Every year, Hockey Prospectus makes a list of the top 100 prospects in hockey. This year, the Capitals have a trio of prospects on said list. Evgeny Kuznetsov is ranked 4th, 2012 first round pick Filip Forsberg is ranked 10th, and Stanislav Galiev is ranked 29th. Dmitri Orlov was ranked 71st last year. Braden Holtby was listed as the second best goalie prospect last year as well. As a whole, the Capitals farm system was ranked 14th in the NHL by Hockey Prospectus.
The Plymouth Whalers have announced that Capitals prospects Connor Carrick and Tom Wilson have been named assistant captains for their 2012-2013 OHL season. Wilson was the Capitals second first round pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, while Carrick was the Capitals’ 5th round selection. Wilson is clearly more excited about that judging by his picture. Carrick is clearly some kind of humble super hero judging by his.
Alex Ovechkin (middle) celebrates his first point of the season with his teammates. Photo Credit: Dynamo Moscow
Last night (That would be Thursday night with the 8 hour difference) in Luzhinki, Moscow, Russia, Alex Ovechkin returned to a place he used to call home. He started off his season right, picking up an assist to lead Dynamo Moscow to a 7-2 win over Dinamo Minsk. He started off slow, which is understandable because he was getting used to his brand new linemates. He looked a lot stronger after the first period. In the second period, he set up a flawless screen in front of the net which allowed his teammate to score on what was basically an empty net goal. I was a bit concerned that Ovechkin’s reckless style of play might be toned down while in the KHL, but about midway through the second period, my doubts disappeared as Ovi did one of his signature moves: He laid out an opposing player at mid ice to force a turnover. Here’s a video of it:
For the first two periods, Ovechkin was on ice for the powerplays, but he only set up in front of the net. During the second intermission, Dynamo head coach Oleg Znarok made a bold decision: He decided to move Ovechkin to the point, which is his more natural powerplay position. The reward was a beautiful goal scored off a rebound by an Ovechkin shot from the blue line.
Overall, I think Ovechkin had a great night. He is going to have an adjustment period because he is still developing chemistry with his new teammates. With that said, Ovechkin has enough talent that he’s going to make an impact on every game regardless, and he proved that last night. He finished with an assist, seven shots, at least 2 hits (I counted four but everyone defines hits differently), and he led all Dynamo Moscow forwards with 17 minutes and 38 seconds of ice time.
On Sunday, Dynamo Moscow will play SKA St. Petersburg. One notable player for SKA St. Petersburg is Ovechkin’s buddy Ilya Kovalchuck. The game will be at 17:00 in Moscow, or 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time.
Steffen Søberg came into this season a relative unknown to most Capitals fans. If he keeps playing as well as he has so far this season, that won’t be true for long. Søberg recorded his first shutout of the season as he led Vålerenga to a 4-0 over Lillehammer IK. Søberg stopped all 26 shots, and once again showed off his improved positioning. His positioning took away any chances that Lillehammer had. Justin Donati got a hat trick for Vålerenga. So far on the season, Steffen has played in 3 games and has a GAA of 1.33 with a save percentage of 94.2%.
Vålerenga’s next game will be against Lørenskog on Saturday at 8:00 AM EST.
Michal Neuvirth pays tribute to his heroes with his new mask. Photo courtesy of DaveArt.
Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth has always been one of those goalies who loves to express himself through his mask. His masks are unique because he likes to pay tribute to things in his life that are important. This year, Neuvirth was inspired to ask Dave Gunnarsson to help him take his mask to the next level. Gunnarsson offers an explanation of the concept behind Neuvirth’s new mask:
“The left side of the mask is a tribute to his home country Czech Republic. He also wanted to pay tribute to famous goalies, so here you find the Czech goalie legend [Jiri] Holecek. And just as before the Strekov Castle from his hometown and the Hradcany Prague Castle and more. The right side is a tribute to his new home country and in particular his new hometown Washington DC. The classic goalie he wanted to pay tribute to here is the Caps legend [Olie] Kolzig, and of course you also find the old school Caps logo, and much more. The red and white check pattern on the chin is also a tribute to the Czech flag.”
To check out Gunnarsson’s website, click here. For those interested in art, he primarily uses airbrush. Hopefully we get to see him use this mask in DC this season.