Thursday, March 08, 2007

Don't Turn Around

(Okay, that title doesn't really have anything to do with this post. I just happen to be listening to XM 90s and rockin' out to Ace of Base. Seriously, I think they're stalking me lately.)

So the question is who has your team called up from the AHL this season?

And the answer is, um...who haven't they called up? Between the oh-so-popular rebuilding period, and the illnesses, and the injuries, and the trades, I'd wager a guess that we've seen just about everyone worth seeing up with the big boys this year. Year's not over yet, either. We've had some pleasant surprises and some expected flops. We've made AHL trades that no one cares about and we've played Russian roulette with the waiver gods. Only in Washington.

There are far too many to mention, but I can point to three as being the most interesting so far:

- Lawrence Nycholat: I start with good ol' Larry even though he's no longer with the team because of all the Hershey call-ups, his was one of the most whirlwind adventures. A career AHLer, 27 year old Nycholat was a key member of the 2006 Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears (WOOOOO!) in his first season and made his Caps debut after a rash of injuries along the blueline left the team shorthanded. He burst onto the scene, scoring 6 points in his first 7 games and registering a +3. He even scored his first NHL goal against none other than Martin Brodeur. But then things cooled off, and he started to show his AHL skills more frequently. Eventually he was put on the IR with what was described as an "illness" before being traded to Ottawa on deadline day. Whew, what a ride.

- Eric Fehr: The Caps have a lot of young talent baking up in Hershey, but the kid a lot of people's hopes are riding on for the Caps' future is Fehr. His past callups have been uneventful at best, but this season he seems to have a new confidence about him. After a brief stint back in November, Fehr was recalled again in January and proceeded to score his first NHL goal that same night against Carolina. Since then he has really started to find his comfort level - I promise you he's one to keep an eye on...

- Frederic Cassivi: Freddy backstopped the Bears to their championship win but had only one start in a Caps uniform until Olie Kolzig went down with a knee injury back in February. Since then he has come in to relieve promoted starter Brent Johnson twice and started once. He has yet to earn a win, but has looked very cool and calm in all three appearances, including a shootout loss to Florida in his first game. He's kept the Caps in games...and they proceed to lose them anyways. But that's the charm of my team, y'know?

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