Tuesday night, Philipp Grubauer posted his first-ever shutout in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. While it was technically Braden Holtby’s night, Grubi proved himself to be a capable backup, stopping all 18 of the Avs’ shots. Grubauer’s efforts were later recognized in the locker room, where he was awarded the Will Over Skill robe.
Yes, you read that correctly. The WILL OVER SKILL robe.
The 2015-16 Washington Capitals were terrific. They soared with a great power play, the league’s best goal-scorer, some talented young players, and the best record in the land. But the shining star of that team was the fella in net, Vezina winner Braden Holtby.
Before Tuesday’s game — a game in which Holtby’s back-up recorded his first big-league shutout– the Washington Capitals and their fans finally got to thank Holtby for a very special season.
Hoo boy we have a team here ladies and gents. The Caps got the upper hand on the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday, largely in part to the power play waking up from its early season slumber to provide the damage necessary to down Jared Bednar’s boys.
First was Ovi’s first of the season from his spot. Second was Timothy Leif Oshie from the slot. Both with a man advantage. Oshie then added another 5v5 off of a rebound from an Ovechkin shot that was sprung by a great play by Dmitry Orlov.
Caps beat Avalanche 3-0. The Caps are now 2-0-1 on the young season.
Dmitry Orlov delivered what will likely be the biggest check of the season on Matt Duchene in the first period. As Duchene cut to the middle of the ice, Orlov stepped up and knocked the Avs forward head over heels. CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Craig Laughlin called the crunching bodyblow the “best hit I have seen in the booth in 25 years.
A photo sequence of the bodycheck just hit NHL.com and you have to see this.
In the first period, Dmitry Orlov had the hit of the year, sending Matt Duchene head over heels. But he wasn’t done yet.
Later in the period, the Russian dynamo fixed all of the Caps’ power play woes, authoring a brilliant slap pass to Alex Ovechkin. The Russian machine one-timed the puck past Semyon Varlamov, scoring his first goal of the season.
Physicality is a criminally underrated part of Dmitry Orlov’s game. Early in Tuesday’s game against the Avalanche, we got to see Orlov do his thing.
This hit will make you yell at something.
Tonight, the Capitals face off against the up-and-coming Colorado Avalanche. It’s the Caps’ third game of the season, and Barry Trotz has made some, er, interesting lineup changes as he prepares to do battle with Jared Bednar, the Avs’ new coach (formerly of the South Carolina Stingrays.)
If the Avalanche’s revamped brand of high-scoring (and low-possession) hockey isn’t reason enough to tune in, tonight’s contest will feature a special pre-game ceremony honoring Braden Holtby. In an ironic twist that will be taught by English teachers ever after, Holtby was Holtbenched in favor of backup goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Bonus points for whoever correctly identifies the type of irony (situational, dramatic, or verbal) exhibited by Trotz’s decision to sit tonight’s honoree. In the meantime, puck drop is at 7 PM on CSN.
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During the World Cup of Hockey, Braden Holtby rocked a tribute mask painted to honor Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie. Earlier in the year, the Canadian icon was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a terminal brain tumor. During the tournament, Holtby decided to auction off the mask to raise money for two of Downie’s most treasured charities.
On Tuesday, the NHLPA announced that Holtby’s mask, which he commissioned himself, raised $21,650 (or $28,380.88 if you convert the US money into Canadian dollars).
The money will benefit the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research and the Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation.
“Like so many others, I have been truly inspired by the courage Gord Downie has shown, and I was very appreciative that he embraced the design of my Team Canada goalie mask,” Holtby said in the release. “I am very proud to have been a part of supporting these two important funds in Mr. Downie’s honor, and I appreciate everyone’s help in making this auction a success.”
Former Capital Mike Green just scored his first career hat trick on a historic night. During the Red Wings final home opener at Joe Louis Arena, Green scored a goal in each period, notching his first three-point night since March 8 against the Columbus Blue Jackets (three assists).
In 2014, Andre Burakovsky came into the league as a 19-year-old rookie from Sweden. Out of training camp, he won a job as the Washington Capitals’ second line center due to his skill and speed. But before the new year, he was playing for the Hershey Bears, demoted to Washington’s farm club after a string of healthy scratches and games on the forth line. Burakovsky eventually made it back up to the Capitals, but continued to see time in the press box. Last season, Burakovsky began the season on the power play, but lost his job after another poor start, scoring two goals in his first 32 games.
“I knew this was going to be a tough league but I didn’t expect it to be that tough every single game,” Burakovsky said Monday. “If you’re not prepared the proper way and you’re not there 100 percent, you will have a really tough game.”
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