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Capitals have no hesitation about Mike Richards


Capitals have no hesitation about Mike Richards

NEW YORK -- However controversial the signing of Mike Richards may be around the NHL, it’s not viewed that way by the Capitals.

After the Capitals’ 4-1 win over the New York Islanders at Barclays Center, players applauded Richards’ addition, and weren’t at all worried about his troubled past.

“You always respect, admire, have a lot of loyalty for people you win with,” Justin Williams said.

Williams captured two Stanley Cups as a teammate of Richards with the Los Angeles Kings.

“He’s a guy that I’ve won with and a guy that I respect and I guy that I know can bring another element of calmness to this team,” Williams said. “A guy who’s when he’s on his game can have a big impact on the game.”

General Manager Brian MacLellan said that he relied on Williams’ take of his former teammate, and the words he got back were positive.

“I played with Mike for a long time…a few years and enough to get to know him real well,” Williams said.

“Mike’s ego obviously took a big hit in the last few years. He’s open to write a good script to this, and I know he can be a very impactful player, and I want him to be, and it looks like he’s going to get a chance to be.”

Richards’ addition didn’t concern Alex Ovechkin.

“Experience. I’ve played against him all the time. Tough center. Good faceoff man. He can play power play as well,” Ovechkin said. “That’s what we need.”

Ovechkin likes that there wasn’t a trade needed to acquire Richards.

“We didn’t give up anyone. It’s a good piece for our team,” Ovechkin said.

Nate Schmidt had no hesitation, either about Richards.

“A proven guy, a guy who’s won pretty much at every level he’s ever played at. He’s been around for a few days, and he’s already integrated into our team really well,” Schmidt said.

“Whenever you can add more experience, playoff experience, Stanley Cup experience on your team, the better off you’ll be.”

The 34-year-old Williams urged Richards, who is nearly four years younger, to join the Capitals.

“I told him, he’d be an idiot if they offered him something, and he didn’t come here. This is a heck of a team. We’ve got a heck of a chance to win, and at our age, Mike and I, that’s what you want. There’s a lot of teams that say it, but we can say it and actually mean it,” Williams said.

MORE CAPITALS: Mike Richards answers tough questions about past, future with Caps

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division


Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and there is still a lot to be decided.

The Metropolitan Division is going to come right down to the wire as each team seemingly continues to win and put the pressure on the first place Capitals.

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff matchups for the first round of the NHL playoffs are still up in the air with only five points separating the top four teams in the Metro. Washington is in good position with a four-point cushion between themselves and the second place Pittsburgh Penguins. With both teams meeting on April 1, however, the Caps are still a long way off from clinching the division and earning home ice in the first round.


Metropolitan Division
1. Washington (93 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
W1. Philadelphia (88 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

2. Pittsburgh (89 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
3. Columbus (89 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay (106 points, 74 GP, 45 ROW)
W2. New Jersey (82 points, 73 GP, 32 ROW)

2. Boston (100 points, 72 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Toronto (95 points, 74 GP, 37 ROW)

Still in the hunt:
Florida (81points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)


Washington has won only one out of four games against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. That's not an ideal first-round matchup for Washington, but there is still time for the Flyers to climb and overtake Columbus or Pittsburgh in the standings..

What seems unlikely to happen is for New Jersey or Florida to pass Philadelphia. While things remain close near the top of the standings, there seems to be a growing divide between the top-four teams in the Metropolitan Division and the two teams battling for the final remaining spot in the playoffs.

The Flyers may be in fourth place in the division, but they still boast a healthy six-point lead over the Devils who sit in the second wild card.

If we assume New Jersey and Florida will not be able to climb to any postseason position, but the second wild card, that makes the three most likely candidates to face Washington in the first round Pittsburgh, Columbus and Philadelphia.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.