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Boudreau wants the Caps to do well...unless they meet the Wild in the final

Boudreau wants the Caps to do well...unless they meet the Wild in the final

LOS ANGELES—Bruce Boudreau lives and coaches 1,000 miles from Verizon Center these days, but he readily admitted on Saturday that he still keeps a very close eye on the Capitals.

Why?

A couple of reasons. For one, Washington holds a special place in his heart because it was his first stop as an NHL head coach. And second, he currently coaches the Wild, who sit just behind the NHL-leading Caps in the league standings.  

“[The Caps] are the best team in the league,” Boudreau told CSN at All-Star media day. “I’m sure Barry [Trotz] doesn’t want me to say that. They’ve been like that and they’ve had that stigma put on them for as many as seven or eight years. But when you watch them play, except for a couple of hiccups, they blow teams out of the water.”

“The one thing you notice about [the Caps] is, any other team you play except maybe for Pittsburgh, you can make mistakes and sometimes get away with it,” Boudreau continued. “Against the Caps, you make a mistake and you’re paying for it. They've got a lot of great players and that’s what happens with great players—they do great things.”

One of those great players is Alex Ovechkin, who was named one of the NHL’s greatest 100 players on Friday night. Boudreau attended the ceremony and beamed with pride when Ovi’s name was announced.

“I was very proud,” Boudreau said. “I got to coach him for over four years. It’s a great thing to tell your grandchildren and children, that you’ve been able to coach one of the greatest players of all time. And I’m sure when it’s all said and done, he’s going to be in the top-5 greatest players of all time. He’s in that conversation.”

He added, “I was lucky.”

Luck, however, has nothing to do with where the Caps and Wild find themselves at the all-star break. Both teams have rattled off long winning streaks. Washington ranks first in goal differential (+54) and Minnesota is second (+51). The teams are also 1-2 in the NHL standings, with the Caps up by three points on the Wild.

Washington and Minnesota play twice in the span of 11 days in March.

MORE CAPS: Ovechkins ready to 'chill' in Los Angeles

A lot could change between now and then, but as things stand today, Boudreau believes both have a good chance of making a deep run this spring.

Asked if he’s ever daydreamed about facing the Caps in the Stanley Cup final, the 62-year-old coach nodded.

“I do,” said Boudreau, who spent four plus season in Anaheim before being hired in Minnesota. “But I’ve done that for a few years and it hasn’t worked.”

Boudreau also acknowledged how weird a Bruce vs. the Caps final would be.

“On the other hand, I don’t want to play them,” he said. “I think it would be too difficult because I want them to win and I want us to win.”

“Some of the guys on that team that I’ve made great friends with that are still there, I want them to have success,” he added. “But I wouldn’t want them to have success against me. It’s a real double-edged sword. But I think both teams right now have got a shot. Those guys look like, okay, they were the favorite last year and they lost and they’re playing like that’s never going to happen again. And we’re the young upstart team that’s never been in that situation. We’ll go as far as we go, and hopefully in May or June, one of us has a lot great success.”

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T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T..J Oshie has some experience in clutch moments when the game is on the line and his name is called.

Thursday, his name wasn't listed in a hypothetical poll on Twitter on which player fans would want to take the final shot if the Stanley Cup was on the line. A shocking omission of one of the most legendary shootout players of all-time.

Even with options such as Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Patrick Kane, No. 77 insinuated he had a different player in mind.

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Oshie single-handedly defeated Russia at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi over six years ago.

Six times Oshie was sent to the ice in a shootout in a preliminary round match against Russia. He answered the bell four times for another legendary U.S. win over Russia.

Oshie has the fourth-most shootout goals (45) in NHL history, only trailing Kane, (47), Frans Nielsen (49), and Jonathan Toews (50).

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Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

With surgical masks in short supply because of the coronavirus pandemic, different companies are stepping up to provide masks to the people who need them the most, the healthcare workers. CCM Hockey is among those companies and announced on Wednesday that they will be donating 500,000 surgical masks to healthcare workers.

Several NHL stars are contributing to the donation including Alex Ovechkin.

“By teaming up with our roster of CCM athletes, we will be able to play a role in the collaborative effort to get past this crisis,” CCM CEO Rick Blackshaw said in a statement on their website. “We focused on the best use of our network and our resources to have the quickest impact. Sourcing greatly needed equipment through our established supply chain partners in Asia is the most efficient way for us to support and keep our real heroes safe."

Ovechkin is listed among the players who contributed to the CCM donation.

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The other players listed are Mat Barzal, Patrice Bergeron, Brock Boeser, Dani Cameranesi, Brandon Carlo, Thomas Chabot, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Sidney Crosby, Melodie Daoust, Alex Debrincat, Brianna Decker, Matt Duchene, Matt Dumba, Marc-Andre Fleury, Filip Forsberg, Jake Gardiner, Miro Heiskanen, Filip Hronek, Jonathan Huberdeau, Seth Jones, Nathan Mackinnon, Charlie McAvoy, Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin, Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, and John Tavares.

“The CCM Pros are men and women of action," Blackshaw said. "It troubles them to feel helpless as they witness the devastating effects of this pandemic. At the core of this great sport, hockey is about courage, commitment to a higher goal, as well as to one another. It is exactly these player qualities and beliefs that will allow us to emerge stronger from this challenge.”

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