One of Caps fans’ biggest fears when players head overseas for international competition after the NHL season is the very real threat of injury. We got a taste of that threat today when Evgeny Kuznetsov had to be helped off the ice during Russia’s match against Sweden in the IIHF World Championships underway in Moscow.
Kuzy went down after taking a shoulder to the head from Mikael Backlund, a Swedish center who plays for the Calgary Flames. Kuznetsov did not have the puck.
On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia lost to Sweden 2-0 at Stockholm Globe Arena during the Oddset Hockey Games, which is basically another international tournament before the World Championships begin on Friday.
Second, Ek shares a story that should warm your our cold, Capital heart. Apparently in the third period, with Swedes Jimmie Ericsson and Andreas Thuresson in the penalty box, Ovechkin “bombed away for Putin and his motherland” and “shot off the blade of Tre Kronor centreman Mikael Backlund” with a huge shot.
Participants included, in original order, Craig Custance, Tristan Cockcroft, Tim Kavanagh, John Buccigross, Pierre Becquey, Michael Hume, Victoria Matiash, Neil Greenberg, Sean Allen and Scott Cullen. Categories include goals, assists, power-play points, plus/minus, penalty minutes, shots on goal and average time on ice for skaters and wins, save percentage and goals-against average for goaltenders. Slots to fill include nine forwards, five defensemen, one “utility” skater, two goaltenders and a five-man bench.
My philosophy was simple: grab young, healthy, talented players with upside. Let others worry if Patrick Kane would be healthy or if Sergei Kostitsyn can once again score 20 goals on less than 100 shots.
I had the eight pick. With my editor Mike Hume drafting before me (he knows which players I fancy) and Cullen having back-to-back picks behind me I knew I had to make strategic decisions.