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Ovechkin named finalist for another NHL award


Ovechkin named finalist for another NHL award

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has achieved his share of milestones during his 10-year NHL career. He has a chance at another now that he has been named one of three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the NHL’s “Most Outstanding Player” as voted by fellow players. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn have also been nominated.

Ovechkin has a shot at becoming the third player in NHL history to win four “Most Outstanding Player” awards, joining Wayne Gretzky [5] and Mario Lemieux [4]. He previously received the Ted Lindsay Award in three consecutive seasons from 2007-10 and was a finalist in both 2005-06 and 2012-13. Only three NHL players have won the award three consecutive times -- Gretzky from 1982-85 and Guy Lafleur from 1976-78.

Ovechkin also has been nominated as one of three finalists for the 2014-15 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team” by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Ovechkin scored 53 goals this season to capture his third consecutive and fifth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. This season marked the sixth time in Ovechkin’s 10 NHL seasons he has reached the 50-goal plateau. The Moscow native joins Mike Bossy [9], Wayne Gretzky [9], Marcel Dionne [6], Guy Lafleur [6] and Mario Lemieux [6] as the only players in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other NHL players with more than one 50-goal season since Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 are Dany Heatley [2], Ilya Kovalchuk [2] and Steven Stamkos [2].

The 2014-15 Ted Lindsay Award recipient will be announced on June 24 during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Ted Lindsay Award is the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established by the Lester B. Pearson Award dating back to 1970-71. The Award honors Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership, and for his role in establishing the original Players’ Association.

Benn played in all 82 regular season games for the Stars in 2014-15. He captured the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points (87), which he won with a four-point game – including his second hat-trick of the season – on the final night of the regular season. He set career highs in points, goals (35) and assists (52). Benn tied for first in the NHL in even strength points (59), tied for third in even strength assists (36), and he finished third in points-per-game (1.06), sixth in the league in assists, ninth in goals and 11th in average ice-time per game among all forwards (19:56).

Price played 66 games for the Canadiens and helped them to the second-best record in the NHL. Price led the league in wins (44 – a new franchise-best), goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933), which earned him finalist nominations for the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Vezina Trophy. He also claimed the William M. Jennings Trophy, along with Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. Price would become just the second Canadiens player to receive the players' Award, following Lafleur, and he would also become only the third goaltender to receive the Award, joining Mike Liut (1980-81) and Dominik Hasek (1996-97, 1997-98).

[MORE CAPITALS: Capitals, Rangers too even to call after 3 games]

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: How does Brooks Orpik really impact the Caps?

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: How does Brooks Orpik really impact the Caps?

No player on the Caps gets more scrutiny than defenseman Brooks Orpik. While the analytics aren't kind when he's on the ice, we got to see what the Caps looked like without him when he was scratched against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday and...well, his loss was noticeable.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir discuss what Orpik's true impact on the Capitals really is both on and off the ice on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast. Plus, they also talk about John Carlson's monster season and Barry Trotz's new strategy for the goalies.

Listen to the latest episode in the player below or here on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Caps prospect watch: Signing season?


Caps prospect watch: Signing season?

The 2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament bracket has been announced and only one Capitals prospect, Brian Pinho, is still in the running.

Providence College was selected as the No. 2 seed in the East Regional and will play No. 3 Clarkson in the first round on Friday, March 23 on ESPNU. The winner will play the winner of Notre Dame-Michigan Tech on Saturday with a chance to advance to the Frozen Four.

The college season is over for the rest of the Capitals' college prospects which begs the question, will any of them sign an entry-level deal with Washington?

In the spring when seasons end for colleges, junior leagues and European leagues, we see a flurry of signings across the NHL as teams sign their prospects and young free agents.

Among the Caps' college prospects, the most likely candidate to sign would be Shane Gersich. Gersich just wrapped up this third season at the University of North Dakota, finishing second on the team in goals (13) and tied for third in points (29). The Capitals will certainly make a push to sign him considering his talent and because if he returns to college for a fourth year, he stands to become a free agent on Aug. 15, 2019.

Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reported Wednesday that North Dakota was still awaiting Gersich's decision on whether he planned to return to college.

Quinnipiac defenseman Chase Priskie is in a similar situation, but it he has decided to head back to school for another season.

“That wasn’t a season I’d want to leave on,” Priskie told the New Haven Register. “When I came here as a freshman I saw our senior class, Garteig, St. Denis, Soren Jonzzon, and they left such a legacy that guys still talk about them. Same for Sam Anas and Devon Toews. They were all such great players and some of the best people for our program. When I leave, I want to be talked about like they are.”


Other prospect notes:

  • For Pinho, now a senior at Providence, this marks an opportunity for him to finish his college career the same way he began, with a national championship. “I don’t think I realized at the time how hard it is just to get back to the tournament,” Pinho told the New Haven Register. “So that’s something we older guys have been telling the younger guys. You never know when you’re going to be back and you have to make the most of it when you’re there.” (You can read the full feature on Pinho here)
  • The end of the season may suddenly be near for goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov. Metallurg Magnitogorsk finds itself down 3-1 in its series with Ak Bars in the KHL playoffs meaning their season could be over as early as Friday. Of course, the big news to watch after that is whether or not Samsonov would come to North America. If he does, he would most likely go to Hershey to play for the Bears. With only 10 games remaining on Hershey's schedule, however, the sooner Samsonov's team is ousted from the playoffs, the better. At least from a Washington perspective.
  • All three of Washington's WHL prospects have reached the WHL playoffs. Moose Jaw (Dmitriy Zaitsev) finished with the best record in the league and will play Prince Albert in the first round. Swift Current (Beck Malenstyn) finished second in the East Division behind Moose Jaw and will play Regina. Everett (Garrett Pilon) won the U.S. Division and earned the top seed in the Western Conference. They will play Seattle in the first round.
  • Dmitriy Zaitsev remains out after taking an illegal hit last week. He did not play in either of Moose Jaw's final regular season games, but was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.
  • Adam Carlson has found his groove in Kansas City. Playing for the Mavericks of the ECHL, he won each of his two starts this past week allowing only one goal on 43 shots. He was named the 2nd star of the game for both games.
  • Madison Bowey recorded an assist on Friday and two more for Hershey on Saturday for three over the weekend in his first week back with the Bears. Bowey has spent the majority of the season with the Caps, but the additions of Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek at the trade deadline meant there were just too many bodies up in Washington and not enough playing time to go around. As Bowey is waiver exempt, he became the odd-man out and was sent to the AHL. It would not be surprising to see him recalled by Washington when the NHL playoffs begin.
  • Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler brought his goal total up to five for the season with two goals against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Monday. The Bears really wanted to emphasize his offensive game this season to see if Siegenthaler could be developed into a two-way player. His strength is definitely is on the defensive end of the ice, but he will be a more versatile player if he can also be a threat offensively as well. You can see the highlights of Siegenthaler's two-goal game here:

  • Forward Hampus Gustafsson was recalled to Hershey last week and did not wait long to make an impact. He scored his first career AHL goal on Friday. He also added an assist making that game his first career multi-point game as well.
  • Tyler Lewington was suspended two games by the AHL for a punch he delivered to Bridgeport's Scott Eansor in Friday's game.

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