Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Sportsnet's YouTube page,
Fatima Al Ali of the Abu Dhabi Storms women's team, drops the puck for her favourite player Alex Ovechkin ahead of his game against the Detroit Red Wings.
from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis envisions a day when a player born and trained in China will play in the NHL. He also believes that day isn't far off.
By hosting a group of 25 youth hockey players from two primary schools in Beijing the past 10 days to kick off Hockey Is For Everyone month, Leonsis and the Capitals have seen there is some young talent there already. And with the 2022 Beijing Olympics on the distant horizon, Leonsis expects the development process to be accelerated.
"We believe and I believe that China is the next great market for hockey," Leonsis said Wednesday. "The Winter Olympics will be played in China. The Chinese government, the Chinese people, the universities and secondary schools are committed to the game. There will be about 200 new rinks being built in China and we would expect China being a very, very formidable force in the Olympics, and also we'll see that China will be producing players and I would expect that we'll have NHL players that were born and trained, just like we've seen in the NBA, and China will be able to bring players here."
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Riddle me this, Batman.
Say you're the Washington Capitals, an outfit that a Western Conference GM recently told me was the "one true powerhouse'' in the NHL this year.
Or you're the Pittsburgh Penguins, who arguably are in a better position now to win a Stanley Cup than they were a year ago at this juncture, when they actually went on to win it.
And -- gulp -- you might just have to play each other in the first round of the playoffs.
If you're the GM of one of these two contenders -- two teams without any obvious weaknesses or holes in their lineup -- do you really need to add anything before the March 1 trade deadline?
"We've got good chemistry, which is important,'' Caps GM Brian MacLellan said Wednesday via phone. "It seems like our lines are all settled in here. Everyone is comfortable with their roles, the coaches are comfortable. So it has more the feel right now of something you don't want to mess with ... at all, in my mind, because it's running smooth right now. So I'd be more inclined to do nothing.
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,
Both teams had scored touchdowns — and extra points — so sudden death overtime had to settle it. The next goal would really be the winner.
And after a goal-scoring clinic, a bounce decided it. A shot by Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary was initially stopped but then slowly dribbled past the goal line after going off the skate of Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen just 34 seconds into overtime, lifting the Penguins to an 8-7 win and snapping the Capitals’ season-best nine-game winning streak.
Was that one of the crazier games Justin Williams has been a part of in his 16-year career?
“Yep. Mm-hmmm,” the Capitals forward said.
“Yeah, that’s safe to say,” Capitals center Lars Eller agreed.
Watch all the goals below...
Evgeni Malkin's 3rd goal in the 2nd period in tonight's game against the Washington Capitals.
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,
In his past five starts, Braden Holtby is undefeated with a 0.60 goals-against average and a 0.978 save percentage. Grubauer didn’t allow for any drop off on Sunday, especially in the first two periods when the rest of his teammates were sleepwalking through the game.
“Our goalie seemed to be not letting anything in,” Justin Williams said. “It’s always nice.”...
The Capitals have now had four shutouts in their past six games, a key to their nine-game winning streak. Holtby’s run has rightfully been garnering a lot of attention, but Grubauer has quietly put together an impressive season. He’s 8-1-1 with .935 save percentage and 1.74 goals-against average this season. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and due for a pay raise.
from Katie Brown at NHL.com,
The Washington Capitals won their ninth consecutive game with a 5-0 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Verizon Center on Sunday.
The Capitals (29-9-5) took over first place in the NHL with 63 points with four goals in the first 6:36 of the third period. They have outscored opponents 40-11 during their winning streak and haven't allowed an even-strength goal in six games.
Craig Custance: Certainly by no fault of his own. All he's done in his postseason career is put up 82 points in 84 career playoff games -- including 41 career playoff goals. He's been an absolute force at times in the postseason. I'm just not sure if you can win a Stanley Cup built around a winger or when he's your best player. The recent Stanley Cup winners have been led by franchise centermen -- Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar, Patrice Bergeron. They usually have a premier No. 1 defenseman to go with them -- Kris Letang, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Zdeno Chara. Now, with Evgeny Kuznetsov starting to come on to go with Nicklas Backstrom, the Washington Capitals might have the necessary strength down the middle to pull it off. If history has shown us anything, it's that Ovechkin can't do it on his own.
Pierre LeBrun: Craig nailed it. It's all about the position. It's the same argument as the Ovechkin vs. Carey Price debate we had Monday, as far as which player is more valuable to his team....
continued at ESPN...
ARLINGTON, Va. – Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin earned his 1,000th career point in his 880th NHL game on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, becoming the second-fastest active player to reach 1,000 points (Jaromir Jagr: 763 games) and the 24th-fastest player to record 1,000 points in NHL history. In addition, he is the 37th player in NHL history to record 1,000 points with one franchise and his 545 career goals are the second-most through a player’s first 1,000 points (Brett Hull: 560) in NHL history.
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