On this date in history (12/16/2014), the Caps and Panthers participated in the longest shootout ever. The epic 18-minute shootout featured rally helmets and a goal from the most unlikeliest of sources. Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad would mercilessly end the skills competition during the bottom of the 20th round.
Friday was media day for the World Cup of Hockey and boy did we find a gem. Swedish journalist Magnus Nyström interviewed TJ Oshie for his podcast hosted by Expressen.
Oshie spoke at length about the USA/Russia shootout from the 2014 Winter Olympics where the Caps forward played the hero. Oshie scored on four of six shots to defeat Russia, becoming a household name stateside in the process.
“I honestly got more tired skating back to the bench then actually doing the shots,” Oshie said. “It was a fun experience.”
After Nyström revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin booed the talented stickhandler while in the crowd, Oshie hinted that he’d love for President Obama to come to a Caps game.
Last week, 2016 Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby said Carey Price would be the “smart choice” to start in goal for Team Canada. If Canada actually turns to Holtby during the World Cup of Hockey, Caps winger and Team USA member TJ Oshie just gave him something extra to think about – especially during the shootout.
Photo: Geoff Burke
The Capitals have a lot of skill, which makes them extra dangerous in three-on-three overtime. “We’ve got some good guys out there,” TJ Oshie said after the game to reporters.
That same skill makes the Caps downright lethal in the shootout. Barry Trotz didn’t even have to send out his three-time MVP, Alex Ovechkin, or arguably his best player, Nicklas Backstrom. Instead he sent out Oshie– the player who rose to fame by beating Team Russia in an Olympic shootout — and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the Caps’ team leader in points.
They scored easily.
Photo: Monumental Network
Yesterday, news broke that there might be a rule change to overtime next season. NHL general managers approved a 3-on-3 format to limit how many shootouts decided games. While the rule still needs to be green-lit by both the board of governors and the NHLPA, there is no one happier in the Caps locker room than Eric Fehr.
Fehr’s had a modicum of success in the shootout (he’s a career 6 for 18), but he was blunt about how much he hated the “skills competition.”
“Anything to get rid of the shootout, in my opinion,” Fehr said to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, taking out his finest figurative verbal knife. “I’m all for it.”
On Tuesday night, as EPIX’s The Road To The Winter Classic began, the Caps began what became the longest shootout in NHL history. The scheduling conflict forced fans to make a difficult decision: reality TV or live hockey. For those who stuck with the live hockey, they got a shootout that went a record twenty rounds, five more than the previous record, which also belonged to the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin actually shot twice in the losing effort.
Karl Alzner, Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Tom Wilson all got their first career shootout attempts in the same game.
With all the wackiness on the ice and the game determined not to end, the Caps turned to a late-game baseball tradition to influence the outcome: rally helmets.
Photo credit: Mark Humphrey
On Saturday night, former Washington Capitals grinder Matt Hendricks finally got his first opportunity in the shootout with his new team. He did not score.
Hendy even tried his patented move, the Paralyzer. Unfortunately for him, Steve Mason read the scouting report and made an unbelievable save.
Photo credit: Alex Brandon
After scoring a hat trick opening night, Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski struggled, scoring only two points in his next six games. However, since being demoted to the third line with Jason Chimera and Joel Ward, Grabovski has found his groove, scoring 7 points in his last 5 games. And on Saturday night against the Florida Panthers, Grabovski reminded us again just how freakin’ skilled he is, scoring a fantastic goal in the shootout.
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