Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bill Clement at NBCSports.com:
Without a doubt Fedorov is the best all-around Russian forward who has ever played in the NHL. Early in his career I believed I saw greatness in the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder. He was drafted by the Red Wings in the 1989 NHL Entry draft, taken in the fourth round with the 74th overall pick. It wouldn’t take him long to reach a breakout season.
To make his way to the NHL he had to defect from the then Soviet Union. He did so in 1990 while in Seattle to play in the Goodwill Games with CSKA Moscow on a line with two other future NHL stars, Mogilny and Pavel Bure.
from Mike Hume of the Falls Church News-Press,
Theodore’s recent track record is nowhere near as consistent as Ovechkin’s, but he is through the hard part of the acclimation process now and the Caps are still leading the Southeast Division. From here on out, he’ll continue to build a rapport with the Caps defensemen when he plays pucks in his own zone. He’ll start to put the nerves behind him and start to eliminate those soft goals. And he’ll benefit from an improved defensive corps.
Would it surprise you to learn that a certain Russian forward named Alex with the Washington Capitals currently leads the NHL in scoring?
No, not that Alex, the other one.
Alex Ovechkin is the reigning Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner, but the Washington winger is mired in a six-game goal drought and has only tallied a meagre five points through the first eight games of the season.
Lucky for the Capitals, though, that Alex Semin is scoring in bunches.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer last season, has returned to Moscow to be with his ailing grandfather and will miss the Washington Capitals game Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
A popular question for hockey fans in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was who was a better player: Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux?
There were viable arguments to either side of that debate. Gretzky had all the records. Lemieux had lesser teammates to work with. Etc.
Either way, it was a simple argument that only had two choices.
Things are a little bit more complex in this day and age. There are three potential choices to that argument.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Alex Ovechkin.
continued with a statistical argument…
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
With the two Alexes – Ovechkin and Semin – leading the charge, the Washington Capitals might be the greatest show on the ice right now, the heir apparent to the swashbuckling Edmonton Oilers of the mid-1980s. If that’s the case, then defenceman Mike Green is the 21st-century equivalent of Paul Coffey in style and approach – one of half-a-dozen promising young rearguards who will get a long look from the management staff of Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. Green plays a high-risk, high-reward style. Most nights, he is a defenceman in name only and plays almost as a fourth forward.
This is done with the permission of his coach Bruce Boudreau who, since taking over the reins of the Capitals last December, loosened them considerably on all of his young players. Now, instead of making a defensive choice on a 50-50 puck battle, they have permission to err on the offensive side. Some nights, it backfires, but on balance, it generally works.
and more on the Capitals plus other hockey topics, from Marian Gaborik to Sarah Palin
Update 1:55pm ET: Ken Campbell at The Hockey News has more thoughts on the Capitals today, specifically on Alex Ovechkin’s season thus far.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
The question was put to Tyler Sloan as he sat in the far corner of the Washington Capitals dressing room, a few stalls to the right of Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Semin and hockey’s most dynamic force, Alexander Ovechkin: If someone made a movie out of your career, what would they call it?
Sloan smiled as he undid his skates. Cinderella Man, he replied.
Indeed, his saga is the feel-good story of this early NHL season.
It’s the tale of a 27-year-old career minor-leaguer who finally gets his shot in the NHL.
Watch the big hit from Sloan on Langkow during last night’s game below…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
In fact, the Caps outdid themselves, finishing 0 for 5 with the man advantage. They reached a new low when they mustered only three shots during a seven-minute stretch of power play time in the first period.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There wasn’t much traffic in front of Miikka Kiprusoff. There weren’t many shots getting through from the point. There were plenty of puck battles lost deep in the offensive zone.
“We try to play so fancy, our big mistake,” Ovechkin said. “We know we have some great skills. But we try to create some create some crazy moments, play beautiful hockey.”
from Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post,
As a teenager growing up in the Long Island suburbs, Washington Capitals broadcaster Joe Beninati was always The Voice of any sport he ever played, often offering an impromptu running play-by-play commentary for his friends even as he also was participating in a street hockey game here, a lacrosse game there.
TSN’s James Duthrie goes behind the scenes to find out why Alexander Ovechkin would make the perfect rockstar.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org