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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

It Ends Tonight

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals have had more layers than a Russian novel and nearly as many novel Russians.

Crosby and Ovechkin have been brilliant, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin richly compelling, and the bad blood and political rhetoric have been flowing consistently in just the right dosages, not too bitter, not too mild.

Does it have to end tonight?

Fans of both hockey clubs, could they be absent their passion for five seconds, might find meaning in the ancient Jackson Browne lyric finally poked into the pop culture net by Glenn Frey:

We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here ag’in.

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added 9:07am, from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post,

So tonight, into the specter of Washington Game 7s, enter Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the stars of the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively. As good as this Eastern Conference semifinal series has been—and, impossibly, “it’s lived up to the hype,” Washington forward Brooks Laich said—it is only tonight when it can cement itself as one of the best and most riveting events in Washington sports history.

“It’s what’s going to make these guys great,” Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It’s going to make them remembered. No one’s going to remember who lost Game 7. But they’ve got the ability to—and I told them yesterday—to create history again.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Missing Out On A Great Game

from Sean Gregory of Time,

What a dream series for the NHL. The league’s two best players, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are going goal for goal, assist for assist, in an Eastern Conference semifinal series headed for a deciding Game 7 Wednesday night. In Game 2, a captivating 4-3 Capitals win, both guys scored hat tricks. Five of the games have been decided by one goal, and three have gone into overtime.

It’s a once-in-a-decade duel — the kind of rare treat that somehow exceeds the hype. So tonight, tune into channel 603, and catch the last game of an instant classic.

That’s right: channel 603, square in television’s Yukon Territory. Since the hockey playoffs are on Versus, formerly known as the Outdoor Life Network, viewers in many markets will have to search the hinterland of channel listings in order to watch the games….

Due to Versus’ limited carriage and penalty box position on many channel lineups, what should be a transcendent series for hockey in America is barely cracking mainstream consciousness. Versus has carried all of the Penguins-Caps series except for Game 1, which NBC broadcast on May 2, and has averaged 1.04 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The series is drawing a smaller audience than last year’s College Baseball World Series, on ESPN, when it averaged 1.4 million viewers.

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As I have mentioned in the past, hockey fans will watch, casual sports fans, those that click the remote trying to find a game, will not watch.  Not many people have Versus in their ‘favorites’ list and it is too bad, they will be missing a great game tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Great Day For Hockey

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail (Thursday edition),

“I just wish it was for the final,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, his face red from the excitement, said after Game 6.

So all of hockey wishes, for this has already been a series for the ages: Ovechkin, the world’s most exciting player, against Sidney Crosby, perhaps the world’s best player and certainly Canada’s best; a series that has already had three games go into overtime; a series in which five games were decided by a single goal, one by two; a series where the lead can change quicker than Ovechkin’s early-game and late-game stick curves.

It is hard to believe Crosby, the remarkable 21-year-old captain of the Penguins, has never before played in a Game 7, never before experienced the very thing he says he dreamed of as a little kid in the basement, in the driveway, in the backyard rinks when he was growing up in Nova Scotia.

Ovechkin, 23, had his own dreams growing up in Russia, and it has come true and even beyond true in recent years. “My dream,” he said Tuesday, “was to be one of the best.”

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Penguins Had Their Chance

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

What a waste of the Penguins’ stirring 4-3 overtime win at the Verizon Center in Game 5. Now, they must beat the confident Capitals again in their building, a tough assignment under any circumstances, let alone without, in all likelihood, Gonchar.

Good luck with that.

You had better believe the Penguins are going to need every bit of their character and resiliency.

They’re still planning on showing up, though.

“The composure level of this team is pretty high,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “Everybody stays on board.”

more

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Advantage Washington

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

“Right now we feel more energy and more excited than Pittsburgh,” the flamboyant Russian said after last night’s 5-4 overtime win at Mellon Arena.

“It’s going to be hard for (the Penguins) to come back because those fans (at Washington’s Verizon Center) are going to be crazy and we’re going to be flying out there.”

It’s never wise to question Ovechkin, who has seven goals and six assists in the six games of this series, but given the swing in momentum thus far, don’t place too much stock in it either.

The vast majority of the series has seen the teams glued to within a goal of each other, three have gone to overtime and only one has had a winning margin of more than one goal.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Finally Get An OT Win - Force Game 7

David Steckel deflects a shot from Brooks Laich and we move on to game 7 in Washington.

One more thing, Bruce Boudreau needs to bet some better collar stays to prevent his shirt collar from pointing upwards.

added 10:44pm, Game highlights via Versus can be watched below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Need More From Semin

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The Washington Capitals will be looking for more balanced scoring in tonight’s Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins given that three players, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Dave Steckel have combined for 12 of the Caps’ 15 goals in this series. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau would specifically like to see more from Alexander Semin, whose contributions have declined as the series has progressed.

“I have no idea what’s behind it. We’ve tried a lot of different things, and hopefully whatever we try today will make him play his best,” Boudreau said. “If you could bottle up why players don’t play good that are supposed to be playing better and why players play above what they’re supposed to be playing, come and tell me and I’ll market that thing.”

continued with more on tonight’s game…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Home Teams Tonight Can Move On To Conference Finals…

Will they?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Know They Can Play Better

from Corey Masisak of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Caps will need to find a way to move past a potentially psyche-damaging defeat Saturday at Verizon Center. If yielding a third-period lead only to salvage overtime but still lose wasn’t enough, the fluky circumstances in which Evgeni Malkin was credited with the winning goal made it a night to forget for the franchise.

Still, there is reason for optimism if the Caps can overcome the mental strain of the defeat.

“It was the best game of our series for sure, but it is not as good as we can play,” Boudreau said. “It’s not like we’ve reached the pinnacle, and they didn’t have (top defenseman Sergei) Gonchar and dressed seven defensemen and they still beat us. We can go better, and I know the character on this group. It is always, no matter who you play, the hardest game to win is the last game.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Washington/Pittsburgh Observations

from Roy MacGregor (Monday edition) of the Globe and Mail,

• Washington defenceman Mike Green, a regular-season sensation and some say the favourite to take the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman, may have played himself off the Canadian Olympic team with his performance in this series. His play in his own end has been horrific; his play at the other end far below his regular-season standard.

• Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby never takes a shift off. Though observers have often criticized him for being a “whiner,” he plays with a passion and determination that should make him captain of the Canadian Olympic hockey team.

• Washington’s Alexander Semin, who had lead the league in scoring before getting injured earlier in the year and who is widely held to be one of the game’s great talents, has been a bust this series after being the star of Washington’s first-round victory over the New York Rangers.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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