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Capitals Prospect Report: Connor McMichael is hoping to catch the eye of Team Canada and earn an invite to the World Juniors

Capitals Prospect Report: Connor McMichael is hoping to catch the eye of Team Canada and earn an invite to the World Juniors

Connor McMichael zipped a shot past goalie Daniil Isayev on Thursday to help Team OHL defeat Team Russia 4-1 in the CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Thursday’s game caps off what has been an unreal week of work for McMichael. He played in two games for the London Knights including a six-point performance on Nov. 1 in which he scored the overtime winner in a 7-6 win over Erie. He was named the first star for the game and the second star on Sunday in a 5-1 win over Oshawa. McMichael chipped in a goal and an assist in that game.

That big week earned McMichael OHL On the Run Player of the Week honors for arleady the second time this season. He was also named to the CHL Team of the Week on Thursday.

With McMichael playing so well and seeing him torch a young goalie in a Russia jersey, one has to wonder if the next step is for McMichael to get an invite to the Canadian World Junior team, which opens camp in December.

“It helps I’ve been playing well throughout the season,” McMichael told the Windsor Star. “It gives you confidence coming into one of the biggest games to make the junior team. Since I was little, it would be a dream come true and this is another stepping stone in that direction.”

Other prospect notes

  • It has been a slow start for Shane Gersich this season, but he finally scored his first goal on Saturday against Providence. He was in on a 2-on-1 with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby who fed him with a beautiful pass for the goal. In nine games this season, Gersich has one goal and three assists.
  • Bobby Nardella earned the first two points of his professional career with two assists on Saturday against Providence. He followed that up with a third an assist in Sunday's game against Syracuse. Playing time has been a bit hard to come by for Nardella as the Bears have nine defensemen on the roster. He still seems to be performing well, but even with his three assists over the weekend it still seems unlikely he will see regular time. The Bears' top-four on defense is essentially locked in meaning there are five defensemen left all vying for the two spots on the third pair.
  • Jonsson-Fjallby remains red hot with a goal and an assist over the weekend's trio of games. His goal Friday in Springfield was the fifth straight road game in which he had scored. He is currently tied for third among all AHL rookies in goals with five.
  • Aliaksei Protas leads the WHL in points with 28 (12 goals, 16 assists) in 18 games to start the season. In four games over the past week, he tallied three goals and six assists. He was also named the first star in Prince Albert's 5-1 win on Saturday over Moose Jaw. It certainly looks like the Caps found a player with NHL potential with their third-round 2019 pick.
  • Never has a player had a better nickname with a worse story. Protas ' nickname is the Viper, or the Viper of Vitebsk, a nod to his hometown in Belarus. So what's the story behind the nickname? There is none. I mean, there is literally no story. I asked him about it in the preseason, he wasn't even sure who gave it to him or how it started. Just all of a sudden his teammates started calling him Viper and that's it.
  • Damien Riat was hit in the head with a puck on Saturday and is out for three weeks. There are no reports currently suggesting the injury is anything serious and, from what I can gather, the three-week timetable seems like a precaution. The bad news is that means he could not represent Team Switzerland in the Deutschland Cup, which began on Thursday.

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Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

In need of Memorial Day plans? Look no further as NBC Sports Washington presents the fifth and final edition of Capitals Greatest Hits on Monday, May 25, at 7 p.m. 

For this holiday edition of Capitals Greatest Hits, NBC Sports Washington will reair Game 7 of the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round playoff series between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. 

As a special treat, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who delivered the series-winning goal for the Caps, will make a special appearance on the broadcast to talk about his Game 7 heroics from the win-or-go-home showdown.

What better way to cap off a holiday weekend than by reliving some Caps playoff glory with The Birdman himself?

How to Watch: Capitals’ Greatest Hits

Who: New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals — April 27, 2015

When: May 25 at 7 p.m.

Where: NBC Sports Washington (channel finder), stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app

Guest: Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov

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Broadcast Schedule

6:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Thrashers from March 21, 2008 (R)

7:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Islanders from April 27, 2015 (P)

8:00 PM 2018 Stanley Cup Championship Films: Washington Capitals (P)

10:00 PM #HockeyAtHome: The Great One & The Great Eight (R)

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NHL releases framework, but no date, for players' return to team facilities

NHL releases framework, but no date, for players' return to team facilities

The  NHL released a memorandum on Monday outlining the framework for the league's next stage of its return to play, which will include a return to team facilities in accordance with local restrictions.

Phase 2 will permit players to return to NHL team training facilities "for voluntary small-group individualized training activities (on-ice and off-ice). Phase 1, which the league is still currently in, is self-quarantine. Though there is no set date for the transition to Phase 2, the memorandum stated that the league is targeting making the move in early June.

In Phase 2, gatherings at team facilities will be limited to a maximum of six players, plus limited staff.

The memorandum also notes this will be permitted "only in those jurisdictions where the applicable health authorities have sufficiently relaxed local restrictions to permit such gatherings." The Capitals' practice facility, MedStar Capitals Iceplex, is located in Virginia. Under the state's current stay at home order, gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people. This order is currently set to expire on June 10.

Players who do wish to participate in Phase 2 will only be allowed to participate in specific activities: player-only non-contact skates (no coaches permitted), weight lifting so long as the activity does not require a spotter, circuit-based activities, cardiovascular and endurance exercises, and rehabilitation treatments.

In order to ensure the health and safety of the players, COVID-19 testing guidelines are also laid out. Players and team staff with player access will be administered tests 48 hours before they return to training facilities. In areas where widespread testing is not available, players and staff must self-quarantine for14 days before they can enter team facilities. Temperature and symptom checks will also be required on a daily basis and all players will have to undergo a "pre-participation medical evaluation."

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In addition, the memorandum lays out a number of safety measures players will be required to abide by including maintaining social distancing, using masks and gloves when entering and leaving the team facilities and not car-pooling with other players. Players will also not be permitted to use hot and cold tubs, saunas and steam rooms.

According to the memorandum, "The health of the Players and Club personnel is our top priority, and that will dictate how Phase 2, and any progression thereafter, may evolve. We again emphasize that Player participation in Phase 2 is strictly voluntary. In addition, Clubs are not permitted to require Players to return to the Club’s home city so they can complete a quarantine requirement in time to participate in Phase 2."

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