Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Roundup

Is it just me or was anybody else having a hard time finding something to watch on tv last night with the NHL on it's All-Star break? However, a thrilling 3-3 tie between Boston College and Maine on NESN did get me through the evening.
(Photo courtesy Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Since the Capitals are making noise around the league, the first talks of Alexander Ovechkin and the Hart Trophy are being thrown around. From TSN:

Pierre McGuire: "I think it's Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. When you think about what he's done with his 39 goals so far this year, it's a tremendous story he's writing there in Washington. When you watch Ovechkin play, it's like he's the Superman of the National Hockey League. He beats you with size, he beats you with speed and he beats you with skill and creativity. On top of that, he has a shot that's just lethal. You tell me about a player that has transformed a team the way he's done.

The Washington Capitals without Ovechkin would be the Los Angeles Kings of the Eastern Conference. If the Capitals don't make the playoffs, I would go with Daniel Alfredsson or Jarome Iginla, but how about Henrik Zetterberg in Detroit? Is there a player who does it better in two-way hockey?"

Mike Milbury: "The Washington Capitals will make the playoffs solely on Ovechkin carrying the team single-handedly since the coaching change to Bruce Boudreau. It's Alexander Ovechkin all the way."

People are also starting to take notice of coach Bruce Boudreau, and if the Capitals make the playoffs in any capacity, he should be a major player for the NHL coach of the year.

With his rumpled suits and odd-looking glasses, the balding Boudreau is not the NHL's version of Pat Riley behind the bench. There is nothing buttoned up about Boudreau. He looks like he could be a character from Slap Shot.

Leading all NHL rookies in points since Thanksgiving, Nicklas Backstrom is now a strong candidate for rookie of the year.

"(Backstrom) is the rookie of the year right now," says Ovechkin, a Calder winner himself in a marginal upset of Sidney Crosby two years ago. "He got eight points in two games – no rookie has ever done that."

Sean Collins, Patrick McNeill, and Steve Pinizzotto were all reassigned by Hershey on Friday to South Carolina of the ECHL. With their additions, the Caps now have four of their prospects playing with the Stingrays (Travis Morin is the other). In their first game back with the team, the Stingrays defeated the Florida Everblades in overtime 3-2.

With that note it's time to take a look at the top Capitals prospects and how they are performing this season. (As ranked by Hockey's Future)

  • Karl Alzner, D: 6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points, +16 in 37 games with the Calgary Hitmen
  • Eric Fehr, F: 1 goal, 3 assts, 4 points, even in 8 games with the Hershey Bears
  • Semen Varlamov, G: 15 GP, 2.63 GAA, .893 SV% with Yaroslavl
  • Francois Bouchard, F: 25 goals, 44 assists, 69 points, +10 in 50 games with Baie-Comeau
  • Michal Neuvirth, G: 13-5-2-0, 2.67 gaa, .915 SV% in 21 total games with Oshawa, Windsor, and Plymouth
  • Keith Seabrook, D: 3 goals, 8 assists, 11 points, -1 in 39 games with the Calgary Hitmen
  • Chris Bourque, F: 14 goals, 14 assists, 28 points, +9 in 39 games with the Hershey Bears
  • Oskar Osala, F: 13 goals, 15 assists, 28 points, 50 PIM in 40 games with the Espoo Blues
  • Mathieu Perreault, F: 24 goals, 44 assists, 68 points, +28 in 42 games with Acadie-Bathurst
  • Josh Godfrey, D: 15 goals, 21 assists, 36 points, +14 in 39 games with Sault Ste. Marie
  • Teddy Ruth, D: 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, +11 in 24 games with Notre Dame
  • Patrick McNeill, D: 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points, +3 in 25 games with the Hershey Bears, also 4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points, +5 in 10 games with the South Carolina Stingrays
  • Andrew Gordon, F: 7 goals, 14 assists, 21 points, +14 in 29 games with the Hershey Bears, also 8 goals, 6 assists, 14 points, +1 in 11 games with the South Carolina Stingrays
  • Phil DeSimone, F: 1 goal, 9 assists, 10 points, +2 in 22 games with New Hampshire
  • Sasha Pokulok, D: 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points, +6 in 31 games with the Hershey Bears
  • Sami Lepisto, D: 1 goal, 19 assists, 20 points, +15 in 32 games with the Hershey Bears
  • Travis Morin, F: 18 goals, 26 assists, 44 points, +12 in 37 games with the South Carolina Stingrays
  • Viktor Dovgan, D: 0 points, +2 in 16 games with CSKA
  • Dan Dunn, G: 3-1-2, 2.25 gaa, .927 SV% in 8 games with St. Cloud State
  • Jeff Finley, D: 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, +19 in 24 games with North Dakota

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