“We were just unsuccessful,” Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said to 1500 ESPN’s Judd Zulgad after their team’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Capitals. “We designed our PK to defend that.”
The that Suter is referring to is Caps superstar Alex Ovechkin who dogged the Wild for three power-play goals. Former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau specifically tailored the team’s penalty kill to take away Ovechkin. Instead, the team left Ovechkin alone on Ovechkin Island, sipping on piña coladas.
The Russian tallied his 17th career hat trick, but it was Ovechkin’s first ever all-power-play goal hatty. But what went so wrong?
As each Capitals player filed off the bench and skated one-by-one out to the far blue line, a once familiar sight appeared. A year after becoming a national sensation, Justin Williams and his fabled poof of hair re-emerged from the locker room. He was joined on the ice by an even poofier and more lopsided head of hair.
22-year-old Swede Andre Burakovsky imitated the three-time Stanley Cup champion’s look, appearing to be Williams’ real-life brother.
Saturday night, the Capitals looked in danger of falling to the upstart Arizona Coyotes. Then Daniel Winnik happened.
The 32-year-old forward scored two clutch third period goals, including the game-winning tally, to push the Caps to a much-needed win. Washington now owns a three-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins for the Metropolitan Division crown.
Earlier today, Kevin Shattenkirk landed in New York City, and tonight he will face the Rangers as the newest member of the Washington Capitals. Before resting ahead of the game, Shattenkirk spoke to the Capitals’ Mike Vogel about the trade, reuniting with TJ Oshie, and potentially playing with Alex Ovechkin on the power play.
Friday night, the game’s greatest player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, was at Verizon Center for the Oilers’ game against the Washington Capitals. Gretzky, who currently serves as a partner and vice chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group, has been traveling with the team this week, which includes the Oilers’ 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Wednesday.
During the game, Gretzky sat in the Owners Box with Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Pre-game, The Great One conducted an interview with a man that worshipped him as a kid, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Alan May.
Gretzky spoke about Alex Ovechkin’s deep desire to win the Stanley Cup, saying that the Russian machine “would do and pretty much give up anything and everything to get his name on a Stanley Cup.” Gretzky also said Braden Holtby is “one of the best goaltenders I’ve seen in a long time.”
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is the NHL’s reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Off the ice, he’s also the Caps LGBTQ-inclusion ambassador, serving as a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Thursday afternoon, Holtby debuted a new Hockey is for Everyone-themed mask at practice, which features You Can Play and HIFE logos. The Holtbeast will wear the bucket Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers as part of Hockey Is For Everyone Night.
“It’s something I believe in and something my family believes in,” Holtby said in an interview published by the Capitals. “The inclusion of others no matter what they can or can’t control, everyone is on a level playing field. You should be judged on your personality, your moral ground, not anything else.”
Monday afternoon, Andre Burakovsky attended Wish Upon A Par, a charity event held at Topgolf. During the event’s meet-and-greet, I asked the injured Swede about his viral Uber incident that happened a week and a half before.
“Obviously it’s a hand injury,” Trotz said. “He’s going to be out until probably mid to the later part of March. No surgery. He’ll have plenty of games to get back.”
When asked if Burakovsky had any broken bones in his hand, Trotz replied, “I’m not a doctor. I’m going to say he has a hand injury.”
Five hours earlier, in an interview with DC101’s Elliot in the Morning, defenseman Brooks Orpik said Burakovsky broke his hand.
Last season, Evgeny Kuznetsov became the first player not named Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom to lead the team in points for over a decade. The start of the 2015-16 campaign was not as magical.
Kuznetsov endured long goalless streaks of 17 and 9 games. During the the first two months of the season, Kuzy managed only 9 points in 21 games.
But in December, something clicked. Kuznetsov has tallied 28 points in his last 26 games, which included the two goals he scored against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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