Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post,
In his first two seasons, Alex Ovechkin had more ice time on average than any Washington Capitals forward. Yet there was always one situation in which he’d be glued to the bench: as his team protected a lead in the final seconds.
That, however, has started to change this season. With a renewed commitment to defense, Ovechkin has gained Coach Glen Hanlon’s trust, and as a result, was on the ice in the last minute during each of the Capitals’ first two games, both victories.
“Coach trust me more right now,” Ovechkin said after yesterday’s practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “The reason is because I play well in defensive zone, I try to play more smart and I go to spot where I have to stay. It’s working.”
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from On Frozen Blog,
We would have blogged with passion aplenty absent any intervention from the Washington Capitals, but in reflecting on the past year, we’re overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the team’s communications professionals, its athletes, and that filmmaker fella with the nice perch at Verizon Center. The very first comment left at OFB one year ago today was from Mike Vogel. The second came from Ted Leonsis. The next thing we knew we were being invited into Verizon Center’s press box and players’ rooms. What’s excited us most about that remarkable hospitality is its visionary democracy: the Caps have led the entire professional sports industry in laying out the welcome mat to committed bloggers, and there were times last season when a press box row was populated entirely by bloggers.
Without a doubt, the Caps are very blogger friendly. I remember my first interview with Ted Leonsis…Phone rings at my home, “Hi Paul, it’s Ted”...
fro Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Which team will be this season’s surprise story? ESPN.com is picking the Washington Capitals and Scott Burnside will chronicle the team’s travels throughout the season. In Part I, we begin with the team’s newfound vision at training camp.
ARLINGTON, Va.—There is a carnival-like atmosphere inside the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Balloons, booths, NHL trophies and staff decked out in Caps jerseys fill the space between the two ice surfaces on which the Washington Capitals are working out.
from D.C. Sports Bog,
Brashear’s father had been in real estate, and he always wanted to get involved in that industry, and he’s already thinking about what he’ll do post-hockey. And so he and his buddies formed the company and built two houses-a one-level home and a cottage—this summer in Quebec City. And yes, Brashear was out at the sites, using nail guns and making cuts with electric saws and doing some roofing and lifting trusses and putting in hardwood floors and working on ceramic tiles. You know, the usual offseason stuff.
“It’s my company; I want to show the guys that I can be out there and working,” he told me.
From George Solomon at the Washington Post,
Kolzig might not be Cal Ripken—he missed 13 games last season with a knee injury—but his numbers are impressive. Nine seasons as the Caps’ regular goaltender, 702 games in goal overall. A regular season winning percentage of slightly better than .500, and just as important, two major NHL awards for community service.
“It’s rare an athlete plays his entire career with one team, but Washington gave me my opportunity and stuck with me when I was coming up and not what they call a top-end prospect,” Kolzig said. “Playing with one team my whole career, that’s something I’d like to hang my hat on.”
Alex Ovechkin participated in an NHL teleconference today. Here is the transcript…
Q. Lots of good stats but are you at the point where you want the team to make the playoffs? I can’t imagine it’s much fun if the team doesn’t make the playoffs.
ALEX OVECHKIN: My goal is to make the playoffs and I have to score goals and everybody has to score goals. So my goal is to score goals and try to win games.
Q. How is it going to be playing with Michael Nylander?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Right now I’m playing with Viktor Kozlov.
from Fox Sports,
His Capitals have lost tens of millions of dollars, he acknowledges, but the team is worth more than twice the $85 million he paid for it in 1999. The value will only increase if the team, which Leonsis has slowly rebuilt after initially overspending for players, returns to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2003.
“I have to laugh,” Leonsis said, “because we get slammed by newspapers or frankly even some new media properties, and I go, ‘Our salary cap has grown from $39 million to $50 million in two years.’ Whose shoes would you rather be in?”
more on Ted…
from the Washington Post,
At 6 feet 5, 230 pounds, Viktor Kozlov towers above his new teammates. But an enormous frame isn’t the only reason the Washington Capitals forward has stood out from the crowd during training camp.
Kozlov has shown the rare ability to control the puck in traffic, distribute passes with a marksman’s accuracy and use his rangy reach to disrupt opponents—all while operating at top speed
The most intriguing revelation about Kozlov’s game, though, is how it seems to be meshing with left wing Alex Ovechkin’s.
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There is no other NHL team that has used the web to their advantage like the Washington Capitals.
I started receiving a daily email from the Caps titled “Caps Today” with all types of great links in it. It points to audio, links, video and upcoming events.
I would only hope other NHL teams follow the example the Caps are providing us “new media guys”!
from the Washington Post,
“I’m hungry for hockey,” said Ovechkin, who turns 22 on Monday. “I can’t wait until the season starts. We have a stronger team right now. I can feel it in the locker room. This atmosphere . . . everyone is happier, everyone is hungry.”
Ovechkin says he’s in the best shape of his career, having spent less time vacationing and more time on the ice and lifting weights this summer.
After his production dipped from 52 goals and 106 points as a rookie to 46 goals and 92 points last season, Ovechkin rededicated himself with a rigorous training routine. The Moscow native spent six weeks skating and working out in St. Petersburg with Kozlov, Alexander Radulov, Sergei Gonchar, Alexander Semin and Evgeni Malkin, and three weeks practicing with Dynamo Moscow, his former Russian Super League team.
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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.
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