Happy Tuesday, babes! Not only is it game day, but it’s also the start of the third week of matchups that are finally not the Penguins or Sabres. It feels like we’ve been playing them for months at this point. After a depressing set of games against the Pens, a 4-3 win against the Sabres followed by a 3-4 loss, we face the Islanders first this week, which still leaves a salty taste in my mouth. The Bruins will also be entering DC territory at the end of the week to add on to the Capitals 6-game homestand.
With much excitement, today, the Caps will be debuting their new third jerseys against the Isles. Although they give me heavy New York Rangers vibes, I still think these jerseys are pretty dope. Let’s just hope these aren’t cursed like the last ones.
Tuesday, January 26th and Thursday, January 28th @ 7pm – Islanders @ Capitals
Oh, Islanders, we meet again. As much as we all want to move on from the heartbreak of a playoff series we had against them last season, the wound is still a tiiiiny bit there. To jog your memory, the Islanders sent the Caps home in Game 5, leaving us with yet another first-round exit. Not only did we take the L, but we downright got shut out. To be fair, though, the Islanders 100% deserved that series win. They showed up to play, while the Capitals clearly did not. Hopefully, that’ll motivate the Capitals while facing them this season. Nothing tastes sweeter than revenge.
Going into this series, the Capitals need to make sure they’re firing more shots on goal, looking for deflections, and work on their shot accuracy because Varlamov is one beast, and it’s going to be hard to get one by him. On the Isles offensive side of things, they’re a top-heavy team, meaning that their top two lines produce the most scoring chances and points. With that being said, though, they just got back Michael Dal Colle, who has been added to the third line after being on the IR. It’s essential to take note of how well he works with J-G Pageau, which is something the Caps defensive unit is going to have to try and control. Luckily for the Caps, all four lines have been producing, so that might make it harder for the Isles to make their defensive pairings.
The Capitals all-time record against the Islanders is 111-92-6.
Saturday, January 30th @ 7pm – Bruins @ Capitals
And next for the team that everybody looooooves, just kidding, we face the Bruins. Both Capitals and Bruins are coming off of a shaky postseason run. The Bruins were a second-round exit to Tampa, so they’re obviously both going to try and be much sharper this time around. Although this is the first game they’re facing each other this season, Marchand already can’t get the Capitals franchise out of his mouth, so it’ll be a fun matchup. Let’s just hope T. Wilsons back. It’s also worth mentioning that Ovechkin, Orlov, and Kuznetsov should be back for this game after their 4-game absence due to COVID protocol.
To keep in mind for this first game against the B’s this season, Pastrnak is allegedly returning for his first game of the season against the Capitals this Saturday. Pasta and Ovi both had 48 goals last season to tie for the Rocket Richard trophy. The Bruin’s lines haven’t been AS strong as one would expect for the start of the season, but that’s probably heavily influenced by the loss of Pasta. All four lines for the Bruins are balanced when it comes to production, so the Capitals defense has to prepare for all four instead of focusing on one or two lines in particular. With that being said, though, we now have Chara, who was a heavy asset to the B’s for multiple years. Although he hasn’t been a star D for us thus far, he’ll obviously be a bit salty when matching up against them, so I’m expecting some fire. Since the Bruins lost Chara, everyone expected McAvoy to fill his shoes, but he hasn’t been producing up to the standard that everyone was hoping for thus far. He just notched his first point of the year in the B’s previous game against the Flyers.
The Capitals all-time record against the Bruins is 64-70-8.
Taking last week’s games into consideration for this week, the Capitals thankfully have evened out production-wise in terms of their lines. All four lines have been GRINDING, helping us at least make it into overtime. We still have been taking WAY too many penalties, though. I believe the Caps could at least be 4-0-2 for this season so far if we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot every single game. It’s important to note that all of the goals in regulation for the Sabres last game were power play goals. I don’t know what the fuck happened to our PK, but we need to get the ball rolling in that aspect again. Thank god for Vitek Vanecek, though, who’s been our lord and savior. @statguyblake explained more about the Caps rises and downfalls below.
The Washington Capitals are 3-0-3 so far this season.
Capitals please win in regulation for once challenge. I’m tired of OT’s & SO’s.