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Vegas likes Chicago to repeat, not high on the Caps

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Vegas likes Chicago to repeat, not high on the Caps

Before Chicago fans could even recover from their Stanley Cup party hangover, Vegas already released their Stanley Cup odds on Tuesday for who would win the Cup in 2016. But don't worry Blackhawks fans, the wiseguys think the party is going to go on for another year.

According to the odds released by Bovada, the Blackhawks are the favorites to hoist the Cup yet again in 2016 at 7/1 followed by the New York Rangers at 8/1. Considering what the Rangers have given up in recent years to build a championship contender and the fact that the Rangers have not had a first-round draft pick since 2012, many pointed to this season as make or break run for New York. Evidently Vegas believes reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

As for the Caps' turnaround in Washington, Vegas isn't buying it. The Caps fell all the way to 12th with 18/1 odds to win. Considering that the team came within one goal of reaching the conference finals, that seems a bit harsh, but with numerous expiring contracts there is a lot of uncertainty over what this roster may look like in the fall. This could be a very different team come October.

Still, it is hard to understand how a team like Pittsburgh can be favored over the Caps.

That's right the Penguins were tied for 6th at 14/1 with Los Angeles, Minnesota and Montreal. Somehow, despite losing to the Rangers in five games in the first round and rumors of the team seeking to trade Evgeni Malkin, Mike Johnston's squad still looks like the better bet to Vegas.

RELATED: Grubauer 'really happy' to get one-way deal

Boston also sits ahead of the Caps at 16/1. After not making the playoffs in 2015 and a quiet start to the offseason that included firing their general manager, the Bruins are evidently more likely to hoist Lord Stanley's chalice than the Caps.

To be fair, captain Alex Ovechkin is growing older and will be 30 at the start of the 2015-16 season. It is easy to see how the oddsmakers could be more confident in a Boston team led by the youthful 38-year-old Zdeno Chara.

Despite initial rumblings that former Caps' coach Bruce Boudreau could be canned in Anaheim, the Ducks came in at third on the list with 10/1 odds, followed by St. Louis and Tampa Bay at 12/1. Connor McDavid fever has spread to the desert as the hapless Edmonton Oilers were given 33/1 odds, tied with Detroit and Columbus for 15th.

Mike Babcock will have his work cut out for him in Toronto as the Leafs were given only 66/1 odds. All the way at the bottom at 100/1 are Buffalo, Carolina and Arizona. Perhaps a more interesting bet would be on where the Coyotes will call home next season after the city of Glendale ended the team's lease at Gila River Arena.

So grab another slice of deep-dish pizza and a Polish sausage, Chicago fans! The dynasty will stretch into 2016.

MORE CAPITALS TALK: End of season review: Justin Peters

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For former Capitals coach Barry Trotz, no regrets, only memories

For former Capitals coach Barry Trotz, no regrets, only memories

NEW YORK — Barry Trotz’s voice wavered, but it did not break. 
 
In four years with the Capitals he had addressed his players as a group thousands of times just like this one, including in the champagne-soaked, jubilant aftermath of the organization’s first Stanley Cup on June 7 in Las Vegas. 
 
In the visiting locker room at Barclays Center in Brooklyn last month, no longer their coach but a competitor, Trotz accepted his championship ring from Washington captain Alex Ovechkin and gave an emotional speech that addressed the crushing pressure his former team had worked under until they finally broke through together. It was all worth it. 
 
“I’ll die a happy man,” Trotz told them. 

If there was any lingering resentment about how Trotz's time in Washington ended this past summer, it wasn’t on display in the dressing room before the Capitals played the New York Islanders on Nov. 26. 
 
The defending champions are almost intact. Forward Jay Beagle signed as a free agent in Vancouver, backup goalie Philipp Grubauer was traded to Colorado and Trotz, with assistant coaches Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn, was hired by New York. 
 
Trotz left Washington a champion, unable to accept the terms of a contract clause that kicked in for winning the title. He resigned instead and quickly accepted the challenge of coaching the Islanders, a franchise in transition after losing star center Jonathan Tavares in free agency over the summer. 
 
“I want to do the same thing with this group, hopefully build something and share the same moments and the bond that happens when you win a championship,” Trotz said. “But it is closure. I’m a New York Islander. I’m not a Washington Capital.”
 
That’s a jarring statement from the man who holds the second-most victories in franchise history (205) behind only Bryan Murray (343). Washington won two Presidents’ Trophies under Trotz for the NHL’s best record and finally broke through with a Cup after three devastating second-round playoff exits.
 
But the Capitals had a coach-in-waiting in assistant Todd Reirden, who had been on staff with Trotz for four years. And the writing was on the wall when Trotz didn’t receive a contract extension in the summer of 2017. He would have to earn a new deal by going further in the playoffs than he ever had in 18 years as an NHL head coach, further than his players ever had. 
 
They responded by winning a title, and there was money to be made elsewhere. If the relationship at times was rocky, there were no hard feelings at the end. There is the sport of hockey, which Trotz loves, and there is the business, and the two mingled together too often during a memorable but trying season. 
 
“I knew that was an important year for myself, it was an important year for the whole franchise, it was an important year for the key players,” Trotz said. “I saw the pressures that were put on those young men. And there is. It was real.”
 
“When I first got to Washington you could feel it a little bit. By year three and four you could feel that. It was real. There was a tremendous amount of pressure. You get 16, 17,00 people and they’re all thinking ‘Okay here we go again.’ That’s the wrong energy. And I think I stated that. I said ‘I need your help. We need your help. Think positive. Help us out.’ Those guys battled through it. That’s the thing that I admire about them.”  
 
But just six days after the parade down Constitution Avenue, Trotz quit. He planned to head to his cabin in British Columbia, but first met with Islanders team president Lou Lamoriello to hear his vision for the future there. Trotz then flew to Seattle and on to his cabin, where he talked to his wife, Kim, and family – daughters Shalan and Tiana, sons Nolan and Tyson - about the new opportunity. On June 21 he agreed to terms with New York. 
 
That started a whirlwind summer for Trotz, which he called “the most hectic of my life.” He accepted the job with the Islanders, he moved Kim and Nolan, who is special needs, to New York, hired a coaching staff, Shalan had a destination wedding in Maui and Trotz had his day with the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Dauphin, Manitoba.  
 
“I thought I’d put my feet up at my cabin for a few months and ended up back working days after that,” Trotz said. “It’s been good. I was a little worried that it would get to me at some point, but it hasn’t. I think I’m in a good spot, fortunate to be back on the island and hopefully we’re starting to grow something here.”
 
That remains to be seen without Tavares, who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and ranked ninth in the NHL in goals (18) entering play Monday. Yet Trotz has kept New York believing. To the shock of everyone, the Islanders began Monday in third place in the Metropolitan Division and in a playoff spot through 28 games. That could change quickly, but if he gets them there Trotz will be a heavy favorite for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.  

The day of the ring presentation – Washington won the game that night 4-1 – Trotz took to the ice at the Islanders’ practice rink in East Meadow, New York in his distinctive orange-and-blue warmups for the morning skate. He looped around shouting instructions at players as he always did in Washington. The color scheme has changed. The man has not. 
 
“We’ve learned a lot already,” Islanders forward Matt Martin said. “There’s a lot of things to take from Barry and from his staff that they’ve come in and done with us. We’ve tried to soak everything in because his resume speaks for itself, his experience, his success.”
 
There’s a long way to go with 54 games left until the playoffs, so reality of life without Tavares might intrude. But it’s been a good start. Meanwhile, Trotz’s old team keeps chugging along. The Capitals are in first place again in the Metro, a division they’ve won three years in a row. Trotz told them he believes they can win another Cup – though drew smiles when he said they’d have to go through the Islanders first.  
 
“I know it was tough for him to leave our team, but he did such a great job of bringing everyone together and really molding this group,” Washington defenseman Madison Bowey said. “It’s probably been the best team in the league for four years and he gave it his all to make sure we had that success. You can tell through his voice how emotional he was about that, how much he cared about us. That’s the coolest thing. He deserves this more than anyone - a true leader, a true coach.”
 
Trotz held the box with his ring inside and tapped it for emphasis as he gave his former players a speech from the heart. He said “Toddy, give me a hug, bud” and embraced Reirden – a moment that could have turned awkward given how things ended and Reirden’s status as the obvious successor. 

Trotz touched on the memories made, the friendships forged. He told the players and staff he couldn’t wait for reunions in future years, where all the old stories will be told. There will never be any regrets for Barry Trotz. 
 
“A really good chapter in my life and the relationships,” Trotz said. “What we went through the last four years was pretty incredible. The wins and losses and some of the hard times and some of the good times. We all shared that together. And that’s why that bond will be there forever with that group of young men.”

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Capitals vs. Red Wings: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals vs. Red Wings: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (17-9-3) are coming off of two straight road wins and return home to host the Detroit Red Wings (13-13-4) for their second matchup of the season, Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Despite recent injuries to top wingers Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie, the Caps have shown no signs of slowing down and are playing some of their best hockey. The team rifled off seven straight wins before dropping back-to-back games to the Ducks and Golden Knights. But The Caps regained their form on the road, beating the Coyotes and Blue Jackets. 

Alex Ovechkin now sits atop of the NHL lead scorers chart and the young guys are getting in on the action too, with Travis Boyd scoring his first NHL goal and Dmitrij Jaskin scoring his first as a Cap in the Caps' 4-0 win over Columbus Saturday. 

The Red Wings enter the Tuesday content having lost three of their last four games. But Detroit will be a tough out. Eight of their last 12 games have been decided by just a single goal, including their 3-2 loss to Barry Trotz's Islanders on Saturday night.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS vs. DETROIT RED WINGS: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings, Game 30 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Tuesday, December 11, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Red Wings will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals take on the Red Wings on the new MyTeams by NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7, 106.7 The Fan

CAPITALS vs. RED WINGS TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Caps FaceOff Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals vs. Red Wings (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live 
10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. RED WINGS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: Tom Wilson (RW): Upper body, TBD; T.J. Oshie (RW): Upper body, TBD; Brooks Orpik (D): Lower body, LTIR;

Red Wings: Danny DeKeyser (D): Hand, Indefinitely; Anthony Mantha (W): Hand, Indefinitely; Trevor Daley (D): Lower body, Day-to-Day; Darren Helm (W): Shoulder, Day-to-Day; Henrik Zetterberg (C): Back, Indefinitely; Evgeny Svechnikov (W): Knee, Day-to-Day; Johan Franzen (W): Concussion, Day-to-Day.

CAPITALS vs. RED WINGS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals: Alex Ovechkin has had an amazing year and continues to top the charts in his older age. During the Caps' 4-0 win over the Blue Jackets Saturday, Ovi got his 22nd goal of the season, now sitting atop of the NHL lead goalscorers chart. He's on a roll, with 10 goals and six assists through the past 11 games.

Niklas Kronwall, D, Red Wings:  The 37-year-old veteran Kronwall is nearing the end of his hockey career, but has shown no signs of slowing down. Kronwall made a huge, clean hit during the Wings' 3-2 loss to the Islanders Saturday and scored despite the loss. Caps wingers will need to watch out for this defenseman.

CAPITALS vs. RED WINGS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 117

All-time record: Capitals lead 51-45-5 (16 ties)

Last Meeting: Capitals won 3-1 at home on November 23, 2018.

Last 10 Regular Season Games: Capitals lead 8-1-2

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