November 22, 2019

Washington Capitals could take advantage of depth in Game Four with roster tweaks

Will Caps take advantage of Mike Knuble’s experience and size in Game Four? (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

I’m not a hockey coach. I’m not a scout. To paraphrase Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee, if I knew anything about the game I’d be in it.

But it seems to me that there are some peculiarities to the way the Caps’ post-season roster has been constructed, so I’d like to offer my two cents worth. With the extra day off between Games Three and Four, it’s the perfect opportunity for coach Dale Hunter to mix some things up, get a little bit of a different look, and get some fresh legs in there. If the Caps were up in the series, or even tied for that matter, you let things ride. [Read more…]

CAPS/BEARS: Bourque, Aucoin Named to AHL First All-Star Team

Chris Bourque and Keith Aucoin named to AHL First All-Star Game (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

04/05/2012 –
HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced today that forwards Chris Bourque and Keith Aucoin have been named to the AHL First All-Star Team. The announcement was made today by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Voting for the First and Second All-Star Teams was conducted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

Bourque and Aucoin, the BEARS’ top two scorers, will represent two-thirds of the forwards on the First All-Star Team.

Bourque, 26, earns his first postseason All-Star Team honor, adding it to his three Calder Cup Championships and the 2010 Calder Cup Playoff MVP. In just 67 games, he has established single-season career highs in assists (64) and points (90) and is poised to become the third BEARS player in four years to win the AHL scoring title.

Bourque currently ranks ninth all-time on the BEARS’ career assists list (260) and 15th all-time with 390 points in his HERSHEY tenure.

Aucoin, 33, sets an all-time record for an AHL center with his sixth career postseason All-Star Team selection (Second Team 2006, ’07, ’11; First Team ’09, ’10, ’12). Aucoin was recalled on February 3 by the parent Washington Capitals, for whom he has nine points in 25 games this season, yet still ranks second in the AHL in assists (59) and fourth in points (70). The native of Waltham, MA now ranks sixth with 554 career assists and 15th with 777 career points over his decorated AHL career.

Bourque (left wing) and Aucoin (center) join Syracuse Crunch right wing Kyle Palmieri, Norfolk Admirals defenseman Mark Barberio, St. John’s IceCaps defenseman Paul Postma, and Oklahoma City Barons goaltender Yann Danis in earning AHL First All-Star Team recognition.

Washington Capitals reassign Holtby, Aucoin, Rechlicz to AHL Hershey

Before practice today, the Washington Capitals made a little more space in their dressing room, assigning goalie Braden Holtby and forwards Keith Aucoin and Joel Rechlicz to AHL Hershey.

Holtby was with the club on a special roster exemption for last night’s game, a 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.  With the Caps not playing until Friday, Tomas Vokoun should be recovered from the illness that has prevented him from playing the last two games.

Aucoin played five games in his most recent recall and was a healthy scratch last night.  He did not contribute a point while up with the big club, but leads the AHL in scoring and assists this season.

Rechlicz played in his third game last night, playing less than two minutes on two shifts, but did manage to accumulate a 10 minute misconduct from the bench for taunting.

These moves also open up two roster spots for the Capitals in advance of the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27.

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Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

Aucoin up, Eakin down first of many moves for Caps?

Keith Aucoin mixing it up in a January game for Hershey. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The Washington Capitals made a flurry of moves Thursday for what may be just the start of a very busy couple of weeks for GM George McPhee as the NHL trade deadline approaches.

The move with the most obvious impact was sending forward Cody Eakin down to AHL Hershey and recalling forward Keith Aucoin.  Aucoin, 33, leads the AHL in points (70) and assists (59) with 11 goals in 43 games with Hershey this season.  Aucoin in only 30 assists shy of matching the AHL record for assists in one season.  He’s a seasoned AHL playmaker and right now, the Caps can use all the veteran help they can get.

Eakin, 20, has four goals and four assists in 29 games with the Capitals this season.  A widely heralded prospect, Eakin just hasn’t been able to get on a run with the Caps, and recently has been helming the fourth line, getting around six minutes a game under Coach Dale Hunter.  At this point in his development, it’s better for him to be playing every day at Hershey getting plenty of playing time.

The switch starts to address one of the major needs for the Capitals, though it still perpetuates another.  The Caps are getting very shaky contributions from their centers and Aucoin brings a more seasoned game than Eakin right now.  Unfortunately, it’s not just on the offensive end the Caps need help with regard to their center position.  On defense, the center has to act as a third defenseman, and Aucoin is small in stature (listed at 5’11, 170) as are fellow centers Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault.

It’s not a perfect fit, but the Caps need to try everything at their roster disposal until they decide to get into the market for a second line center.

The Capitals also made a pair of minor league trades Thursday.  In one, they sent RW Matt Ford to Philadelphia in exchange for 22-year old defenseman Kevin Marshall.  Marshall recorded five points (two goals, three assists) for AHL Adirondack this season and appeared in 10 NHL games for the Flyers, collecting eight penalty minutes.  He was a second round pick (41st overall) in the 2007 entry draft for Philly.

In the other deal, the Caps acquired center Mike Carman from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Danny Richmond.  Carman, 23, scored six points (three goals, three assists) for the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL.  Carman was a third round pick (81st overall) of Colorado in the 2006 entry draft.

Both players will report to AHL Hershey.  Marshall gives the Caps a little more blue-line depth in the organization.

Matt Ford and Danny Richmond, shown here in a January game in Hershey. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

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Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

HERSHEY BEARS: FIGHT NIGHT (PHOTOS)

“Saturday night’s alright for fighting. Get a little action in.” – Elton John

With the Caps on the road, I decided to make the trip up to Hershey, PA to take in a Bears game. The Hershey Bears hosted the Adirondack Phantoms (Flyers affiliate) in front of almost 11,ooo fans. Saturday night was a re-match of Friday’s AHL Outdoor game at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia where the Bears fell to the Phantoms in OT.

You know the old joke “I Went To A Fight and a Hockey Game Broke Out?” That saying pretty much sums up the mayhem at Giant Center on Saturday night (see list of penalties below with a total of 154 PIMs). The game was chippy from the start, maybe some residual emotion from the Outdoor Classic. Bears prevailed this time though, with a 5-2 win over Phantoms.

Here are a sample of photos. Will post additional ones later (hotel connection is slow).

Brandon Manning started things up with Jacob Micflikier, causing spin-off brawls (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

After Ben Holstrom starting things up with Keith Aucoin, Aucoin got in a solid punch (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Tempers flare towards end of third period (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Bears teammates cheer on Zack Miskovic during his brawl Brandon Manning, part of the

Blood on Zack Miskovic

LIST OF PENALTIES:

1st V J. Kalinski 2.00 Hooking 1:31
1st V K. Marshall 5.00 Fighting 11:12
1st H A. Carroll 5.00 Fighting 11:12
1st H J. Rechlicz 10.00 Misconduct – Unsportsmanlike conduct (75.4) 11:12
1st H K. Greentree 2.00 Cross-checking 12:17
1st H J. Micflikier 2.00 Unsportsmanlike conduct 16:06
1st V B. Holmstrom 2.00 Interference 16:09
1st H R. Potulny 2.00 Slashing 18:49
2nd H J. Micflikier 2.00 Hooking 14:08
2nd V T. Brown 2.00 Tripping 17:29
3rd V C. Eddy 2.00 Tripping 1:12
3rd V B. Manning 2.00 Roughing 2:01
3rd H J. Micflikier 2.00 Roughing 2:01
3rd V B. Holmstrom 2.00 Roughing 13:06
3rd V B. Holmstrom 2.00 Roughing 13:06
3rd H K. Aucoin 2.00 Roughing 13:06
3rd V T. Brown 2.00 Roughing 16:30
3rd V T. Brown 2.00 Roughing 16:30
3rd V C. Eddy 5.00 Fighting 16:30
3rd V C. Eddy 10.00 Game misconduct – Secondary altercation (46.6) 16:30
3rd V O. Lauridsen 10.00 Misconduct – Unsportsmanlike conduct (75.4) 16:30
3rd V B. Manning 5.00 Fighting 16:30
3rd V T. Sestito 5.00 Fighting 16:30
3rd V T. Sestito 10.00 Game misconduct – Fighting off the playing surface (46.7) 16:30
3rd H A. Carroll 2.00 Roughing 16:30
3rd H A. Carroll 2.00 Roughing 16:30
3rd H Z. Miskovic 5.00 Fighting 16:30
3rd H J. Rechlicz 5.00 Fighting 16:30
3rd H J. Rechlicz 10.00 Misconduct – Continuing altercation (46.5) 16:30
3rd H J. Rechlicz 10.00 Misconduct – Unsportsmanlike conduct (75.4) 16:30
3rd H J. Rechlicz 10.00 Game misconduct – Unsportsmanlike conduct (75.5(i)) 16:30
3rd H D. Richmond 5.00 Fighting 16:30
3rd H D. Richmond 10.00 Game misconduct – Secondary altercation (46.6) 16:30

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