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Presidents' Trophy a 'symbol of excellence' but not what the Caps seek

Presidents' Trophy a 'symbol of excellence' but not what the Caps seek

The Capitals’ clinching scenario for Wednesday night couldn’t be any more straightforward:

If the Capitals do indeed clinch the Presidents’ Trophy, it will mark the third time in franchise history that they’ve finished the regular season with the NHL’s best record.

RELATED: Playoff opponent watch: Was Tuesday's game a playoff preview?

In 2010, they secured the trophy on April 4 (with four games remaining). Last year, they wrapped it up on March 28 (with seven games remaining.) After hosting the Rangers, the Caps will have two games left on their slate—at Boston on Saturday and home against the Panthers on Sunday. If they win out, the Caps will equal last season’s point total of 120.

The last team to win back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies was the Canucks in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz told The Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning that the team has not discussed the Presidents’ Trophy, which ensures home ice throughout the playoffs.

“Honestly, we haven't talked about it once this year, the Presidents’ Trophy or anything like that,” he said. “But it is a symbol of excellence, a symbol of excellence for the regular season, a symbol of excellence for a team that’s been consistent and takes pride in winning. So it’s not to be taken lightly, but at the same time we all want the ultimate prize.”

“That’s the one,” he added, “that you make your name with.”  

The Rangers, who are virtually locked into the first wild card spot, will rest four key players— Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast—on Wednesday night.

The Capitals, meantime, could again be without John Carlson, who was a late scratch Tuesday with a lower body injury. He’s day-to-day.

In goal, the Caps are expected to start Braden Holtby while the Rangers counter with Henrik Lundqvist.

GAME THREAD: Caps vs. Rangers date, time, how to watch

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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USA Today Sports Images

Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.

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Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

On Wednesday night ESPN hosts their yearly sports award show, the ESPYs, to celebrate the best of the last 365 days in sport. 

One thing they will not be celebrating, or did not even consider celebrating, was Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

This year there were 16 plays nominated to be the “Best Play” and were seeded into a bracket. For the past month fans have been voting in each head-to-head matchup culminating in four pretty outstanding plays:

All of those plays can be viewed here

Three of those four were in a championship game, the other was a just a once in a lifetime play from a teenager. 

But the ESPYs are saying that there are 16 plays from this past year that were better than Holtby’s save… Can we really believe that? Everyone loves buzzer beaters, but they accounted for six of the 16 plays. One of them could have easily gotten bumped. 

And aside from the three listed above there were only two that were in the championship event for each sport. Holtby could have rounded it out for six.

We’re not saying that Holtby’s play was the best in the past year, or even in the top four. Heck, there should be no one that tops Ogunbowale’s incredible heroics. But arguably the best play in D.C. sports history not making the top-16 for best plays in a 365 day period? 

It must have been one heck of a sports year.  

For those that are nominated, Alex Ovechkin is a finalist for Best Male Athlete and Best NHL Player. The Capitals are in the running for Best Team.

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