brouwer hamrlik

Caps’ Hamrlik, Brouwer clear the air after lockout feud

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It wasn’t Ari Gold-esque, but Troy Brouwer and Roman Hamrlik hugged it out.

That was the story out of Washington on Friday as the two Capitals teammates — who engaged in some verbal jousting during the lockout — said all was good between them.

“He’s still my friend, he’s still my teammate,” Brouwer told the Washington Times. “We came in, we had a good chat today.”

“He’s one of the best guys on the team,” Hamrlik added. “He’s a great teammate. We talked and we chat on the phone. And it’s no problem.”

The feud began in late November when Hamrlik told a Czech media outlet he was “disgusted” with union boss Donald Fehr, and that Fehr should be fired if the season got canceled.

Those comments made Hamrlik the first NHLPA member to break ranks (though Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth would soon join him.)

Unsurprisingly, they drew the ire of many fellow union members — including Brouwer, the Capitals’ alternate NHLPA team rep.

“For me, I think those guys selling us out, being selfish like that and making those comments…” he said. “Me being on their team, how am I going to trust them as a teammate from now on?

“Because you know they’re not going to support players in the big scheme of things when you go and you play on the team with them; it’s going to be tough to want to back those guys from now on.”

It now appears as though Brouwer 1) has amnesia, or 2) realizes he might’ve gone a tad over the top in criticizing his teammates.

“You can’t hold grudges and you cant have little high school grudge matches against each other,” Brouwer said. “It’s in the past, we aren’t worried about it anymore and we’re looking forward.

“We’re excited about this season and we have to play on the same team and we like where our team is right now.”

Fight video: Zack Kassian racks up penalty minutes, faces Brian Strait

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Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”

The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.

Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.

It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.

Could there be more?

Isles chase Nilsson from Oilers’ net in less than 12 minutes

Edmonton Oilers goalie Anders Nilsson, of Sweden, makes pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.

Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.

He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).

Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.

As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.

Ovi scores 30th as Caps beat Flyers for third straight victory

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Alex Ovechkin scored to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as only players with at least 30 goals in each of their first 11 NHL seasons, and Matt Niskanen netted the game winner as Washington beat the Flyers 3-2 at Verizon on Super Bowl Sunday.

Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz replied for the Flyers, who suffered their second straight loss.

The win was the Capitals’ third in a row.

It didn’t always look as though Washington would emerge the victor, however. The Caps were out-shot 35-30 on the day and looked disjointed at times, finishing with 12 giveaways (Philly was credited with just five, for comparison’s sake).

But good teams find ways to win when they’re not playing especially well, and the Caps are a pretty good team — especially when Braden Holtby is on his game.

Holtby, atop many Vezina lists at the moment, had another terrific outing on Sunday, making 33 saves, perhaps none better than this one on Mark Streit in the second period:

Holtby’s counterpart, Steve Mason, had a solid outing as well, finishing with 27 stops.

Looking ahead, the Caps will now head out on a three-game Western Conference swing through Minnesota, Nashville and what promises to be a high-octane game in Dallas on Feb. 13.

The Flyers, meanwhile, will now kick off a three-game homestand against Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.

 

Jets’ Stafford to have disciplinary hearing after high-sticking Holden

Colorado Avalanche's Nick Holden (2) hits Winnipeg Jets' Mathieu Perreault (85) during first period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Winnipeg forward Drew Stafford will meet with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his high stick on Colorado’s Nick Holden on Saturday night, the DoPS announced this afternoon.

There was no immediate video of the incident available. Stafford wasn’t penalized on the play, which occurred during the third period; Holden finished the final frame with 10 shifts for 6:46 of ice time.

Stafford, 30, has a clean disciplinary history and hasn’t been fined or suspended during his 10-year NHL career.