Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green missed opening night, still healing up from an upper-body injury. Green made his debut in Boston on Saturday and scored on a beautiful one-timer from the point.
The goal was made possible by Russian rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov, playing in Nicklas Backstrom’s spot on the second power play unit, who found Green with a perfect pass from across the ice.
Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsovhas struggled during much of the preseason. He’s blown assignments, been the cause of several opponents’ goals, and looked generally lost at center. On Sunday, Barry Trotz moved Kuznetsov back to wing, the position he’s played for years in Russia. Kuznetsov looked far more relaxed.
Playing on the fourth line with Chris Brown and Liam O’Brien, Kuznetsov immediately scored in the first period of their final preseason game.
In preseason action on Thursday, the Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the shootout. A who’s who of Capitals players took the ice. A separate who’s who of Capitals sat on the club level, watching the game in suits. Some even interacted with fans.
RMNB Photographer Extraordinaire, Amanda Bowen, captured all of this and more. The pics are stunning, so you pretty much need to see them.
One hundred sixty days after the Washington Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, 66 players took to the ice in Arlington, Virginia looking to atone for a lost season. New head coach Barry Trotz put his players through a 45-minute practice and then a rigorous skate test, which left many exhausted, including Alex Ovechkin. This year’s training camp is supposed to be a hard one, part of Trotz’s plan to transform this team from an also-ran into a real success. The Caps have just two days of training camp to get their legs under them before the preseason opens on Sunday.
Below the jump are photos from the day via RMNB’s newest contributor, Amanda Bowen.
Dmitry Orlovjust returned to DC today, after spending the last few weeks in New York (with Sasha Minor) rehabbing his injured wrist. Meanwhile Evgeny Kuznetsov and Stan Galiev have been in Arlington since late July.
On Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals held an open house at Verizon Center. John Walton hosted a chalk talk in the lower bowl while Verizon Center employees began creating the new ice sheet for next season behind him. On top of that, Caps rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who may challenge for will win the Calder Trophy next year, signed autographs for the adoring public.
As I hung out around the line forming to meet Kuznetsov, a fan that looked awfully darned familiar introduced himself to me. “Hi, I’m Max,” the teenager said with a big smile. “I’m from this!”
Andre Burakovsky is the best Caps prospect yet to play a game with the big club (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images).
With rookie camp upon us, RMNB presents the new edition of its semiannual prospect rankings.
Prospect rankings factor in a player’s potential, his probability to reach his ceiling (including an assessment of that player’s adaptation to NHL’s style of play), and physical and mental maturity.
The Caps prospect pool is considered top-heavy, with four Caps prospects ranked in top-50 league-wide by both Corey Pronman and NHL.com. However, there’s believed to be a significant drop-off in talent after that. While Capitals management has tried to make their prospect pool deeper, they’ve still got work to do. The Caps are considered thin at center in particular, underlined by auditioning their two top wingers for a center slot.
For all you Evgeny Kuznetsov superfans, here’s some good news. Upper Deck has released the Russian’s first NHL trading card as part of the 2014-15 MVP set. They hit eBay last week.
In the photo, Kuzya wears a white Caps’ away jersey and is in mid-stride, mouth agape. There are like a million different versions of the rookie card produced. Some have gold borders, some have silver borders, some have a facsimile signature printed on the top in silver foil, while others are teal and die-cut.