Swag. (GIFs by welshhockeyfan)
Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy had one hell of a night (which Chris Gordon wrote about in more detail here). Oleksy earned a second period assist on one sick dangle and then later got in a fight with Brandon Dubinsky in the third. While he didn’t necessarily win the bout, it’s what he did during it that earns him some bonus swag points from RMNB.
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
Jack Hillen‘s knee was pinned between the boards and Calgary’s Lance Bouma as Bouma out all his weight into the hit. Just eight minutes into Thursday’s home opener, Hillen was hurt and needed assistance to leave the ice, unable to put any weight on his leg.
The Wilson punch that ended the fight.
If Tom Wilson doesn’t make the Washington Capitals roster out of training camp, he will return to the Plymouth Whalers knowing he did all he could. On Friday night, Wilson had a goal, an impressive fight, and drew a penalty in another fantastic game for the 19-year-old Canadian.
Five minutes after Mikhail Grabovski absorbed a dirty elbow from Zac Rinaldo in the first period, Wilson stuck up for his teammate and fought the much shorter Brayden Schenn.
It was brutal. Brutal. Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutal.
Photo credit: Paul Bereswill
Claude Giroux is one of the best and toughest players in the NHL. Last season, he had 93 points for the Flyers and then played beer pong two weeks after getting dual wrist surgery. It’s hard not to like him.
Capitals rookie defenseman Steve Oleksy is pretty tough customer too. Midway through the third period of Sunday’s game, as Giroux tried to glove the puck, Oleksy delivered a big, clean, open-ice hit on the Flyers captain.
Photo credit: Jonathan Kozub
Steve Oleksy isn’t the most talented hockey player on the Washington Capitals, but he may very well be the smartest. That’s why he earned a three-year deal from George McPhee. The Management major from Lake Superior State University always seems to make the right play on the ice. And he’s pretty tough.
After nailing six-foot three-inch James Wright high with a hit, the Jets forward threw a few punches at Oleksy, but Binky kept his composure. Instead of retaliating and potentially taking a minor penalty with a 2-0 lead, Oleksy waited for the Capitals to regain possession of the puck to take care of his business.
Har har. Bruins fan taunts Ribs. (Photo credit: Emily C.)
The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins have developed an intense rivalry since their back-and-forth seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs last year. From the Olympic-quality dives from Brad Marchand to Nicky Backstrom’s cross-check to the face, it’s apparent these teams hate each other.
That’s why on Saturday, as they played each other for the second time in 16 days, all hell broke loose. First, Mike Ribeiro fought Brad Marchand, and Matt Hendricks laid down the law with Nathan Horton. Then, in the third period, as Shawn Thornton tried to get Hendricks to drop the gloves, Hendy bloodied his fists in a fight with Adam McQuaid.
Let’s recap all the crazy.
Steve Oleksy has had a lot of firsts this past week. He played in his first NHL game, he scored his first NHL point, and he scored his first NHL goal. Let’s add first NHL fight to that list. It’s like a Gordie Howe hat trick in slow motion.
In the third period, with the Capitals down 3-0, Oleksy tried to spark his team, dropping mitts with Carolina Hurricanes’ center Drayson Bowman. Oleksy, who fought elevent times as a member of the Hershey Bears this season, manhandled Bowman. He landed the first punch, a haymaker that dropped Bowman to the ice, and then landed four more rights before respectfully pulling back.
Ladies and gentlemen, Karl Alzner‘s first NHL fight occurred tonight against everyone’s favorite antagonist, Steve Downie. Alzner landed one solid right, took a few punches to the visor, and then wrestled Downie to the ice when things started looking a little dicey. How awesome is that though?
Even more incredible is the fact that Alzner chirped at Downie after he reported to the penalty box. This comes from one of the most mild-mannered players in the NHL. I seriously would love to know what Downie said to start this.
Per hockeyfights.com, this was Alzner’s fourth career bout. He actually dropped the gloves three times when he played junior hockey in the WHL.
You can check out a photo of the dust-up below the jump.
Photo credit: Joel Auerbach
Ever since the Panthers beat the tar out of the Lightning 7-4 on Monday, they’ve struggled to put the puck in the net. On Tuesday, they traveled up to DC to face former teammate Tomas Vokoun and got blanked 3-0. Thursday, the trend continued. Down one goal to the Sabres after 30 minutes of listless hockey, Florida was looking for momentum.
Enter Matt Bradley.
After a neutral zone faceoff, the former Capital skated with purpose towards Paul Gaustad and shoved him. You know what happened next.
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.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.