Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz
Less than 24 hours after the Washington Capitals were eliminated by the New York Rangers, Alex Ovechkin was on a plane to Prague. After another early exit from the NHL postseason, Ovechkin jetted off to play in his 11th World Championship tournament. In 65 career games, Ovechkin had scored 57 points. He added two more today, helping Russia advance to the gold medal game against Sidney Crosby and Team Canada on Sunday. Ovi has already won Gold at Worlds three times. Another party with Vladimir Putin may be in order this year.
This is pure joy. (Photo: Johan Bernstrom / Bildbyran)
Jakub Vrana, Capitals’ first-round pick at the last draft, scored a hat trick in his team’s 6-5 shootout win against Farjestad on Friday.
That is a hat trick as the Swedish scorekeepers count it: after scoring two goals in regulation, Vrana also netted a game-winning shootout attempt, which is considered a goal in Sweden, unlike in North America, where we call that a DC Hat Trick. The KHL used to count shootout game-winners as goals early in its existence, too, but then decided against it.
Vrana’s highlights are below the jump.
Photo: Simon Hastegard / Bildbyran
Washington Capitals defense prospect Christian Djoos scored two goals and an assist as his Brynas lost to HV71 7-4 on Saturday.
Djoos, who was held off the scoresheet in the first seven games of the season, now has two goals and two assists in the last three games.
Saturday’s contest was Djoos’ first multi-goal game in the top tier Swedish league. The 20-year-old defenseman, who was signed over the summer to a three year entry-level contract, also tied his career high in points in a single game and registered season high 23:33 of ice time.
Photo: Evan Vucci
Martin Erat has played on every line for the Washington Capitals. He’s seen power play time and PK minutes. And, of course, he’s sat in the press box. Playing on the first line Saturday, in his 51st game this season, Erat finally scored a goal. Fittingly, it came without a goalie in the net.
“Finally, the one is in the net,” Erat told the gathering of Caps reporters, who had reentered the Capitals locker room after Adam Oates ended his press conference just to talk to him.
Erat’s time in DC, as we all know, has been ill-fated. Traded for a top prospect in Filip Forsberg last season, he asked to leave eight months later after being placed on the fourth line by Oates. With Brooks Laich back in the lineup after missing almost all of last year, Oates didn’t see much of a need for Erat, who, for the first time in the veteran’s career, was made healthy scratch.
GIF created by flawlessrussians.
Last summer, it was Fatgate. Slouchgate. Whatever. Rumors swirled that Alex Ovechkin had packed on a few pounds. Not like Byfuglien weight, but more than his once lithe frame was used to. We dismissed the scandal, and Ovechkin played perfectly fine, but maybe there was something to it after all.
Speaking with Alexey Karpenko of VTBRussia.ru last month, Ovechkin came clean about his fitness these last few years and what has changed. (Spoiler: it’s Maria.)
This t-shirt can be bought here. (Illustration by Rachel Cohen)
Wednesday night was supposed to be the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first visit to Verizon Center this season. Because of the NHL lockout, we won’t get to see Matt Cooke trolling or Sidney Crosby caterwauling plaintively at the refs. We’ll just have to settle for candy instead.
Hating Pittsburgh sports is coded into my DNA. I’m physically sick over this. Gary Bettman is depriving me of my regular Sidney Crosby hate, and now I am indescribably sad.
To cheer myself up, I have compiled these GIFs from the Alex Ovechkin “Sorry, Penguin” commercial. And now I share them with you. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wave $15 goodbye.
GIF by forsse90.
We almost broke the internets when we published video of Caps first-round pick Filip Forsberg dancing to PSY’s “Gangnam Style” after a 6-0 blowout by Leksands IF. It appeared to be a once-in-a-blue-moon type of celebration – something I assumed the shy Forsberg would never do again.
But since then, Leksands IF has scored six goals in three straight games, including a 6-1 mollywhopping of Anton Gustafsson’s Asplövenon on Friday. The win returned Leksands IF to the top of the Swedish Allsvenskan League.
And it brought Forsberg and teammate Martin Janolhs back to the dance floor for an encore performance.
Off the shaft of Nicky’s stick and in. (GIF by cadetsandkings)
On Monday, Nicklas Backstrom scored his first KHL goal. Utilizing the shaft of his stick, Backstrom deflected a waist-high shot into the back of the net. It was a brilliant play. Surely it would be the most magical moment of the day I thought.
Well, it was until Backstrom was interviewed by the press after the game.
“Only my buddy Nicky can wear #99!” (Photo credit: khl.ru)
While Alex Ovechkin is one of the game’s most feared scorers, he’s also not afraid to drop the gloves when the time is right. He’s fought Oleg Tverdovsky as a teenager, slugged Mike Richards during a preseason game, had Matt Bradley steal his fight with Steve Downie, and tried to fire his team up with a bout against Brandon Dubinsky.
On Monday during Dynamo Moscow’s 3-0 win over Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the Capitals captain once again showed his fiery side, trying to get both Alexander Guskov and Maxim Trunyov to fight him in two separate incidents.
Let’s review both events in disconcerting reverse order!
On Saturday, Filip Forsberg‘s Leksands Idrottsförening delivered its biggest beatdown of the season defeating the Malmö Redhawks 6-0. Forsberg, who has been racking up points at a Gretzky-like pace, surprisingly didn’t get his name on the scoresheet, but he did deliver the most memorable moment of the day.
Celebrating their victory in the locker room, Viasat cameras caught the players blasting PSY’s “Gangnam Style.”
Forberg and teammate Martin Janolhs got up from the bench and perfectly executed the Gangnam Style dance. If you study this video as meticulously as I have, you’ll notice Forsberg has dance moves on par with JC Chasez in “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
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