A few summers ago, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin revealed to Pavel Lysenkov that he had Vladimir Putin’s phone number. Because sometime sports stars and world leaders just need to rap. “It’s not his cell phone number, but rather his home phone,” Ovechkin said, as translated by Igor Kleyner. “I call him often. But Putin is never at home. So far I haven’t managed to talk to him yet!”
That last part appears to have changed. During Adam Oates’ press conference with the media on Thursday, the Caps head coach revealed that Ovi had to take a pretty important call while they were hanging out together in Russia.
During the mess that was Monday’s brawl-filled Capitals-Bruins game, one play jumped out at me.
With the Caps on the powerplay, defenseman Connor Carrick got the puck. He was the lone guy on the point — with Mikhail Grabovski at his right and Troy Brouwer to his left. Bruins veteran Daniel Paille went after Carrick, thinking he could cause the youngster, playing one of the hardest positions in hockey– powerplay quarterback, to cough up the puck or surrender the blue line.
What would you expect from a 19-year-old on this play? Keeping the puck in the zone and dumping it in would be satisfactory, but that’s not what Carrick did. Instead, he faked an easy pass to Brouwer and then backhanded the puck to Grabovski. No one on the ice except Carrick seemed to expect that play. He kept the Bruins in their own end with a simple, smart pass– showing NHL-quality poise in the process.
On September 19, 2013, In News, Photos, By Chris Gordon
Hold it here! Craig Laughlin poses after scoring a tying goal late in the third. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
On a crisp Thursday night in Arlington, Virginia, a bunch of former Washington Capitals got together for the team’s first annual intersquad alumni game. Featuring players flying in from as far away as Sweden (Bengt Gustavsson) and Montana (Brendan Witt), the old Caps engaged in a spirited contest. In the end, team red prevailed 6-4 in the shootout.
The Caps have ramped the visibility in recent years, starting with the 2011 Winter Classic alumni game against the Penguins. Now, though, the quality of the players participating is much improved, featuring a Hall of Fame member and a few All Stars. Granted, most of the elite players are part of the team’s current coaching staff (Adam Oates, Olie Kolzig, and CalleJohansson), but Peter Bondra, Rod Langway,Yvon Labre, and even Kevin Kaminski also participated.
During the Washington Capitals preseason opener, Hockey Night In Canada made a big freakin’ deal about Tom Wilson. The 2012 first-round pick is on the bubble for a roster spot, and CBC wanted us to know just how very hard this decision is going to be for Caps management.
Oates compared The Ten Train to this former Flyers great.
In the first period, one of the CBC commentators brought up how when they talked Adam Oates before the game, the Caps head coach said that Wilson reminds him of retired Philadelphia Flyers pivot Eric Lindros.
Sideline reporter Cassie Campbell asked Wilson (without the HNIC towel!!) about the comparison during the second intermission.
“That’s huge,” Wilson said. “I think growing up that was my older brother’s favorite player and obviously [Lindros was] a well-respected guy in the hockey world and a big body. That’s a pretty big compliment.”
Wilson also explained what he thought he needs to do to make the team this season. “I think for me it’s just to play smart,” he explained. “I gotta know my role here. I’m coming in here being a third- or fourth-line guy. Unfortunately [my line] got a couple of minuses out there in the second period, but Beagle, Volpatti, and I are going to look to turn it back the other way in the third.”
In the third period, Wilson atoned, knocking over two Jets during his first shift on the ice. He almost scored on a deflection attempt.
The Caps rookie also knocked 205-pound Zach Redmond over like a bag of feathers.
Because the NHL loves us and wants us to be happy, they mic’d up Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin during yesterday’s Kraft Hockeyville practice. The Russian machine doesn’t disappoint, saying “sup” to fans, laughing maniacally, and serving up the expected one-liner: Siiiiiiiiick.
Carrick peeks out from behind Wilson at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in July. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
Two thousand twelve first-round draft pick Tom Wilson is fawned over, with good reason. At 6′ 4″, he’s a mammoth dude who scores goals, hits hard, and unleashes a myriad of expletives — the personification of a hockey player. When Caps fans think of the Plymouth Whalers, Wilson is usually the only one who comes to mind. There is, however, another Washington prospect playing in eastern Michigan: fifth-round pick Connor Carrick.
In the new age of sports media, if you’re a superstar who has not won a championship or somewhat improved your stats from the year before, you get branded an overpaid heel and get flogged furiously by big-name network TV analysts for not trying hard enough or being too dim to adjust your game. It’s hard to recall now, but there was once a time when Ilya Bryzgalov’s fascination with space was just a personality quirk from an elite goaltender.
Alex Ovechkin was awarded his third Hart trophy on Saturday night, a feat accomplished by only eight other NHL legends: Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke, Eddie Shore, and Howie Morenz. Fine company for Ovi, a point not lost on our friends in Canada.
The Frank J. Selke Trophy is given to the best defensive forward in hockey, as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. It was won this year by Jonathan Toews, who narrowly beat out Patrice Bergeron. We don’t care about that though, because the results get hilarious further down. This is why I’ve never trusted democracy.
A notable example: 45th place finisher Eric Fehr, who received one fifth place vote, though that was probably just Greg Wyshynski screwing with all of us. Perhaps this RMNB post made an indelible impact.