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Capitals' Barry Trotz hopes NHL considers fining Nick Foligno for embellishment

Capitals' Barry Trotz hopes NHL considers fining Nick Foligno for embellishment

Nicklas Backstrom was having another one of those games. A goal in the first period. A sweet saucer pass to Alex Ovechkin for a power play tally in the second. all took a sharp turn for the worse late in the third.

Backstrom was whistled for high sticking Nick Foligno with 1:34 remaining in a tied game.

Except Backstrom’s stick did not appear to touch Foligno, who threw his head back, presumably to get the attention of the referees.

Alexander Wennberg and the NHL’s top-rated power play wasted no time potting the game winner, and the Blue Jackets escaped Verizon Center with a 3-2 win, their second over the Capitals in a span of six days.

As you might imagine, Backstrom and Coach Barry Trotz seethed afterward. Trotz, in fact, went as far as to say Foligno should face discipline from the NHL for embellishment.

“I hope the league looks at that,” Trotz said. “If you see the replay, he doesn’t really touch him. And his head pops up when Backy’s stick is on the way down.”

According to league rules, a player is subject to a warning on his first offense. After that, the league can hand out a fine of up to $5,000, depending on the number of priors.  

“The league will look at that,” Trotz said. “We have fines for that. I wouldn’t be too happy if I was a referee.”

Backstrom proclaimed his innocence, backing up what slow-mo replay showed in high definition: he went to lift the Columbus captain’s stick as he carried the puck out of the corner. And although Backstrom's stick came up high, it did not appear to make contact with Foligno’s visor.

“I didn’t touch him,” Backstrom said. “Last two minutes if you get a penalty that’s not a penalty, that’s tough. You guys seen the replay.”

Interestingly, Backstrom and Foligno were both sent off for matching roughing fouls in the second period after Backstrom took exception to a Foligno hit along the boards.

Although there was probably no connection between the two incidents, you can be certain of this much: the Caps cannot afford to have a point (or points) taken from them, particularly in the difficult Metropolitan Division. With the win, the Blue Jackets pulled to within two points of Washington in the standings.

“We should have got at least got one point out of this,” Backstrom said.


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Being an Olympic hero is not all T.J. Oshie has in common with 2018 U.S. Women's hockey team

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Being an Olympic hero is not all T.J. Oshie has in common with 2018 U.S. Women's hockey team

Four years ago, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie was the shootout king in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. This time around Gigi Marvin was one of the Americans who provided the extra-time heroics for Team USA at Pyeongchang, carrying the women’s hockey team to the gold medal.

Ironically enough, they both were the King and Queen of their high school’s dance back in 2005.

Marvin and Oshie both went to Warroad High School in Minnesota. They graduated from the same class in 2005. Nearly every high school in the country would wish for just one Olympian, this one got two legends in one class.

Oshie famously took the puck six times for Team USA in a shootout to beat Russia back in 2014. Marvin scored the first tally of the shootout in the gold medal game against Canada. The United States would go on to win the match in seven rounds.

Oshie would go on to congratulate his fellow Warroad alum after the match.

Whoever cast the deciding votes, must have known that these two destined for glory. One could now call them the King and Queen of Olympic shootouts.


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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital


Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

It would have been understandable if Travis Boyd struggled this past week. Something more important was on his mind.

Boyd spent the week in the hospital with his daughter, Hayden, who had been experiencing pain in her throat. He spent the enitre week in the hospital, not leaving until Hershey's game against Laval.

Boyd turned this trial into something incredible as he scored four goals Friday in Hershey's 6-3 win.

Boyd spoke about the ordeal with Zach Fisch of the Bears Radio Network (transcription via RMNB).

“It actually started after the game last Sunday against Rochester," he said. "I went straight from the rink to Urgent Care and then from Urgent Care to the ER. Never left the hospital until Friday morning. We had a successful surgery on Thursday night. Basically just a bad infection in her throat that had to be surgically removed. They had to surgically go in and kind of remove the bacteria and drain out the fluids. Everything went well. She’s doing well.”

Following the game, Boyd dedicated his performance to Hayden.

A four-goal game at the AHL level would have been an incredible accomplishment on its own. The fact that it came during such a trying time for him makes this a truly inspirational story.

You can watch highlights of the game including all four of Boyd's goals here:


Other prospect notes:

  • In the Bears' game Friday against Laval, Riley Barber dropped the gloves with Markus Eisenchmid.  Barber was given an extra minor and game misconduct for instigating the fight in the final five minutes of the game. That penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension which Barber served Saturday. Here's a look at the fight.

  • Liam O'Brien had a pair of two-goal games over the week, scoring twice against Laval Friday and then two more against Toronto on Monday. Of his four goals, three of them were empty netters.
  • As the Capitals prepare for their Stadium Series game in Annapolis on March 3, Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley—a native of Perth, Australia—made a plea to see Nathan Walker recalled for the game.  “I’ll have to put a quick shout out to the one Australian that’s playing for the Caps now, Nathan Walker. If you could just bring him up for this game, that’d be great. Because an Australian being in a hockey game is like a Jamaican bobsled team. It doesn’t happen very often.”

  • Brian Pinho was honored Friday in Providence College's Senior Night. He has served as captain of the team this season and as an assistant captain in his junior year. He spoke with The Cowl on what being a leader on the team means to him. "I think being a leader of this team is a great honor, but also a huge responsibility. I try to keep everything fun at the rink, while also bringing some intensity and competing hard every day.” You can read the full story here.
  • Goalie Adam Carlson, who was on loan to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, was reassigned to the Kansas City Mavericks also of the ECHL. He started two games for his new team and turned aside 42 of the 48 total shots he faced.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in his week's updated rankings.