Cody Eakin scored with a little over a minute remaining and Josh Godfrey scored twice, leading the Washington Capitals rookies over the Philadelphia Flyers rookies, 4-3, before a packed house at Kettler-Capitals Iceplex.

John Carlson, Jeff Schultz and other Hershey Bears & Caps watching GOAL!

Many of the Capitals varsity -- and much of the Hershey Bears roster -- stood at the far end of the practice rink watching the affair, with Caps coach Bruce Boudreau and General Manager George McPhee watching from the landing off the Caps offices.

Much of the first period was spent in the Caps' end, and there were plenty of bumps being thrown both ways.  But mid-way through, Marcus Johansson sent a backhand pass into the crease that was tipped, then stuffed under Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky by Stanislav Galiev.

The second period started with Trevor Bruess keeping his word and getting into a scuffle with Zac Renaldo, and he took an extra two-minute roughing call.  The Caps killed that penalty, but the rest of the period was filled with Flyers penalties.  Unfortunately, Philly scored on the first Caps PP, as Ben Holstrom beat Philipp Grubauer on a shorthanded breakaway to tie the game at one.

Trevor Bruess

Brandon Anderson relieved Grubauer at the 9:19 mark of the second.

Brandon Anderson

With one minute remaining in the period, the Capitals broke the tie, as Godfrey got his first of the game, on a feed from Eakin in close.
The power plays continued for the Caps in the third, and Godfrey hit again, on a big slapshot from the high slot, off a feed from Dmitry Kugryshev, pushing the lead to 3-1 with 15 minutes left in the game.  Johannson picked up his second assist on the play.

Josh Godfrey

The Flyers made a game of it though, beating Anderson twice, on goals by Eric Wellwood and Marc-Andre Bourdon.

But with 1:16 remaining, Eakin gained control of a bouncing puck and snuck it past Flyers goalie Adam Morrison for the game winner.

Cody Eakin


*** Josh Godfrey.  Two big goals, lacks concentration on defense.
**   Cody Eakin.  Was all over the place in the offensive zone.  Gets knocked off the puck a lot though.
*     Marcus Johansson.  Easily the best player on the sheet today.  Makes passes none of the other rookies see or can handle.  Skating ability off he charts.

Honorable Mentions:  Grubauer played very well in his half-game and Stan Galiev was strong up front too.  Hat tip to Bruess for mixing it up after telling the media he would.  Joe Finley was invisible most of the day, and declined several offers to get physical.

Dustin Stevenson and Marcus Johansson

Anton Gustafsson

Philipp Grubauer

Full house!

Belanger Signs with Phoenix; "Line has been crossed"

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | , , , | 0 comments »

Center Eric Belanger, now a former Washington Capital, signed a one-year free agent contract with the Phoenix Coyotes for $750,000 Tuesday.  The deal surprised a lot of folks after early-summer rumors of his return to D.C. 

Belanger, and his representitive Joe Tacopina, believes the Caps backed out of a deal because they were not able to complete a trade they wanted to make before announcing Belanger's signing.

First, as any lawyer will tell you, a deal is not a deal until it's a deal.

Second, thank goodness whatever the hold up was happened, since it saves the Caps a ton on salary cap room.

It's easy to understand Belanger's frustration, since he already found a house to rent and put his kids in school in the area.  It's a tough business some times.  But his agent really is at fault here, allowing his client to make those arrangements absent a signed, announced deal. 

It's the agent's responsibility to protect his client, not the organization.

Belanger misses the opportunity to play for a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, but will probably spend time on Phoenix' top line and power-play unit, so he has a chance to put up some numbers and have another payday next off-season.  Just don't expect his agent to solicit any offers from George McPhee.

Caps News Network Profiled at Storming the Crease

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, September 13, 2010 | | 0 comments »

Storming the Crease, one of the credentialed blogs that provides excellent coverage of the Washington Capitals, is profiling fellow Caps and hockey bloggers leading up to the start of the season.

Today was our turn.  Please visit STC to check out our profile and all the others he's posted so far.  It gives you a good idea why bloggers and internet writers do what they do.