Who knew that today was “get your restricted free agents signed” day in the NHL? Earlier, Brad Marchand got locked in on a two year deal with Boston and potential RFA next season John Tavares is set to sign a six-year deal with the Islanders. Now it’s Zach Bogosian’s turn and his deal looks eerily similar to that of the one Marchand signed to stay in Boston.
Bogosian signed a two-year deal with the Jets worth $5 million to stay with Winnipeg. The $2.5 million cap hit over the next two seasons gives the Jets a nice, manageable contract to have and for Bogosian, this deal works as a “show me” deal. The length and terms of the deal are exactly the same as the contract Marchand signed today but considering where each guy was drafted, Marchand’s deal looks more like a reward for a job well done while Bogosian’s deal is a dangling carrot to chase after.
When Bogosian made his NHL debut with the Atlanta Thrashers two seasons ago, he came in as one of the most highly-touted defensemen in the 2008 NHL Draft going third overall. His first year in the league in 2009-2010 saw him play strong in 47 games for the Thrashers scoring nine goals and adding ten assists. The following season, his minutes went up and he scored 10 goals and 13 assists, but last season he struggled. Bogosian scored just five goals and added 12 assists last season and ended the year with career lows in points, goals, and plus/minus finishing the year as a -27.
With a new two-year deal in his hands, he’ll need to show Jets coach Claude Noel and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff that’s he’s the prospect the Thrashers felt he was and can be a more efficient player strong both offensively and defensively. If he can’t show that over the next two seasons, he could end up being one of the bigger disappointments from the 2008 draft. Having him be the third overall pick will only help highlight some of the problems the Thrashers organization had in assessing talent.
Bogosian has the talent to be a solid power play guy and an offensive defenseman but working with his third different coach in four years is going to make matters hard for the 21 year-old. Different coaches mean different systems and for a kid as young as Bogosian playing a position that often takes time to grow into and excel at, that hurts. Here’s to hoping that Claude Noel is the guy that can help Bogosian settle in and live up to his potential on the blue line.
You know, it happens. Maybe not always in those exact words.
The Washington Capitals carried the play during portions of their 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and even down 1-0 in the series, just about every player seemed happy with their overall game.
(Granted, Braden Holtby picked apart two of the three goals he allowed, and so on.)
Still, Alex Ovechkin shrugged off the disappointment in a way that wasn’t quite Rated R, but probably ranks in the PG-13 range:
The penalty element is interesting, though.
When asked after the loss about the lack of power plays, Matt Niskanen merely offered a “no comment.”
The Penguins experienced some sprawling moments, yet they avoided taking a penalty each time. Often, when a team carries long sequences of play, they’ll go on the PP (especially with home-ice advantage) … but not the Capitals in Game 1.
via Natural Stat Trick
It’s a situation to watch as the Capitals hope to even the series against the Penguins with Game 2 coming on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. (You can watch online, via the NBC Sports App and follow the livestream here).
It’s just about a consensus that the Washington Capitals believed that they generally played a strong game despite falling 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Braden Holtby‘s teammates likely wouldn’t agree with his assessment that the Game 1 loss is on his shoulders, but the perennial Vezina candidate took the blame for Sidney Crosby‘s first goal of the night and Nick Bonino‘s game-winner.
Noting that the Penguins are a dangerous rush team – making them a different threat than the Toronto Maple Leafs – Holtby believes that he should have had his glove in position to stop the 1-0 goal. He said he’s capable of making such a stop and “will next time.” Check out Crosby’s two goals below, with Holtby having a beef with the first one:
It’s really difficult to place too much blame on Holtby for giving up Nick Bonino’s game-winner, as it seemed like a great rush play that few goalies would be able to stop.
Judge for yourself in the highlights:
The Penguins were ultimately able to take a 1-0 series lead, but the Capitals seem capable of shrugging off questions about frustrations, even with naysayers starting to gain confidence in claiming that there will be more than the same.
If Washington’s going to get over this big hurdle, Holtby is likely to be a big part in doing so.
The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled off a 3-2 Game 1 win against the Washington Capitals, but Thursday’s thriller probably prompted a sigh of relief.
(Washington, meanwhile, might have uttered a sigh at such unpleasantly familiar feelings.)
The first period ended 0-0 in part thanks to Jake Guentzel‘s sprawling “kick save.” Business really picked up in the second after Sidney Crosby raced off to two quick goals, only for Alex Ovechkin to give Washington a shot thanks to a booming goal and some physical play.
It sure felt like this one might head to overtime, especially after Evgeny Kuznetsov was tying things up and flapping his arms like wings. That was not to be, however, as Nick Bonino took advantage of a pretty area pass to beat Braden Holtby for the decisive tally.
Now, it was only decisive because Marc-Andre Fleury was at the top of his game. Oh, and also because the Penguins did a collective Guentzel impression in frantically denying a tying tally.
Makes you want to wipe some sweat from your brow, eh?
The Capitals dominated by just about every statistical measure … except, of course, goals on the scoreboard. Pittsburgh will gladly take that 1-0 series lead, then.
Expect a desperate Washington team in Game 2, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can watch it online and via the NBC Sports App (click here for the livestream link).
Swedish superstars Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson were both stupendous in Game 1 between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators.
Still, it was Karlsson’s game-winning goal (from a seemingly impossible angle) against Lundqvist that made the difference as the Senators beat the Rangers 2-1 on Thursday. With that, the Senators are up 1-0 in the series.
That Karlsson goal really deserves a special look.
Whether you blame that 2-1 tally on Lundqvist or not, the Rangers would be foolish to do anything but praise their red-hot franchise goalie. He stopped all 21 Senators shots in the first period and ultimately made 41 out of 43 stops in defeat.
Craig Anderson was strong in his own right, mind you, stopping 34 out of 35 shots (including all 28 at even-strength) to help Ottawa take that tight contest.
Anderson’s strong play highlights the fact that Rangers – Senators doesn’t merely come down to Lundqvist vs. Karlsson … but even so, both Swedish superstars really did stand out in this one.
Game 2 airs on NBC at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream link.