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Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals: What A Night!

Washington CapitalsYes, Tuesday was a great night for the Washington Capitals. First, Alex Ovechkin was named the 14th Caps captain, a decision which of course was welcomed by most. I admit that before the decision was made, I was leaning away from Ovechkin, as I have always liked the idea of a captain being willing to be aggressive and drop the gloves to defend his teammates. So my two preferred candidates were Matt Bradley and Brooks Laich. However, the more I thought about it after the announcement, and the more I heard what the players and staff had to say, I warmed to the idea of Ovechkin as captain. His energy and passion is second to none on the team, and he is always playing a high-quality, physical game, even when the team as a whole is having a poor game. Something that really impressed me was the news that Ovechkin had refused to accept the ‘C’ until he knew the team were behind him – when asked, the players were unanimous in supporting Ovie. So I am now very excited about the prospect of a number of years with Ovechkin as the face, top scorer, fans favourite, and now captain of the Washington Capitals.

Second, the Caps halted their three-game losing streak, with a good overall performance in a 4-2 win over Montreal. Alex Ovechkin was actually held pointless by the Habs, but the new captain still mustered an excellent performance, maintaining great physicality and energy throughout the game, and was unlucky at times to be kept off the score sheet. Rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth also had a very good night, saving twenty-four of twenty-six shots including thirteen in the third period and some excellent saves, justifying his place in the team over veteran Jose Theodore. Although the Canadiens were allowed a lot of shots in the third period, the Caps’ defense was stella through the first two stanzas, allowing a season low three shots in the first, with as massive improvement in positioning, focus and organisation – issues which had troubled the defense during the short skid. Alex Ovechkin’s tenure as captain has got off to a very good start.

Thirdly, news came out that Dave Steckel had signed a contract extension, although details are still unknown. Although he is by no means a big name on the roster, Steckel has been very consistent this year, playing in all forty-two of Washington’s games. His most notable contribution is in the faceoff circle. Steckel currently leads the league in faceoff win percentage, with 61.9%, and this has made him a vital part of the Caps team, with excellent play in the penalty kill and good forechecking ability, making this good news for the Caps.

Finally, more good news came from the World Junior Championships. GM George McPhee had already stated his pleasure with the Capitals’ four prospects participating in the tournament (Marcus Johansson for Sweden, Dmitri Orlov for Russia, Stefan Della Rovere for Canada and John Carlson for USA), but in the Canada-USA gold medal match, Carlson recorded two goals, including the overtime game-winner, to complete a great tournament for him. The Caps prospects have looked very promising in this competition, promising a successful future for the team.

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2 comments for “Washington Capitals: What A Night!”

  1. What happened to your old captain?

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 6, 2010, 11:56 am
  2. chris clark was traded to columbus along with milan jurcian for jason chimera

    Posted by colonelbagpussNo Gravatar | January 6, 2010, 1:31 pm

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