Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom star in life-insurance commercial for MassMutual: 'We are duo'

Sports

Russian Machine Never Breaks 12 October, 2021 - 11:08am

What the Capitals can expect out of Hendrix Lapierre and Connor McMichael, plus more opening-night roster notes

The Athletic 12 October, 2021 - 06:24pm

What the Capitals can expect out of Hendrix Lapierre and Connor McMichael, plus more opening-night roster notes

Ovechkin, wife Nastya, Backstrom star in funny new commercial

NHL.com 12 October, 2021 - 09:28am

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Alex Ovechkin takes looking out for his teammate to the next level in a new commercial.

The Washington Capitals captain stars in a funny spot for MassMutual Insurance alongside his wife, Nastya, and longtime teammate Nicklas Backstrom.

The ad starts with a puzzled Nastya asking Ovechkin, who is eating cereal, why Backstrom is listed on his insurance policy. Ovechkin explains his thinking, telling his wife he and Backstrom are a duo.

"If something happens to me, who is 'Backy' going to pass the puck to?" Ovechkin deadpans. "His power-play points might drop. How he will get his assists? What then?"

It is then revealed that Backstrom, who has assisted on 269 of Ovechkin's 730 NHL goals, is also at the Ovechkin home.

"Yeah, what then?" Backstrom asks Nastya, who shoots him a look as he loudly slurps cereal on the couch.

The spot then cuts to two framed pictures, one of Ovechkin and Nastya at their wedding and another of Ovechkin and Backstrom (who will begin the season on long-term injured reserve because of a hip injury) in the Capitals locker room.

It ends with Nastya asking, "And why is he always always here for breakfast?"

The Capitals open the regular season against the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT).

LAS VEGAS -- The Seattle Kraken will make history when they play their first regular-season game Tuesday, no matter what happens against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena (10 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin participated in the Washington Capitals' optional practice Tuesday and could play in their season opener against the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT).

NEW YORK -- Following are NHL club rosters, as of 10 a.m., Eastern time, on the opening day of the 2021-22 regular season.

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid said he is determined to raise the bar even higher this season for himself and the Edmonton Oilers.

LAS VEGAS -- Jared McCann, Jamie Oleksiak, Joonas Donskoi and Calle Jarnkrok remain in NHL COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable when the Seattle Kraken play the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS), coach Dave Hakstol said.

The Colorado Avalanche have not gotten past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2001-02 season, but they will win the Stanley Cup this season, according to a panel of NHL.com writers and editors. 

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews is expected to be out for the Toronto Maple Leafs' first three games of the season.

Nick Suzuki agreed to an eight-year, $63 million contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. It has an average annual value of $7.875 million and runs through the 2029-30 season.

Brian Boyle signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Boone Jenner was named captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

When Kirsten Welsh graduated from Robert Morris University in 2019, after her four-year Division I hockey career, she had no real way to continue in the sport and remain in Pittsburgh. Playing overseas didn't work. The National Women's Hockey League didn't work.

A flurry of trades and free agent signings this offseason relocated a host of a familiar faces to new places for the 2021-22 season. Here is where some of the bigger names landed (listed alphabetically):

Each season there are NHL prospects who surprise during training camp and play well enough to earn a roster spot to begin the regular season.

VANCOUVER -- Travis Hamonic won't start the season with the Vancouver Canucks, but general manager Jim Benning said he expects the defenseman to join the team after reporting to their American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford after clearing waivers Monday.

Mark Giordano was named the first captain of the Seattle Kraken on Monday.

LAS VEGAS -- As the Vegas Golden Knights warmed up for their inaugural home opener at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 10, 2017, two fans stood against the glass in the Vegas end and stood out amid the black, gray and gold.

The Los Angeles Kings are skating in a new-old style. 

Mika Zibanejad agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the New York Rangers on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper signed a three-year contract extension Monday to remain coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning through at least the 2024-25 season.

The 2021-22 NHL season begins Tuesday and will see 32 teams each playing 82 games, equaling a total of 1,312 regular-season games to be played before the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs start May 2.

Welcome to the 2021-22 NHL training camp buzz. With training camps open for all 32 teams, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

Olli Juolevi was traded to the Florida Panthers by the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday for forward Juho Lammikko and defenseman Noah Juulsen.

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper said he wants the Tampa Bay Lightning to embrace their potential to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions.

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Capitals Announce Official Roster to Open Season

Japers' Rink 12 October, 2021 - 09:17am

Hendrix Lapierre and Connor McMichael are notable inclusions for the Capitals opening night roster.

Notably, Connor McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre, Beck Malenstyn, and Martin Fehervary have all been included on the roster.

Here’s more from the team:

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals have announced the 23 players who will make up the team’s roster for the season opener versus the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena on Wednesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m., senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

Fourteen forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders make up the Capitals’ season-opening roster, led by captain Alex Ovechkin, who enters the season with 730 career goals and two goals shy of passing Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. A 37-goal season would propel Ovechkin to 767 goals, which would pass Dionne, Brett Hull (741) and Jaromir Jagr (766) for third on the NHL’s all-time goals list.

The Capitals will look to make the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season and the 32nd time in franchise history. The Capitals have reached the postseason in 13 of the last 14 seasons, joining the Pittsburgh Penguins as the only teams with as many appearances in the last 14 years.

Washington’s roster includes the vast majority of players who made up last year’s team that finished the season tied for first in the East Division, and a pair of recent first round selections, Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre, who finished the preseason first on the team and tied for fifth among rookies in points (5). Lapierre, Washington’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, ranked eighth in the QMJHL in points per game (1.48) in 2020-21, recording 31 points (8g, 23a) in 21 games with Chicoutimi. Lapierre led Chicoutimi in assists and ranked second on the team in points. McMichael, Washington’s first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, made his NHL and Capitals debut last season. During the 2020-21 campaign, McMichael led Hershey in goals (14) and points (27), appearing in all 33 games.

The Capitals’ core of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson will enter their seventh season together. Only the Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets have at least seven players play together for the last six seasons on their active roster.

Goaltenders Ilya Samsonov (24) and Vitek Vanecek (25) are expected to start the season as the Capitals’ goaltenders and will begin the season as the youngest goaltending duo in the NHL.

Backstrom will begin the season on a long-term injury list, which will require him to miss the first 10 games of the season.

Head coach Peter Laviolette will enter his second season with the franchise and first full 82-game season. Last season, Laviolette set a franchise record with a .688 points percentage (36-15-5), the highest points percentage by a first-year head coach in franchise history. Laviolette also passed four coaches on the all-time wins list and is entering this season one win shy from passing John Tortorella for the most wins by a US-born head coach in NHL history.

Capitals Announce 2021-22 Season-Opening Roster

Washington Captials Web Site 12 October, 2021 - 08:31am

Fourteen forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders make up the Capitals' season-opening roster, led by captain Alex Ovechkin, who enters the season with 730 career goals and two goals shy of passing Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth place on the NHL's all-time goals list. A 37-goal season would propel Ovechkin to 767 goals, which would pass Dionne, Brett Hull (741) and Jaromir Jagr (766) for third on the NHL's all-time goals list.

The Capitals will look to make the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season and the 32nd time in franchise history. The Capitals have reached the postseason in 13 of the last 14 seasons, joining the Pittsburgh Penguins as the only teams with as many appearances in the last 14 years. 

Washington's roster includes the vast majority of players who made up last year's team that finished the season tied for first in the East Division, and a pair of recent first round selections, Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre, who finished the preseason first on the team and tied for fifth among rookies in points (5). Lapierre, Washington's first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, ranked eighth in the QMJHL in points per game (1.48) in 2020-21, recording 31 points (8g, 23a) in 21 games with Chicoutimi. Lapierre led Chicoutimi in assists and ranked second on the team in points. McMichael, Washington's first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, made his NHL and Capitals debut last season. During the 2020-21 campaign, McMichael led Hershey in goals (14) and points (27), appearing in all 33 games. 

The Capitals' core of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson will enter their seventh season together. Only the Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets have at least seven players play together for the last six seasons on their active roster.

Goaltenders Ilya Samsonov (24) and Vitek Vanecek (25) are expected to start the season as the Capitals' goaltenders and will begin the season as the youngest goaltending duo in the NHL.

Backstrom will begin the season on a long-term injury list, which will require him to miss the first 10 games of the season. 

Head coach Peter Laviolette will enter his second season with the franchise and first full 82-game season. Last season, Laviolette set a franchise record with a .688 points percentage (36-15-5), the highest points percentage by a first-year head coach in franchise history. Laviolette also passed four coaches on the all-time wins list and is entering this season one win shy from passing John Tortorella for the most wins by a US-born head coach in NHL history.

Throughout their 2021 training camp, the Caps have been adjusting to life without Nicklas Backstrom. Now down to the final hours of that camp and with Wednesday's season opener looming on the horizon, the team took the ice for a Sunday morning practice session without both Backstrom and captain Alex Ovechkin.

Wrap It Up - The Caps concluded their 2021 exhibition season on Friday night at Capital One Arena with a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Washington finished the preseason at 2-3-1, collecting victories in each of its last two games, the two games in which it dressed its most representative roster.

As far as preseason games go, Friday's exhibition finale between the Caps and the Philadelphia Flyers was a feisty and lively affair, and one that should suffice as a last tune-up for Washington ahead of its season opener on Wednesday against the New York Rangers. After letting a 2-0 second-period lead slip away, the Caps rallied in the third and skated away with a 5-3 victory.

Last Dance - The Caps and Flyers meet up on Friday night in the District for one last preseason tilt before the real deal rolls around next week. The two teams met last Saturday in Philadelphia with the Flyers prevailing by a 3-1 count.

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals announced today initiatives surrounding the team's 2021-22 regular season home opener presented by GEICO on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The Capitals host the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena that evening. Highlights include:

Time: 7 p.m.

TV: NBCSW

Radio: 106.7 FAN and Caps Radio 24/7

Win - Facing the Bruins in Boston in the last of three consecutive preseason road games, the Caps came away with their first victory of the exhibition season, a 4-3 overtime win.

Anthony Mantha's goal at 1:41 of overtime propelled the Caps to their first win of the preseason on Wednesday night in Boston, sealing a 4-3 victory for the visitors.

On The Road Again - Washington takes to the road one last time in its 2021 preseason/training camp, facing the Bruins in Boston on Wednesday night. This is the third of three straight road games for the Caps, who will conclude their 2021 preseason six-pack of games on Friday night in the District when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.

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