Ovechkin continues points barrage in Russia
Dmitri Orlov and Braden Holtby could not have had two more different experiences during last year’s Stanley Cup playoff run with the Washington Capitals.
While Holtby emerged as the Caps’ starting goalie and drew comparisons to a young Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy, Orlov was a healthy scratch in all 14 games.
Seven months later, the Caps top goaltending and defensive prospects are back in the same boat. Both are proven NHLers (Orlov played 60 games with the Caps last season) playing with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears as the NHL lockout continues.
Holtby said Thursday that there is still room for improvement in his game, and Bears head coach Mark French says the same holds true for the 21-year-old Orlov.
“It’s been a little more up and down for him,” French said Thursday of Orlov’s season so far. “As of late he’s been good. I think there’s been a little bit of an adjustment for everybody with the new system.”
Orlov has seen top minutes and power play time with the Bears this season and has one goal and nine points in 18 games.
“I think it’s a great thing for Dmitri to down with us and to continue to harness his game,” French said. “His individual skills are excellent, but he needs to find his game within the confines of our team game and the Washington team game and he’s been able to do that in Hershey.”
Orlov left Thursday’s AHL Washington Showcase with an upper body injury and has not played in the Bears’ two games since. He is considered day-to-day.
As many as four Capitals prospects from the 2012 draft class may be playing in the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships, Dec.26-Jan.5 in Ufa, Russia.
Filip Forsberg (RD1, 11th overall) will be one of six players returning from last year’s gold medal winning team when Sweden opens its selection camp, Dec. 15. Defenseman Christian Djoos (RD7, 195th overall) has also been invited to the camp.
Tom Wilson (RD1, 16th overall) is one of 37 prospects at this week’s Canadian selection camp in Calgary. Wilson is expected to compete for a spot on one of Canada’s bottom two forward lines. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound bruising forward impressed Hockey Canada during last summer’s four-game Canada-Russia Hockey Challenge.
Riley Barber (RD6, 167th overall) is one of 27 invitees to the Americans’ Dec.16-18 selection camp in New York. Barber is enjoying an impressive freshman campaign at Miami (Ohio) University where he leads the Redhawks in scoring with seven goals and 19 points in 16 games. Former Capitals defenseman Phil Housley is the head coach of the U.S. World Junior team.
Think former Capitals head coach Dale Hunter regrets returning to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights? Think again. Hunter’s Knights entered play Sunday on a 17-game winning streak and with a league-best record of 25-5-0-2.