Swedish artist David Gunnarsson released photos of the newest mask he finished painting this morning. Lo and behold, it’s for Washington Capitals starting goaltender Braden Holtby. Gunnarsson has entitled it “Number 70 of the Capitals.” The mask is stylized to go with the Caps’ third jerseys, the same vintage sweaters that they wore during the Winter Classic in 2011.
Goaltender David Leggio spent all of last season with Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Leggio was dominant, winning 38 games and sporting a .924 save percentage. That performance merited MVP consideration at season’s end.
With Dany Sabourin having left during the offseason in favor of playing in Austria, the Hershey Bears were in desperate need of a veteran goaltender that could share the load and help mentor Capitals prospect Philipp Grubauer. Bears’ general manager Doug Yingst found his man in Leggio and signed the goaltender to a two-way contract for 2013-14.
“Obviously, the Bears are one of the best franchises in the AHL,” Leggio said to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone during the summer. “They’ve won championships and the arena’s always packed. I’m very excited to come to a place where I feel we’ll have a chance to win a championship. They’ve won championships in the past and have a commitment to winning.”
On Tuesday, the Bears opened training camp and Leggio arrived in style. He just might have the coolest mask in the AHL.
We asked you, the deranged and lovely readers of RMNB, to congratulate our hero Alex Ovechkin on his 28th year of life. You had to make a birthday card. The only rule was that you had to use a cheap graphic editor to make it.
What we didn’t tell you is that we don’t have to follow the same rules. Above is our card for Ovi, via RMNB resident artist Rachel Cohen, who is awesome. Meanwhile, you guys knocked this assignment out of the park. Like Joel Rechlicz, you backhanded the puck past your limitations and blazed new trails of Art with a capital A. Cruise on down past the jump to check out the gallery.
Over the next five days, the Capitals will finish the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with three home games. The Caps’ match-ups with Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Boston will not only determine if Washington wins the Southeast Division and makes the playoffs, they’ll also sort out the trophy races that Alex Ovechkin is involved in. Ovechkin, after not winning any hardware since 2010, is in contention for four awards: the Ted Lindsey trophy for players’ MVP, the Art Ross trophy (for most points), the Maurice Richard trophy (for most goals), and the Hart trophy (for most valuable player).
While The Great Eight and his peers control his destiny with three of these four awards, the esteemed members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association will decide the Hart Trophy. This is the same media that in the last three years has literally flogged Ovechkin with a spiked 2 x 4 painted with a red maple leaf and dripping with Tim Horton’s coffee. Because when every great player gets older and his team becomes less aggressive, it’s the media’s moral obligation to antagonize him to casual fans and excoriate him at every turn.
It’s the dreaded day of days once again. Celebrating either some apocryphal rebel-priest martyr or a bunch of horny werewolves, Valentine’s is when we make cards to let people know we care about them. What could be wrong with that?
“What could be wrong with that?” was what I naively asked myself before you people started sending in your V’s Day cards. While many of you were sweet and genuine (and strangely skilled at MS Paint), there are others among you that I am actually scared of now.
A few months earlier, Pronger helped lead the Edmonton Oilers to their first Stanley Cup Final since the Gretzky era. After the Oilers lost in 7 games to the Carolina Hurricanes, Pronger requested a trade for personal reasons. Local media reported that his wife Lauren hated the city. So GM Kevin Lowe shipped Pronger off to the Ducks a month later for Joffrey Lupul and a whole bunch of spare parts.
So here we find Bryzgalov trying to defend his teammate and diffuse the situation ahead of his first game back at Rexall Place. In broken english, Bryzgalov takes the mic and spectacularly fails.
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.”