The Caps entered the first intermission with their heads down, trailing to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 after the first 20 minutes of play. But let’s for a moment celebrate Evgeny Kuznetsov, who gave the Caps an early lead at the 12:02 mark of the first period.
The tally was Kuznetsov’s second goal of the season and it was brilliantly set up by his fellow countryman, Dmitry Orlov (AKA Snarls).
Sunday afternoon, the Washington Capitals, victors of five straight, announced that they cancelled their Monday morning practice. So that evening Caps captain Alex Ovechkin hosted a party at his Virginia home. All the Russian Capitals (including their families) dropped by along with several members of Ovechkin’s posse. Because of the postings on social media, we got a rare glimpse inside Ovi’s house where we notice Alex Ovechkin has a lot of photos of Alex Ovechkin up. Also, woah, that is a lot of Coke machines.
But what’s a party without a DJ? So Ovechkin, who recently got turntables set up at his house by Club Glow business partner Pete Kalamoutsos, invited Arty, a famous Russian record producer and DJ. According to Wikipedia, Arty has collaborated with such popular acts like Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, BT, Paul van Dyk, Mat Zo, OneRepublic, and Matisse & Sadko.
The night began with some street hockey with tennis balls in what appears to be Ovechkin’s garage.
Through the first nine games of the season, defensemen for the Capitals have accrued 15 assists. That comes to 38 percent of the total number of assists for the entire team. All six d-men who have suited up for the Caps have gotten at least two assists; only six forwards can say that. Even Karl Alzner has gotten on the scoreboard, recording the only two goals scored by Capitals defensemen this season.
This has all been by design (minus Alzner scoring). Washington’s defensemen have been more active in the Capitals offensive game on the rush and in the zone. Barry Trotz has been stressing the need to work the puck from high-to-low in the offensive zone for his entire tenure in Washington, and he — along with assistant coach Todd Rierden — doubled down on that point in training camp.
Here are the three things I’ve noticed that have made the Caps defensemen more productive this season.
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.
After beginning the year zero for eight on the power play, the Capitals burst out of their goalless drought Tuesday night with two goals in five opportunities. Nicklas Backstrom may be the most important player on the Capitals’ power play, according to the CSN poll between periods last game, but some love needs to be given to the point men. When John Carlson and now, Dmitry Orlov get shots through and feed pucks accurately to Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals power play is virtually unstoppable.
Tuesday night, Dmitry Orlov delivered a perfect hip check to Matt Duchene. The hit lit up both Duchene and social media, garnering nearly 4,000 retweets on the NHL’s Twitter account in 24 hours.
On Wednesday, Orlov spoke about his highlight-reel play with local media. The Russian defenseman was quick to show concern for the Avalanche forward, saying “I think it’s good that [Duchene] didn’t get hurt and was still in the game… and that we win that game.”
Orlov’s full comments on the hit are below.
As you may have heard, Dmitry Orlov laid a massive hip check on the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene Tuesday night, sending the center flying through the air. In fact, Duchene completed a full flip.
The entire hockey community was excited by Orlov’s clean hit except for one person: Matt Duchene.
Dmitry Orlov delivered what will likely be the biggest check of the season on Matt Duchene in the first period. As Duchene cut to the middle of the ice, Orlov stepped up and knocked the Avs forward head over heels. CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Craig Laughlin called the crunching bodyblow the “best hit I have seen in the booth in 25 years.
A photo sequence of the bodycheck just hit NHL.com and you have to see this.
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