Photo: Amanda Bowen
With the final preseason game in the books for the Capitals, the team’s opening night line-up is shaping up: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Eric Fehr will be on the top line. Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer will man the second. Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, and Joel Ward will be on the third. The fourth line looks set, though scrappy free-agree invitee Liam O’Brien looks to have earned his way into a contract with Hershey or a two-way deal. Michael Latta, though, appears ready to play alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Chris Brown on the fourth line. That might change when Jay Beagle comes back from injury.
“That would be a question for Mac[Lellan],” Trotz said of O’Brien. “He’s been as good as anybody especially in that role.”
“He’s a player that demanded to be noticed,” the coach added.
19-year-old rookie Andre Burakovsky appears to have also made the team, beating top prospect Kuznetsov to center the team’s second line. At least initially.
Photo credit: Amanda H.
[Editor’s note: When Washington Capitals fan Amanda H. went to the Caps Season Ticket Holder party at Six Flags last year, she had Martin Erat sign a photo of Filip Forsberg. This year, she one-upped herself. We’ll let her explain.]
I had debated for a few days what I should get signed at the season ticket holder party. I have a ton of Caps stuff, but nothing really stood out to me, until about twenty minutes before I had to leave. Long forgotten due to the poor toast it makes (No, seriously it’s very bad toast, I have yet to find a setting that toasts most of the bread without burning the other half), my Capitals toaster sat on a shelf, not having been used in months.
Images of walking around an amusement park carrying a toaster danced in my head. It was too amusing to turn down. I have a suspicion those events might be slightly tedious so I felt like this might spice things up. At the very least it’d give me something to say to the players instead of just awkwardly standing in silence. I cleaned it up a little and tested to make sure the sharpie would actually stick. It did!
When my friend Alyssa and I arrived in the parking lot, I had a moment of doubt. Am I really going to go get a toaster signed? Why didn’t I clean it thoroughly beforehand? I figured that either way, this would be a great story and probably worth the effort. I went through security and the bag check. The guy checking my bag thought my toaster was pretty cool.
Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
[Ed note: PuckBuddy, and hockey’s own Hemingway, Jason Rogers, is back to praise where it’s earned and taunt where it’s needed. Tweeter him now.]
Morning Skate: Don’t look now, but the Caps have won five of their last six, and eight of eleven over the last month. The good guys from DC sit within spitting distance of – dare I say it? – the playoffs. The Capitals, like a port-a-potty with a wayward push, have begun rolling downhill.
This Saturday afternoon, like a matinee at the movies, the Caps’ opponent will be a poorly directed, over-budget flop starring nobody. Yes, the Gortons Fishermen roll back into their harbor fresh from Long Island (Excuse me: Stron-Gisland) to welcome the Caps, and if Uncle Ted has any sense he’ll scotch-guard the locker room.
Photo credit: Kyle Mace of SHOE
News broke on Monday night that the Caps have signed their second fighter in a week. This time it’s Hershey’s 27-year-old defender, Steve Oleksy.
Steve Oleksy (pronounced OH-lexi) is one of the team leaders for the Hershey Bears. This call up is his first shot at the NHL. He leads the Bears in penalty minutes, mostly due to fights caused by sticking up for his teammates. Off the ice, Oleksy is one of the most down-to-earth players you will meet. Very involved on Twitter, Oleksy is the founder and president of Eastside Elite Hockey, a summer hockey league that helps players stay in shape.
The Chesterfield, Michigan native will be a good addition to the Caps blue line. Oates watched Oleksy earlier this season as an assistant to Mark French during the lockout. Don’t be surprised to see Steve throw his body around. Despite being only six feet tall and weighing just 190, he is still a big force on the ice.
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