The Washington Capitals battled steadily against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Washington DC on Thursday night. The Caps ended the night holding the Metropolitan Division lead. And the night pitted two of the best goalies (Braden Holtby and Sergei Bobrovsky) and potential Vezina Trophy winners, against each other.
In a direct fight for the NHL lead, the Washington Capitals hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The game also marked the clash between two of the greatest goalies in the present-day NHL: Braden Holtby and Sergei Bobrovsky. Holtby is the current Vezina Trophy winner and both are contenders for this year and thanks to them, the game was scoreless after two periods. However, the regulation and the overtime weren’t enough to unveil a winner between these elite NHL teams.
Before the puck drop in the District, Alex Ovechkin became the first player in NHL to wear custom-painted skates. The customized skates were for the Russian Heritage Night and they had the American and Russian flag. Ovechkin planned to auction them to raise money for the American Special Hockey Association. He wanted to play with them, but his request was denied by the league.
The first 40 minutes had no goals. Wilson and Anderson got a matching minors. The Capitals had three power play opportunities, but didn’t capitalize any of them, keeping the game scoreless. Holtby and Bobrovsky were the greatest names during two periods, it would change in the 3rd.
Just 41 seconds was enough to break the tie: Seth Jones made it 1-0 to Columbus. Some minutes later, defenseman Dmitry Orlov honored the Russian Heritage Night and tied the game again, now with goals, in 1-1. It was his sixth goal this season and his first goal in 11 career games against Columbus. Since then, the Caps could manage to create good scoring opportunities and creating some pressure, but the regulation would end tied, just as the overtime.
In the shootouts, T.J. Oshie was the first one and converted, as the usual. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom were stopped, but Braden Holtby stopped all the three shots from Columbus and deservedly was named the First Star of the Game.
And one more thing before we close- Braden Holtby was terrific in the net tonight. Even when his lid went flying and he bounced back, shaking those locks of hair and smiling at the ref. We vote Holtby for the Vezina and just for the most hysterical goalie in the league to watch.
Check back with us on Friday for the complete photo gallery.
It’s been nearly two weeks since the Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins. A few days after, the team disbanded for the offseason. So what do they do once the season is over?
According to NHL.com, the off-season can be broken up into four sections. The first month is transition and recovery from injuries. As the summer goes on, players go from recovery to strength building then power and speed. By the end of summer, it’s conditioning.
And, if you’re Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov or Dmitri Orlov, you go play for Team Russia in the World Championships. The dynamic trio played on a line together and each managed a goal and assist throughout the tournament. Russia ended up going 5-1, losing to Finland in the semi-finals and winning the Bronze medal game over the United States 7-2. They have medaled in the last three World Championships (Gold – 2014, Silver – 2015, Bronze – 2016.) The three players will now take the next three months off before hockey camp starts in late August.
Most players after their team is eliminated from the playoffs take the initial month to relax and go on vacation with their families (T.J. Oshie is in Disneyworld and is also getting ready for the arrival of baby #2).
Players take time to recover from nagging injuries they had during the season and post-season. Coaches and players can also give their time to help charities and appear more often at events they couldn’t go to during the regular season.
After the initial month or so of vacations and such, players tend to start focusing back on hockey. They know the physical toll a season takes and the more they train, the better off they’ll be once training camp begins. They start with working out two to three times a week in July then ramp it up to four or five times a week in July. This includes lifting weights, cycling, interval training, yoga, and resistance training so they can be prepared for their 30 second shifts with body contact. They also look at footage of their game play and get together with coaches to improve their play.
As for the fans, the NHL playoffs are still going on (Tampa Bay leads Pittsburgh 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals while St. Louis and San Jose are tied at 2).
The Calder Cup Playoffs have the Caps own Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals playing the Toronto Marlies.
Some of our players (Ovechkin and Holtby) will be in Las Vegas on June 22 for the NHL Awards. Ovi receives his sixth Maurice “Rocket” Richard award and is nominated for the Mark Messler Leadership Award. Braden Holtby is up for the Ted Lindsay and Vezina.
What do you do over the summer to get your hockey fix? Comment and let us know!
We knew it was coming but it sure is great news that Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has been nominated for the Vezina Trophy. The Trophy is awarded to the player who the NHL managers vote as :the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position.”
Also nominated are Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Jonathan Quick (LA Kings) .
We’re kind of partial to the Holtbeast but these other guys are pretty good too! Her’s some of our favorite shots from this season: