Photo credit: Jared Silber
So, it’s the Rangers again. For the fifth time in seven seasons, the Washington Capitals will square off against the folks from Madison Square Garden in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. These series have produced signature moments in Capitals history, such as Sergei Fedorov‘s game seven winner in 2009, and crushing defeats, like when the Rangers outlasted the Capitals by just one goal in game seven of the second round in 2012, booking a spot in the Eastern Conference Final. But, as is their pattern this year, the Washington Capitals will tell you this team is different. They don’t pay attention to the past.
“All that old stuff, get rid of it,” head coach Barry Trotz, in his first year with the Capitals, said. “Let’s look to a new era. Let’s build something.”
Dustin Stevenson and Aaron Schmit settle their differences with their fists. (Video via Suzanne K.)
On Saturday, during the third and final scrimmage of the Caps’ Development Camp, the prospects turned the physicality up notch in front of a capacity crowd at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. There were three fights, each of them featuring a different combatants.
In the first period, 2009 sixth-round draft pick Garrett Mitchell got in his third throw-down of the week, challenging Group B’s Mike Bovin after a rough run. The two traded a few punches before Mitchell lost his balance and were separated by officials.
In the second stanza, Dustin Stevenson — a 6’5” behemoth — got in his second fight of camp and did so with a bit of flair, bending over and chucking his helmet through his legs before engaging Aaron Schmit. Stevenson got the upper-hand of the altercation, despite absorbing several heavy shots from Schmit at center ice.
Finally, in the third, ‘Dirty’ Danick Paquette looked for blood after being hit in open ice by Karl Stollery (video can be seen at 8:17 here). The fight, however, was a hugfest as neither landed any good punches.
Below the jump, check out my photos from all the bouts.
Garrett Mitchell attempts to headbutt Scott Wietecha into submission. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
After losing the first scrimmage game, Group A turned the tables on Group B on Thursday to take the second match of Development Camp, 4-3, in the shootout.
Garrett Mitchell, David Citviarese and Danick Paquette tallied Group A’s goals in regulation, while Travis Boyd scored twice along with Reid Edmondson in Group B’s losing effort. Mitchell also added the only shootout goal.
Below, I recap the game in photos.
Photos by Chris Gordon
The Capitals’ trade of right wing Eric Fehr — who had a cap hit of $2.2 million — to Winnipeg may have been nothing more than a salary dump, but the team still got something in exchange for the Manitoba native, picking up prospect Danick Paquette along with a fourth-round pick in 2012.
Paquette, 20, won’t suit up for the Caps in the near future, but just days after joining the organization he is already pointing out his similarities to a former member of the team — and not a well liked one either.
“I’m a pretty dirty player so I did my job — like Matt Cooke,” Paquette told reporters when asked about a questionable hit he dished out in the first period of Thursday’s scrimmage.
Fehr scored two goals in the Winter Classic and was named the #2 star of the game. (Photo credit: Jamie Sabau)
Just after 5pm Friday, the Caps made waves around the hockey world, announcing they had traded right wing Eric Fehr to Winnipeg for the Jets’ fourth-round pick in the 2012 Draft and prospect Danick Paquette.
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