Pot roast. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
The Washington Capitals had only one date with the Anaheim Ducks on the calendar this year, so they played it like two totally different teams. The Caps of the first half hour were disorganized and besieged. The Caps of the second half hour were focused and buzzing. A hole was dug by the former and filled in by the latter.
Saku Koivu siezed on bad communication between Wideman and Hamrlik to score the game’s first goal. Teemu Selanne took a pass from Koivu for a lay up goal to make it 2-0. Selanne notched another one in the second period, thanks for some more bad defense and a weak-side pass. Joel Ward got the Caps on board with a close wrister that went five-hole. Dennis Wideman capitalized (puns!) on a scrambling Hiller, slapping home a goal making it 3-2. Corey Perry took a couple swats at a loose puck in the paint to make it 4-2. Troy Brouwer’s shot gave Hiller trouble and kept the game interesting. With six attackers and less than a minute remaining, Nick Backstrom made the net quiver. Tie game. 4-on-4 overtime, where Backstrom struck again by slapping a bouncing puck into a gaping net. Game over! Caps beat Ducks 5-4 (OT).
Photo credit: Greg Fiume
The hard part is over. Mathieu Perreault led the Capitals with five points in four preseason games and snatched the final roster spot from favorites Cody Eakin and Mattias Sjogren.
Last season he showed the ability to drive puck possession, finishing with the fourth best Corsi relative to the competition on the team, behind only Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin.
Consistency, however, was a bigger issue. He earned all fourteen of his points in just nine of his 35 games played and wasn’t able to claim a center spot that was up for grabs.
Danick Paquette dishes out a hit along the boards.
After participating in workouts for first two days of the Capitals’ annual Development Camp, 19 of the organization’s prospects and 25 free agent invites took to the ice for the first intra-squad scrimmage of the summer on Wednesday.
Group B — wearing the red sweaters — controlled the play throughout the game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, taking it by a score of 4-2. Caleb Herbert, Stanislav Galiev, Travis Boyd and Aaron Schmit scored for the winning team while Andrew Cherniwchan and Garrett Mitchell tallied in the losing effort.
“The thoughts were is they played hard,” Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game. “I think there was a lot more physical contact than the last two development camps, at least early on for the first game. … They’ve gotten better every day, I expect them to be even better tomorrow and by Saturday I’ll be a pretty good game.”
Forward Cody Eakin, a third-round draft pick in 2009 and a veteran of three camps, attributed the style of play to the players desire to make an impression on Washington’s brass.
“They’re some big guys out here and everyone is fighting for a job, a second chance and a second look so it was pretty physical. Guys are stepping up and there wasn’t a lot of room out there.”
Below, I recap the game in photos.
Boyd Gordon and DJ King are the only players on the Caps’ roster who have won the Memorial Cup
On Friday, the 2011 Memorial Cup tournament will get underway at the Hershey (what?!) Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. It’ll feature three of what Hockey’s Future deems as the Capitals top 20 prospects including 2009 third round pick Cody Eakin (#5), 2010 third round pick Stanislav Galiev (#6) and 2009 fifth round pick Brett Flemming (#17). Last year, current Caps goalie prospect Philipp Grubauer – who at that point had not been drafted by the team yet – helped lead the Windsor Spitfires to their second straight Memorial Cup title. Many current NHL stars have won the prestigious junior tournament including Brian Campbell, Derek Roy, Cam Ward, Brad Richards, Shane Doan, Shea Weber, Dan Girardi, Milan Lucic and Mike Richards.
Let’s learn more about the three talented Caps prospects participating, shall we?
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!
The 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, which will be held in Buffalo and Niagara Falls from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5, will feature the best of the best in junior hockey. Roman Piontkovsky, Alessandro Seren Rosso, and myself will tell you which Caps prospects will be fighting for their respective countries and what we can expect of them.
Ed. note – The sole duty of Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans is to serve you tasty morsels of news about your favorite not-yet-but-maybe-one-day Caps. Russian Machine gears up once more to give you your bi-weekly offering of players in the far reaches of the Caps system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, DADT). Prospect Watch incoming!
Ed. note – Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans are not at fault for the tardiness of this week’s entry. That’s all on Peter. Regardless, Russian Machine is proud to provide the bi-weekly lowdown on players somewhere beyond the Caps system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, XBOX360). Prospect Watch incoming!
Ed. note – Once more, Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans emerge from the Russian wilds to deliver the straight dope on all players somewhere outside the Caps system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, MSNBC). Here comes Prospect Watch!
In today’s issue, you’ll learn about how Cody Eakin’s big night fell on Cody Eakin bobblehead night. You’ll despair in the troubles Dmitri Orlov’s club is having. And you’ll want to send a care package to Greg Burke as he recovers from the kissing disease.
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