In what is one of the most heartwarming hockey stories of the year, J.J. Regan of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports on a former Washington Capitals recent find overseas. Peter Bondra, a 500-goal man who spent most of his career in the nation’s capital, now travels around the world seeking out hockey talent as an ambassador of the game.
In Abu Dhabi of all places, he found Fatima Al Ali, a member of the UAB National Women’s team and owner of some of the silkiest hands anywhere in the world. Bondra provides proof of her skill with twitter videos and even claims she has better hands than him. Fatima also happens to be a Capitals fan, so the team is bringing her to Washington in February to celebrate ’Hockey Is For Everyone’ month.
- Staying in Washington, tonight is a return for Andre Burakovsky after three games as a healthy scratch. The former first-round pick has gone ice cold after a fast start, and is pointless in his last seven games. After playing 18:30 in the season opener (including overtime) and scoring two goals, Burakovsky played just 8:06 in his most recent game. He seems positive about the situation though, saying that “It helped me last year when I was not playing really well and I sat out for two games and came back and my game just turned around from being bad to being really good”. Hopefully it happens again or he may find himself right back in the press box before long.
- In New Jersey, there are early reports from Pete Dougherty that the team will call up Seth Helgeson tomorrow after the defenseman was “unavailable” for tonight’s Albany Devils game. It’s unclear why he’d be brought up unless one of their current defensemen has suffered an injury in practice. A possible explanation is Ray Shero’s recent comments to Andrew Gross of The Record, in which he says that the key to the team turning around their early season struggles is to “Play [expletive] harder.” Helgeson is a big mean defender who might be able to give them a physical boost, though there is no guarantee he’ll get into the lineup right away.