stan-galiev

Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Since turning pro, the career of Capitals 2010 third-round draft pick Stan Galiev hasn’t gone as expected. The dynamic winger struggled with system play and never found a role with the AHL’s Hershey Bears under coaches Mark French and Mike Haviland. He spent the majority of the last two seasons with Reading in the ECHL. Last year, injuries and scratches limited him to just 30 games between the AHL and ECHL.

Despite this stunning goal in the beginning of the season, 2014-15 started as more of the same for Galiev, who has been playing in North America since 2008. Galiev was scratched in five of seven games in the opening months. But now, it seems like we may actually see a breakout year for the Russian winger.

After scoring four goals in his first 44 career AHL games, Galiev has scored three in his last three, including a game-winner against St. John’s on Sunday. Those were the only goals Hershey scored those games.

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Mark French

Photo credit: Ian iPad

Over the offseason the Hershey Bears saw several key veterans sign elsewhere, such as future AHL Hall of Famer Keith Aucoin, 2011-12 AHL leading scorer Chris Bourque, and fan-favorite enforcer Joel Rechlicz. The team also had to deal with a peculiar problem due to the lockout: two head coaches, Mark French and new Caps bench boss Adam Oates. Capitals general manager George McPhee mandated that Hershey learn Oates’ new system, so that the organization’s minor league players could be used to it by the time NHL games started being played. All this change has seen the team scuffle to a .500 record through 34 games this season (16-16-1-1).

But now things are starting to look up. Before it was announced that the lockout had been lifted, Hershey had been getting its best goaltending of the year from Braden Holtby, who was recently named AHL player of the month for December. Stan Galiev, who had been struggling with his transition from junior hockey, is starting to look more comfortable on the ice and more worthy of his #29 prospect ranking from Hockey Prospectus. The organization also has a surplus of quality goaltenders in the ECHL knocking at the door of the AHL: Philipp Grubauer and 2012 seventh-round pick Sergey Kostenko.

On Saturday, after the Bears’ 3-1 loss to the Binghamton Senators, I asked French if this is the best he’s seen Braden Holtby play, if the sky is the limit for Riley Barber, and if Caps fans should be worried about Galiev’s early season struggles.

My full Q&A with French is below the jump.

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Photo credit: Kyle Mace of Sweetest Hockey on Earth

UPDATE: Jason Guarente of the Reading Eagles reports that Galiev is expected to be reassigned to Hershey Thursday.

Early on Wednesday, the Hershey Bears assigned Stanislav Galiev — third round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — to ECHL affiliate Reading Royals. The rookie’s demotion may come as a surprise to many – as just a couple of months ago the young Russian was rated at #29 on Hockey Prospectus Top 100 Prospects list. But to those who follow the Bears hockey regularly, the move makes sense. Since the AHL season started, Stan’s struggled to adjust his game to the pro level.

As the Bears were preparing to face the visiting St. John’s Ice Caps on Saturday, RMNB found the usually gregarious and easygoing Stan in a subdued mood. After recording just one assist in the first eight games of the season, Galiev found himself in Adam Oates’ doghouse as a healthy scratch for three of the next four games — despite scoring the game-winning shootout goal for the Bears on November 2nd. Stan talked to us about his bumpy transition away from the QJMHL, being coached by a Hall of Famer, and his search for confidence on the ice.

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Stan is given his ring during “Night of Champions.” (Photo via sashastolemyheart)

Last year, the Saint John Sea Dogs were unstoppable. Led by Jonathan Huberdeau, Zack Phillips, Tomas Jurco, and Nathan Beaulieu — top prospects all of whom were selected in the top 35 of the 2011 NHL Draft — the Sea Dogs ripped off an insane 77-11 record capturing both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Presidents Cup and the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup. Saint John — who joined the QMJHL as an expansion team just six years ago — became the first organization from Canada’s Maritimes region to win the most coveted prize in Junior Hockey.

The Sea Dogs new championship banners. (Photo credit: saintjohnseadogs.com)

On October 29th, the club celebrated their two titles by hosting a “Night of Champions” at Harbour Station. In front of an announced crowd of 5,888, the Sea Dogs raised their championship banners and handed out 67 rings to players and management.

Each ring, which Team president Wayne Long estimated cost the club around a thousand dollars apiece, is personalized with the player’s name and number and feature their 77-11 record on one side and their “Leave No Doubt” slogan on the other. 23 blue stones are encrusted on the top and four clear diamonds are planted on the side.

Caps prospect Stanislav Galiev — who scored 48 goals in 88 games and averaged well over a point per game during Saint John’s Championship run — was impressed with his new bling.

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KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in Deadly Plane Crash

September 7, 2011 will be remembered as one of the worst days in hockey history. An airplane carrying the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crashed just after takeoff from Tunoshna Airport, 11 miles southeast of Yaroslavl in central Russia. The team was on its way to Belarus, where they were set to begin their regular season against Dynamo Minsk.

The aircraft was an Yakovlev Yak-42, an outdated Soviet-era plane that was due to be phased out next year. In Russia the plane is known for its woeful air safety record, and just two months ago 44 people were killed when an Antonov-24 caught fire in midair before crashing in western Siberia. There have been eight fatal crashes in Russia just this year.

According to Slava Malamud of Sport Express, Kommersant, a Russian newspaper, reported Yak-Service, the airliner operating the plane, was ranked last by the European Air Safety Commission. The New York Times reported that the company, founded in 1993, was suspended for three months in 2009 by Russian authorities because of “major safety deficiencies.” The BBC reports that the aircraft broke into two pieces after hitting a radio mast before crashing into Volga river. The Times notes that eight Yak-42s have crashed over the years, killing 570.

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Dmitry Orlov Caps Development Camp

Dima speaks with Igor after Saturday’s scrimmage (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

At his third Capitals Development Camp last week, Russian defenseman Dmitry Orlov not only showed off a little bit of his well-known offensive side, but a hard-hitting, physical game as well, laying out a couple massive checks during the week. And though the soon-to-be 20 year-old has begun to adjust his game to the North American style of play, Orlov said getting used to the change in language and cultural will still take some time.

For now, Dima is heading back to his hometown of Novokuznetsk, where his training for next season will resume, before heading back to Washington in September. After the final scrimmage of camp on Saturday, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner was able to talk to Orlov, who dished on his new English teacher, his hopes for next season, and more.

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Over 3,000 fans packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, packing the Arlington, Virginia practice rink to watch the final scrimmage of Washington’s 2011 Development Camp.

In a physical, fight-filled match (you can check out photos of the day’s fights here), Group B rolled past Group A, 5-2 lead by T.J. Syner’s two goals. Karl Stollery, Reid Edmonson, and Stanislav Galiev also tallied for the winners, while Andrew Cerniwchan and Luke Lockhart scored for the losers.

Below, I recap the game in photos.

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Garrett Mitchell attempts to headbutt Scott Wietecha into submission. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

After losing the first scrimmage game, Group A turned the tables on Group B on Thursday to take the second match of Development Camp, 4-3, in the shootout.

Garrett Mitchell, David Citviarese and Danick Paquette tallied Group A’s goals in regulation, while Travis Boyd scored twice along with Reid Edmondson in Group B’s losing effort. Mitchell also added the only shootout goal.

Below, I recap the game in photos.

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Danick Paquette dishes out a hit along the boards.

After participating in workouts for first two days of the Capitals’ annual Development Camp, 19 of the organization’s prospects and 25 free agent invites took to the ice for the first intra-squad scrimmage of the summer on Wednesday.

Group B — wearing the red sweaters — controlled the play throughout the game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, taking it by a score of 4-2. Caleb Herbert, Stanislav Galiev, Travis Boyd and Aaron Schmit scored for the winning team while Andrew Cherniwchan and Garrett Mitchell tallied in the losing effort.

“The thoughts were is they played hard,” Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game. “I think there was a lot more physical contact than the last two development camps, at least early on for the first game. … They’ve gotten better every day, I expect them to be even better tomorrow and by Saturday I’ll be a pretty good game.”

Forward Cody Eakin, a third-round draft pick in 2009 and a veteran of three camps, attributed the style of play to the players desire to make an impression on Washington’s brass.

“They’re some big guys out here and everyone is fighting for a job, a second chance and a second look so it was pretty physical. Guys are stepping up and there wasn’t a lot of room out there.”

Below, I recap the game in photos.

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Following today’s development camp activities, Dmitry Orlov (now and forever spelled with a y) and Stan Galiev spent a few minutes goofing around on the ice. Moving the net up the ice, they practiced point-blank distance trick shots before calling it a day.

Orlov and Galiev flipped the puck from around the back of the net, from halfway up the ice, and from extreme angles. Perhaps they’re working on one of those Granlund-style lacrosse goals, or maybe Stanislav Galiev’s header (13 seconds in) is the real future of the Capitals’ offense. Either way, we’re probably looking at the future of the Caps: fun, creative, and somewhat mischievous.

Ovi’s gonna love these guys.