The Capitals are preparing for Wednesday’s game one against the New York Rangers at Verizon Center, but announced today that they have signed Mike Knuble to a one-year contract extension. Knuble is 38 and has played in 968 career regular season NHL games and really wants to get to 1000 regular season games played. He has 24 goals and 16 assists on the season, including his 8th consecutive 20 goal season. Knuble has been playing great down the stretch this season with nine goals in his last 13 games. Knuble said, “I’m thrilled about it” on his contract extension. Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau compared Knuble to fine wine and said, “He’s just getting better.” Knuble’s contract is worth a reported two million dollars.
Every Capitals player was on the ice for practice today besides Dennis Wideman who has been ruled out of the first round with a hematoma. Defenseman Sean Collins is still here and practiced today. On the defensive side it looked like Schultz and Hannan were paired together and Erskine and Green paired together. Tom Poti skated about twenty minutes before practice and practiced fully.
The Caps forward lines this morning looked like: 8-19-22, 18-44-28, 21-90-25, 26-15-10, 16-83-17. As of now it looks like Eric Fehr is the odd man out for game one. Still no word officially on who the Caps starting goaltender is, most likely it will be Michal Neuvirth (27-12-4, 2.45 GAA, .914 Save pct.) and four shutouts on the season. For the Rangers it will be Henrik Lundqvist (36-27-5, 2.28 GAA, .923 Save pct.) who led the NHL with 11 shutouts including a pair against the Capitals. Lundqvist has started 26 games in a row for the Rangers who were 6-3-1 in their last 10.
Matt Hendricks is the Capitals nominee from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best “exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.” Hendricks was also nominated for the award last season in Colorado. Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin, Jason Arnott, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Michal Neuvirth, John Carlson and Matt Hendricks had to say following practice.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Jason Arnott Practice Audio
Mike Knuble Practice Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Mike Green Practice Audio
Michal Neuvirth Practice Audio
John Carlson Practice Audio
Matt Hendricks Practice Audio
Sky Kerstein is 106.7 The FAN’s Capitals Beat Reporter and co-host of “Morning Skate” every Sunday from 9am-10am on 106.7 The FAN. Also you can find video recaps of every Caps game and post-game interviews on www.1067thefandc.com. You can get in touch with Sky on Facebook or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/SkyKerstein.