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Category: Washington-Capitals

Evening Line- Larry Brooks On Alex Ovechkin And The Washington Capitals

The Capitals fans likely would buy into an Ovechkin deal at this point. But there is surely no guarantee that owner Ted Leonsis would be amenable to moving on from the individual who almost singularly transformed the Caps into a power brand in the league and a vibrant product in D.C. and for whom he always demonstrated the utmost support. If Ovechkin is traded, it will be an ownership decision.

Twelve years of Ovechkin. Seven division titles. Four first-seeds without a conference title. Never once more than seven playoff wins in any year to show for it.

The Caps am what they am.

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on the Caps and other toics like this...

If the Chicago-Los Angeles Western power axis shifts to Edmonton-Nashville, as seems quite possible, what exactly does that mean on a national scale to and for an NHL that has a soft spot for its small markets, but thrives when big-market powers dominate?

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

Exit Day In Washington

from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog at The Washington Post,

Had I been running the Capitals late Wednesday night, I would have fired every staffer from the head coach to the head cook, told half the players they’d be traded, and informed the other half that winning another Presidents Trophy would be a fireable offense.

You would have done the same thing. You might even have fired the assistant cook. There was anger everywhere, enough that my single page of random snippets overheard on the Verizon Center concourse included five profanities in eight lines. One of the lines consisted of just four letters. All caps.

So I did the rational thing, and I waited 24 hours, and then things started coming into focus. The Capitals were the NHL’s best regular-season team two years in a row. Both times, thanks to an obscene NHL playoff format, they wound up playing the East’s second-best team in the second round. Both series were tight; over 13 games, the Penguins outscored Washington by three goals, 36-33. Over the last two playoff seasons, Washington has, by a massive margin, the NHL’s biggest advantage in 5-on-5 shot attempts. (The Caps are plus-202, more than twice as much as anyone else.) Making a panicked overhaul might satisfy disgruntled fans out for scalps. But turning the league’s best team into a less-good team is like trading a free spin of a dollar slot machine for a free spin of a penny slot machine, just because your last four spins on the dollar machine were all losers. Superstitions are fun, but they aren’t a strategy.

Then I attended Friday’s breakdown interviews, an annual Washington ritual of regret. There was very little talk of we’ll-get-em-next-year. There was very little talk of trusting the process. It sounded like the players would consider firing themselves.


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

Hurting In Washington

from Ted Leonsis of Ted's Take,

This loss hurts. I thought we had the pieces in place to win the Cup. We didn’t make enough plays at critical times. Congratulations to the Penguins – they overcame adversity and made more plays when it counted most.

I feel awful – almost numb, yet frustrated. I know many of our fans – locally and around the world – feel the same way. Sports teams impact the psyche of a city, and I feel terrible that we have let you down.

Our fans are incredible, and they certainly make Verizon Center a special place. It’s red. It’s loud. It’s respectful. It’s fun. They demonstrate such affection for our team and players and are extremely supportive of what we are attempting to accomplish on and off the ice. Thank you. We feel your love, and we share your pain.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+leonsis

Mike Sullivan Works His Magic Again

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Most observers (columnist sheepishly raises his hand) thought the Penguins were cooked after the Monday Night Massacre. The Capitals seemed to be progressively outplaying them, to the point where Game 6 was not competitive.

The Capitals were finally going to have their day. They weren’t going to be the Buffalo Bills anymore (although at least the Bills made it to the Super Bowl).

But that was before Sullivan put his team through a rigorous, 45-minute workout/tutorial Tuesday, before he made a series of tactical changes, reworked all his lines, changed two of his defense pairs and inserted Carter Rowney and Scott Wilson into the lineup.

If the Penguins were going to go down, it wouldn’t be because the coach was stubborn.

“His ability to stay calm and refocus us is something our team feeds off of,” said defenseman Ian Cole. “His message was, ‘Nothing that happened before matters; it only matters what you’re going to do tonight to help this team win.’ “


Below, watch the game highlights and handshake line...

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

Same Result For The Washington Capitals

from Thomas Bosewell of the Washington Post,

The boos started in Verizon Center with 33.5 seconds left to play and all hope gone — again. The wave of disappointment from Washington fans, to give them credit, was not terribly loud, a kind of ritual admonition administered annually with only middling conviction to the incorrigible child of American pro sports: the Washington Capitals.

The punishment perfectly fit the crime because the Caps played with merely middling conviction themselves in their season-ending 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 7 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series, the exact postseason juncture at which this pupil with “A” talent almost always hands in a “D” paper on the final exam.

Some of the red-clad Caps fans trickled out of Verizon during a last desperate, pathetically pointless Washington timeout. But the huge majority stayed seated. Who has the bad manners to stand up and walk out before the funeral is finished?

This was, indeed, a funeral for hockey hope. The Caps, who claimed publicly long ago that they would win multiple Stanley Cups in the Alex Ovechkin Era, and who were predicted to win the Cup often, including this year, may never be so strong again. Or face a central foe so wounded as the Penguins, who were without their best goalie, their best defenseman, Kris Letang, and, in Game 7, useful veterans defenseman Trevor Daley and winger Carl Hagelin, too.


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

The Pittsburgh Penguins Advance To The Eastern Conference Final

By defeating the Washington Capitals 2-0, they earn the right to face the Ottawa Senators.

Game-winning goal from Bryan Rust.



Second goal by Patric Hornqvist is below...

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

Morning Line- Barry Trotz

As Washington fans continue looking at the clock...


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz

Two Game 7’s Tonight, Your Picks

I will do the normal open post tonight but now is probably the time to ask, who do you have tonight.

I am picking the Penguins and Ducks with one of the games going to OT, not sure which one at this point, but hopefully it is the early game.

First question should be, will you even be watching then follow up with who wins.

In case you have been under a rock- Pittsburgh at Washington and Edmonton at Anaheim.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Game 7- Pittsburgh Penguins/Washington Capitals

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

The message Penguins coach Mike Sullivan presented to his team Tuesday, even as the Capitals have pushed back in such a dominant fashion that you have to give them an edge going into Game 7, is that this is a huge opportunity. These are the games in which they live to play. He believes experience in these big situations will serve his team well; he has seen that his group has a knack for seizing the opportunities in front of it.

Trotz's group believes it has developed a resiliency and calm that previous incarnations of the Capitals did not have. The Caps get the biggest possible stage besides Stanley Cup finals to prove it. We might look back and suggest that this was, in its own way, a prelude to the Cup.

Eight years ago, Ovechkin and Crosby had their entire careers ahead of them. We thought that Game 7 was a preview of more of these moments to come. The reality is that we had to wait. And now the hockey world is watching because we know that you can't just assume it's going to happen again.

"I was just talking about it last night: Is this not the best rivalry in the game right now?" Yeo said. "You don't have your Colorados and Detroits anymore with the physical play."

Instead, you have Crosby vs. Ovechkin. The reigning champions vs. a team desperate to win its own. A surging Capitals team hitting its stride vs. a Penguins team looking to dig deep for one more win and see what happens from there.


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

The Pittsburgh Penguins Now Face A Game 7

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Anything can happen in a Game 7. The Penguins won Games 1 and 2 in Washington so they won’t be afraid of the Verizon Center Wednesday night. They also have the Capitals’ history of failure against them in eight of their nine previous postseason matchups on their side.

But it’s hard to like the Penguins’ chances, isn’t it?

A team with Crosby, Malkin and Phil Kessel managed just 18 shots on Holtby. The Penguins’ first shot on goal didn’t come until 12:17 into the first period, and that one was from 136 feet when Brian Dumoulin happened to direct his clearing attempt on a Washington power play right at Holtby.

The reuniting of the HBK Line — Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Kessel — didn’t help. That group had seven goals and 18 points in the Penguins’ six-game series win against the Capitals last season. They produced nothing Wednesday night.

Not the three power plays were productive for the Penguins. They produced just two shots. It’s no wonder people were angry and booing. How can a team with so much offensive skill look so bad?


Highlights of Washington's 5-2 can be viewed below...

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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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