Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,
As Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz promised following a 3-2 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, he sat down with captain Alex Ovechkin prior to practice Tuesday to discuss his recent spate of penalties.
Ovechkin has taken five minors over the past three games and a team-leading 11 this season, "unacceptable," according to Trotz.
"Actually, it went well," Trotz said of his talk with Ovechkin. "You know and I know that we have a very straightforward relationship. Alex doesn't hide from anything. He mans up, all that. So it was good. He understands the best way to help the team is to not be in the penalty box. Especially some of the stick penalties and stuff, he can get those out of his game. He knows that. We need him on the ice. He knows that we need him on the ice. That's where he's going to be most productive.
"So he knows as a leader of our team he can't be putting us down in terms of being a man short as often as he has lately. I know he'll clean it up. He always responds very, very well."
Nice welt forming too.
via Aaron Portzline tweets,
Trotz was particularly upset about the highsticking call - Backstrom on Foligno - that led to #CBJ game-winning power play.
Trotz: "I hope the league looks at that. You see the replay. He doesn’t really touch him. (Foligno's) head pops up when Backy’s stick
is already on the way down. That’s just a little bit disrespectful to the game. the league will look at that. We have fines for ...
"... that. If that’s something that they took advantage of, I wouldn’t be too happy if I was the referee."
Watch the play below and the game winning power play goal too...
The Washington Capitals today listed T.J. Oshie as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
from Jonathan Bombulie of Chipped Ice at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Murray got whacked by Alzner as he bobbled a puck. Malkin objected and engaged Alzner in a wrestling match, knocking off Murray’s helmet and catching him in the head with his stick in the process.
(Murray was fine after the game, by the way. Said he felt the concussion protocol was unnecessary. Sullivan said he left Fleury in because it “just made sense.” I concur. Murray had been through enough already.)...
“We played a team that was more competitive than us tonight and they were better than us tonight,” Sullivan said. “I don’t know how else to explain it. I’m a strong believer that your mindset going into games is critically important to your ability to have success. Our team, as a group tonight, we weren’t ready to play. We can search for solutions tactically, but sometimes this game is about will more than it’s about skill. It’s a competitive league. If you’re not ready to play, you’re going to get beat.”
more on the Penguins 7-1 loss to the Capitals...
Below are videos of Matt Murray taking the high-stick from Malkin and the game highlights too...
via the YouTube channel of Sportsnet,
For the 39th time in their careers, heavyweights Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will face off as the Pens take on the Capitals on Wednesday Night Hockey.
And the Penguins with a reminder...
Offensive Struggles Continue For The Washington Capitals In 2-1 OT Loss To The Columbus Blue Jackets
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,
Against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, with new forward trios once again, the Capitals scored one goal, giving them three five-on-five goals in their last four games. So, now what?
“It’s up to the group,” Trotz said. “I mean, everybody’s capable of offense. We’ve got to just generate. You know, some guys have got to find the back of the net. Some guys have got to be committed to trying to score. Right now, some guys are not committed enough to score, so they’re going to be on the outside. They’re not going to score.”...
The lines the team debuted at Columbus were taken as a message from Trotz that some skilled players need to start producing, and only Nicklas Backstrom did against the Blue Jackets with a goal in the second period. He scored again in the third period, but it was then disallowed after Columbus successfully challenged it was offsides.
Captain Alex Ovechkin, playing with grinding, defensive center Jay Beagle, played just 14:12, the second-lowest time on ice he’s logged in his career in a full game. The only time he played less, he was a rookie and was five games into his career. Ovechkin is second on the team in scoring with seven goals and four assists, but he doesn’t have a point in four straight games.
Game highlights are below...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Here in cautious Northern Alberta -- where folks have been burned numerous times by buying into a rebuild that would show some promise, then quickly go up in smoke -- they’re not real sure about how much credit they should give their Oilers right now.
“We’re seven games in,” cautioned the NHL’s leading scorer Connor McDavid, after another two-point night. “We’re 6-1 and that’s a good start, but that’s all it is.”
Really? Is that really all it is?
Down the hall in a Washington dressing room where the Capitals suffered their second straight regulation defeat — something that did not happen in the entire 2015-16 season — they saw a little more than that from Edmonton.
“Their structure is what’s really noticeable,” said Caps defenceman Karl Alzner. “They’re playing more aggressive. They’re playing rushes earlier and smarter. They’re battling really, really hard.
“The new building and everything, the team’s feeling good. You can see that with the urgency in their game.”
Goalie Cam Talbot, whose save percentage jumps to .927, made 34 saves and was beaten only by Ovechkin on a rebound. He’s giving Edmonton lights-out goaltending, the caliber of which this team has not received in a decade.
The game highlight package is not available at this point, but you can watch post-game interviews below after the 4-1 win by the Oilers over the Capitals.
“The most important [analogy], and the most distressing one, and the most depressing one is that the Nats are the Caps. That’s who they are. The Washington Nationals are the Washington Capitals. That’s who they are. It doesn’t matter who the manager is. Dusty Baker now 0-9 in his last nine elimination games — 0 and 9! The Nationals are now 0-for-3 in postseason series in this city.
“They win 95 games. They’re really good. They’re great. And then they can’t win. They can’t win. They don’t win. Whatever happens to the Capitals — who are the worst choking dogs of any sport, ever, they’re the worst — this is being passed along like the Zika virus, and the Nats have it now. The Nats have it.”
“Look, they’re the Caps now okay, the Washington Nationals are the Washington Capitals. They choke. They just cannot win any of these series.”
-Tony Kornheiser. Read more from Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog.
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.
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