Preview: Caps End Road Trip in Vancouver

Posted October 26, 2014

Braden Holtby had an impressive outing against Calgary. (Caps Outsider)

The Washington Capitals (4-1-2, 10 pts) defeated the Calgary Flames (5-4-1, 11 pts) Saturday night to avoid losing two games in a row to start off their Canadian road trip. The two goal scorers in this one for the Caps were Joel Ward who had two, his first coming on the power play and Nicklas Backstrom. Brooks Orpik assisted on Ward’s second goal of the night, in what was an eventful night for him. Caps youngster Michael Latta was also able to get on the stat sheet in his return to Canada, as he assisted on Ward’s second goal as well. This game was also the 686th game for Alex Ovechkin, moving him ahead of Kevin Hatcher and into ninth place on the Capitals’ all-time list.

I was proud to be a Caps fan on this night, as the guys in white were able to put together a complete game and play well in all phases of the game after losing one they felt they should’ve had on Wednesday night against Edmonton. Goalie Braden Holtby made 20 saves on 21 shots for a save percentage of .952 on the night, putting the team in great position to get this win. Even though they won, the Caps are still tied for 2nd in the Metropolitan Division with New Jersey two points behind the New York Islanders who are division leaders. I would love to see the Caps perform at this level on a nightly basis but that way of thinking is somewhat unreasonable, but hopefully they can play pretty darn close to this on a consistent basis.

The Caps do not have much time for rest or recovery, as they play again Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks (4-3-0, 8pts) at Rogers Arena to bring this Canadian road trip to a close. This Canucks team is coming off of a loss they suffered on Friday night so they will be looking to bounce back against the Caps to avoid losing a second straight game. This is a team that the Caps will need their A-game defensively against as they are averaging 3.1 goals a game, which is 7th best in the NHL. Here’s to hoping that the good guys will prevail to make this road trip a successful one at 2-1, and be able return home feeling good about themselves.

Three things to watch:

  1. How will coach Barry Trotz game plan to try and slow down Vancouver’s offense?
  1. Can the Capitals contain Daniel Sedin whose playmaking abilities have produced eight assists on the season?
  1. Will the Caps’s net minders Holtby or Justin Peters continue their solid play?