The Caps saw their losing streak extend to four games on Sunday with a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
Here's a recap of the three bold predictions for the game.
1. The Caps will score first - Wrong
I was wrong on this one three times over. After a scoreless first, Anaheim scored three times in the second to take a 3-0 lead and take control of what had been a close game.
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2. There will be a fight - Just let them fight!
It looked like I was going to be right as Tom Wilson dropped the gloves in the first period, but the refs stepped in before he could start wailing on Ryan Kesler. Becasue of that, I'm taking a half point. Maybe Wilson dropped the gloves prematurely, but knowing the kind of agitator Kesler is, it wouldn't be surprising if he told Wilson, "Let's go" and then waited in an attempt to draw the penalty.
3. John Carlson will get an assist - Wrong
Carlson did me one better with a goal instead of an assist. I really should have said that he would get a point rather than an assist. I am tempted to give myself a half point on this, but there's a pretty significant difference between a goal and an assist so I will let it go.
2017 Results: I am as cold as the Caps are at this point.
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DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.
“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”
Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall).
That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.
MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.
MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more.
He earned $4 million last season.
Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.
MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.
“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”
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The last time the Washington Capitals had a first-round draft pick, they selected a WHL defenseman. They did not go off script on Friday.
With the last pick of the first round, selecting for the first time as defending Stanley Cup champions, the Capitals selected Alexander Alexeyev, a left-shooting, two-way defenseman from St. Petersburg.
Alexeyev, 18, certainly boasts NHL size at 6' 4", 196 pounds. He currently plays for Red Deer in the WHL, a junior league that has become a major pipeline for the Capitals. In his second season with Red Deer, he tallied 37 points in 45 games.
The NHL Central Scouting's rankings list Alexeyev as the 22nd best North American skater of the draft. TSN projects him to be a top-four, two-way defenseman.
Analyst Craig Button described Alexeyev as a "Smart, effective defenceman who moves the puck, plays with a calm and doesn't make things complicated for himself."
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