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1974-75 expansion Capitals were the opposite of the Golden Knights - Printable Version

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1974-75 expansion Capitals were the opposite of the Golden Knights - aliciahuang - 01-26-2018

Ron Lalonde recalls feeling sorry for the expansion Washington Capitals the first time he played against them in 1974.

The center's Pittsburgh Penguins humbled the Capitals by scores of 8-1 and 6-0 in a home-and-home series in November.

“A couple of (Caps) had been drafted out of the Pittsburgh organization were good friends of mine,” said Lalonde, that poor guy. This is going to be a long year.’”, 65. “I’m sitting on the bench looking at (ex-Penguin) Yvon Labre and thinking, ‘Boy

The Penguins traded Lalonde to the Capitals for Lew Morrison on Dec. 14, and he became a key contributor (26 points in 50 games) on what statistically is the worst team in NHL history., 1974

The Capitals finished with a record of 8-67-5,adidas Kris Letang jersey, and won only one game on the road all season.

With the expansion Vegas Golden Knights second in the league with a 32-11-4 record, Lalonde can’t help but remember the attention his Capitals received for the opposite reason.

“It was a huge advantage the way it is set up now, ‘Let’s make sure this team is competitive and ready to go.’”,” Lalonde said. “The NHL was building (Vegas) to be a successful franchise right off the bat. The concern in 1974 wasn’t

In preparation for Vegas' arrival,adidas Jake Guentzel jersey, three defensemen and a goalie or eight combined forwards and defensemen and a goalie in June's expansion draft., the 30 other existing teams could only protect seven forwards

“The players Washington received were the 18th and 19th players on NHL teams at a time that the (World Hockey Association) was already raiding NHL-caliber players,” Lalonde said. “It wasn’t probably the optimum time to expand.”

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley paid $500 million for his expansion team and the late Abe Pollin paid $6 million for the Capitals. Even factoring the inflated value of 1974 dollars,adidas Matt Murray jersey, the NHL had millions of reasons to be generous to Vegas.

“And we weren’t drawing as many players around the world as we are today,” Lalonde said. “The pool of NHL-caliber hockey players is much deeper today.”

The Capitals only had three wins by the midpoint of the season, and they ended the season with a goal-differential of -265. They gave up 446 goals for a goals-against average of 5.58.

“It was painful to go through, with all of those losses and few wins,” Lalonde said.,Authentic Joe Thornton jersey, but honestly I wouldn’t trade that for the world

Lalonde said he could see that season that the Capitals would be a lasting franchise.

“For as a bad a team as we had, the fans came out,000 seats filled.”,” Lalonde said. “It was particularly fun when we played the Flyers or Islanders. Fans couldn’t get tickets up in Philadelphia so their fans would drive two hours to Washington and on a Sunday afternoon we’d have 18

Lalonde said the players were realistic about their situation. “We were getting out-talented every night,” Lalonde said., but we felt if we worked hard we would have a chance

The players found ways to revel in their plight, like late in the season when they defeated the California Golden Seals 5-3 for their only road win.

“We all signed an old green garbage can and paraded around the hallway with it, you would go cuckoo.”,” Lalonde said. “Some went on the ice and skated around with it. You had to find some way to celebrate. Otherwise

It was their version of a Stanley Cup celebration.

“Two years later we were playing in Oakland and our names were still in magic marker on the garbage can,” Lalonde said.

For the second game in a row, the Florida Panthers will face a Russian-born, high-scoring forward named Alexander., 30-something

What makes it even tougher is that the Panthers were already without their first-string goalie, Roberto Luongo, suggesting a muscle pull., who has been out since Dec. 4, when he suffered a very similar right leg injury. Both he and Reimer stretched out their right legs to make saves on the plays in which they got hurt

Luongo is due back in early February. In the meantime, a 21-year-old goalie who was 12-15-2 with a 3.00 goals-against average this season while playing for the Springfield Thunderbirds in the AHL., Authentic Joe Pavelski jersey, the Panthers called up rookie Sam Montembeault

“We’re already without our big guy (Luongo),Authentic Kris Letang jersey,” Boughner said, and we failed miserably.”, lamenting his team’s situation. “We were (in Dallas) to get points

The Panthers (19-21-6) have been failing a lot lately,Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey,losing six of their past games.

Thursday’s challenge will be stiff as the Capitals (28-15-5) lead the Metropolitan Division with 61 points.

However, losing three straight games while coming off their bye week. adidas Patrick Marleau jersey,They have scored a total of just six goals during their current skid., the Capitals have slumped lately

The Capitals felt they made progress in their most recent outing, falling 2-1 in overtime to the surging Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.,Authentic Matt Murray jersey, but it still resulted in a loss

“We had more chances this game, but we can’t give the goalie too-easy saves. We have to manage the puck better when we have the opportunity.”,” Ovechkin told The Washington Post. “We just have to finish it up. We create lots of chances

Capitals coach Barry Trotz,adidas Joe Pavelski jersey, said his team has to improve “in every area”. He split up all four of his forward lines — including the one with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom — believing they have grown stale., clearly frustrated

The Capitals, surprisingly, according to the “Natural Stat Trick” website.,adidas Joe Thornton jersey, average just 29.7 shots per game, the lowest total in the league. The Capitals have also given up a league-worst 494 “high danger” chances at even strength

“We’re not where we should be, but we’re giving up higher quality chances. We’re giving up too many odd-man rushes and too many breakaways in the last three or four games.”,Authentic Patrick Marleau jersey,” Trotz told The Washington Times. “We haven’t been giving up more chances

Miami Marlins general manager Michael Hill was traveling Thursday to participate in a series of marathons when he swung the team’s latest trade, sending center fielder Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers for four prospects.

Hill made the trade as he began a trip to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Former Marlins executives David Samson and Jeff Conine are also taking part in the charity event.

“I’m boarding a plane for South Africa, you do what you need to do.”,” Hill said. “The job goes with you wherever you are. When the opportunity presents itself to make our organization better