Washington Capitals

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Posted by bender 03/03/2009 @ 18:10

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The Next Steps for the Washington Capitals - Bleacher Report
Another heartbreak has been dealt to the Washington Capitals faithful at the hands of a playoff nemesis. And while the summer begins (albeit too early) for the Capitals, the opportunity to re-tool and fix the mistakes of the past is upon us again....
Best and worst of the playoffs so far - FOXSports.com
The Washington Capitals were among the highest scoring teams in the NHL this season in part because of forward Alexander Semin and defenseman Mike Green. Semin was their third-leading scorer with 79 points in 62 games while Green led all NHL defensemen...
> Capitals Insider - Washington Post Blogs
Last night, Kelowna Rockets forward Jamie Benn came a goal post from giving the Washington Capitals coach some company." (London Free Press) Rookie defenseman John Carlson, the Caps' first-round pick in 2008, is already making a huge impact for the...
Maturity time: Talented Capitals need to grow up - USA Today
By Joseph White, AP Sports Writer WASHINGTON — Led by heart-on-his-sleeve superstar Alex Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals have perhaps the best and most excitable collection of young talent in the NHL. Maybe that was the problem....
Capitals sign Swede Gustafsson - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Washington Capitals signed Swedish center Anton Gustafsson, their first-round pick in the 2008 draft, to a three-year entry-level contract on Thursday. The 19-year-old, who spent most of this season with Bofors IK in Sweden's...
Will the Capitals do what it takes to win the Stanley Cup? - Yahoo! Sports
By Greg Wyshynski Today was the day the Washington Capitals packed up their lockers at Kettler Iceplex in Arlington, Va. Needless to say, they have a lot of baggage. There was talk about injuries: Alexander Ovechkin's(notes) groin pull he suffered in...
Cook: Hits and Hypocricy ... A case in point - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
The Penguins' Matt Cooke knocked the Carolina Hurricanes' Erik Cole out of Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series Monday night with a knee-on-knee hit that brought back bad memories of Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin dropping Penguins...
No 'radical changes' for Capitals in offseason - USA Today
The Washington Capitals took their physicals and held their final one-on-one meetings with the coach on Friday, still feeling the sting of a playoff exit while comforted by the knowledge that most of the young, improving roster will remain in tact for...
By Overtime, Capitals Are Left Powerless Pittsburgh Plays Nearly ... - Washington Post
By Overtime, Capitals Are Left Powerless That, then, is how Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals played out Wednesday night for the Washington Capitals. The Penguins, on paper, took a 3-2 victory at Mellon Arena because Kris Letang scorched a...
Ovechkin Matches Crosby as Capitals Win - New York Times
Ovechkin's third goal turned out to be the winner for the Washington Capitals in a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series. The Capitals lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0....

Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play in the Verizon Center in Washington's Chinatown neighborhood.

Along with the Kansas City Scouts, the Capitals joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team for the 1974–75 season. The team was owned by Abe Pollin, owner of the NBA's Washington Bullets. Pollin had built the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland, to house both the Bullets (who formerly played in Baltimore, Maryland) and the Capitals. His first act as owner was to hire Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt as general manager.

With a combined 30 teams between the NHL and the rival World Hockey Association, the Capitals had few players with professional experience and were at a disadvantage against the long-standing teams that were stocked with more experienced players. Like the other three teams who joined the league during the WHA era—the Scouts, Atlanta Flames and New York Islanders—the Capitals did not factor the arrival of the WHA into their plans.

The Capitals' inaugural season was dreadful, even by expansion standards. They finished 8–67–5, far and away the worst record in the league. Their 21 points were half that of their expansion brethren, the Scouts. The eight wins are the fewest for an NHL team playing at least 70 games, and the .131 winning percentage is still the worst in NHL history. They also set records for most road losses (39 out of 40), most consecutive road losses (37) (both still NHL records) and most consecutive losses (17), a mark tied by the 1992–93 San Jose Sharks. Coach Jim Anderson said, "I'd rather find out my wife was cheating on me than keep losing like this. At least I could tell my wife to cut it out." Schmidt himself had to take over the coaching reins late in the season.

In 1975–76, Washington went 25 straight games without a win and allowed 394 goals en route to another horrendous record: 11–59–10 (32 points). During the middle of the season, Max McNab was hired as GM, and Tom McVie was hired as head coach to replace Schmidt. For the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, the Capitals alternated between dreadful seasons and finishing only a few points out of the playoffs. In 1980 and 1981, for instance, they were in playoff contention until the last day of the season. The one bright spot during these years of futility was that many of McNab's draft picks (e.g. Rick Green, Ryan Walter, Mike Gartner, Bengt Gustafsson, Gaetan Duchesne, Bobby Carpenter) would impact the team for years to come, whether as important members of the roster or crucial pieces to major trades. By the summer of 1982, there was serious talk of the team moving out of the U.S. capital, and a "Save the Caps" campaign was underway. Then two significant events took place to solve the problem.

First, the team hired David Poile as General Manager. Second, as his first move, Poile pulled off one of the biggest trades in franchise history on September 9, 1982, when he dealt longtime regulars Ryan Walter and Rick Green to the Montreal Canadiens for Rod Langway, Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis, and Craig Laughlin. This move turned the franchise around, as Langway's solid defense helped the team to dramatically reduce its goals-against, and the explosive goal-scoring of Dennis Maruk, Mike Gartner, and Bobby Carpenter fueled the offensive attack. Another significant move was the drafting of defenseman Scott Stevens during the 1982 NHL Entry Draft (the pick was made by interim-GM Roger Crozier, prior to Poile's hiring). The result was a 29-point jump, a third-place finish in the powerful Patrick Division, and the team's first playoff appearance in 1983. Although they were eliminated by the three-time-defending Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders (three games to one), the Caps' dramatic turnaround ended any talk of the club leaving Washington.

The Capitals would make the playoffs for each of the next 14 years in a row. They became known for starting slow before catching fire in January and February. However, regular-season success did not carry into the playoffs. Despite a continuous march of stars like Gartner, Carpenter, Langway, Gustafsson, Mike Ridley, Dave Christian, Dino Ciccarelli, Larry Murphy, and Kevin Hatcher, Washington was knocked out in either the first or second round eight years in a row. In 1985–86, for instance, the Caps finished with 107 points (a franchise record that still stands today) and won 50 games for the only time in franchise history, good enough for the fourth-best record in the league. However, they were bounced out of the playoffs in the second round by the New York Rangers.

The next season brought even more heartbreak, with a loss to the Islanders in the Patrick Division Semifinal. This series was capped off by the classic Easter Epic game, which ended at 1:56 am on Easter Sunday 1987. The Capitals had thoroughly dominated most of the game, outshooting the Islanders 75–52, but lost in overtime when goaltender Bob Mason was beaten on a Pat LaFontaine shot from the blue line. For the 1989 playoff push, Gartner and defenseman Larry Murphy were traded to the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Ciccarelli and defenseman Bob Rouse, however the goaltending once again faltered and they were eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Capitals finally made the Wales Conference Finals in 1990, but went down in a four-game sweep at the hands of the first-place Boston Bruins.

By the mid-1990s, the Stanley Cup seemed to elude the Capitals. Despite having rising stars in right-winger Peter Bondra, defenseman Sergei Gonchar, and center/left-wing Joe Juneau, the team's core players were mostly aging.

The Capitals were favorites during the 1993 playoff series with the New York Islanders but they were upset in six games. That series was most remembered when center Dale Hunter checked the Isles' Pierre Turgeon from behind in Game 6 after Turgeon scored the series-clinching goal. Turgeon fell awkwardly onto the ice and suffered a separated shoulder that caused him to miss the Isles' second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hunter's post-goal check earned him a suspension for the first 21 games of the next season – at the time the longest suspension for an on-ice incident in NHL history. From 1991 to 1994, the Capitals had their season ended three times by the eventual Stanley Cup champions. In 1991 and 1992, they were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and by the New York Rangers in 1994.

Then in 1998, Peter Bondra's 52 goals led the team, veterans Hunter, Juneau and Adam Oates returned to old form, and Olaf Kolzig had a solid .920 save percentage as the Caps got past the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, and Buffalo Sabres (the latter on a dramatic overtime win in game six on a goal by Joe Juneau) en route to the team's first (and to date, only) Stanley Cup finals appearance. The Capitals won six overtime games, three in each of their series against the Bruins and Sabres. However, the team was no match for the defending champs, the Detroit Red Wings, who won in a four-game sweep.

That same season, Oates, Phil Housley, and Dale Hunter all scored their 1,000th career point, the only time in NHL history that one team had 3 different players reach that same milestone in a single season.

In 1999, the Capitals missed the playoffs due to numerous injuries, one of the highest in the league that season. After that season, Pollin sold the Capitals to a group headed by AOL executive Ted Leonsis.

The Capitals went on to win back-to-back Southeast Division titles in 2000 and 2001, yet both years lost in the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the 2000–01 season, Adam Oates demanded a trade but management refused and stripped him of his team captaincy.

In the summer of 2001, the Capitals landed five-time Art Ross Trophy winner Jaromir Jagr, one of the best players in the NHL in the 1990s, by trading three young prospects to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jagr was signed to the largest contract ever in NHL history - $77 million over 7 years at an average salary of $11 million per year (over $134,000 per game), with an option for an eighth year. However, Jagr did not live up to expectations, as the Capitals failed to defend their division title and missed the playoffs in 2002 despite a winning record. Still, the 2001–2002 season marked the highest attendance in franchise history, drawing in 710,990 fans and 17,341 per game .

In the summer of 2002, the Caps made even more roster changes, including the signing the highly regarded Robert Lang as a free agent, a linemate of Jagr's from Pittsburgh. The Capitals were back in the playoffs 2003, but disappointed fans again by losing in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning after starting off with a two-game lead in the best-of-seven first-round series. The series is well-remembered for the three-overtime Game 6 at the then-MCI Center, the longest game in the building's history, which was eventually decided by a power play goal as a result of Jason Doig skating on the ice too early and warranting a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty.

In the 2003–2004 season, the Caps unloaded a lot of their high-priced talent — not just a cost-cutting spree, but also an acknowledgment that their attempt to build a contender with high-priced veteran talent had failed. Jagr had failed to finish among the league's top scorers or make the postseason All-Star Team during his time with the Capitals. They tried to trade Jagr, but as only one year was left on the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement before it expired, few teams were willing to risk $11 million on an underperforming player. In 2004, Jagr was finally sent to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter and an agreement that Washington would pay approximately four million dollars per year of Jagr's salary, with Jagr himself agreeing to defer (with interest) $1 million per year for the remainder of his contract to allow the trade to go ahead. This was quickly followed by Bondra going to the Ottawa Senators. Not long after, Robert Lang was sent to Detroit and Gonchar to the Bruins. The Robert Lang trade marked the first time in the history of the National Hockey League that the league's leading scorer was traded in the middle of the season. The Capitals ended the year 23–46–10–6, tied for the second worst record, along with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Capitals won the Draft Lottery, and selected Alexander Ovechkin first overall. During the NHL labor dispute of 2004–05, which cost the NHL its entire season, Ovechkin stayed in Russia, playing for Moscow Dynamo. Several other Capitals played part or all of the lost season in Europe, including Olaf Kolzig, Brendan Witt, and Jeff Halpern. The Capitals' 2005 off-season consisted of making D.C.-area native Halpern the team's captain, signing Andrew Cassels, Ben Clymer, Mathieu Biron and Jamie Heward, and acquiring Chris Clark and Jeff Friesen via trade.

The Capitals finished the 2005–2006 NHL season in the cellar of the Southeastern Division again, with a 29–41–12 campaign, having 12 more points than the 2003–04 Season, good for 27th out of the 30 NHL teams. Yet the team played close in every game, playing in 42 one-goal games, although losing 2/3 of those games. Ovechkin's rookie season exceeded the hype, as he led all 2005–06 NHL rookies in goals, points, power-play goals and shots. He finished third overall in the NHL in scoring and tied for third in goals; and his 425 shots not only led the league, but also set an NHL rookie record and was the fourth-highest total in NHL history. Ovechkin's rookie point total was the second-best in Washington Capitals history, and his goal total was tied for third in franchise history. Ovechkin won the Calder Memorial Trophy, beating out Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby and Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Many longtime Capitals had career years, with Dainius Zubrus netting 57 points, Halpern having a career-best 33 assists, Matt Pettinger putting in a career-best 20-goal, 38-point effort and seven others on the relatively young team topping 20 points for the first time. Two notable landmarks were also hit by Capitals, as the team's longest tenured Capital, Olaf Kolzig, won his 250th game in goal and Andrew Cassels became the 204th player to play 1,000 games, although he did not finish out his season with the team. A notable first was that Washington area native Jeff Halpern was named captain of the hometown Capitals. At the 2006 trade deadline, March 8, Witt was traded to Nashville.

In the 2006 offseason, Halpern left the Capitals to join the Dallas Stars; Chris Clark became the Capitals' new captain. Richard Zednik returned to the Capitals in 2006–07 after a disappointing 16-goal, 14-assist season in 2005–06 with Montreal, but was later dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Islanders after a disappointing and injury plagued season; the Caps also signed former Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Donald Brashear.

Yet the Capitals finished with the same point total (70) in 2006–2007 as they did the year before, although they won one less game. Alexander Ovechkin was the Capitals' lone representative in the All-Star game. The year was also notable for the breakout of Alexander Semin, who notched 38 goals in only his second NHL season.

The Capitals unveiled new uniforms on June 22, 2007 which coincided with the NHL Entry Draft and the new league-wide adaptation of the Reebok-designed uniform system for 2007–08. The change marks a return to the red, white, and blue color scheme originally used from 1974 to 1995. The new primary logo is reminiscent of the original Capitals' logo, complete with a hockey stick formed by the letter "t"; it also includes a new feature the original logo didn't have: 3 stars representing Maryland, Virginia, and DC. More simply, the stars are an obvious reference to the flag of DC, which is in turn based on the shield of George Washington's family coat of arms.

The Capitals finally signed Swedish phenom Nicklas Backstrom, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, to three-year entry-level contract. They also signed 19 year old Simeon Varlamov to a three-year entry-level contract. They then went on to fill needs at defense, by signing puck moving defenseman Tom Poti, right wing, by signing Viktor Kozlov, and center, by signing playmaker Michael Nylander. Because of these signings there was much more hope for the 07–08 season and players were looking towards the playoffs.

After starting the season 6–14–1, the Capitals fired coach Glen Hanlon and replaced him with Hershey Bears coach Bruce Boudreau on Thanksgiving Day, 2007. On January 10, 2008, the Capitals signed Ovechkin to a league-record $124 million contract extension; at 13 years, it also had the second-longest term of any contract in the NHL, after New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro's 15-year contract. Despite the Capitals' young defense and injuries to key players such as Michael Nylander and Brian Pothier, Boudreau engineered a remarkable turnaround. Aided by key moves at the trade deadline (Matt Cooke, Sergei Fedorov and Cristobal Huet), Ovechkin's league-leading 65 goals, and Mike Green's NHL defenseman leading 18 goals, the Capitals won the Southeast Division title for the first time since the 2000–01 NHL season, edging out the Carolina Hurricanes for the division title on the final game of the season. Their remarkable end of season run included winning 11 of the final 12 regular season games. The Capitals became the first team in NHL history to make the playoffs after being ranked 14th or lower in the standings at the season's midpoint.. The Capitals drew the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, and managed to force a Game 7 after being down 3-1 in the series. They ultimately lost to the Flyers 3-2 in OT. After the season concluded, Boudreau's efforts were rewarded with a long term contract.

The accolades for the team continued to roll in after the end of the season. Alex Ovechkin won the Art Ross Trophy, the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award. Ovechkin became the first player in NHL history to win all four awards. He also was the first player to win an MVP award in any major sport in the Washington, DC area since Joe Theismann won the NFL MVP in 1983. Moreover, he was named an NHL First Team All-Star and became the first player since 1953 to be named as such in each of his first three years in the NHL. Nicklas Backstrom was a finalist for the Calder Trophy, but ended up second to Chicago's Patrick Kane; however, Backstrom was still selected to the All-Star Rookie Team. Bruce Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award for NHL best coach. Ovechkin and Mike Green were named to the Sporting News All-Star Team, with Ovechkin being the Sporting News Player of the Year.

Updated March 2, 2009.

Statistics include regular season and playoffs.

These are the top-ten regular season point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

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List of Washington Capitals players

Rastislav Staňa was drafted by Washington in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and played for the Capitals from 2003 to 2004.

This is a complete list of ice hockey players who have played for the Washington Capitals in the National Hockey League (NHL). It includes players that have played at least one game, either in the NHL regular season or in the NHL playoffs.

As of January 31, 2008, 37 goaltenders and 394 skaters (forwards and defensemen) have appeared in at least one regular-season and/or playoff game with the Washington Capitals since the team joined the league in the 1974-75 NHL season. The 431 all-time members of the Capitals are listed below, with statistics complete through the end of the 2006-07 season.

Four former Washington Capitals players are enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame: Mike Gartner, Rod Langway, Larry Murphy, and Scott Stevens. Jim Carey and Olaf Kolzig won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender while playing for Washington. Kolzig also won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Alexander Ovechkin won the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year while playing for the Capitals. Doug Jarvis won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward. Rod Langway won the James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the league's top overall defenceman.

The "Seasons" column lists the first year of the season of the player's first game and the last year of the season of the player's last game. For example, a player who played one game in the 2000-01 season would be listed as playing with the team from 2000-2001, regardless of what calendar year the game occurred within.

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List of Washington Capitals head coaches

Glen Hanlon spent his entire NHL coaching career with the Capitals, having coached for 239 games.

The Washington Capitals are an American professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. The Capitals play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Hockey League (NHL). The team joined the NHL in 1974 as an expansion team and won their first Eastern Conference championship in 1998. The Capitals have played their home games at the Verizon Center, formerly known as the MCI Center, since 1997. The Capitals are owned by Ted Leonsis, and George McPhee is their general manager.

There have been 14 head coaches for the Capitals franchise. The franchise's first head coach was Jim Anderson, who coached for less than a season. Bryan Murray is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular-season games coached (672), the most regular-season game wins (343), the most regular-season points (769), the most playoff games coached (53), and the most playoff-game wins (24). Murray's brother, Terry Murray, has also coached the Capitals, right after his brother Bryan. Roger Crozier, who has only coached one game for the Capitals, is the franchise's all-time leader for the least regular-season game points (0). Ron Wilson is the only coach to win the Prince of Wales Trophy with the Capitals, but lost the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. Bryan Murray and Bruce Boudreau are the only Capitals coaches to have won the Jack Adams Award. None of the Capitals coaches have been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder. Anderson, Danny Belisle, Gary Green, Crozier, Bruce Cassidy, Glen Hanlon, and Boudreau have spent their entire NHL coaching careers with the Capitals. Boudreau has been the head coach of the Capitals since 2007.

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2007–08 season.

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Washington Capitals seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League. This list documents the records and playoff results for all seasons the Capitals have completed in the NHL since their inception in 1974.

Records as of May 15, 2007.

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2007–08 Washington Capitals season

The 2007-08 Washington Capitals season began on October 5, 2007. It was the Washington Capitals' 33rd season in the National Hockey League.

On November 22, coach Glen Hanlon was fired after starting the Capitals with a 6-14-1 record; the team's worst start since 1981-82. He was replaced by Bruce Boudreau on an interim basis until December 26, when Boudreau's position was made permanent.

On March 21, LW Alexander Ovechkin scored his 60th goal of the season in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers, becoming the first NHL player to accomplish the feat in twelve years, and tying Dennis Maruk's single-season franchise record. He would go on to break the record in the Capitals' next game, a 3-2 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes on March 25. On April 3, Ovechkin scored twice to break Luc Robitaille's single-season LW goal scoring record of 63 goals. Ovechkin finished the regular season with 65 goals and 112 points and won the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL's Most Valuable Player.

On April 5th, the Capitals defeated the Florida Panthers 3-1 at home to clinch the franchise's third Southeast Division title and fourth division title overall. The Capitals became the first team in NHL history to make the playoffs after being ranked 14th or lower in the standings at the season's midpoint..

In the playoffs, the Capitals won their first game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but then lost three consecutive games to fall behing three games to one. They managed to win their next two games to force a game seven, but lost in overtime on a power play goal by Joffrey Lupul.

The Capitals have been involved in the following transactions during the 2007-08 season.

Washington's picks at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio. The Capitals had the 5th overall pick .

The Hershey Bears are the Capitals American Hockey League affiliate in 2007-2008.

The South Carolina Stingrays are the Capitals East Coast Hockey League affiliate in 2007-2008.

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Source : Wikipedia