Saint John Sea Dogs v Mississauga St. Michael's Majors

Caps sign prospect Stanislav Galiev to entry-level deal

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The Capitals added to their Russian foundation as they signed forward prospect Stanislav Galiev to a three-year entry-level contract worth an average of $550,000 per season. The 19-year-old Moscow native was a third round selection for the Caps (86th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft held in Los Angeles.

Galiev was widely considered one of the best players coming out of the QMJHL in 2010 and most people thought he’d be a first round pick. Luckily for the Caps, they saw the talented winger drop all the way down to the end of the 3rd round before they picked him up. His performance last season certainly rewarded their trust. In turn, the Capitals have rewarded him with his first pro contract in North America.

From the Capitals’ official release:

“The Washington Capitals have signed forward Stanislav Galiev to a three-year entry-level contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6’1”, 188-pound forward spent the 2010-11 season with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he helped lead his team to the Memorial Cup championship. Galiev tallied a goal and two assists in four Memorial Cup games after helping Saint John win the QMJHL championship. He ranked fifth in the league in playoff points (27), third in assists (17) and tied for sixth in goals (10). During the regular season, Galiev set career highs in goals (37) and points (65) while adding 28 assists.”

Galiev played an important role on an absolutely stacked St. John Sea Dogs team that took home the Memorial Cup last season. He’s scored 125 points in his two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but he started to blossom last season with 37 goals in 64 games. Like most prospects, he’ll need to continue to work on his defensive game and physical conditioning before he’ll be able to contribute at the NHL level.

Odds are he’ll need another year or two to round out his game. But if he continues to progress like the Capitals organization expects, he’ll add yet another weapon to a team that already has loads of offensive firepower.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy


Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.