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Caps mount another comeback, but know they're tempting fate


Caps mount another comeback, but know they're tempting fate

NEW YORK -- News, notes and quotes as the Caps enjoy the aftertaste of Sunday night’s 7-3 win over the Rangers and look ahead to Monday night’s visit to Raleigh, where they’ll close out their pre-Christmas schedule against the Carolina Hurricanes:

Never a doubt: Two nights after rallying from a 3-0 deficit to stun the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps scored six unanswered goals and chased Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist (five goals on 24 shots) Sunday night.  

The Caps are now 3-3-1 when trailing after one period and 4-3-1 when trailing after two. They are the only NHL team with a winning record when trailing after two periods. 

“You’re proud of the fact we’ve been able to do it, but you don’t want to be in that situation,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said. “You’re just tempting fate all the time.”

Conversely, the Caps are 10-0-0 when leading after one period and 16-0-0 when leading after two.

RELATED: Crosby day-to-day with lower-body injury

Bad starts: The Caps have gone without morning skates in each of their last two games and have been outscored 4-1 in the first periods. 

“We didn’t skate, so we can lay blame on something,” said Justin Williams, who netted a pair of goals and is on pace for 26 this season, along with 59 points. “We won’t, but our first periods have not been good enough.” 

Angry Barry: Trotz said he wasn’t angry enough to have any “furniture moving” following the Caps’ lackluster first period in New York, but he did make it clear it was too early for his players to have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. 

“I said after the first period, ‘Christmas break doesn’t start until we finish the Carolina game (Monday night),” Trotz said. “Let’s not get away from our jobs here.”

Big kill: The Rangers had a chance to fatten their lead to 4-1 early in the second period when Tom Wilson took an unsportsmanlike penalty for dropping his gloves against an unwilling Dylan McIlrath, but the Caps killed the penalty, thanks to a big block by Nate Schmidt.   

“Guys on the bench were all cheering for him,” Trotz said. “They love it when guys make those commitment plays.”

Oshie OK: T.J. Oshie left the game with about 7 minutes remaining in the second period but came back to see limited action in the third when the outcome was decided. Trotz said Oshie “tweaked” something in his lower body but was OK to finish the game.

MORE CAPITALS: Holtby rewards Trotz's faith in him

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”


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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!