Every time I think I’ve seen Alex Ovechkin do it all, he does something new and mind-boggling. This time, it was Ovechkin’s last-second shot on Marc-André Fleury from Saturday night. Ovechkin didn’t score, but he freaking juggled the puck over his head twice high before taking a baseball swing and firing a shot on net.
Earlier this evening, Nats Park opened its doors to NBC and NHL Network host Kathryn Tappen so she could do a preview for the Winter Classic on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Tappen spoke about the upcoming game and JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS THAT???? RUN KATHRYN. RUN AWAY RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a reputation among Caps fans as a whiner. He did not to help his cause tonight. After snapping his stick and shanking a one-timer late in the third period, a disgusted Crosby threw his broken stick against the boards, nearly impaling himself in the process.
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is many things: handsome, aggressive, slightly insane, and good at hockey. Tonight, we got another taste of the Holtbyisms. Early in the second period, Penguins forward Bryan Rust drove towards the net on a breakaway. Instead of staying put and squaring up, Bray Bray went for the most aggressive solution possible, meeting him past the slot to break up the play.
Editor’s Note — Throughout the season, Fedor will be posting scouting reports for Capitals prospects around the globe, bringing his thoughts on their performance as well as video evidence. First up is Jakub Vrana.
Washington Capitals 2014 first round pick Jakub Vrana plays for Linkoping of the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) and will play on the Czech Republic’s World Junior Championship team. He left a conflicting impression in the eight games I watched of him in October and early November. His skill was evident as he sometimes made veteran defensemen look foolish. However, he would go invisible for long stretches. On some occasions, it appeared that he let frustration get the best of him after missed opportunities on the offensive end and looked like a shadow of himself for the rest of the game. His first period was often his best as he sometimes looked tired in the second half of games and Linkoping’s coach Roger Melin would sometimes bench him in the third period. He clearly needs to be more aware defensively as sometimes he’s caught watching the play looking for a chance to get on the rush quickly instead of tracking his man in order to make sure there’s no scoring chance developing behind his back.
Still, his combination of speed and skill was too much for defensemen in this league. He also was always on the lookout to steal an errant pass or pickpocket a puck handler for a backbreaking goal. He’s not an overly physical player due to his smaller stature, but he also doesn’t put himself in bad position and get caught on big hits as well. If he can develop some consistency, he’ll be really hard to defend and potentially a game-changing player in the future.
Below the jump, I analyze every part of Vrana’s game with video evidence.
The Washington Capitals lost to the New York Rangers tonight, but dammit, the Caps gave them one hell of a fight in the third. Down 3-0, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a pretty seven-hole goal. Then Alex Ovechkin brought Washington within one after a power-play goal from The Ovi Spot.
Normally those goals are boring– if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. But not this one. Let me explain.
I was watching Joe Buck on The Tonight Show a few years ago. Buck was telling Jay Leno that he got so bored with commentating that he asked his friends to text him ridiculous words to work into the broadcast. If he couldn’t do it, he would have to face the consequences of those friends.
With that in mind, I sent this request to Caps color commentator Craig Laughlin:
@Laughlin18 You have 7:02 left in the second period to say some variation of "biscuit in the basket" on live TV and prove you see my tweet!