Though they missed their scheduled morning flight out to Raleigh, Capitals’ All-Stars Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin arrived just in the knick of time for the NHL’s first ever All-Star Fantasy Draft. For Caps’ fans, the most notable moment of the draft occurred in the second round, when MG52 announced Team Staal’s selection of Ovechkin with the third overall pick. With a big grin, the Russian Machine made his way up to the stage, embraced Green, and proudly put on the fourth all-star jersey of his young career. Photos of the night can be seen below.
Now pipe down and pay attention, cause Neil’s about to drop some science on you fools.
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
The snow did its best to keep me from weighing in on this issue, but the good people at Pepco restored my power just in time to offer my take, which is really just a continuation on what I thought Semin was worth back in November:
Ultimately, playoff performance and contract demands will determine Semin’s fate in Washington, but the fact that teams spent 20 percent more last summer on unrestricted free agents than the summer before leads me to believe the Caps should require a significant hometown discount in order to keep their other Russian gamebreaker for years to come.
At $6.7 million for a one year contract, I don’t qualify that as a “hometown discount”, so I have to say it’s a bit high. The one year gives both sides flexibility, and maybe Semin could be pushed into earning a long-term contract with a healthy, 40-goal season next year, but that’s unlikely considering how players similar to Semin’s 2010 campaign have performed over the following two years of their similar season.
Here’s a picture of Ovechkin eating snow for the billionth time. (Photo credit: Scott Cunningham)
To all our friends stuck on the roads during this crazy #thundersnow storm, safe travels. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
So the final game for the Washington Capitals before the All-Star break found them meeting the Atlanta Thrashers in the not-so-balmy temperatures of Georgia. It did not go well.
Nik Antropov settled a lucky bounce in the Caps zone, leading to an easy goal against Semyon Varlamov. That was it. No other goals. Shutout for Ondrej Pavelec. Thrashers beat Caps 1-0.
[Editor’s note: Russian Machine Never Breaks is delighted to welcome Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps to the team. Chris is an accomplished photographer and interviewer, so he should make the rest of the staff look bad on a regular basis.]
The Washington Capitals have been struggling to score lately. Players that could be relied on for goals in the past have looked off their game, and the team’s power play has been anemic. One bright spot, however, has come an unlikely source: forward Matt Hendricks. He has had goals in each of his last two games including two deke-tastic tallies, one against the Leafs on Saturday and one in the shootout against the Rangers Monday night at Verizon Center.
“I knew he was going to do that move,” said Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who doesn’t expect opposing teams to catch on anytime soon. “He’s done it to me three or four times in practice and still scored. It took me a while to figure it out. I don’t how much video guys are going to do on Matt Hendricks,” he added with a laugh.
The 29 year-old Hendricks has become a fan favorite in Washington this season with his enthusiasm, toughness and a nasty black eye that HBO made famous.
Matt Hendricks celebrates his shoot-out goal. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Last time the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers met, well… it was bad. But we had higher hopes for tonight and a rejuvenated Caps offense. Aside from Matt Hendricks and the superb Braden Holtby, we got disappointed big time.
Matt Hendricks found the perfect spot to receive a surgical pass from Marcus Johansson and turn it into a goal. Then, late in the third, Marian Gaborik scored a greasy goal following a series of puck bounces and deflections that only the Large Hadron Collider could map. And so we headed into overtime, which has been famously unkind to the Caps lately. The five-minute, four-on-four period was exciting but scoreless, and so the gimmick beckoned. The Capitals lasted until the fourth round, when Martin Biron rebuffed Marcus Johansson and Artem Anisimov beat Braden Holtby with alacrity. A lazy loss. Rangers beat Caps 2-1 (SO).
Photo credit: Joel Auerbach
Before the season began, a lot of people were looking for Brooks Laich to “turn it on” in his contract year. After three straight years of scoring 20 goals or more, many felt we would see his game taken to the next level. His season up to this point:
|Laich through 49 games||9||18||27||116||889|
|proj 82 games||15||30||45||194||1488|
So far, underwhelming. Or is it?
Photo credit: BuffaloWorldJuniors.com
As we already wrote, the Caps were well represented in 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, sporting five prospects in the tournament. Philipp Grubauer played on the weak German team and Patrick Wey had a situational role on the bronze-medal USA squad. The other three Caps prospects played in the finals and each had great success in the tournament. So what did they do in the gold medal game? Here is our look at their best moments.
Ed. note – Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans live to dish out salacious gossip about those players orbiting just out side the Capitals’ exosphere. Here is your sorta bi-weekly edition about kids in the Caps system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, TL;DR). It’s Prospect Watch!
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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