We all already know that Andre Burakovsky is your favorite Austrian-born, Swedish cinnamon roll, but how exactly did his 2015-16 season on the ice go? Is there possibly one negative thing that can be said about this golden child?
Let’s find out as the 2015-16 player reviews roll on.
Wednesday night, the NHL announced that the Capitals’ Brian MacLellan is a finalist for the 2015-16 General Manager of the Year Award. MacLellan helped guide the Caps to the President’s Trophy (as the league’s best regular season team) and the most wins in franchise history (56) this season. Over the summer, MacLellan acquired key veterans TJ Oshie and Justin Williams and re-signed Braden Holtby to a long-term deal.
The Capitals have reached the 100-point plateau in each of MacLellan’s first two seasons as general manager. MacLellan was previously the understudy of long-time Caps general manager George McPhee, who pieced together most of the core of the current roster.
The Penguins’ Jim Rutherford and the Stars’ Jim Nill are also finalists.
MacLellan becomes the the fourth Capital up for an NHL Award this season. Mac will join head Ccoach Barry Trotz (Jack Adams Award), goaltender Braden Holtby (Vezina Trophy), and captain Alex Ovechkin in Las Vegas (Richard Trophy, Messier NHL Leadership Award).
Hello, Capitals fans. As you mourn, you may wish for a hockey fix to fill that hole in your heart. If the NHL’s playoffs can’t do justice for you because you begin to weep every time you hear Pierre McGuire’s voice (oh, that’s a normal symptom when he talks?), I have just the hockey fix for you.
The Hershey Bears.
Let me give you an introduction to the organization and this year’s team.
On Sunday evening, Capitals AHL Affiliate Hershey Bears defeated Penguins AHL Affiliate Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (aka the Baby Pens) in Game Seven overtime thanks to a beautiful goal by Travis Boyd. The series proved two things: 1) the Bears’ superiority, and 2) these teams don’t like each other. There were fights galore, including a gathering of the teams at center ice during warm-ups before Game Four that only a Hanson brother could love.
After the game, we got requests from Bears fans to make a WBS version of our ever-popular Deadguins shirt. Have we ever let you down before?
Tuesday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun published a feature on former Capitals Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward. Both players were a part of the Washington team that lost to the New York Rangers in Game Seven last season, and both players departed in the offseason. Brouwer was traded to the St. Louis Blues for TJ Oshie. Ward signed with the San Jose Sharks after the Capitals inked Justin Williams to a two-year deal.
Earlier this week, Ward and Brouwer addressed their former team’s flame-out in the second round.
One of Caps fans’ biggest fears when players head overseas for international competition after the NHL season is the very real threat of injury. We got a taste of that threat today when Evgeny Kuznetsov had to be helped off the ice during Russia’s match against Sweden in the IIHF World Championships underway in Moscow.
Kuzy went down after taking a shoulder to the head from Mikael Backlund, a Swedish center who plays for the Calgary Flames. Kuznetsov did not have the puck.
2015-16 was the year the world finally recognized that Nick Backstrom is a star. An all-star to be precise. After eight years in the NHL, most of them awesome, Backstrom got his first ASG nod, which means we are now forced to reclassify him.
Nick Backstrom is no longer underrated. Nick Backstrom is now, officially, rated.
At the trade deadline, the Washington Capitals traded Brooks Laich and prospect Connor Carrick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik. After spending some time with the big club during the regular season, Carrick and his American Hockey League Toronto Marlies will face the Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals.
On Monday, the Marlies defeated the Albany Devils in a dramatic Game Seven. Carrick put the Marlies up 3-2 late in the third period.