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End of season review: Eric Fehr

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End of season review: Eric Fehr

Throughout the coming weeks, CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Eric Fehr

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

Age: 29 [turns 30 Sept. 7]

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 210

Games: 75

Goals:19

Assists: 14

Points: 33

Penalty minutes: 20

Plus-Minus: Plus-8

Average Ice Time: 14:51

Playoff games: 4

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Points: 0

Penalty minutes: 2

Plus-Minus: Minus-1

Average Ice Time: 9:53

Contract Status: UFA [2014-15 salary: $1.6 million, cap hit: $1.5 million]

Strengths: In his first full season as a checking-line center, Fehr flourished in his new role, mostly playing between Joel Ward and either Brooks Laich or Jason Chimera.  His 17 even-strength goals ranked second on the club [along with Marcus Johansson] behind Alex Ovechkin’s 28 and he was tied with Jason Chimera in average shorthanded ice time [1:23], where his long reach disrupted opponents’ passing and shooting lanes.  With the help of assistant coach Blaine Fosythe, Fehr also worked himself into becoming strong in the faceoff dots. His 863 faceoffs were second on the team to Nicklas Backstrom [1,609] and his 52 percent winning percentage was fourth on the club behind Troy Brouwer, Jay Beagle and Backstrom [300 or more draws]. “I want to be a centerman,” said Fehr, who spent the first eight years of his NHL career as a right wing. “I think it helps my game. I enjoy playing defensively, being quick on pucks and help the breakout. I can’t really picture myself being a full-time winger anymore, which is a good thing.”

Room for improvement: Fehr played more games this season [75] than in any of his nine previous NHL seasons, but he missed 10 of the Caps’ 14 playoff games with a third-degree sprain of his AC joint. In the four playoff games he played Fehr was held without a point and has just five goals and one assist in 37 career playoff games, all of them with the Caps.  Fehr’s injury history is likely to keep him from hitting a home run in free agency, but his strong season and big body will make him an attractive option, if not for the Capitals then for another NHL team looking to add depth down the middle. If Fehr can stay healthy he is a perfect fit as a third-line center.

Memorable Moment: Just call him Mr. Winter Classic. Fehr netted the game-winner in Pittsburgh in the 2011 Winter Classic and netted the first goal of the game in a sun-splashed Nats Park at the 2015 Classic, picking up a loose puck and racing in on Blackkhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, beating him with a nice deke and tuck.

Quotable: “Whenever I talked to people about being mean I started calling them bulldozers and thought, ‘We can go somewhere with this. After that I started working with characters and different storylines I could go with. There are a lot of different reasons people can be bullies. I wanted to go with the one most effective. It’s one of the biggest problems in today’s society.” – Fehr on authoring the children’s book, “The Bulliest Dozer”

2015-16 Expectations: Approaching the age of 30, Fehr should be in the prime of his career and there’s no reason to think he shouldn’t aim for between 20 and 25 goals next season. He said he would like to return to Washington but likely would need to take less than market value to stay in D.C., where he’d have a defined role as a third-line center. If Fehr will take somewhere in the $2.3 million range he’s likely to stay. If he wants much more he could be on his way to another NHL city.

 [RELATED Capitals renew affiliation with Hershey Bears

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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