A few weeks ago, former Capital Brooks Laich and his Hollywood fiancee Julianne Hough went on an African Safari. Over the last few days, the couple have been sharing their photos from their trip, which included Laich posing with a lion. He looks very excited.
“Neither of us had been there before so it was a true bucket list moment for us to explore Kruger National Park in South Africa,” Hough wrote on her website. “The environment was breathtaking and the people were incredible. One thing I’ll never forget is zip lining from Zambia to Zimbabwe; we were able to literally be in two places at once!”
Laich seemed more intrigued by the dangerous animals.
Thursday in Moscow, Team Russia fell behind early in the first period to Germany 1-0. But when the Russians came out for the second period, they unleashed what the IIHF described as an “unrelenting onslaught.” Russia put on 37 shots on goal, scored three times in the second stanza, and defeated Germany 4-1.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal in four World Championship games, beating Islanders’ goaltender Thomas Greiss through the pads.
Wednesday night, the NHL announced that the Capitals’ Brian MacLellan is a finalist for the 2015-16 General Manager of the Year Award. MacLellan helped guide the Caps to the President’s Trophy (as the league’s best regular season team) and the most wins in franchise history (56) this season. Over the summer, MacLellan acquired key veterans TJ Oshie and Justin Williams and re-signed Braden Holtby to a long-term deal.
The Capitals have reached the 100-point plateau in each of MacLellan’s first two seasons as general manager. MacLellan was previously the understudy of long-time Caps general manager George McPhee, who pieced together most of the core of the current roster.
The Penguins’ Jim Rutherford and the Stars’ Jim Nill are also finalists.
MacLellan becomes the the fourth Capital up for an NHL Award this season. Mac will join head Ccoach Barry Trotz (Jack Adams Award), goaltender Braden Holtby (Vezina Trophy), and captain Alex Ovechkin in Las Vegas (Richard Trophy, Messier NHL Leadership Award).
Tuesday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun published a feature on former Capitals Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward. Both players were a part of the Washington team that lost to the New York Rangers in Game Seven last season, and both players departed in the offseason. Brouwer was traded to the St. Louis Blues for TJ Oshie. Ward signed with the San Jose Sharks after the Capitals inked Justin Williams to a two-year deal.
Earlier this week, Ward and Brouwer addressed their former team’s flame-out in the second round.
One of Caps fans’ biggest fears when players head overseas for international competition after the NHL season is the very real threat of injury. We got a taste of that threat today when Evgeny Kuznetsov had to be helped off the ice during Russia’s match against Sweden in the IIHF World Championships underway in Moscow.
Kuzy went down after taking a shoulder to the head from Mikael Backlund, a Swedish center who plays for the Calgary Flames. Kuznetsov did not have the puck.
At the trade deadline, the Washington Capitals traded Brooks Laich and prospect Connor Carrick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik. After spending some time with the big club during the regular season, Carrick and his American Hockey League Toronto Marlies will face the Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals.
On Monday, the Marlies defeated the Albany Devils in a dramatic Game Seven. Carrick put the Marlies up 3-2 late in the third period.
On Saturday, former Caps in-game host and CRL contributor Guerin Austin got caught up in a bit of history during her new job as a sideline reporter for NESN. Forty-year-old designated hitter David Ortiz, who is in his final major league season, hit a walk-off double, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 11th inning win over the Astros.