On Saturday morning, as the roads piled up with cars driven by Washingtonians befuddled by winter, the Capitals jumbled their roster, calling up Zach Sanford from the AHL.
Sanford started the season with the Caps, playing 19 games. After only registering one point in NHL, he was sent down to the minors at the end of November. In just six games with the Bears, Sanford scored four goals (including his first professional marker) and had three assists, earning his call up back to the Caps.
“It was good for me,” Sanford said of his time in Hershey, which was his first experience in the AHL after signing with Washington out of college. “I thought I went in with a good mindset. I was going to work as hard as I could and not be pissed off about anything. It turned out well for me.”
Tuesday, Barry Trotz scratched Andre Burakovsky against the New York Islanders. This was the first time Burakovsky had sat this season. After two goals during the season opener, Burakovsky has been ice cold, going goal-less in his last 26 games.
Capitals GM Brian MacLellan had this to say when asked about his young forward’s struggles.
Andre Burakovsky has been ice cold this season, going goal-less in his last 26 games. On Thursday, seven-time 50 goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin took matters — and literally Andre — into his own hands, to try and thaw the young forward from the throes of his early season shooting slump.
Meet the Andre Oveburrito.
The Washington Capitals had a disaster scenario unfold during the first period of their game against the Detroit Red Wings. Four different forwards — TJ Oshie, Lars Eller, Andre Burakovsky, and Tom Wilson — went down the tunnel with injuries. Three of them — Oshie, Eller, and Burakovsky — did not return with what Barry Trotz termed as upper-body injuries. Oshie, Eller, and Burakovsky will all be reevaluated tomorrow.
On Sunday, Andre Burakovsky traveled to the Winniks’ house and, judging by his attire, it was to watch football. Except it appears Burakovsky spent most of his time making some new friends instead.
The Winniks have two bulldogs, Mario, who is almost four, and Sonny, who is two. Taylor Winnik has referred to them in the past as the couple’s children in an interview with Post City Toronto. Last season, the couple even served as dogsitters for several neighborhood families.
Mario seemed to take a quick liking to the Burracuda.
After the Caps’ 5-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Alex Ovechkin, Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov returned home and bought a pay-per-view.
The players stayed up late to watch the UFC’s historic first visit to Madison Square Garden. Conor McGregor headlined the UFC 205 card and the “Notorious” Irishman knocked out Eddie Alvarez in Round 2. McGregor’s win made him the first combat fighter in UFC history to hold two belts in two different weight divisions.
Each Caps player documented their night on social media. Please prepare yourself for several thrilling vertical videos taken by the players of their respective TVs.
For years, the Edmonton Oilers were in the cellar of the standings, raking in high draft picks like fall leaves. Last offseason, the Oilers rebuilt their rebuild, trading away number one selections Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov while signing Milan Lucic to a seven-year contract. Connor McDavid, a generational talent with just 45 games of NHL experience, was given the C.
With the new captain, the youngest in NHL history, and a half billion dollar new arena, the Oilers have now won five of their first six games in the 2016-17 season, holding the top spot in the Western Conference and placing second in the NHL.
“It’ll interesting to see how they do this year because I think they have all the talent to be a much better team than they have been recently, with McDavid leading the way especially,” Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen said Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “It’ll be for sure a different Oilers team than it’s been the last couple years.”
Five games into the regular season, the Washington Capitals have accumulated seven out of a possible 10 standings points. On Monday, Head Coach Barry Trotz subtlety changed the lines to try and create more offense.
Andre Burakovsky has been bumped to the top line along with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin while TJ Oshie has been shifted down to the team’s second line with Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson.
Sunday night, Capitals players held their annual Halloween Party at the Mari Vanna restaurant in Washington DC. The costumes were fantastic.
Superstar Alex Ovechkin slicked back his hair and put on a prisoner costume. His wife Nastya, who I’m guessing was his captor, dressed up as a police officer, potentially giving us an inside look into who truly wears the pants in that relationship. Meanwhile #CapsNeighbors Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky dressed up as stepbrothers and TJ Oshie and his wife Lauren were Mr. and Mrs Smith… with a twist.
Check out all the costumes below.
For the first three games of the season, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have been split up. Though this separation may not last long, and though they have spent some time apart during their years in DC, splitting them up is definitely a deviation from the norm. One impact of this change is forcing opponents to make a tough decision in how to match lines against the Caps.
But another major impact is the way the Caps are matching up against the opposition’s top line. Barry Trotz had generally preferred a power vs power matchup, often pitting the Backstrom-Ovechkin line against the other team’s top offensive line. With the duo broken up, the tough task of playing against the opponent’s top line each night has been assigned to the Caps second line of Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Backstrom.
So far, through an admittedly tiny sample of three games, the results have been outstanding. Not only has the Caps’ second line stifled the offense of the opponent’s top line, but by controlling the puck and going on the attack, they’ve been forcing the top offensive weapons of the Caps’ opponent to spend more time on defense than offense.
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