Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail (Tuesday edition),
With the high-spirited Ovechkin set to invade the Air Canada Centre tonight, (Ron) Wilson was asked to weigh in on the merriment exhibited by the Capitals forward. Wilson agreed with Cherry that Ovechkin took his celebration too far, but unlike the television commentator, Wilson doesn’t mind lively postgoal festivities.
“I didn’t like what he did in the Tampa game,” Wilson said in reference to Ovechkin’s controversial actions last week. “When it’s orchestrated, I don’t think that is right. Being exuberant and happy when you score or a teammate scores, I think we need more of that.”
The words of Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner tonight.
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,
Let the Great Eight celebrate.
The last thing the NHL needs is to inhibit its most exciting star for the sake of maintaining the decorum that every other major sport abandoned 30 years ago.
That includes Bruce Boudreau, the Capitals’ excellent but old-school coach who apparently paddled Alex Ovechkin in private yesterday, then said: “I’ve never seen him do a celebration like that. But I don’t expect it to happen again.”
If it does, just take a few deep breaths. Join the 21st century, or, for that matter, the last quarter of the 20th. Ovechkin doesn’t need to stop his goal-glorifying antics, not even his controversial premeditated “hot-hot-hot stick” pantomime on Thursday night after scoring his 50th goal of the season.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
And frankly I didn’t see anything wrong with the NHL’s most charismatic player going a little overboard to celebrate his monumental goal, just the way I can still see Theo Fleury racing to centre ice, dropping to his knees and spinning with his arm pumping the air in one of the most enthusiastic goal celebrations in NHL history.
So when my colleague Nick Kypreos went on the air after the Leafs game and ripped Ovechkin, I thought he was just nitpicking, a la Don Cherry who is sure to rip the Russian Saturday night on Coach’s Corner.
After he was off the air, Kyper continued his rant and I continued to disagree with him. Right up until he said to me, “Would you want either of your boys to do that?”
Without hesitation I responded, “nope.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
He (Mike Green) seemed to be moving okay. But he definitely is not “fine” as both he and Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the Caps’ 5-2 win. If had to speculate, I would guess that he’s got an abdominal or oblique strain.
The team has not provided an official update on his status.
from Tarik El-Bashi of Capitals Insider,
Here’s what Alex Ovechkin had to say about his goal celebration tonight: “Me, Jose Theodore, [Nicklas] Backstrom and [Mike Green] said if I score goal, Jose tell me just put the stick on the ice and try act like it’s so hot. Backie stopped and Greenie stopped, so I have to do it myself.”
When I asked him if he expected to be ripped by Don Cherry, he shot back with a big smile: “Oh yeah, he’s going to be [ticked] off for sure. I love it. I can’t wait ‘til he says something about me. Old coaches, old system, you know?”
more inlcuding reaction from Boudreau and Tocchet.
If you missed the goal and celebration, watch it here.
added 8:55am, Damian Critodero of the St. Petersburg Times has more from the Tampa side…
added 10:57am, Locker room video added below…
Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season midway in the first period against the Lightning.
AO followed the goal with a celebration with his hands wiggling over his stick which he had placed on the ice.
added 8:36pm, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
After ripping a shot past Mike McKenna, Ovechkin dropped his stick then bent over it and attempted to pick it up. But each time he reached down he pretended that the stick was too hot to touch.
The Lightning fans didn’t appreciate the gesture and booed Ovechkin. Can’t wait to see what Don Cherry will have to say about it on Coach’s Corner on Saturday night.
video added 10:25pm...
added 10:47pm, Extended version of the video added below which was provided by On Frozen Blog....
Every week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.
Question No. 3: Penguins fans are saying that Geno Malkin is the league MVP. Good evidence in the last game - he got five points, he hit the 100-point mark, he leads it by 10. Who’s your choice? It’s basically coming down to Alex Ovechkin or Malkin.
Pierre McGuire: Ovechkin. The big thing on Ovechkin is that he’s probably scored the best goal of this NHL season against the Montreal Canadiens. He does this virtually every single night. If he’s not part of the Washington Capitals, they’re probably not leading the Southeast division, they’re not pushing for home ice in the playoffs. He’s the most valuable player. Take him off the Capitals, they’re not anywhere near as good.
Keith Jones: For me, it’s Malkin. You think of Mike Green with the Capitals, you think of Sergei Gonchar with the Penguins. Gonchar playing now just 15 games, Malkin over the 100-point mark again. Without a great defenceman on the blueline for much of the season, Malkin has gotten the job done.
more and two other questions answered…
from Dan Steinberg at D.C. Sports Bog,
Yes, those were cowbells you heard all over the arena. Several hundred red cowbells reading “Rock the Red” made their debuts at concession stands, retailing for (I think) $8. There were a lot of people who had been drinking St. Patrick’s Day-related beer that day, and many of them wound up with cowbells in their hands.
Good? Bad? Indifferent? I tended to think good, until I heard some of the particularly insistent cowbell shakers, which made me think possibly bad. There are no plans to pass out 18,000 cowbells for the playoffs, in case you were wondering.
Capitals lose to the Thrashers 5-1 last night. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau talks about the loss.
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