On Wednesday, we passed along word that the Washington Capitals would be making a “major announcement” Saturday at their fan convention.
What that “major announcement” would be, we weren’t sure — but we speculated it could involve a future outdoor game, possibly the 2015 Winter Classic.
Well, Thursday, Sky Kerstein of 106.7 The FAN in D.C. tweeted that “multiple sources” are telling him that it is, indeed, an outdoor game the Caps will be announcing. And he’s hearing it’s “probably” the Winter Classic.
We noted it Wednesday, but we’ll note it again that the Caps were once reportedly the “favorite” to host the 2014 Winter Classic, before the 2013 version was pushed back a year due to the lockout.
One would think the Caps would host an outdoor game at FedEx Field (football) or Nationals Stadium (baseball), but there are other options in the area (e.g. nearby Baltimore has football and baseball stadiums).
It’s now multiple reports saying the Caps will host the 2015 Winter Classic, and there is apparently speculation the opponent will be the Philadelphia Flyers.
As for the location of the game, here’s part of the Washington’s Post report:
The location of the contest and the Capitals’ opponent for it is still unknown, but considering Nationals owner Mark Lerner is a minority partner in Leonsis’s Monumental Sports and Entertainment, Nationals Park in Southeast Washington may be a likely candidate. The Nationals lease the ballpark from the District, though, and would not have exclusive control over such a decision.
As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.
On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.
From CSN Mid-Atlantic:
The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.
He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.
The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.
There was no call on the play.
Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.
Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.
Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.
That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:
The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.
Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.
That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.
While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.
Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.
The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.
Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim