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Capitals Goal of the Year Bracket: Oshie's Kung Fu kick vs Ovechkin's snipe

Capitals Goal of the Year Bracket: Oshie's Kung Fu kick vs Ovechkin's snipe

With less than a month before training camp opens in mid-September, we are taking one last look back at the 2018-19 season as we dive into the best goals of last year. We compiled our bracket based on the cumulative rankings of our Capitals team, from reporters to producers and everyone in between, and now is your turn to help us determine the best Capitals goal of 2018-19. Below is a Slack conversation between the members of our Capitals content team.

jmurph: Day 3 of our Goal of the Year bracket pitting T.J. Oshie’s kung-fu kick goal from Game 2 of the First Round last year against Carolina and an Alex Ovechkin slot snipe against the Avalanche. Where shall we start?

JJ Regan: First, I want to here from McNally who had this Ovechkin goal ranked 5th. To me, I would put both Ovechkin's one-timer (No. 16) and Vrana's goal (No. 15) over this one.

So please, defend yourself

Rob Carlin: Here?? Really JJ?? Let’s work on your grammar before taking shots at McNally.

Don’t you write for a living??

JJ Regan: I am not a morning person.

Mourning person

Missed opportunity

jmurph: well Brian, what do you have to say for yourself?

bmcnally: I also am not a morning person and probably watched the video at 8am. There's my excuse.

Rob Carlin: I’m stunned this Ovi goal even made the list. It’s pedestrian for him.

bmcnally: It's still pretty, pretty good. It's not 5th. It's a nice move to cut to the middle and I think we're underrating the shot

JJ Regan: Let's be clear, it's a good goal. A fine goal. Impressive in fact. But it had no business coming up against TJ Oshie's kung fu kick.

bmcnally: But I'll concede this could probably go on the "Worst goals allowed by the Colorado Avalanche in 2018-19" list and not this list

Ryan Billie: It’s a fine goal. Seen it tho a million times.

Rob Carlin: I love the Oshie goal. But the whole thing is Matt Niskanen’s pass through the neutral zone. It’s a thing of beauty. Sure, Osh finished in style. But that outlet was perfection.

bmcnally: And to be fair....I don't think I ranked it ahead of T.J. Oshie's goal. If I did I had a brain injury that day. The kung fu kick is an all timer for me. I love its so much

jmurph: this is true, you ranked the Oshie goal #1 on your list

so you're not a complete loony

Ryan Billie: All timer. One of the best Oshie goals as a Cap

JJ Regan: What makes it even better was that it was against Justin Williams who seemed to take that entire series personally. Pro athletes always find ways to motivate themselves so maybe that was just his way of pumping himself up for the series, but I loved Oshie kicking the stick right out of his hands.

jmurph: Agreed, even thinking about sticking your leg up is something most wouldn't come close to attempting in a playoff game. To try it, and successfully knock the stick out of Justin's hands is something else

bmcnally: The reaction to the kung fu kick is great, too. Like he wants to argue with the ref or have some penalty called but instead just goes "Aw, hell that was ridiculous."

JJ Regan: Not every underdog matches up. This one is a blowout.

Ryan Billie: I didn’t know that was allowed, kicking it out of his hands. Very resourceful.

bmcnally: Yes. This one isn't close. This goal will face stiffer competition later in the tournament. But not today

Ryan Billie: Not even close. The Oshie goal may win the whole damn thing

Rob Carlin: Yeah, this is just an overmatched MAAC team going up against Duke or Kentucky. To quote Dickie V - Its blowout city, baby!



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Brenden Dillon indicates he is open to re-signing with Capitals

Brenden Dillon indicates he is open to re-signing with Capitals

With a training camp in July, a delayed postseason, an abbreviated offseason, a flat salary cap all in the midst of a pandemic, the future is uncertain for pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Brenden Dillon. While not much is known right now, there is one thing he does know and that is that he really likes it in Washington.

"I'm happy with being a Washington Capital," Dillon said. "From Day 1 when I came here in the trade, they've made me feel right at home. I think the system, the way we play from the D-core on, I feel a big part of things here."

Dillon was with the San Jose Sharks since 2014 before he was traded. The reality that he would most likely be playing somewhere else in 2020-21 came to a head when the Sharks bottomed-out and sold him at the trade deadline to Washington. Now, his future is uncertain.


At 29 years old, the next contract was likely going to be Dillon's last big one. He is on the last year of a five-year contract that carries a cap hit of $3.27 million per year. In a normal offseason, he likely would have sought another long-term deal with a raise. This, however, will not be a normal offseason and it is suddenly unclear what kind of money players will be able to get on the open market.

Dillon said he is trying not to concern himself with the uncertainty of free agency.

"I've had so much other things I've been worried about," he said. "Just the world in general and touching base with family and friends and everything."


Dillon has played primarily on the top pair with John Carlson since he was brought in. Though the pandemic has limited him to just 10 games of action with the Caps, both sides seem to have left a favorable impression. When asked about his future, Dillon indicated he would be open to re-signing.

"The kind of mutual talks amongst my agent and [general manager Brian MacLellan], those things are confidential with them," Dillon said. "But for me as a player and being part of the Caps, it's been awesome and hopefully can be here."

Though he fits in nicely as a top-four defenseman, re-signing him would add another body into a logjam of left-shooting defensemen within the franchise.

Dmitry Orlov, Michal Kempny, Jonas Siegenthaler, Marin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev are all left defensemen and all but Siegenthaler are under contract beyond this season. Siegenthaler is a restricted free agent who will almost certainly be re-signed. Re-signing Dillon exacerbates the issue, but top-four defensemen are hard to find and if a proven player like Dillon is interested in re-signing, that is hard to pass up if you can get the numbers to work.

The possibility of there being interest in Dillon returning to Washington beyond this season adds to the importance of the 2020 postseason. This may not just be a quest for the Cup, but an audition for those left defensemen to see who the team may want to keep for the future.

"For a lot of us going into this free agency, there's going to be a lot of questions from not just the players' side, but the team side and the planning that goes into these things," Dillon said. "That's above my pay grade and I'll kind of cross that bridge when I get there."

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Lars Eller intends to leave bubble for the birth of his second child

Lars Eller intends to leave bubble for the birth of his second child

The disruption to the NHL season because of the coronavirus has affected more than just the postseason. For Lars Eller, it will mean having to leave the team in order to be with his family for the birth of his second child.

The 2020 postseason is scheduled to begin Aug. 1. Eller's wife is due on Aug. 8, the same day as the Capitals' third round robin game. Obviously that means unless she delivers early, the baby will be born after Eller has left for Toronto.

Eller, however, expressed Tuesday that he intends to be with his family when the baby is born.

"We're working on making the necessary arrangements so I can be for the birth and come back to the bubble after that," Eller said.

When the whole point of the bubble is to isolate the players and limit their contact with the outside world in order to keep them from contracting the coronavirus, obviously this will present some challenges.


Eller, however, is hardly the only player who is facing this dilemma. The season pause means several players who thought they were going to have an offseason baby now will be having their new additions during the postseason. While the NHL and NHL Players' Association were negotiating the health and safety protocols for the league's return to play plan, family access became one of the major talking points. It's hard to maintain a bubble if you also allow family members in, but players did not want to be away from their families for several months. Certain rules were written in that would allow players to leave the bubble and return if necessary and those are the rules Eller is now trying to figure out so he can rejoin the team after his baby is born.

"You're going to have to take a lot of precautions for when you leave," Eller said. "Depending on how you travel and you travel back and forth and who you're going to be in contact with and so on, I'll have to serve some time inside the bubble and test a number of times before I can join my teammates again and play games. We're working on trying to figure out how we do that the best possible way."

Players did have the option of opting out of the playoffs, but Eller elected not to take that option. For him, trying to win a second Stanley Cup is still a priority, it's just not more important than his family.

"We're going to have a new addition to our family here in a couple weeks," Eller said. "I don't know when it's going to happen, but it's going to happen. But at the same time, I want to be with my team and also committed to that and want to win another Cup."


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