Photo credit: Kyle Mace of Sweetest Hockey on Earth

Because I’m an optimist, let’s say there’s an NHL season this year. As soon as the new collective bargaining agreement is signed, sealed, and delivered, the Washington Capitals goaltenders will debut shiny new masks. Michal Neuvirth, who has been playing with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, has been wearing a new mask featuring former Capitals great/current goaltending coach, Olie Kolzig, on its side.

I spoke with Braden Holtby on Saturday about his thoughts on Neuvirth’s new bucket. After I showed him the mask on my iPad, Holtby chuckled and flashed a big smile in approval. “Olie’s done a ton for the organization,” Holtby said, “so that’s pretty cool.”

Not to be outdone, Holtby has been wearing his own new mask playing with Bears. Unlike last season, where his helmet featured a split Bears/Capitals theme (and oh yeah don’t forget that awesome bear on a rollercoaster), Holtby’s new headgear is ALL CAPS (get it?).

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Caps prospect Patrick Wey (left) poses with the Lefty Smith – “Snooks” Kelley Memorial Trophy. (Photo credit: BC Eagles Facebook Page)

On Friday night, three Washington Capitals prospects participated in the Holy War on Ice, the annual game between Boston College and Notre Dame. Boston College held on to win 3-1, riding two goals from Calgary Flames draft pick Johnny Gaudreau. Caps defensive prospect and Eagles’ assistant captain Patrick Wey helped on Boston College’s first goal of the night, scored by Pat Mullane, while Capitals 2012 fourth-round draft pick Thomas DiPauli scored Notre Dame’s only goal. The Capitals other fourth-round pick of 2012, Austin Wuthrich, didn’t get on the scoresheet for Notre Dame.