Apparently, Winnipeg Jets fans have a short memory.
Oh, you Canadiens. You’re so very clever. Next Friday though, it’s on.
Five minutes into a heavy-hitting first period between the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets, Alex Semin did something very un-Semin like. Sasha Minor stepped up and caught fellow countryman Alex Burmistrov with an impressive open-ice hip check, nearly flipping the young Russian head-over-heels.
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
In Washington’s 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Dale Hunter went with Matt Hendricks in the fourth round of the shootout. That decision paid off. Hendricks, a gritty, fourth-line player who’s known more for his fists than his goal-scoring ability, faked a shot, deked a few times, and then deftly deposited the puck on his backhand into an empty net. No big.
“I don’t like to talk about it too often,” a bashful Hendricks told the media immediately after the game. “I made a move, and fortunately I beat him. [Nabokov's] a good goalie.”
In his three seasons in the NHL, Hendy is a surprising 5 for 9 in the gimmick (2 for 3 in 2011-12, 2 for 4 in 2010-11, and 1 for 2 with Colorado Avalanche in 2009-10). His shootout goals have been featured in SportCenter’s Top Ten Lists and teammate Karl Alzner has referred to him as the team’s “secret weapon.”
But where did these Moves Like Jagger come from?
Andrei Nikolishin donning a Caps jersey in 2000.
Andrei Nikolishin, who is currently playing in his 21st season of professional hockey, has had a long career. From 1996 to 2002, he was a Washington Capital. In 1998, along with teammates Dale Hunter, Peter Bondra, and Olie Kolzig, he helped the Caps reach their first ever Stanley Cup Final.
When the NHL lockout hit in 2004-05, Niko continued his career in Russia and eventually became a teammate of Evgeny Kuznetsov, playing with the Caps prospect in Traktor Cheylabinsk for two seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
For this reason, Andrei, who now plays for Sokol Kyiv of the Ukrainian Professional Hockey League, was approached by Sportbox.ru to share his thoughts on the KHL playoffs and his former teammate’s decision to stay in Russia another year. My translation of his comments are below.