe that last one was a little harsh, but I digress. Giroux did not have a good game. Two stupid #$%@ing penalties. The first interference call was kinda bogus, but as he was leaving the box (for a second time) in the third, Travis Moen was celebrating Montreal's third goal. He is indeed a 'tweener' (no, not this). Good in the AHL, not so much in the NHL ('Inbetween' the AHL/NHL...get it?). Words spoken by Locker. Yes Craig, I make up words too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 Stats - Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals

All four of Nicklas Backstrom's goals have come at home.

Mike Green was penalized seven times in Washington's first eight games. In the 15 games since then, he's been sent to the sin bin just once.

Brendan Morrison has scored more goals (seven) against Buffalo than against any other Eastern Conference team.

On Saturday against Toronto (23rd game of the season), Brooks Laich registered his sixth five-shot game. Last year, Laich's sixth game with five or more shots came on February 3rd (52nd game).

Jose Theodore is 8-3-1 against the Northwest Division as a member of the Capitals.

Buffalo is 5-1 in when Thomas Vanek scores a goal.

Jason Pominville has two goals and three assists in the past four games played between these teams at the Verizon Center.

The Sabres are 7-2 this year when Tim Connolly gets three or more shots on net.

Henrik Tallinder has four goals in the last 193 games (including the 2007 Playoffs).

Ryan Miller is 5-1 in his career playing in the nation's capital.

Friday, November 20, 2009

10 Facts - Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals

Tomas Plekanec has 10 points (4+6) in his last 10 games against the Caps.

Glen Metropolit has more Power Play goals in 15 games this year with Montreal than he did in 101 games with Washington in 1999-2002 (then again from 2002-2003).

Max Pacioretty was three years old when Roman Hamirlik played his first NHL game. If you were curious, Pacioretty celebrates his birthday on the 20th day of the 11th month.

Washington has four players with 20+ points. The Canadiens have zero.

Carey Price is 0-3-1 in his last four games on Fridays.

The Caps are 4-0-1 at home this season when Alex Ovechkin has a multi-point game.

In his last 14 games against Northeast Divisional teams, Eric Fehr has just one goal and one assist.

Through 21 games, Brooks Laich is on pace for 35 goals and 78 points. Up last year from 23 and 53, respectively.

Washington is 2-7-1 in their last 10 home games that Mike Green has not registered a point in.

Semyon Varlamov has a career record of 6-0-1 with a 2.22 GAA on home ice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Capitals-Wild Winners & Losers


Winners:

Mathieu Perreault. Sure it was Pothier who got the game-winner, but Perry has been money since he got here. Mathieu has an impressive four points in five games. It should be noted that he's out there for nine minutes, not 19 like the top six forwards.

Semyon Varlamov. Yes, he should have stopped Cal Clutterbuck's 'flutter-dipper' (as the Minny announcers call it), but since that's the only mistake, we'll take it. Me thinks he's earned another start, but seeing how the Caps travel tomorrow to play in New Jersey, the smart move is to throw Theo back in net.

Shots. Two straight games with 40+ shots. The Caps won't lose many games doing this.

Special Teams. The Penalty-killers did not allow a goal in three chances and the Caps converted once in three chances on the extra man. A beauty of a pass from Flash to Green. It's nice to know things don't fall apart with Ovi out of commission.

David Steckel. 15/18 in the face-off circle including a perfect 11/11 in the neutral zone.

Medium:

Nicklas Backstrom. Questionable call but a stupid penalty none-the-less. Backstrom knows better.

Mike Knuble. Got injured...doing what he does best. So I guess that's okay. Get better soon now.

Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleischmann. Combined, they had two assists. Combined, they also had as many shots on net as Steckel. With Ovechkin out, it's okay to shoot it once in a while.

Losers:

The Caps. Here me out... None of them have mustaches! If Green rocks the hawk, someone, anyone needs to rock the 'stache. It's a great cause and you'll look like a porn star as manly as Kyle Brodziak:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Capitals-Islanders Winners & Losers


Winners:

Alexander Semin. Despite most fans doing this (above) after the Islanders' third goal, your two three goals made up for it. Semin "could have easily scored five goals", but two and a shootout goal will have to suffice. His 11 shots were the most since...ever.

Semyon Varlamov. Tonight we saw the same Semyon Varlamov that we saw in the playoffs last season. Varly was bombarded in the final period and stood up to the challenge. A brick wall couldn't have stopped that Trent Hunter goal. Talk about earning a start.

Tomas Fleischmann. His sixth goal in seven games puts him on pace for over 60 goals this year. Realistically? Let's go for 30. Still somehow -2. Huh.

Mike Green. Two assists in 25:26. He's probably still banged up, but that shouldn't be his excuse for not passing it once in a while when he does these full-ice rushes into the offensive zone.

Nicklas Backstrom. When you have a share of the league-lead in assists, even when you lose the puck, it turns into an assist.

Medium:

Eric Fehr. Ugly shootout attempt, ugly goal. Whatevs. Take em as they come.

Special Teams. 2/3 with the extra man. Ovechkin who? (Kidding, please come back soon). Allowing a power play goal late in the third is never fun. Especially when it forces Overtime.

Losers:

Jose Theodore. There's the Jose Theodore that we all love and remember. Maybe the three goals weren't his fault? Maybe you're in the dog house if you give up three goals in a six minute stretch?

Chris Cooley. Do I think Cooley is a loser? No (but the people on Twitter tonight do...you know who you are). Do I think that the Redskins are losers? Yes. So stay away from our (non-injured) hockey players. Or just keep the interviews to less than the time of a whole freakin period.

10 Facts - New York Islanders vs Washington Capitals

The Islanders are led by players drafted in the 9th round. Do they even have a 9th round anymore?

Richard Park's 6 goals against the Caps (21 GP) in his career is tied with Philadelphia (29 GP) and Calgary (28 GP) for the most against any team.

New York is 5-0 in the past five games that John Tavares has picked up a point.

Kyle Okposo has swine flue. Sucks.

Radek Martinek is out for the season. Sucks.

Andy Sutton has scored eight times (35 GP) against Washington, the most against any team. Florida (30 GP) and Buffalo (21 GP) are tied for second on that list with three goals against by Mr. Sutton.

Brendan Witt scored two goals in his final 108 games with the Capitals back in 2003-2004 and into 2005-2006...He already has two goals in 17 games this year for the Islanders...and they came in the same game.

Frans Nielson's six points (six GP) against Washington is more than any other team.

Nate Thompson has 11 PIM this year. If he doesn't have at least 16 by the end of tonight's game, part of Washington's game-plan was flawed.

In his last four starts, Dwayne Roloson is 4-0 with a GAA under 2.00 and a .939% save percentage.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mike Green Interview

If you haven't already, you should head over to The Hockey Writers to check out my interview with Mike Green. VERSUS did a great job putting the Podcast together and I was able to ask all the questions I had prepared.

Green was the third person I interviewed since I started the blog last October, with the other two being Brian Engblom and Brett Flemming.

On some housekeeping notes, I'm trying my best to post after every game, if not more. The loss to New Jersey was so boring I actually fell asleep during the 2nd period and missed the finish. That was most likely a combination of New Jersey's style and the fact that I almost saw the sun rise while studying the night before for an Accounting exam.

Caps play the Panthers tonight... Washington has lost three straight while Florida has won three straight. Something's gotta give, right? Right?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Capitals-Blue Jackets Winners & Losers


Winners:

Brooks Laich. With Ovechkin out, Laich's two goals in 128 seconds put the Caps in the lead (for a measly three minutes and 13 seconds). On the first goal, Laich was where he should have been, and he was rewarded. His second goal was a gift. Whatevs. Take em as they come.

Quintin Laing. How's that for secondary scoring? The Q-Man's second NHL goal was sandwiched between two Raffi Torres goals in the third period. Laing also had at least one dandy of a blocked shot.

Rick Nash. So good. So underrated.

Medium:

Alexander Semin. Four shots in the first five minutes are nice. Too bad he totaled two in the 55 minutes after that. Okay he did have two assists, but stop doing those stupid toe drag/curl-and-drag moves (hey, at least Brian Pothier is taking notes, right?).

Mike Knuble. That 30-second span of fore-checking sparked a somewhat exhausted Verizon Center crowd. We could do without the two slashing infractions (one of which, Columbus scored a Power Play goal on).

Losers:

Tom Poti. Quintin Laing threw up a little when you tried to block Rick Nash's eventually assist to the GWG in OT. Actually Laing was too busy not rotating down toward the crease to help out... your fault too Quintin!

Jason Chimera. Ever just watch someone play and decide you hate everything about his game? Me neither too. Nate the Great puts it best here.

Guy wearing a Jaromir Jagr jersey behind the Capitals' bench. For a three-month period in 2001, wearing this jersey might have been respectable. Now it's just pathetic. No word on whether the person next to him was wearing a Sergei Berezin jersey.

Other comments:
  • I don't understand what constitutes goalie interference, and I don't think I ever will.
  • If you've ever played goalie at any level, when you lose your goalie stick, you feel naked. So take it easy on Theo while watching the replay of that "soft" goal that squeaked through the 5-hole.
  • Antoine Vermette and David Steckel took 26 and 25 face-offs, respectively. That just seems like a lot.
  • Finally, there is no ***king way Bruce ***king Boudreau is fatter than this mother ****king fat ***k. (Note: Sean Avery's words have been changed/altered, this was not sic'd)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Capitals-Islanders Winners & Losers


Winners

Jose Theodore. Theodore looks really, really good. He also had a great game. Counting the San Jose game where he was taken out with back spasms after the first period, he's allowed two or less goals in four of his six starts. If Theo remains healthy, the Theolamov combo is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Mike Green. He could have taken a shot on the final play instead, he chipped it at a streaking Brooks Laich who re-directed it behind Dwayne Roloson (who just might have made it to the the locker room before the Capitals emptied their bench to celebrate). MGGO also scored his second of the season with a laser beam in the second period. Not too bad for a guy who was on the receiving end of a vicious knee-to-knee hit earlier in the game.

Keith Aucoin. When he wasn't trying to stick handle with his bum on the ice, Aucoin had a solid game. Tons of energy and throwing pucks on net defined tonight's performance. Keith now has three goals in his past 10 games for Washington dating back to last season (two have come against the Islanders).

John Tavares. This kid is freakin good.

Caps Fans. The Road Crew was there, the Fan Club was there, and the guy with the red cape was there. Awesome.

Medium

Craig Laughlin. I'm happy that little Timmy scored for his soccer team. I'm less happy that it took you five minutes to explain what happened while Smokin' Al was trying to call the game.

Losers

Power Play. Another 'O'fer on the night. Tisk, tisk. It's nice to see guys like Giroux and Aucoin 'earn' time, but it's also nice to see a power play goal once in a while. Someone needs to figure out two units and stick with them. Gabby can mess with the 5-on-5 lines all he wants, but I think line consistency with the extra man is the key.

Face-offs. Yahoo! says 20/66, NHL says 17/50. Not sure what's going on here. Not to single anyone out or anything, but David Steckel didn't win a draw in the third period (0/4) and was 4/15 overall.

Eric Fehr. Please learn how to take a hit and hold on to the puck. Please?

Other Thoughts

  • We all knew Nate Thompson is a fighter. Now we all know that he's a dirty player.
  • Brendan Morrison just might be is the most underrated free agent pickup of the year. There, I said what everyone's thinking.
  • Capitals shots: 24. Capitals shots that were blocked: 21. Good defense or bad shot selection?
  • The Caps were outplayed and probably didn't deserve to win. Washington is going to get blown out of the water if they play like this in their next game (Tuesday vs. Philadelphia).
  • We'll end things on a photo of Alex Giroux's best chance. Com'on Rooster, eyes on the puck!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday..

...to us!

It's been one crazy first year on the blogging scene, but if you're new to this site, here's what you missed since October 20, 2008:

[October 20, 2008] Apparently I did not revise posts back then to correct grammar mistakes.

[October 30, 2008] Believe it or not, Alexander Semin and Thomas Vanek are, in fact, the same people.

[November 10, 2008] I erroneously report Chris Cooley attends his first hockey game. Yahoo! Sports links..AOL Fanhouse links... Japers' links... and my credibility drops from 0 to -837656.

[November 11, 2008] I almost make up for it by finding a helluva stat about the fourth line.

[November 18, 2008] Don't let Ryan Getzlaf get a multi-point game.

[November 29, 2008] I find out that this is not 2005 anymore and that I can't quit life and make a steady income off Google Ad Sense. Damn Joel Comm, you were so convincing!

[December 6, 2008] Waaaay too many (former) Ohio State players playing for the Caps. Must. Sign. Wolverines.

[December 7, 2008] In Hershey to watch the Bears play against guys like Anisimov, Del Zotto, and Bobby Sanguinetti. The prospect analysis could not be further from more true.

[January 17, 2009] I accept a position with The Hockey Writers. Now I can quit life and make a steady income blogging.

[February 21, 2009] After hours of mindlessly shooting up Liberty City in GTA IV, I seriously found someone who looks exactly like Alex Ovechkin. Go look right now, that's him. Seriously.

[February 22, 2009] If you ice the puck when you are up one goal with five seconds left in the game, you probably won't lose. Probably. Go Bears.

[April 16, 2009] Jeff Schultz does not appreciate being selected to be punched in the face.

[June 24, 2009] Uncle Ted likes the blog.

[July 17, 2009] Brett Flemming is selected as the first hockey player to ever be interviewed by myself. Congrats Brett!

[July 23, 2009] First of many awesome Caps license plates.

Thank you for all for visiting the site, I really appreciate it. Here's hoping 2010 will be as fun as 2009 was.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Capitals-Rangers Winners & Losers


Winners:

Nicklas Backstrom. It took Backstrom 17 games last year to get two goals. This season, he beat that record by just a few games. One goal was nice (above), and one goal was a gift (below). Either, or, we'll take 'em as they come.


Tyler Sloan. I was a little iffy on how he would do tonight, but he came out with great energy and played a vital role on the forecheck. He finished with one assist and he is my nomination for getting a jersey for next game.

Brian Pothier. Helluva pass. That cross-ice assist was Backstrom-esque on Semin's first period goal.

Medium:

Alexander Semin. Another goal scored, but even more opportunities. Semin stayed out of the box and is now tied with Ovechkin (and Mike Richards) for league-lead in goals.

Alex Ovechkin. He put nine shots on net but there was at least one instance where he should have been more selfish. Opting to pass to Chris Clark instead of shooting on Lundqvist from point-blank range was a mistake. Ovechkin knows this, and it should not happen again.

Losers:

Jose Theodore. It's like night and day for Caps' goalies this season. Maybe Theo was screened a few times, maybe not, but the point is that if the puck is trickling by the goalie and slides across the goal line, it's most likely the goaltender's fault. Let's not start the Neuvirth conversations just yet because there is no point in hitting the panic switch just four games into the season.

Power Play. Nine opportunities with this squad should translate into at least two or three goals and throw in a 5-on-3 advantage and the outcome of this game should have been much different. There is too much talent on the ice for the Capitals to convert only once.

They have a day to re-couperate then it's game time at Joe Louis to face the Wings. The Caps now know where their problems are and it is up to them to fix it before other teams exploit them.

5 Burning Questions: Rangers at Capitals

5 Burning Questions (Winners & Losers is the new format for post-game, we'll try this one out for pre-game)

1.How will Varlamov respond?/How will Theodore play in front of the home crowd?

Boudreau has not made an announcement for tonight's game as I'm writing this, so we'll look at both possibilities.

Varlamov is a very good goaltender. But, in the past few outings, his play has been very enigmatic. If Bruce gives him the nod, what does that say about Theodore? Varly lets in a few softies, gets pulled, but is back in the lineup the next game? So if Varly is named starter and he lets in a goal he should have stopped early on, do the home fans boo him for a lackluster start to the game? Probably not, unless he played for that other D.C. sports franchise up in Landover.

Coach may be pushing the kid too much, which is why I think he'll revert to Theodore for tonight's game. If Theo was in fact named 'starter' at the start of season, then he should hold that position until he is out-performed. Boudreau will eventually go with the hot hand, and right now it's Theo. Go with Theo.

2. Is a good defense a good offense?

No, it's not. So while it might seem like all fun and games, goals-against are quickly becoming a major problem. Be it a rough start for Varly, or questionable defensive pairings, something needs to be done. The next few opponents look like: NYR, @DET, NJ, and SJ...all playoff teams from one year ago. Four goals should win a hockey game, if we need to score six goals to defeat an opponent, we're doing something wrong.

3. How will Sloan play on defense as a forward?

I have to imagine he will be skipping on some shifts and helping out the D-men. A 7-man rotation is risky (what if a forward goes down?), but it has its benefits. If a pairing is not working out like Boudreau envisioned, changing partners will be a sinche. Sure Sloan will play forward, and as long as he does not take any unnecessary penalties or have any glaring mistakes, keep him in there until Fehr returns.

4. Who will be the referees?

Not really. My only gripe is if a player (Example: Chris Clark, last game) is pushed from behind into the goalie, is that really a penalty? Like in football, the refs might let a roughing-the-passer penalty go if the player has no control and is forced into contact. Apparently in hockey, if you have no control and you are forced into contact, it is still your fault. Ba humbug.

5. How many goals will the Alexs' score?

We already know Ovechkin will score two goals, the real question is how many will Alex Semin score? If it's also assumed that Brooks Laich/Mike Knuble gets a tip-in and Nicklas Backstrom records at least three assists, that leaves an extra goal for either Brendan Morrison or Mike Green. Green has yet to score, let's give it to him. /knock on wood

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Capitals-Flyers Winners & Losers


Winners:

Alex Ovechkin. Holy crap. We are all witnesses, people. Enough with this "Ovechkin is on track for ___ goals", because there are no signs he will slow down. So yes, he will end up with 136.94 goals.

Nicklas Backstrom. A wise man once said that Nicklas would finish among the top five in points this year. Eight points in three games and he's well on his way. Now about those face-offs Nicky... 4/13 (31%) is boarder line- "So how can we get this guy ice time without letting him take draws?"

Alexander Semin. Another two goal game for Alex and he didn't even take a hooking penalty!

Medium:

Jose Theodore. I thought he should have started, but he did excellent after filling in for Varlamov. He stopped everything he should have in a valiant effort inside the hostile Wachovia Center.

Brendan Morrison. He scored 10 times in 62 games last year with Anaheim (not including those 19 games in Dallas) and he's now got two goals in three games. B-Mo is just an all-around good, hard-working athlete...probably grew up playing soccer, too.

Matt Bradley. Two assists and a fight is a very productive night. Questions surrounded how the Capitals would react to Philly's toughness, and Bradley answered the bell. Matt also recorded his fourth career two-assist game... three of those games have come against the Flyers.


Quintin Laing Jeff Schultz. Four blocked shots. Cha-ching.

Losers:

Semyon Varlamov. Maybe all the goals scored on him were not his fault (Erskine, get out of the way!), but that last goal definitely was. Boudreau said this would be a 'test' to see if Varly could play in this environment. Test = failed. Chin up, kid.

Boyd Kane. 4:53 TOI, 2 PIM. Go awayyyy.

John Erskine. He was on the ice for five of the six Philly goals. Johnny also picked up two penalties to boot. Someone just nominated them self for the position Tyler Sloan played tonight.

Penalties. 10 Power Plays! And the Capitals took five penalties in the second period alone. You know you've got a problem when Boyd Gordon is getting sent to the sin bin.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Capitals-Maple Leafs Winners & Losers


Thankfully, we only play three periods in hockey as T-Dot came storming back from an early deficit. Either way, another check in the 'W' column comes with a 6-4 victory:

Winners:

Alexander Semin. Five points in two games is foreshadowing big things for the Sascha. The top line of this Capitals' team is going to put up big numbers (as it should). Which begs the question, which line is the best in the NHL? He also won both draws he took.

Alex Ovechkin. For scoring less than two minutes into action. If you're a D-man and you get Ovechkin 1-on-1, it sucks to be you. He was also credited with four hits, including a dandy on Jason Blake. He is on pace for 123 goals... But he's also on pace for 164 PIM.

New Editions. Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison both made a great first impression on the bandwagon fans at Verzion tonight. Knuble comes as advertised and B-Mo's goal was a thing of beauty. Keep it up newbies.

Medium:

Brooks Laich. Highlight of the night goes to Brooksie's killer deke that pretty much finished Vesa Toskala's night. He was also awarded the third star of the night. Probably a toss up as to which is more important to him.

Semyon Varlamov. Maybe he gave up a bad rebound on one goal, but he was solid the rest of the night. He stopped all the shots he was supposed to and that's all you can ask for. So who starts Tuesday in Philadelphia? Jose Theodore? Varlamov? Neuvirth?? I'd go with Theo.

Losers:

The 3rd period. Had there been a fourth in hockey, this might have changed the outcome of the game. Six shots against and three goals allowed is not fun. It is a bit less nerve-racking if you are spotted a five-goal lead, but unacceptable either way. Lack of focus could be a problem this year.

Additional Thoughts:
  • Should Jeff Schultz be playing? If so, who would he replace? Pothier played well, Erskine played well..at times (and avoided a pointless fight in the first period). No Cap defender has played their way out of a spot thus far so it will be interesting as to who will be scratched when Shultzie is in the lineup. For what it's worth, the Caps are 11-6 dating back to last year in games Schultz has not suited up for.
  • "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...It's all you're fault!!" is brilliant. Keep it up guy in the lower level who starts the chant directed at the opposing goalie.
  • If he's not already, Mike Knuble will become a fan favorite in no time.
  • Quintin Laing on the Power Play? Might as well put Boyd Kane on the PK while you're at it... (Okay it was only 23 seconds for Quintin, but still).
  • Speaking of the PP, the Caps don't mess around like they did last year. A shot from the point immediately follows a face-off win. None of this 'too cute' stuff (yet). This year's unit should finish in the top five assuming this continues (3/7, 43%).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Capitals-Bruins Winners & Losers

First off, realize that this post-game format is a cheap imitation of Mr.Irrelevant's Winners & Losers.

Dap given, now let's get on to the Capitals' impressive 4-1 win:

Winners:

Jose Theodore
. Theo circa 2002 showed up for tonight's game and displayed tremendous poise throughout the game. In some games last year, Jose looked rattled and uncomfortable between the pipes. But tonight, his composure was where it should be... at an NHL level. It's like the cliché goes, 'Competition makes everyone better'.

Brooks Laich. Dating back to March 27th last season, Laich has picked up 18 points (8+10) over the span of 21 games. Laich notched his sixth career two-goal game with both goals coming on the doorstep with the man advantage.

Alex Ovechkin. In four of his first five seasons, Ovechkin has picked up a two-goal game in either the first game or second game of the season. Two goals isn't too shabby for just five shots on goal. The Backstrom-to-Semin-to-Ovechkin passing exhibition that set-up Alex's first goal was a thing of beauty. If only every team gave Ovechkin a 10-foot buffer zone to pick his corner.

Nicklas Backstrom. Nicky B. is going to make a killing by feeding Ovechkin and company. It took Backstrom eight games last season to reach three assists, something he did for the 10th time in his short career. Offense aside, 3/8 (38%) on face-offs is unacceptable.

Special Teams. 2/4 with the extra man is great, but killing off all five Boston power plays is even more impressive. Boston was ranked 5th last year in PP efficiency and we should be thankful to have guys like David Steckel and Quintin Laing on the PK.

Face-Offs. 61% (30/49) will work every night. Backstrom was the only Capital with a sub-60% efficiency. Other than Nicklas, here's how the other guys fared:

Brendan Morrison - 8/11 (73%)

Boyd Gordon - 5/7 (71%)

David Steckel - 11/18 (61%)

Brooks Laich - 3/5 (60%)

Medium:

John Erskine
. He dropped the mitts when he had to and got in some good jabs in a fight that ultimately ended in a draw.

Boyd Kane
. Earlier, Bruce Boudreau said of Kane: "You're asking a guy to play the best nine minutes he can." Well, Kane finished with 9:12 of TOI and was completely unnoticeable...Meaning he had a fantastic game. Somewhat of a pleasant surprise for the 48th most valuable Cap.

New Additions. Even though they were the only two forwards on the first two lines not to pick up a point, Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison both had solid games. I did not see Knuble as much as I thought I would, but when I did see him, he was right in Tim Thomas' grill. B-Mo also played a sound offensive game, and only lost three draws the whole night.

Possession. It might have been me, but there were times when it looked like Boston controlled the tempo and play in the Caps' zone. Most noticeably during the first five minutes of the game and right after Patrice Bergeron scored. The Caps were playing good defense and were not allowing many quality shots during these short segments, but the more time spent chasing the puck, the more likely something bad will come of it. Other than this, I could not really find anything to include below...

Losers:

VERSUS
. For not being a part of my cable package and for not showing more Junior Seau, the Capitals new equipment manager. It's actually for his new TV show, but ya'll knew that.

Notable Stats:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Caps on Cars - You Love It


So I was kind of hoping the poll I put up last week would be close, and it was... except for the license plate coming in first place. No point in having another round if one contender was doubling the competition.

Here's how the top five finished up:

1. LAICH IT - 43.8%
2. G-OLIE37 - 21.9%
3. ALEXDG8 - 17.8%
4. OVI 4MVP - 16.4%
5. 8VCHKN - 15.8%

Thanks again for all who participated. I continue to receive Caps license plates and if you have one of your own, or stumble upon one, send it my way, I'll run this feature sporadically throughout the season.

And I did not plan it this way where my license plate would win, but if you do see me or my brother driving around Arlington in our silver Saturn sedan, give us a wave or a honk. My brother might think you're crazy, but if I remember in the moment that I openly invited strangers to honk at me, I will happily wave back.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Caps on Cars - Best License Plates Round 1





Here's an update on some of the smaller bumper stickers: 'That's a Baltimore Clippers decal (1960's) to the right of the O's magnet. Also, a Baltimore Bandits decal at bottom left of bumper. There's a Baltimore Blades decal (1975), but it is mostly peeled off, ditto for a Chesapeake Icebreakers at far bottom right'. -T.C.






HONORABLE MENTION




A special thanks goes out to the following people for sending in their pictures: Keith, Raina K, Bob B. (x3), JW, T.C., Anna, Toni, Katie, and Paul.

You can also check out all the individual Capitals license plate posts here.

Happy voting!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 13

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.


Make/Model -Toyota Tacoma
Color - Brown
Location - Annandale, VA
Description - Self-explanatory

Well this wraps up this feature that was much more popular that I first imagined. Voting will start on Monday with the winner receiving his/her name displayed on the computer screen.

If you have a plate that you would still like to send in, go ahead, I'm sure I can work it in sometime during the season.

Thanks to everyone who sent me a picture, I could not have done this feature without you!

Seriously though, thank you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 12

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.





Make/Model -Chrysler Sebring
Color - Silver
Location - Maryland
Description - So do we

Thanks Toni!

Note- Friday will be the last installment of Caps on Cars. Check back then and the polls will open Monday morning!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 11

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.



Make/Model -Honda Civic
Color - Blue
Location - Annandale, VA
Description - Slogan for the next 10 years


Thanks Bob B!

Hint about Wednesday's plate: It's true, we all do.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 10

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.


Make/Model -No idea, really
Color - Beige/tan/gray
Location - Fredricksburg, VA
Description - Confused or converted?

From Anna-

A site that made my day, even if they have a Red Wings bumper sticker, too.

Simply stated, this person is confused. No, they are not rivals, but they did meet in the Stanley Cup and they do play against each other, so make a choice.

Further examination shows what looks to be a University of Michigan sticker above the Wings magnet. Definitely a displaced Michigan fan. Make up your mind.

I see one Detroit team that's missing!

Thanks Anna!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 9

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.


Make/Model -Saturn
Color - Silver
Location - Arlington, VA
Description - Likable

This tag is one of my favorites for a few reasons:

  • Non-hockey fans must know it stands for something cool because 'Latch it' just sounds dumb.
  • Brooks Laich is the man.
  • The phrase is taking over.
  • It's only a matter of time until he becomes a household name and dons the 'C' for the Capitals (In my opinion, of course).
Hint about Friday's plate: The Detroit Capitals?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 8

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.



Make/Model -Nissan Altima
Color - Black
Location - (Probably Baltimore), Maryland
Description - Obsessed much?

And you thought two bumper stickers was pushing it. This gives a new meaning to the word 'dedication'.

With the Skipjacks long gone, this car proudly sports 17 years worth of hockey logos (with an O's sticker thrown in there as well).

The best sticker of the bunch? I'm going with "Don't Blame Me; I Voted for Kolzig". Mostly because the election in which that refers to is ambiguous. '92? '96? '00? Or a local B-more election? Whatevs, it's cool as hell.

And look at the picture again, the Hershey Bears logo is most likely one of many to fill up the back window.

And to explain the actual plate, the owner of the car is a STH who's name has 'Cole' in it. So no plate foul... or extreme plate foul? It's hard to hate with that many bumper stickers.

Thanks JW!

Hint about tomorrow's plate: Latch It?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 7

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.


Make/Model -Cadillac Deville
Color - White
Location - Annandale, VA
Description - Happy and classy

With September upon us, it's time to vamp up the countdown until hockey season. The opener against Boston is now officially less than a month away on VS (but not on DirecTV!). Season previews are around the corner and bold predictions will dominate the hockey blogging community for the next month.

Meanwhile in our neck of the woods, the new crop of talent is here. The Young Guns have established themselves in the upper echelon of the league's talent pool and the next wave of prospects are not that far behind. The Laichs, Backstroms, Greens, and Ovechkins (okay, there's only one Ovi, but still) of the league are often times caught goofing around (two links) during their downtime.

They are doing what they love and having fun at the same time. Some players could just go through the motions and ignore or even disrespect the media. But these guys don't. They could be jerks, but they aren't. They even embrace the extra media attention .

This license plate epitomizes that... Drivers of hot cars are often times given the connotation of a rich d-bag without a care in the world. This car breaks that negative association and the driver becomes instantly personable because of his happy-go-lucky tag that will put a smile on any Caps' fan.

The new wave of Capitals' players are here. And so is the new wave of Capitals' fans. Happy and classy... the way it should be. To all other Caps fans: take notes.

Thanks again Bob B.!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 6

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.


Make/Model -Honda Civic
Color - Unknown
Location - Annandale, VA
Description - Nostalgic

Olaf Kolzig's time has come and gone in D.C., but his departure did not stop Bob from enshrining - if you will - Kolzig on his car.

I like this one for a few reasons:
  • Does NOT include a member of the Young Guns (still waiting on a pro-Semin plate).
  • The expired tags in the upper right (which are a bitch to get pulled over for) subtly symbolize Kolzig's time here has done the same...Actually no, that's a complete coincidence.
  • It's slightly punny.
Thanks Bob B.!

Programming Note: The plates are piling up so expect a two to three plate week here at Simply Sensational!. Yup, exciting news!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 5

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.



Make/Model -Honda Accord
Color - Gray
Location - Aldie, VA (I don't know where that is either)...But this car will most likely be spotted in the Vienna Metro parking garage.
Description - B-e-a-utiful.

Whether it was done intentionally or not, the touches of red on the cardinal, the license plate, and plate holder really give some aesthetic cred to a seemingly straight-forward tag.

It might not be the most original or creative tag, but... so what.

You don't need to go into your room, lock the door, and stay there until you have thought of a seven-letter Capitals license plate masterpiece.

Ovie love is always great and so is this plate.

On a side note, we all have fan favorites who don't score 60 goals a year, but enough to dedicate your license plate?

We've seen Ovechkin (x2), Varlamov, some bumper stickers, and a general fan, so what's in store for the next few tags?

Think: fan favorite from the '90s and a fan favorite currently with the team.

Thanks Raina K!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 4

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.



Model -Unknown
Color - Unknown
Location - Falls Church, VA
Description - Awesome, but misrepresented?

First and foremost, this plate will give TSAR 40 a run for its money at the end-of-summer poll we have coming up.

Looking at this tag, characters are limited to six because of the Hokie logo, and seeing how OVCHKN is taken, this Tech grad showed some ingenuity in making a clever tag.

I am not a Virginia Tech fanatic, so I'm not too high on having Alex's name being associated with the fake birds of Blacksburg, Virginia.

Not saying people will think Ovechkin went to Virgina Tech (those people can't exist, can they?), but the fact that Alex has nothing to do with VT bugs me here.

All random correlations aside, this is a pretty sick custom plate.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 3

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.



Model -Hundai Elantra GT
Color - Blue
Location - Springfield, VA
Description - Creative yet esoteric

The Capitals only need a few hundred more applications for their decal to be on Virginia license plates and my guess is that this guy is on the list. This one is my favorite so far based on pure creativity and use of the allotted number of letters and numbers.

Some casual fans might not completely understand what's going on here, but (starting?) goalie Semyon Varlamov is out to prove he really is the ruler of the Capitals. But what if Jose Theodore wins the starting job (and hell freezes over)? In that case, this plate will look really silly. He might have to revert back to his "H8TE SYD" plate he had before the playoffs.

Thanks Keith!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Roller Hockey on VERSUS? You Betcha!

From MLRH.com

Major League Roller Hockey (MLRH) has announced an agreement with the VERSUS Network to broadcast an MLRH Roller Hockey Special featuring the MLRH Pro Tour Championship game and the CO-ED Slamm Hockey Championships. The program is set to air Saturday, August 29 at 3:00 PM EST. The telecast marks the first time in over ten years that roller hockey will be seen on Network TV.

The Championships were played at the Pepsi Center in Buffalo and will be packaged into a one hour special. The games were produced with an experienced crew that works the Buffalo Sabres NHL games and Don Stevens, the long time announcer of the AHL Rochester Americans, will handle the play by play. Buffalo's Steve Wright adds the color commentary alongside Stevens for the broadcast.

Brock Konkle and Laura Weintraub will host the Studio broadcast. Konkle covered the MLRH games on the Roller Hockey NET. Weintraub, a model and actress, is a former player in the league. The content mix is 25% Slamm Hockey and 75% pro championships with both leagues playing full contact hockey. "We look at this show as a way of reintroducing the sport to a larger audience and we wanted to showcase these highly skilled women players. It can only be a plus for the game," said MLRH President Bill Raue.

The Slamm Hockey final features the Quebec Mistral and the New York Flash while the Buffalo Wings and the Florida Fusion meet for the Pro Tour title.

"This is a big deal for roller hockey," said Raue. "While the sport has continued to grow at the grassroots level, we need TV exposure if we are going to establish our game as a spectator sport. That is why we added the studio show. A first time hockey viewer is going to be seriously confused by a game with no blue lines played in four quarters."

Now in more than 74 million homes, the VERSUS Network is the national cable home of the National Hockey league (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events such as the Tour de France, Davis Cup tennis, the Indy Racing League and collegiate sports featuring nationally ranked teams from the Pac-10, Big 12, Mountain West and the Ivy League.


Roller hockey may be down 15% in the last year, but I encourage all to tune in and support Major League Roller Hockey and Bill Raue.

I've had the pleasure of knowing Bill for over five years and he has always had a positive attitude and great outlook on his labor of love.

In addition to being the President of MLRH, he also runs recreational leagues in Alexandria, VA (Go Misconduct!).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 2

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.



Model - Subaru Forrester
Color - White
Location - Parked on Wilson Blvd in Clarendon (Arlington)
Description - Basic, yet devoted and authoritative.

As if to reinforce the point that yes, this is a Caps fan, this car has two stickers crowding the back window. Maybe they would have been better suited with the stickers on opposite sides of the car, or even place the bumper sticker on...the bumper. But it's hard to questions one's fanhood when one puts only Capitals stickers on their car, even though there may be less than 30 inches separating the two.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Caps Love at the Country Concert

While attending the Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley concert at Nissan Pavilion this weekend, I searched far and wide for concert-goers supporting the Capitals. So while it rained and took forever to get out of the parking lot (I mentioned it was at Nissan, right?), I had my camera cocked and was on the hunt for those who ditched their Stetson for the Weagle (someone needs to update that word's Urban Dictionary entry stat).

It was a long-shot, but if Wale is rapping about the Caps and introducing rap fans to Ovechkin and company, why shouldn't a concert in suburbia Northern Virginia...make that the boondocks of Northern Virginia attract Capitals fans?

Although the venue is about 30 minutes from the Verizon Center, a majority of the constituents of the event were most certainly not from the hockey-loving community of the DMV.

That last sentence should win an award for being so obvious, but through the excess of beer-bellies and Confederate flags in sight at all times, two gentleman emerged as true Capitals fans. (You're going to have to work with me on the photos, picture quality isn't one of my strong points).


A few things of note:

YES, that IS a Capitals hat in the first picture...And NO, that is not the same person in both pictures.

There was a third picture, but I have no explanation as to how/why it was deleted.

Now three Capitals hats at a country concert in the middle of summer may seem a little trivial, but that's three more Washington Capitals supporters than I would have ever imagined.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Caps on Cars - Take 1

Ed Note: This new segment will put a spotlight on those who devote their car to the Caps. Be it with a vanity plate or extreme bumper sticker usage, Caps on Cars will showcase it weekly. I've got some pictures waiting in the wings, but if you want to help me out, send your Caps on Cars picture(s) my way. Plan on voting in an epic poll at the end of summer to choose the best plate/bumper stickers.






Model -Toyota Previa
Color - Ugly Maroon
Location - Corner of North Pershing Drive and North Highland Street (Arlington)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Perreault Scores, Dubuc Holds Back His Inner Chris Simon



First a vicious cross-check to the ribs, then he has to restrain himself from taking a whack at Perry's jugular...Anything to get the attention of the coaches, eh Michael Dubuc?

Friday, June 26, 2009