Happy Thursday, Washington Capitals nation. We’re one day closer to Friday, but if you’re anything like me, days are tough to keep track of. My puppy tried to contribute to this post by stepping on my keyboard, so props to her. It didn’t really help and none of her stuff made it into the final copy, but at least she tried.
Anyway, we have plenty to catch up on; an impressive Game 6 for Barry Trotz’s Islanders vs. the Lightning, a look ahead to Montreal-Vegas, happenings in the Capitals world and more. Here’s your daily dose of news and happenings across the league.
- Capitals prospect Hendrix Lapierre was part of a major QMJHL trade that has him headed to a new team for the upcoming season. We’ll have more on him later today, but here’s the details of the deal (Pro Hockey Rumors)
- “Ultimate teammate” T.J. Oshie led Washington in power-play goals in 2020-21. Alex Irvin grades his performance in the latest “Rink Wrap.” (Japers’ Rink)
- Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky made his way back to D.C. in the most D.C. way possible, and honestly we’re here for it. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Ilya Samsonov had his ups and downs, but is he still capable of being a starter? We assess the Caps’ situation between the pipes. (Washington Hockey Now)
- New York rallied from a 2-0 deficit in Game 6 and topped Tampa in OT, 3-2, to force Game 7. Andrew Battifarano recaps the action as Trotz wins his second Game 6 vs. the Bolts over the last four seasons. (NYI Hockey Now)
- Speculation is brewing in regards to Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones, but James O’Brien argues that more teams should be aiming for Wild blueliner Matt Dumba (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Evander Kane potted a career-high 22 goals this past season. But is it possible he could be on the move? Sheng Peng investigates. (SJ Hockey Now)
- Patrice Bergeron won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. Joe Haggerty explains why No. 37 was arguably the most deserving candidate. (Boston Hockey Now)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- Jakub Vrana and Michal Kempny reunited in Budapest. Kemps uploaded the reunion to his Instagram story, and it definitely made us feel… all the feelings. We miss V, but the Anthony Mantha trade is likely one that was best for both sides. Here’s why.
- The Habs could make history tonight and close out this series in six games against Vegas. It’d be a historic feat — and a sight to behold to see Cole Caufield, Carey Price and more in the Stanley Cup Final — but also two Game 7s? Sign me up (even though that scenario will bring on anxiety, insomnia and likely higher blood pressure).
- Former Capitals forward Brooks Laich turned 38 yesterday. Following his memorable time with Washington and his following NHL seasons, he’s gone on to become an adventurer, motivator and podcast host. Shoutout to Laich’s hard work, as well as his work to end child exploitation and slavery.
- I want to highlight a few organizations that are doing what they can to promote equality in the game of hockey. Check out the You Can Play Project, Pride Tape, Players Against Hate and Black Girl Hockey Club. They are doing unbelievable work and deserve major props (along with so many other great organizations out there). Keep it up!
- Nic Dowd, Nick Jensen and Shane Gersich are suiting up for Da Beauty League. Oh, and so are former Capitals Travis Boyd and Nate Schmidt. The 4-on-4 action returns on July 14, with the championship on Wednesday, August 25. It’s fast-paced, it’s fun, it’s almost NHL hockey of some sort. Fun times, fun times.