After the NHL All-Star Game wrapped up, the AHL held their own all-star skills competition in Utica, New York. The Caps-affiliated Hershey Bears were well-represented at the event with Philipp Grubauer, Connor Carrick, and veteran Tim Kennedy competing for the Eastern Conference.
According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, Grubauer won the AHL’s top goaltender award after stopping 16 of 19 shots. That’s cool. Then there’s Carrick.
The 20-year-old defenseman, who spent a large chunk of last year in Washington, unleashed a 98 MPH slapshot during the Hardest Shot competition, which is kind of surprising. His three scores, according to Chocolate Hockey, were 93 MPH, 98 MPH, and 93.2 MPH.
Photo: Amanda Bowen
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.
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.
A lot has changed in Washington D.C. since last season, including the goalie situation. On the first day of free agency, new Caps GM Brian MacLellan signed veteran goalie Justin Peters to be Braden Holtby‘s back-up. That means goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer, who shined in a one-month stint with the team last December, will likely be relegated to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears for most of next season.
I bring that up because, um, well, this is awkward. Grubauer’s new mask from Swedish airbrush artist David Gunnarsson is 100% Caps-flavored.
Photos by Chris Gordon
Early Monday, the Washington Capitals announced that they had promoted Ross Mahoney, who has been the Caps’ director of amateur scouting for the past 16 seasons, to the vacant assistant general manager position.
At 1pm, Caps GM Brian MacLellan held a conference call with reporters to talk about Mahoney’s promotion, but the discussion quickly turned to everything else.
Photo credit: Kim Klement
At the beginning of December, Bears goalie Philipp Grubauer sunk his German claws into the Caps’ number-one spot and didn’t let go until the new year.
|92.6%||5v5 save percentage|
|352||5v5 shots faced|
|2.5||Goal support per sixty minutes|
|95.7%||Shorthanded save percentage|
|70||Shots faced while shorthanded|
Photos: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer hit a milestone on Sunday. The 22-year-old prospect, who will likely back-up Braden Holtby in Washington next season, won his debut on the international stage with Team Germany, a 3-2 in a victory over Latvia. Grubauer made 30 saves, defeating Tampa’s talented prospect netminder Kristers Gudlevskis in the process.
Grubauer’s role on Germany is unclear. Grubi served as a back-up to Rob Zepp in Germany’s first game of the tournament on Saturday, a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan.
Two weeks ago, Grubauer shut out Team Russia in a pre-tournament game.
Photo: Heike Feiner/eishockey-online.com
Hershey Bear and Team Germany goalie Philipp Grubauer shut out Team Russia in a pre-World Championship exhibition game. The Germans won 3-0.
Both Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov sat out (Ovechkin’s absence was described as part of an “acclimatization and adaptation” period by the team’s spokesman), while Orlov’s omission from the line-up seemed to be a part of the rotation process that comes from having 30 players (27 skaters) on the roster. Evgeny Kuznetsov played on the team’s second line.
For almost two months, Adam Oates rode the hot hand in net with Philipp Grubauer. Grubi was impressive in his first extended look with the big-league team, putting up a 6-5-5 record, a .925 save percentage, and a 2.38 GAA in 17 games. In fact, Grubauer dominated so much that George McPhee felt comfortable enough to fill Michal Neuvirth’s trade request, thereby slating Grubi to become the Caps’ back-up goalie for the 2014-15 season.
With more opportunity soon on the horizon, Grubauer has commissioned crazy ol’ Swede David Gunnarsson to paint him a new Capitals themed mask. There’s nothing amazing here, but the design is still pretty baller. It’s like July 4th with Capitals logos.
Coming into the 2014 NHL trade deadline, some fans feared Caps general manager George McPhee would make a drastic move in the hopes of securing a playoff spot. Instead, he made three reasonable ones. The Caps got better this year without harming themselves in the future.
The biggest deal was the final one, with the Caps sending Michal Neuvirth and the newly acquired Rostislav Klesla to the Buffalo Sabres for Caps killer Jaroslav Halak and a third-round pick.
“I think we start with Neuvirth, and he wasn’t happy being a number two,” McPhee told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “We tried to accommodate him. We brought in an experienced guy. I think it’s an upgrade on the tandem which is what we wanted to accomplish.”
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