Mikhail Grabovski Explains His Shootout Goal

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Photo credit: John Minchillo

Late in the second period of Sunday’s game, Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski earned a penalty shot after getting hooked by Ryan McDonagh on a breakaway. Instead of getting fancy with New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Grabo raised up his stick towards the Madison Square Garden roof and fired a slap shot into the top corner of the net.

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Canadian icon/rambling old guy Don Cherry is in the news again and he hasn’t had the best week. Rogers bought the NHL’s Canadian television rights and journalists are speculating that Cherry’s role on TV could be limited in the future.

But the show must go on. Saturday night, Cherry taped another Coach’s Corner segment with Ron MacLean. Cherry addressed the Rogers situation while also spending 48 seconds oohing and ahhing about how Alex Ovechkin tapes up sticks. Yes, seriously. He wants Canadian kids to tape up their sticks just like Russian-born, three-time MVP. Did we mention Russian-born? Someone please check if Don is okay.

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Photo: Patrick McDermott

Capitals defender and everyone’s imaginary best friend forever Karl Alzner appeared on the Marek vs Wyshysnki podcast on Thursday to talk about all sorts of inane and fun things. He was his typical charming self and RMNB got name-dropped, so obviously we’re all over this.

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Photo credit: Derek Leung

The Washington Capitals gave up three goals to the Calgary Flames in the first period on Saturday night. With his team on the verge of a total collapse, head coach Adam Oates pulled Braden Holtby from net, looking to change the game’s momentum. We thought at the time that the Holtbeast did not handle it well.

Holtby skated over, lifted up his mask, and began hurling profanities towards the bench. Later, when we saw a second angle on CBC’s After Hours, Caps defense coach Calle Johansson seemed very interested in what Holtby was saying.

Wednesday, on DC101’s Elliot In the Morning, Caps forward Jason Chimera was asked about the blow-up during an interview with the popular radio host.

In an honest response, The Ice Cheetah explained that Holtby was trying to fire up the team. Chimera even intimated some of what Holtby said when he came to the bench.

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Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates had a long, insightful interview with CBC’s After Hours’ Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey following the Caps’ 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. Oates could have been a big curmudgeon after his team’s embarrassing loss on Hockey Night In Canada. Instead, he was open, honest, and he gave insight into his long playing career and the way he coaches his players.

If I had unlimited time with Capitals players, this is exactly the type of interview I’d want to conduct. Maybe with a few more jokes.

Oates talks in detail about Ovechkin’s renaissance under his tutelage. He defends Braden Holtby‘s angry shouting at the bench after being pulled. He defends his comments about Tomas Hertl‘s “disrespectful” between-the-legs goal. He shares a humorous story from his Caps playing days about he and Calle Johansson‘s beef at practices. He even gets asked about his resemblance to actor Ray Liotta.

It’s an amazing interview. Since I have no regard to my own health or actually sleeping, I transcribed this whole mamma jamma for you. Check it out below and buy a t-shirt or something to repay me.

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Brouwer not happy.

Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer was disgusted after the team’s 5-1 shellacking to the Colorado Avalanche. The Capitals have lost four of their first five games and if you ask Brouwer, the losing has nothing to do with the team’s talent level. Brouwer thinks it has everything to do with the team not working hard enough.

“We’re going to be be hard-pressed to make the playoffs if we continue on the path we’re on now,” a calm but frustrated Brouwer said to Monumental Network. “I think playoffs should be the furthest thing from our minds as of right now.”

Below are his full comments to the press.

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Comcast Sportsnet sideline reporter Al Koken spoke with Washington Capitals assistant coach Calle Johansson during the first period. Koken wanted to know what the Caps franchise leader in games played thought of his new giant defenseman, Alex Urbom.

Apparently it was comedy hour or something.

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Photo: @JohnCarlson74

Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward joined former NHL players Jamie McLennan and Jeff O’Neill on TSN 1050 Radio this afternoon. Yes, he spent almost the entirety of the interview talking about his fun excursion in Dallas where he got locked in a hotel bathroom. Better that than his even-strength goal differential.

Here is a transcription of most of the interview. The Big Cheese has a new nickname.

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Attaboy. (Photo credit: Elsa)

George McPhee doesn’t tip his hand often, but during an interview with DC101’s Elliot In the Morning last week, the man some call The Undertaker revealed his softer, less-cage-matchy side when he discussed Matt Hendricks’ new four-year, $7.4-million deal with the Nashville Predators.

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee went on ESPN980 Wednesday afternoon to talk hockey, and boy did he hit some interesting topics. McPhee explained what characteristics the Caps need to have to become a Stanley Cup winner in the future, and he defended his decision to anoint Brooks Laich the second-line center for next season. “There are a handful of teams that maybe have a better second-line center than Brooks,” he said. “It’s [an idea] we’ve been talking about for a few years, and the time has come to do it.”

The most interesting part of the discussion, however, was McPhee’s remarks on Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is due in North America sometime next year. McPhee admits some frustration about the two-year contract Kuznetsov signed with Traktor Chelyabinsk last spring to stay in the KHL, saying that Kuznetsov went against a verbal promise he made after the 2010 NHL Draft. He also talks about how hard of a contract it was for Kuznetsov to turn down. “He’s 20-years-old, they gave him ten million dollars to play for two more seasons,” McPhee said.  “It’s a 13% tax rate over there and even with that, most of the money is under the table. It’s probably no tax.”

The KHL never made Kuzya’s contract public, but it is believed his average annual salary from Traktor is in the two-million range. That would mean that the KHL gave Kuznetsov a bonus around $5 million to stay. And, as we learned from an Igor Kleyner post last year, the KHL’s Legal Regulations handbook has a open-ended rule that allows the league to do exactly just that.

[Traktor] may also apply to the KHL for a special stipend to supplement the young star’s salary. There are no specific limits on the amount of such a stipend, or any clear criteria defining eligibility.

Below, check out McPhee’s entire interview with ESPN980.

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