The Washington Capitals might have had a pretty incredible first against the Carolina Hurricanes and Vegas Golden Knights the last two nights.
With usual alternate captains Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, TJ Oshie, and Tom Wilson all out due to injury, Peter Laviolette gave Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov the A’s and the opportunity to serve under Alex Ovechkin on the leadership team.
This appears (but is not confirmed) to be the first time in franchise history there were all Russian players as Capitals’ captains during games.
Note: It’s worth pointing out that this is almost impossible to 100 percent confirm due to the historical data of alternate captains not being public.
Here are photos of all three from warmups tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights.
While the Capitals have had several big-time Russian leaders on the team like Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov in the past, Ovechkin is the only one that has been the captain of the team and his reign began (January 5, 2010, against the Montreal Canadiens) after Fedorov and Kozlov had moved on from DC. Other former Caps like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Semin were not utilized as A’s and this is Kuznetsov and Orlov’s first opportunity in a regular season game.
Kuznetsov specifically got the opportunity due to Oshie’s injury while Orlov got the A because of John Carlson missing his second straight game. Carlson is likely back to game action later this week, so the Russian troika of captains may end after tonight.
This may also be an NHL first as well, but again, it’s difficult to know for sure.
Ovechkin is one of seven Russian NHL players who have been captains including Alexei Yashin (Senators and Islanders), Alex Kovalev (Canadiens), Ilya Kovalchuk (Thrashers), Pavel Bure (Panthers), Alexei Zhamnov (Blackhawks), and Alexander Mogilny (Sabres).
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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