1:20 AM EDT, Sat October 10, 2015
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Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 8, 2015

What to Watch for in 2015-16

Some things to keep an eye on as the regular season gets underway... Just a little over 48 hours (!) remain until the Capitals kick off their 2015-16 season, with a glorious slate of 82 games - and hopefully more - awaiting us. The rosters are set, the ice is down, and all that remains is for the puck to actually drop on Saturday night. In the meantime, there's a ton of stuff to discuss, watch for and wonder about as we prepare to settle in for what should be a fun season... and here's just a few: What have you done for us lately? Under Barry Trotz's watchful eye, the 2014-15 Caps finished...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 8, 2015

The Noon Countdown: Early Risers

Counting down the days until the 2015-16 season with a look at the Caps' ability to win after scoring the game's first goal 2 - Number of days remaining until the 2015-16 season. But it's also... ... the number of regulation losses for the 2014-15 Caps when they scored the game's first goal, the fewest in the League. It also gave them the second-highest win total in the League, and the NHL's best win percentage (.860). Conclusion? Score early, score often, win games.
Japers' Rink Oct 8, 2015

Projecting John Carlson

The Capitals’ No. 1 defenseman set career-highs across the board in 2014-15. What can we expect moving forward? The offseason departure of Mike Green leaves John Carlson as the Capitals' primary offensive blueliner. It's a role for which he's already pretty well suited; the 25-year-old Carlson finished fifth among defensemen in points in 2014-15 while playing tough minutes, with good underlying numbers, as well — second on the Caps' blueline in Corsi (to Nate Schmidt) and passing offense (again, to Schmidt), too. With Green in Detroit and with Matt Niskanen's more modest output, one...
Japers' Rink Oct 8, 2015

Thursday Caps Clips: Ladies and Gents, Your 2015-16 Washington Capitals

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Strap in - 2015-2016 here we come! Your savory breakfast links: Twenty-three man, cap-compliant rosters were due at 5:00 Tuesday, and here's who's still here (and who's on the shelf): Forwards: Nicklas Backstrom (injured, sigh), Jay Beagle, Chris Brown (injured), Andre Burakovsky, Jason Chimera, Sean Collins, Stanislav Galiev, Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brooks Laich, Michael Latta, T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams, Tom Wilson Defensemen: Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Taylor Chorney ,  Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov ,...
J.p. / Japers' Rink Oct 7, 2015

Washington Capitals Venn Depth Charts, 2015-16

Our unique look at the Washington Capitals depth chart A mere 18 months after snapping a six-year run of playoff appearances that included five division titles, and just one full season into the Brian MacLellan/Barry Trotz Era, the Washington Capitals will enter the 2015-16 season as a trendy pick to do something they haven't done in, well, ever. As Trotz and his staff work out the final permutations of forwards and defenders in advance of Saturday night's season-opener against New Jersey, it can be difficult for the rest of us to get a good read on the team's depth chart, which in...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 7, 2015

The Noon Countdown: Two-Man (Dis)Advantage

Counting down the days to the 2015-16 season with a look at how the Caps performed at five on three 3 - Number of days remaining until the 2015-16 season. But it's also... ...the number of five-on-three goals scored by the Caps last season. That may not sound like a lot, but only six teams scored more in 2014-15. It's also a significant improvement over the Caps' total from the 2013-14 campaign, which was a grand total of... one. The Caps have had a surprising amount of difficulty scoring goals while on a two-man advantage over the years, especially when considering how dominant the power...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 7, 2015

The Metropolitan Division's Top 10 Centers: 2015-16

Wrapping up our look at the Division's best with the top ten pivots in the Metropolitan Goalies and defensemen have gotten their due. The right and left wingers have had their day in the sun. Now all that remains to close out our look at the best the Metropolitan Division has to offer is everyone's favorite: the centers. Honorable mention: Brandon Dubinsky (CBJ), Sean Couturier (PHI), Kevin Hayes (NYR) 10. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Last year's rank: Not ranked GP G A P +/- PIM PPG PPA GWG SOG PCT 2014-15 (Capitals) 80 11 26 37 10 24 4 9 1 127 8.7 Kuznetsov's...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 7, 2015

Wednesday Caps Clips: Let the Games Begin

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previewing the season that officially kicks off tonight, the team that will hold its horses until Saturday and more. Your savory breakfast links: Hear what the players, coaches and GM had to say as they sat down to share a meal with the local media. [Monumental - press conferences (Trotz, MacLellan, Holtby, Williams, Johansson, Oshie, Ovechkin) and with Mike Vogel and John Walton (MacLellan, Trotz, Korn, Ovechkin)] What's it like to have lunch with a slightly bruised T.J. Oshie? Live vicariously through this account of just such an...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 6, 2015

The Noon Countdown: A Stable Stable

Counting down the days to the 2015-16 season with a look at some unprecedented health on the blueline 4 - Number of days remaining until the 2015-16 season. But it's also... ...the number of man-games lost by the Caps' top-four defensemen last season. All four of those can be attributed to Brooks Orpik, who missed time in the middle of March with a lower-body injury. Karl Alzner, Matt Niskanen and John Carlson all played 82 games, the fifth-straight season in which Carlson and Alzner have appeared in every game and Niskanen's first full campaign. That relative health was a huge reason why...
J.p. / Japers' Rink Oct 6, 2015

Shots Fired: A Closer Look at the Caps' Penalty Kill

Underlying mediocre numbers were some truly bad ones at the end of last season. Will they persist? Let's talk about the penalty kill. A season ago, the Caps finished 14th in the League in penalty-kill efficiency at 81.2 percent, which was up two spots from the season before, despite actually killing off penalties at a slightly lower rate than 2013-14's 82.0 percent. But where there was real improvement was in the shot rate the Caps faced, which pretty much went from historically awful to mediocre (the overall shot attempts-against didn't show as large an improvement, but with the team's...
J.p. / Japers' Rink Oct 6, 2015

Tuesday Caps Clips: Final Cuts?

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The roster gets trimmed to 22 healthy players, predictions keep comin' in (as does the Ovechkin love), and much more. Your savory breakfast links: Yesterday was cut down day and while there were no big surprises, the team let Derek Roy walk after his tryout and placed Justin Peters on waivers, while Stanislav Galiev and Sean Collins (among others, of course) are still here as the 22-man roster looks more or less set for opening night. [WaPo, WashTimes, CSNMA, PHT, RMNB] The Caps may (will) struggle in the dot early on. Should you be concerned?...
Japers' Rink Oct 5, 2015

Farewell, John Erskine

John Erskine played in almost 400 regular season and playoff games for the Washington Capitals - part of a long tradition of rugged defensemen to play for the Caps. It was a minor deal at the start of training camp for the 2006-2007 season.  John Erskine, a veteran of 141 games over four seasons with the Dallas Stars and the New York Islanders, was signed as an unrestricted free agent to a contract to provide depth on defense for the Washington Capitals.  Over the course of eight seasons with the Caps, Erskine would become one of only 16 defensemen in club history to appear in at least...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 5, 2015

The Noon Countdown: Kuzya Can

Counting down the days to the 2015-16 season with a look at last season's shootout leader. 8 - Number of days remaining until the 2015-16 season. But it's also... ...the number of goals scored by Evgeny Kuznetsov in the shootout last season (in nine attempts, a 55.6% conversion rate) - tops among all 14 different Caps to take a turn in the skills competition in 2014-15. It's also one more than the four shootout goals (on 11 attempts) scored by T.J. Oshie in St. Louis last year... which means the Caps now have a pretty lethal one-two shootout punch, should they require it.
Japers' Rink Oct 5, 2015

The Faceoff Circles: Areas for Concern?

Questions abound for the Caps in the dot Troy Brouwer,  Joel Ward, and Eric Fehr took 1,431 faceoffs for the Capitals last season, roughly 29% of the team's total draws... and now all three have departed, by choice or by trade, for other teams. So how much will their departures hurt the team's ability to win the battle within the circles? Let's first look at how the Capitals utilized their centermen during five-on-five play last season (courtesy of Muneeb). Note: This graph shows the number of draws taken by a player in a given zone divided by the number of faceoffs taken by all...
Japers' Rink Oct 5, 2015

Monday Caps Clips: The Regular Season Awaits

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: All systems were operational in the final preseason tuneup vs. the Islanders, the final roster is shaping up, ten glorious years of the Sid and Ovi Show, and more. Your savory breakfast links: Recaps and other assorted musings on last night's final preseason game from us, Vogs, NHL.com, Monumental video (Trotz, Ovechkin, Carlson, Kuznetsov, Holtby), CSNMA and Frankovic and from the visitors' bench, Lighthouse Hockey. The Caps' power play is back in the groove. [WaPo] Russian machine status: Calibrated. [RMNB, theScore] Related: Alex Ovechkin...
Japers' Rink Oct 4, 2015

Sunday Caps Clips: Islanders @ Capitals Game Day

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Isle come to town for the last preseason tune-up. The next Game Day Clips will be for realsies! Your savory breakfast links: Notes and assorted whatnot from the last official day of training camp out at Kettler: In general. [Monumental video (Trotz, Rinkside Update/Latta), NoVa Caps Fans] The 23-man rosters are due to the Lig on Tuesday, and decisions are pending on Stephenson, Roy, and Peters... [CSNMA] ... but those decisions will wait 'til after today's game. [WaPo] "I think with [Dmitry]...
Japers' Rink Oct 3, 2015

Saturday Caps Clips: Fight Club

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Caps win their penultimate preseason game in the shootout after duking it out with the Bruins. Your savory breakfast links: Recaps and other assorted musings on yesterday's preseason victory over Boston from us, Vogs, Monumental video (Trotz, Kuznetsov, Oshie, Holtby), NHL.com, WaPo, CSNMA, Frankovic, DSP, Stars and Sticks and NoVa Caps Fans, and from the other end of the ice penalty box, CSNNE, Boston Herald, and Stanley Cup of Chowder. "Old style big bad hockey" is back in Beantown, baby... and so the fists flew. [CSNNE] Tom Wilson...
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 2, 2015

The Noon Countdown: Trail and Fail

Counting down the days to the 2015-16 season with a look at last season's success - or lack thereof - when getting behind the eight ball 8 - Number of days remaining until the 2015-16 season. But it's also... ...the number of wins for the 2014-15 Caps when allowing the game's first goal, tied (along with the Devils, Hurricanes and Oilers) for the second-lowest total last year; only the Sabres had fewer, with four total.
J.p. / Japers' Rink Oct 2, 2015

A Different Kind of "Over Time"

Tick... tock... tick... tock... Among the more ridiculous cliches to which you'll be repeatedly subjected as a sports fan is the notion that there's a sense of urgency surrounding a team or a player because they or s/he "isn't getting any younger." Despite an incredibly rare skillset that combines hand/eye coordination, endurance and any number of other attributes that everyday folks can barely comprehend much less possess, athletes, shockingly, are on the same conveyor belt as the rest of us. Alex Ovechkin isn't getting any younger. The Russian Machine may never break, but he does age....
Becca H / Japers' Rink Oct 2, 2015

Friday Caps Clips: Capitals vs. Bruins Game Day

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previews of tonight's penultimate preseason game, Backstrom updates and more. Your savory breakfast links: The big, beautiful SB Nation NHL preview is up and it's... well, big and beautiful. Be sure to check out the whole thing here, take a gander at the Caps' section here, and read our answers to three questions facing the Caps here.  More previews, predictions and prophecies about what the 2015-16 season could hold for the Caps. [HockeyBuzz, Hockey-News.info] Judging the best team ever, T.J. Oshie and his shootout skillz, the...

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