Happy Fourth of July and welcome to Sunday. We’re one day away from Game 4 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, where the Tampa Bay Lightning could sweep the Montreal Canadiens. Beyond that, the expansion draft and free agency await, leaving teams like the Washington Capitals facing a bit of uncertainty.
That being said, there’s plenty of business to take care of. So let’s close this weekend on a strong note with the latest NHL news and notes.
- Connor McMichael made huge strides this past season in his rookie AHL campaign with Hershey. J.J. Regan and Andrew Gillis analyze the 20-year-old’s play and if he could make the jump to the Capitals roster next year. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Sheary, baby. Grades for the 2020-21 Capitals are still on the way as CJ Witt takes a look at Conor Sheary‘s first year in D.C. (Stars & Sticks)
- On the ice, Pheonix Copley plays a key part in Washington’s goaltending depth. Off the ice, he enjoys reading and math and also hopes to finish his mechanical engineering degree. The latest installment of “From The Vault” has more on Copley’s academic side and what the netminder had to say about his time at Michigan Tech. (Washington Hockey Now)
- With everything on the line in Game 4, the Habs may shake things up as they look to keep their season alive. Adam Gretz explores what changes Montreal could make for their elimination game against the Bolts. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- The Minnesota Wild and Kirill Kaprizov are expected to resume contract talks next week, and general manager Bill Guerin believes “there’s a deal to be had there.” Jessi Pierce has more on the negotiations with the 2021 Calder winner, who could become an RFA on July 28. (NHL.com)
- Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins have several options to consider with the expansion draft looming. Joe Haggerty takes a look at the B’s roster and different scenarios when it comes to Seattle’s pick. (Boston Hockey Now)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- Carey Price is the Game 4 starter for Montreal, and honestly, he should be. So far, the Canadiens have been plagued not by just goaltending, but poor turnovers and mistakes that a team like Tampa will pounce on. Maintaining confidence in your starter who got you this far is the right move, but he’ll have to be flawless — along with the rest of the team — to avoid the sweep.
- We just reached 1,000 likes on the Washington Hockey Now Facebook page, and we’re less than two weeks old. Words cannot express how amazing this journey has been and how much we appreciate our readers. It’s an absolute joy and dream to share quality Capitals coverage and stories with you all. Here’s to more adventures ahead; make sure to follow us on social media and of course, hit that subscribe button.
- Shoutout to Russian Machine Never Breaks, who teamed up with NASCAR driver, NoVa native and Caps fan Ryan Ellis as one of his sponsors for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.