Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NHL Blog at the NY Post,
Should the Capitals make it into the post-season, I think they automatically become a favorite to win the East and Bruce Boudreau must be a favorite for Coach of the Year. The management has assembled a spectacular cast around their Russian star and Boudreau has so obviously righted a team Glen Hanlon left in shambles.
from Lightning Strikes,
Washington’s Matt Cooke, who’s hit on Vinny Lecavalier caused the Lightning star’s shoulder injury, was fined Friday $2,500 by the league. There was no suspension. The league decided Cooke’s open-ice hit on Lecavalier, who was not carrying the puck, should have been an interference call.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon talking hockey?
Watch for yourself…
Three of the four teams listed make the playoffs, which team is left on the golf course?
added 10:30am, As a KK reader pointed out, Carolina should also be on this list, so I have added them to the poll after about 100 votes.
from Japers’ Rink,
Add another vote to the “Ovechkin for MVP” campaign, this from rival Evgeni Malkin:
“I still have chances to become the MVP this season, however I am sure that Alexander Ovechkin is the best player in NHL this season and he will win this award.”
Sergei Fedorov brings up some points the Caps and Washington fans need to remember.
Scroll to the 4:11 mark of the YouTube video at On Frozen Blog and listen to what Sergei has to say, especially the going “flat” remark. The Caps need to keep the momentum going but not get to “high” with the victory last night.
from Slap Shot at the NY Times,
How overarchingly great has Ovechkin been this year? Beyond getting more goals than anyone else, he takes more shots than anyone else, fires more shots wide than anyone else — in short, he’s simply got the puck on his stick more than anyone else. Consider this list of the only players with 400 or more combined shots and missed shots:
Player, team Shots Missed Total
Ovechkin, Wsh ..436 ..196 632
from the Washington Post,
It was, without question, the most important game several of the Washington Capitals had ever played in. But it never looked that way.
In a contest that featured all of the intensity of a playoff game, the Capitals’ impressive core of youngsters and veteran goaltender Cristobal Huet buoyed their hope of earning a spot in the playoffs with a 4-1 thumping of the Carolina Hurricanes.
continued (reg. req.)
added 11:26pm, from Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
Playing on some of the worst ice in recent NHL history — riddled with cracks like a windshield after a wreck — the Caps scored twice early, then answered a Carolina goal with a power-play goal during a controversial second-period sequence.
Alex Ovechkin took exception to Eric Staal poking at Huet’s glove after a save on Scott Walker on a short-handed two-on-one and threw Staal into the boards.
But the Capitals remained on the power play because a coincidental minor was called on Niclas Wallin in the brawl that followed, and Alexander Semin scored to make it 3-1.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
“It’s probably the most important week in my NHL career,” Ovechkin told a larger-than-usual crowd of reporters and cameras at Kettler Capitals Iceplex yesterday morning. “We had that bad feeling the last [two] years because we didn’t play for the playoffs.”
Tonight, Ovechkin (league-best 62 goals and 109 points) and the Capitals open a three-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes with a trip to the postseason—and the Southeast Division title—still within their grasp.
more (reg. req.)
from Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail,
Ovechkin has already won the Richard trophy and seems likely to win the Art Ross as well. Let me make the case for Ovechkin’s name on the Hart.
First of all, he has not simply won the Richard trophy. He has smoked the competition with a season for the ages.
Maurice (The Rocket) Richard set the bar with 50 goals in 50 games in the 1944-45 season. The number of 50-goal seasons has recently been raised to 182 by Ilya Kovalchuk and may grow by another should Jarome Iginla notch one more goal in Calgary’s final three games. To properly compare these results across over 60 years of the changing face of hockey it is necessary to adjust for (at least) two things.
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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