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Caps Summer Series: Top 5 moments to cover from the season

Caps Summer Series: Top 5 moments to cover from the season

Do you feel like the summer is too long to go without hockey? So do we!

To give you your hockey fix and to pass the time from now until the start of next season, CSN proudly presents the Caps Summer Series, a series of four episodes that will broadcast on CSN in July.

The second episode, Top 5 of '16-'17, premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. (channel finder). Check out the teaser clip above!

To get you ready, here are the five best storylines to cover from the 2016-17 seasons from the perspective of Capitals correspondent J.J. Regan.

Capitals snap Columbus’ 16-game win streak
January 5, 2017

 
There are points over the course of an 82-game season when things can get a little dry. It starts to feel that way in January and February, but a big matchup between the Capitals and Blue Jackets added a spark to the midseason doldrums. Columbus was the hottest team in the NHL riding a 16-game win streak into Verizon Center. There was buzz around this game and the eyes of the NHL were on Washington. The Caps played one of their best games of the season in a 5-0 win. The buildup to this game made it incredibly exciting to cover and, at least for the local media, it lived up to the hype. I was not sure exactly what to expect from Washington at this point, but they certainly exceeded my expectations and it proved to be the start of an incredibly dominant run in January and February.

RELATED: Caps sign minor league forward
 
Alex Oveckin scores his 1000th point
January 11, 2017

 
The majority of big news items are unexpected. Sometimes it's an injury, sometimes it's an unexpected performance by an unexpected player. Then there are times when you know something newsworthy is about to happen. I don’t know why, but I find those moments to be more stressful even though you write most of the story ahead of time and you have a plan in place for how to publish and promote it once the news does happen. I guess it’s because you feel like something is hanging over your head and you just don’t know when it is going to drop. After a three-point performance against the Montreal Canadiens, Ovechkin sat just one point shy of his 1,000th point heading into a rivalry game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. A rivalry game is already big, but the fact that Ovechkin could get to 1,000 at any point over the course of the next 60 minutes added to the buzz surrounding the game. We had the story written up, we had a plan ready to go for when it happened, we just had to wait for it. But we didn’t have to wait for very long. Ovechkin scored against the Caps’ archrivals just 35 seconds into the game. If the roof had blown off of Verizon Center after that goal, I would not have been surprised. Not only was I witnessing hockey history, but damn he made it look incredible.
 
Washington’s 8-7 OT loss in Pittsburgh
January 16, 2017

 
There is no debate as to what the most exciting game of the regular season was. Just one night before, the Caps had blown out Philadelphia 5-0 and the @CSNCapitals account gained some notoriety for trolling our friends at @CSNPhilly.
 


 
I wish I could take credit, but this was the work of one of our social media gurus, Dan Martin, who is also responsible for the glorious “Dearest Abigail.”
  
When the Caps went up 3-0, against Pittsburgh, I decided to get in on the action and I sent this tweet out:
 

 
Boy did that backfire, as you can tell by the comments. That game turned into one of the craziest games of the season as Pittsburgh scored five straight. Washington had to score twice just to force overtime. It also included one of the worst interpretations of the goalie interference rule I have seen since the review was put in place. Apparently, as long as the defense pushes a player down, that player has free reign to do whatever he wants to a goalie and it won’t count as interference. Who knew?
 
Tom Wilson shuts up Mike Babcock with OT winner
April 13, 2017

 
The lead up to a playoff series is long enough that coaches can be asked anything and everything by the media. That was evidenced by the fact that Toronto head coach Mike Babcock was fielding questions about Tom Wilson. Even more surprising is the fact that Babcock responded honestly saying, “Nothing against [Wilson], because he works hard and all that, but he’s not as big of concern as a lot of people on their team.”

Washington had to battle back from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs. Playoff overtime is phenomenal, but it’s a little different for the media. You have to have be ready for the game to end at a moment's notice and for either team to win meaning you have to have two different stories written and ready to publish. This can mean a very long, long night. I will be honest, as great as overtime is just about everyone in the media is cheering for a quick goal so we can get our work done and get home sometime before 3 a.m. And then the goal is scored at just 5:15 into the overtime…by Wilson. Because of course it was. An overtime game that ended the game early scored by the one player Babcock had dismissed before the game? Jackpot.
 
Sidney Crosby suffers a concussion after Matt Niskanen’s hit
May 1, 2017

 
Games 1 and 2 of Washington’s series against Pittsburgh did not go well. Down 2-0 heading into Game 3 it looked like the series was over. And then Crosby went down. I was not in Pittsburgh and was watching the game at the CSN studio in Bethesda. I saw the hit on TV, but did not realize at first that all hell was about to break loose until the camera panned back to Crosby on the ice. Crosby is down? Crosby with the history of concussions is down after a hit to the head? Wow. First, you hope the player is okay and then your journalistic mind starts spinning. We have got to get that video. I have to write this up. What does this mean for the game? What does this mean for the series? Had I just watched the last shift of Crosby’s career? After seeing the first two games, I was among those who considered the series to be over, but if Crosby is out that could change everything. All the implications of that moment made it the biggest story in the NHL. It sparked a lot of intrigue and a lot of lunacy from people who believed the Caps went into the game wanting to take out Crosby. The Caps' win that night was secondary to what Crosby’s injury meant for his own health and for the series.

MORE CAPITALS: Should Caps look to the trade market for upgrades?

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

las_vegas-sign-no_caps-stanley_cup_final.jpg
Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS: