Kukla's Korner Hockey
via John Feinstein of the Washington Post,
It is now time for the Caps, their fans and the local media to let go of this whole all-star thing and move on to far more important tasks: like trying to win the Stanley Cup.
It really doesn’t matter that Montreal’s fans stuffed the ballot boxes to get four of their players into the starting lineup or that Ovechkin, the best player in the league, wasn’t a starter, or that other all-star-worthy Caps got snubbed. Because there has been so little actual winning among the professional sports teams in this town during the last 20 years, there’s a tendency to make a big deal out of things that just aren’t that important.
In case you missed it last night, Elliotte Friedman of CBC did a great job with an ‘Inside Hockey’ segment on Alexander Ovechkin.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Ovechkin’s unexpected public interaction with Malkin had to catch most puck-watchers by surprise. The two Russian-born stars have been estranged over a personal matter that neither player was too interested in discussing. The feud caught the eye of fans and media when both players went out of their way to hit each other in recent games between the Caps and Pens.
According to one source, Thrashers captain (and fellow Russian star) Ilya Kovalchuk brokered the peace deal between Ovie and Geno. In playing the part of the peacemaker, Kovalchuk might have been looking toward the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The three snipers figure to be a big part of Team Russia’s gold-medal hopes.
more on the Saturday night festivities in Montreal…
Q. Alex, where did you get the idea to do the hat and the glasses?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, it was last night. I talked actually with Nate about it, and I said it’s going to be fun, and you have to try it.
Q. Can you just comment on, it seems like you really enjoy the spotlight and playing up to the crowd. Do you think hockey needs a little bit more of that?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, I think, you know, fans have to see how we are, who we are, you know. They see our skills and, I think the last trick like was just for fun. I think fans love it.
Glasnost! Perestroika! You see, there’s no animosity between Pittsburgh Penguins star Evegni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. They’re like two little Fonzies, those two. Look at those vice-like grips; it’s like they can’t let go.
continued with pictures…
Jeff Schultz and Eric Fehr, who play for the NHL’s Washington Capitals, left frigid D.C. during the All-Star Break to come to sunny Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and play THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
PGATOUR.COM: What did you think about the 17th hole? I hear you had a 10-foot birdie putt there.
SCHULTZ: It wasn’t as hard as I thought. But I guess if you’ve got a couple of stroke lead coming down the last day and everybody watching you, I can see why they call it one of the hardest holes in golf. It’s a tough green to read. I was able to par it. It was the highlight of my day.
PGATOUR.COM: What similarities do you see between golf and hockey?
FEHR: I think it’s kind of the swing—a slap shot and a golf shot. To me I putt like I’m playing hockey. I put my hand on the bottom of the putter.
from Johnny Testa of AskMen,
With Ovechkin preparing to defend his Breakaway Challenge title, AM took the opportunity to ask him for some tips on how to successfully score on a breakaway.
A defenseman comes up behind you and trips you up and the referee awards you a penalty shot. What’s the first thing that goes through your head?
I have to score. That is the one thing I think of the most.
How do you decide what move you are going to choose for the penalty shot?
That depends on the goalie playing and how the goalie was playing during the game. Based on that, I pick my shot and try to make some moves on the goalie to get him to move and open up.
From Dan Steinberg at DC Sports Blog:
There are at least possible reasons for buying a “Leonhardt 80” Caps jersey. You could, like Eric Boshoven, want to pay touching tribute to one of the craziest NHL stories of the year, the one in which a Web producer went from the cubicle to the bench as a backup NHL goalie.
Or you could be more like Mark Kinnear, a 41-year old season ticket holder from Parkville who also spent about $140 to outfit himself in the answer to a trivia question. Why did he do it?
“I was home one night, probably had a few too many,” Kinnear told me, “and I was like, ‘What the [bleep]?’ “
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
The Zamboni driver has the ice to himself—except for this other figure, on skates, wearing what could be the underwear of Santa Claus.
The ensemble: Red long johns, red shorts overtop and a red T-shirt.
The figure is Alexander Ovechkin—bare head, bare arms, muscles bulging, testing out a new stick on the Scotiabank Place ice on the morning of the game, playfully following the Zamboni’s clean patterns.
While his teammates, fully dressed in hockey gear, wait patiently by the Washington Capitals’ bench for the Zamboni to finish, Ovechkin whirls, spins, shoots a puck gently against the boards. His own man. In his own world.
from Bob Cohn of the Washington Times,
“I saw the two sides of playing in Montreal,” he said. “For most of my career, I think it was great. I had some great years there, obviously. The fans were really supportive. But when things are not going well, it’s the other way around. It’s tougher to kind of focus. There’s a lot of distractions around the game, and the last year I was there I had a really tough time because it seemed like everything was falling on my head.”
There is less pressure here, the critics more a source of motivation than a hindrance.
Peter Lockley / The Washington Times In July, Jose Theodore signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Capitals.
“People who didn’t believe in me, I like to show them wrong,” he said. “And after a while, they might change their opinion.”
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.
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