Capitals

Beninati: Too Hot To Extinguish

Beninati: Too Hot To Extinguish

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-By-Play

Once this team catches fire lately there has been no way for the opposition to extinguish it. The third period was a study in offensive excellence. The Anaheim Ducks have a very physical team, one of the few in the NHL that can match the Capitals pound-for-pound.You can make the argrument that Alex Ovechkin gave his team the jolt of energy it needed when he flattened Bobby Ryan in front of the Ducks bench. It was shortly after that, the Caps went on a tear. Goals for ShaoneMorrisonn, Mike Knuble, and two from the blistering hot Alex Semin sent the home team roaring to it's eighth win in a row.There were times in the first 40 minutes when it looked like J-S Giguere in the Ducks goal was ready to steal his team a victory. Giguere has taken a back seat to Jonas Hiller of late, but he was the only reason Anaheim was in the game through one period.The Ducks poked one pastMichal Neuvirth in the second to give themselves life. But then the most ruthless offense in the game took over. They attack in waves. They poured almost 50 shots on Giguere, who was valiant in defeat.There aren't very many goalies right now who could put a stop to Alex Semin. His backhand on the breakaway was extremely clever, his slap shot on the two man advantage was wicked. I thought Nicklas Backstrom was fantastic in the first half of the game. It was like he and Alex Ovechkin took last night's seven goal party without them personally. Both players had that extra gear this evening and it was only a matter of time before they steamrolled to victory.Bruce Boudreau told us that Jose Theodore wanted to be on the ice this morning, but they'll be cautious with the veteran's latest injury. Semyon Varlamov does not appear to be any closer to a return.Neuvirth made some critical stops at opportune times tonight. He'll need a few more of those this weekend when Florida kicks it off here on Friday.

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Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

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USA Today Sports Images

Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

On Monday, with the NHL trade deadline approaching, the Washington Capitals addressed a need for blue line depth by acquiring Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

But before you begin to analyze how the move impacts the Capitals' outlook heading forward, lets take some time to get to know the newest member of the Caps.

Who is Michal Kempny?

Michal Kempny is a 27-year-old defenseman from the Czech Republic. He was born on Sept. 8, 1990 in Hodonin, a small town in southwestern Czech Republic near the border of Austria and Slovakia. Kempny began his hockey career playing for SHK Hodonin. Kempny knew very little english upon arriving to the NHL, but credited his girlfriend Showtime shows to helping him become more comfortable speaking the language. 

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What International Experience Does Michal Kempny Have?

Michal Kempny played professionally for HC Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga and Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kempny was a standout player on the international stage, playing for the Czech Republic U18, U20 and Men's National teams.

MORE ON THE TRADE: WHERE DOES KEMPNY FIT IN THE CAPS ROSTER

When Did Michal Kempny Make His NHL Debut?

Michal Kempny was signed to a one-year contract as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in May, 2016 and made his NHL debut in October, 2016. Kempny scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 30, 2016 against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. Kempny appeared in 50 games for the Blackhawks during the 2016-17 season, recording two goals and six assists. The Blackhawks re-signed Kempny to a one-year extension during the offseason. Kempny played in 31 games this season before being traded to the Capitals.

What Type of Hockey Player is Michal Kempny?

Kempny is a 6-0, 194-pound defenseman with a strong left-handed shot. Known for his play on the offensive end, Kempny was never able to gain the trust of Joel Quenneville on the defensive end. But Kempny has a good bit of offensive upside, thanks to his passing skills and strong shot, which is why the Blackhawks took a flier on him in the first place and why he was an ideal trade candidate for the Capitals. But again, Kempny's size is less than ideal for a top-tier blue-liner and while he doesn't shy away from contact, he is rarely much of a physical presence. 

What Does Michal Kempny's Contract Look Like?

Michael Kempny is set to become an unrestricted free agent the the end of the 2017-18 season and has a cap hit of just $900,000.

RELATED: TROTZ REACTS TO RACIAL COMMENTS MADE BY CHICAGO FANS

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Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE