Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals

Just about everything goes right for Capitals in win


When it comes to a game versus one of the worst teams in your conference, it really doesn’t get much bigger than the Washington Capitals’ match against the Montreal Canadiens.

Alex Ovechkin was back in the lineup. The team held a closed-door meeting. An unlikely team captured their division’s lead last night. Plenty of media members delighted in condemning the oft-condemned team.

These are the kinds of games you need to win, at least in the spiritual sense. Frankly, these are also the ones that the Capitals muffed like a wobbly punt time and time again this season.

So sure, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 might not strike some as impressive. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not.

Don’t blame the Capitals if they take it as a series of good signs, though. Alex Ovechkin scored an Ovechkin-like booming goal. Free agent bust Joel Ward salvaged a semblance of dignity with an empty-netter. Washington generally did everything it needed to do and more, which might just get them back on track to win its division – or at least get in the playoffs.

Sure, villainous Rene Bourque scored a goal, but aside from that it almost felt like old times for the Capitals.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.