Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner became the first player in franchise history to play in 500-consecutive games, Friday night against Chicago. He also became the third defenseman since 1944 to do so.
And on a night where Braden Holtby and Jay Beagle starred in a 6-0 thrashing of the Blackhawks, it was Alzner, despite having only one shot on goal in 19:59 of ice time, who was the team’s first star.
Wednesday morning after practice, Alex Ovechkin met with the media and discussed his march to 1,000 points. With a goal or assist tonight, Ovechkin will hit the historic milestone against the team’s biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, on national TV.
Ovechkin reflected on his career, looked forward to his family being at the game, and also mentioned how honored he would be to join fellow Russian Sergei Fedorov in the record books.
“Yeah, it’s small, but it’s a very legendary club,” Ovechkin said. “I got lucky to play with Fedorov for a couple years and knowing him as a person. It would be nice to be with him in the same company.”
Fedorov was one of Ovechkin’s favorite players growing up as a kid.
Tuesday afternoon, the NHL announced that Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby were named to the 2017 All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The Capitals’ Mike Vogel interviewed each player after last night’s victory and asked what the nomination meant to them.
While Ovechkin looked forward to spending time with his family (who’s “finally” going this year), Holtby looked forward to visiting LA again and worrying less about his results in net.
“It’s fun because there’s not many times you can play hockey without stress,” Holtby said. “You can just go with the flow which is pretty cool.”
The Holtbeast has a very nuanced gameday routine which includes drinking 16-17 liters of water throughout the day. And like his former goaltending coach Olie Kolzig, Holtby is one of the more intense players in the league, holding himself to a high standard.
Transcriptions of both interviews are below.
Late in the third period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored the 544th goal of his career, tying him with one of the greatest players of all time, Maurice “Rocket” Richard.
Yes, the six-time winner of the Richard Trophy (for most goals in a season) is now tied with the trophy’s namesake. And of course Ovi did it in Richard’s hometown of Montreal.
Here’s how it happened.
Wherever Bruce Boudreau goes, talk of winning the Stanley Cup follows. Since the portly bench boss oversaw the Washington Capitals’ transformation from a sad franchise to a thrilling team that is of the league’s perennial threats, Boudreau has been a coveted head coach for teams looking to turn things around. He has never been out of a job long.
On Sunday night, Boudreau returned to Anaheim for the first time after spending parts of six seasons coaching the Ducks. He took the Ducks to the playoffs five times, once within one win of the Stanley Cup Final. But after his fourth straight Game 7 loss on April 28 of last year, he was fired for the second time in his career, only to be replaced Randy Carlyle, the man whose job he took over years earlier. One week later, Boudreau was scooped up by the Minnesota Wild.
Nate Schmidt is a great hockey player who should play in every Capitals game. Recently, however, ya boy Smitty has been scratched for Taylor Chorney, after the latter scored the game-winning tally in the Capitals’ New Year’s Day victory.
Well, time to put down the Chorn Horn and ride Schmidt Scooter to Goaltown, USA.
On Thursday night, the Capitals broke the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 16-game winning streak, stopping them from tying the NHL record for most wins in a single season. More importantly,
defenseman Jesus Schmidt scored his first goal since January 7, 2016.
“It’s been weighing on me,” Schmidt said when I asked him about his recent rough road, with two straight healthy scratches. He then laughed heartily at his misfortunate. “It’s been a little tough lately. You just got to stick with it. … When they call your name, just be ready!”
On Tuesday, Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer led the Capitals to a nail-biting 6-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs after replacing a shaky Braden Holtby in the first period. On Thursday, however, Grubauer never came to mind, as Holtby managed a brilliant shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were going for an NHL record 17-straight wins in a single season. In fact, Grubauer wasn’t even on the bench most of the game.
“He was fine this morning, and then on his way here, he wasn’t feeling so good,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “We kept him in the back room. He was getting pumped full of fluids and stuff.”
On Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals, the Maple Leafs brought along around 30 dads, brothers, and father-in-laws for a highly-anticipated trip. This season, the Leafs, under second-year head coach Mike Babcock, have a “mandate” to create a more welcoming and supportive environment for their players.
“To have these dads along, I think this is how you treat people right,” Babcock said in an article by Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. “It gives you an opportunity to thank your dad for what he’s done.”
Tuesday night at Verizon Center, former Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick will be playing the second game in his former barn since being traded. While Carrick struggled at times during his stint in Washingon, he’s turning into a very dependable player for Toronto.
In 32 games this season, Carrick has scored only one goal and registered four points. But his possession tells a different story. The five-foot, eleven-inch defenseman has pushed play, ranking second on the team with a 53.99% score and venue adjusted Corsi. The only player he trails is Jake Gardiner.
After the team’s morning skate, Carrick spoke about his familiarity in Washington, as well as his longtime friendship with “big boy” Tom Wilson.
Early in the first period, Tom Wilson knocked John Moore out of the game while trying to forecheck in the offensive zone. As Moore fetched the puck and sent a backhanded pass to a teammate, Wilson hit the Devils defender in the shoulder and middle of the back, sending Moore’s head careening into the boards. Moore would be stretchered off the ice and taken to a local hospital. Wilson was not whistled for a penalty on the play.
After the game, Wilson spoke about the hit and seemed shaken by it.
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