- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Penguins could ‘bring out best’ in Capitals
Super Bowl Sunday, against the arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins, on national television. The Washington Capitals couldn’t have scripted a better opponent as they’re desperately seeking traction amid struggles early this season.
“Pittsburgh, you can’t help but get up for that game,” left wing Jason Chimera said. “If you don’t get up for these games there’s something wrong.”
A lot of things have gone wrong for the Caps, who have just five points in eight games. But while Thursday night’s game at the middling Toronto Maple Leafs might’ve been the worst thing to happen, facing the Penguins is a positive, even given the overflowing talent of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Co.
“They’re a team that can light you up for eight or 10 goals if you slack off,” Chimera said. “You’ve got to keep it up, you’ve got to have your best game. Right from goalie on out they’ve got a good team and some guys that can put the puck in net.
“They’re a dangerous opponent, but sometimes that brings out the best in you. You play good teams and for whatever reason it brings out the best in us.”
The Caps haven’t found a game yet that has featured their best play. Even victories have been full of flaws.
“We love these games,” forward Matt Hendricks said. “These are why you play hockey right here, these are the ones you get up for, for sure.”
Adam Oates noticed progress by his team in recent games, encouraged by not just the result Friday but the process lately. Obviously his team won’t overlook the Penguins, but the coach doesn’t want to rely on his players just getting up for the Penguins at the perfect time.
“I would hope that right now I could answer that question for any team,” Oates said.
Given a 2-5-1 start to the season, the Caps must start catching up soon. Right wing Troy Brouwer called Pittsburgh a “tough opponent,” but the toughest task so far has been building a winning streak.
“It’s important because we need to start stringing some points together here,” Brouwer said. “We’ve dropped a lot the last couple games as far as points go and we have to try and get ourselves into a position where we can get back into the playoffs. That’s getting on rolls, wins, putting streaks together here.”
“They are completely different, but they both have the right skills to play each other’s style,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “Malkin, he’s one of those guys that he’s so big, I think he loses a little bit of his star power having Crosby there because he’s so good and so hard to defend. … I find that Malkin more sucks you in whereas Crosby doesn’t allow you to get there.”
But goaltender Braden Holtby is treating his second straight start and first of his career against the Penguins as “just another game.” He learned not to focus on rivalries and getting psyched out of games.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- ICT trade mission to Azerbaijan successfully completed
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- EDITORIAL: The Potemkin website
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow