This year’s iteration of the IIHF World Junior Championship featured three Capitals prospects and numerous wow moments on the way to the United States clawing their way to the gold medal on Thursday in Montreal. This years tournament will be remembered as having one of the best medal rounds in tournament history with three of the four games going to overtime and all four of the “big four” teams involved. Let’s look at the best moments for all those involved in this year’s tournament.
With Tuesday night’s loss to Canada 4-2, Team USA’s World Cup of Hockey tournament will go no further than the group stages. One of the reasons for this early departure was the fact that the team’s brass seemingly decided to go with grit over skill in regards to a few key roster decisions.
The most controversial decision was leaving Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel off the team even after he led the Penguins in both goals and points on the way to their Stanley Cup victory.
Kessel in spectacular fashion chimed in on Twitter literally moments after the final horn went off signaling the end of the road for Team USA.
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.
— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
If you didn’t know already, locker room logos are sacred. You don’t step on the logo, it’s considered disrespectful and you probably want the team that the logo belongs to, to lose forever if you do commit said act. I’m not much of a superstitious gal, but it’s getting to the point in my fandom with this team that I think we should probably try everything and anything. Even if that means we won when I ate a kale salad and now I need to eat kale salad for lunch every single game day.
After spending two games mixing it up with Team Canada, TJ Oshie has returned to his normal form as a playmaker and finisher. In the first period against Finland, Oshie scored his first goal of the World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament, one-timing a shot past Pekka Rinne from the slot.
Washington Capitals forward TJ Oshie is one of the most talented stick-handlers in the NHL, but he’s spent his first two games of the World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament banging bodies from the third line. Friday, Oshie got national attention after hitting Logan Couture head-first into the boards, causing the Canadian forward to leave the game with an upper-body injury.
Early in the first period, as CSN+ came back from commercial, the end-zone camera zoomed in on Washington Capitals defenseman/dudebro John Carlson chatting with a referee. As Carly skated away for the face-off, he did some open-mouth breathing and we noticed something curious.
It’s hard to make-out, but indeed, Carly is still wearing the patriotic Team USA mouthguard he wore in the Sochi Olympics.
Photo: Jeff Vinnick/HHOF-IIHF Images
Yesterday, after the United States beat Team Russia in the shootout 3-2, there was a handshake line — which let’s all agree is one of the best traditions in hockey. During the Sochi Olympics, opposing players have high-fived each other at the conclusion of every preliminary round game, an act normally reserved for elimination.
Because of this, we get to see what I’m going to ahead now and declare the second best Caps related photo of the Olympics (Nicky and Mojo biking together will always be first). Here, wonderfully captured by the IIHF’s Jeff Vinnick, John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin shake hands after the game. They look amused.
Photo: Streeter Lecka
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson scored the United States’ first goal of the Olympic tournament Thursday. Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma had a lot of great things to say about him.
“I thought to get our feet underneath us, especially those young guys on defense, I thought they played large,” Blysma said to NBC. “We have Paul Martin and [Ryan] Suter back there, but Cam Fowler and John Carlson in particular, and Ryan McDonagh, played well on the back side.”
He also said it was “fitting” that Carlson scored the first goal.
But boy can things change in a hurry.
Photo: Jayne Kamin
Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia played John Carlson and Team USA Saturday morning. The game was an instant classic, the best of the Olympic tournament thus far. Russia lost 3-2 in the shootout after TJ Oshie scored the deciding tally on Sergei Bobrovsky five-hole.
Ovechkin spoke to R-Sport after the game.
“Today’s game was even worthy of a final,” he said to Alexander Rogulev. “It was a good game, unfortunately we lost in the shootout.”
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