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Morning Skate: Capital Punishment

After a 5-3 win over divisional rival St. Louis on Saturday, the Red Wings got a few days off to rest before taking on one of the NHL's hottest teams tonight. The Capitals have won 9 straight games and have vaulted to 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 93 points after knocking off the Canadiens 4-2 last night. The Capitals have used 5 straight wins from Braden Holtby, who has allowed a total of 6 goals in those 5 games. 

Washington faced some "adversity" this season as they found themselves trailing the Lightning for a good portion of the season. Lately they've caught up and surpassed Tampa Bay though as they've found their game at the right time as the playoffs draw near.

Japers' Rink is the SB Nation Washington Capitals site. 

CAPTION CONTEST. What do you win? Nothing but pride. DO IT.

  • Jimmy Howard is starting in net tonight for the Red Wings. Ansar Khan has a good post up on about Jimmy Howard's last encounter with Alex Ovechkin. Jimmy said something about how the game should be fun...I hope he's ready for "fun"
  • Here's to hoping that the huge chunk of people who got sick at H2H2 start feeling better. There are a lot of them and from the reports I've heard, it sounds nasty. Feel better urrybody.
  • I've lived my whole life in the shadow of the Washington Capitals market. I remember growing with the Capitals still on the HTS network and have always been within earshot of how the team was doing. That being said, it's interesting how the fanbase has developed over the years. At Virginia Tech, a good portion of the students are from "NOVA" and I constantly hear Caps this, Caps that. Good, glad you're following your team. But don't talk crap to me in the gym or on campus if I've got a Wings hat on when you don't even know that my team SWEPT your team in the 98 Finals or if you can only name Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom from your team. I know a handful of fans does not a fanbase make but...come on.

    As you can tell, I've been holding this in all season.
  • Marcus Johansson. Gimmie.   This kid has a very bright future.
  • Ovechkin or Datsyuk? I've got Datsyuk because of the superb two-way game and how can I pick against him? He's so lovable.
  • This year's Caps team has focused a lot more on the defensive aspect of the game than last year's team. They're top 5 in the league in goals against average and in the lower half in goals for per game. They focus a lot on defense. So does this edition of the Capitals, with a better defense and an offense that can put up big numbers when needed, have the best chance of any of their recent teams at making a deep push in the playoffs and possibly winning the Stanley Cup?
  • The youth this Washington team has is ridiculous: Backstrom (23), Johansson (20), Ovechkin (25), Semin (27), Fehr (25), Alzner (22), Carlson (21), Green (25), Schultz (25), Wideman (27), Holtby (21), Varlamov (22), Neuvirth (22). That is a solid group of young players, not sure if any team in the league can match that youth with comparable skill. Thoughts?
  • It's the battle of the Johatrick vs the Ovechtrick. Come on, Johatrick!
  • Score Prediction: 2-1 Detroit. I think this game is very tight but the Wings ride the success of Pavel Datsyuk to victory.
  • Player of the Game Prediction: Remember what I just said about Pavel Datsyuk? 
  • For Discussion: We've brought it up before and thought it'd die down but the Devils have won AGAIN. They now sit just 6 points back of 8th place in the East with 23 13 (thanks, Tulo) games to go. Can they do it?