Last night in Hershey, Caps goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley did something remarkable. No, I’m not talking about the AHL rookie’s second straight shutout. Nor am I talking about his mind-boggling shutout streak of 144:28.
Johansson has been more productive with his goal output as well. Last year, Johansson was a passenger on the team’s first line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, scoring only two goals at even strength through 80 games– and none of them when skating with Ovechkin.
This year is totally different. Johansson has already matched last season’s total– and he’s done it in 72 fewer games.
During the fall, 20-year-old forward Liam O’Brien was given an amateur contract from the Capitals. Back then, his goal was simply to stick around for a few more days. Instead, he became one of the most impressive players during camp, earning a three-year entry-level contract at its completion for his hard work and grit.
Karl Alzner was whistled for interference late in the second period, which was the exact moment the wheels fell off for the Caps. At least for a 1:47 of game action, during which the Canucks scored three times.
But first: watch Alzner mess with the penalty-box camera.
After the Caps lost 3-2 to Edmonton on Wednesday, Caps coach Barry Trotz changed the lines. He broke up the Joel Ward/Jason Chimera “gang green” line (which is seriously the worst nickname for a lot of reasons).”Last couple games I can’t say they’re a great line for us,” Trotz told the Washington Post.
“Yeah, green line got blown up,” Ward said. “We got scored on last game. It was a tough loss for sure. I guess a little shake-up can’t hurt. We’ll see what happens.”
Crazy things happened. The Caps fourth line, which had been dormant all season, went nuts with Wardo on the right wing on Saturday night. Ward scored two goals (one on the power play), the latter of which was credited as the game-winning goal. And Ward would have had a hat trick, but he put himself into the net instead of the puck.
Alex Ovechkin earns almost 9.5 million dollars against the salary cap each season, more than 13 percent of the Washington Capitals’ player budget. That’s why it’s a little worrying when Ovi risks injury– even more so when he does it blocking an inconsequential shot.
On Saturday night in Calgary, Alex Ovechkin risked injury by blocking an inconsequential shot.
Four minutes into the third period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin nearly tied the game with a brilliant individual effort. After getting a perfect pass from Troy Brouwer, Ovechkin churned his legs and went solo against Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz.
Schultz had plenty of space and read Ovi perfectly– at least at first. But when you reach with your stick against one of the greats instead of taking the body, you might get burned.