The Evengy Kuznetsov saga continues. After making comments to Russian television indicating he wanted to remain in Russian next season and then backtracking, the time for Kuznetsov to make his decision has come. Kuzya’s KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, was eliminated from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Finals in five games. He had two goals and two assists in the series.

He now has two options: sign Traktor’s qualifying offer worth around $1.5 million per year with the possibility of receiving an unknown KHL stipend or bolt to the NHL and sign an NHL entry level contact worth a maximum of $925,000 a season plus possible signing and performance bonuses. There are also outside factors likely to be at play — Kuznetsov was married last year and moving to America would be a big step for the 20-year-old non-English speaker. Kuznetsov is a part of the Russian national team so we likely won’t know anything until after the World Championships, taking place in Helsinki and Stockholm throughout May.

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As the final seconds of the third period ticked away, Karl Alzner retreated behind the Capitals net and held onto the puck until time expired. It was a thrilling moment, and 18,506 roaring Caps fans rose to their feet to salute the team for the achievement. After struggling through most of the season, the Capitals finally clinched a playoff berth, ensured by a backhand goal from Alex Semin.

So how did it feel to be on the receiving end of that ovation?

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Happy Real Opening Day, Baseball Fans

One thing we didn’t get around to last night is this picture of a guy in an Orioles jacket behind Dale Hunter. To some it might look out of place, but to us it’s a reminder that the Caps and Baltimore are bonded.

While Thursday was opening day for the Nationals, the real show starts today– as the O’s host the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards.  Ian and I (and Kyle from SHOE) are O’s fans, and so are lots of other Caps fans. There’s nothing weird about that. The old Caps Centre was in Landover, the old practice barn was in Odenton, and Maryland-native Francis Scott Key put that “O” in the Star-Spangled Banner just so Caps fans would shout it before games.

Okay, now I’m rambling. Go Orioles.

#AvsFailWatch Comes To An End

No playoffs for Varly. Sad Varly. (Photo via:

The day before Semyon Varlamov was traded, all indications were that he was headed to the KHL. When news broke that he’d been traded to the Colorado Avalanche for a first and a second-round pick, we were a bit surprised. It was a great trade for what had been essentially a dead asset, but still, there was a point in the season when we had to wonder if the Caps’ own first-round pick wouldn’t end up being higher than Colorado’s.

Now with only one game remaining in the season, both the Caps’ and the Avs’ fates have finally been decided. As of Thursday night, Colorado is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, which means that #AvsFailWatch has officially come to an end, and the Capitals can finally start to get an idea of what shape the assets they hold are going to take.

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Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

Remember that possible goalie controversy? Well now there’s a new problem in the crease — and it isn’t pretty. After Tomas Vokoun re-injured his groin last week in Boston, the Caps have been forced to rely on Michal Neuvirth and call-up Braden Holtby. That’s not so bad considering Vokoun’s play before the setback. It’s Neuvy who’s hurt now, suffering a possibly devastating leg injury a quarter of the way into the second period Thursday night.

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