Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
From Slava Malamud, contributing at Tarik El-Bashir’s blog in the Washington Post:
And here is what we could learn about the assorted feuds of the Alexes, the Kid and Malkin. You can believe me when I say that Russian journalists would much rather write about goals and wins, but since this story is apparently a gift that keeps on giving, we deemed appropriate to get further into it.
For one, Alex Ovechkin apparently speaks to Sidney Crosby. Loud and clear at that, to the point where all the teammates of both players and a couple of officials would like to gather around and partake in the exchange. And here is another thing: Alexander Semin also speaks to Crosby. At least, according to Evgeni Malkin, and that is a bit of a surprise, to say the least. And here is the third thing: Ovechkin and Malkin - nope, still not talking to each other, presumably, because both are so busy talking to Crosby.
Sheesh. This story is turning into some sort of odd Russian love triangle/feud, with a stray Canadian tossed into the mix. Read on for quotes after last night’s Pens-Caps game.
I always give big hits, so if I have a chance to hit him, why not? We both play in [the] Russian national team, so it’s not a rivalry. We’re not friends [but] we can still talk to one another.”
-Alexander Ovechkin talking about Evgeni Malkin. Much more at Capitals Insider as the Penguins and Capitals prepare to meet tonight…
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
The Capitals committed ghastly turnovers, took bad penalties, were outworked at both ends and suffered another humbling defeat, this one by the score of 5-2 to an Oilers team that didn’t have its leading scorer and came to Washington 17 spots behind the Capitals in the league standings.
“When it gets to the point that everyone wants to be the scorer but no one wants to be the mucker, you’re not going to do anything,” Boudreau said. “They’re lucky there’s no practice tomorrow.”
‘‘We’ll stick up (for Malkin), like you would for any teammate. They’re intense, physical games and as long as that’s the way they stay, that’s safe. But if there’s deliberate intent to hurt someone, you kind of step outside the line a bit, you have to make sure you stick up for your teammate.’‘
-Sidney Crosby speaking about the game tomorrow against the Washington Capitals. More from the CP via TSN.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Statistically, the gap between the two rivals is modest. At the moment, the Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin is second in the NHL scoring race and leads the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby by just two points….
In the 3 1/2 years they’ve been in the league, Crosby and Ovechkin have developed a Magic Johnson-Larry Bird sort of rivalry. Ovechkin won the Calder Memorial Trophy in their rookie seasons, ahead of Crosby, who is 20 months younger but joined the league the same year as a result of the lockout. Crosby won the MVP in Year 2; and Ovechkin took it last year, a season in which Crosby was out of the race early as a result of the 29 games he missed because of a high ankle sprain.
This year, Ovechkin’s advantage stems largely from team success. The Capitals are off to an excellent start, despite massive injuries, while the Penguins waddle along, their herd thinned by free-agent defections and an inability to handle their casualties as well as the Caps.
But half a season does not a year make and a healthy and motivated Crosby may still have something to say about the scoring and MVP races before all is said and done.
from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,
Later, I briefly asked Ovechkin whether he was really trying to pick up fighting tips from Brashear, and he clarified, saying he wants to be prepared just in case anything happens, but that he has no intention of becoming a brawler.
“Show me how I have to do something if somebody grab me,” he said he asked Brashear. “It’s normal thing. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to get hurt. I’m terrible fighter. Probably worse than Sasha.”
Earlier, Ovechkin had joked that Semin “hits pretty cool, actually,” but when another media person now asked jokingly about Semin’s fight, Ovechkin bristled a bit.
“Well, he do it for our team,” he said of Semin. “And he fight. I want to see if you go over there and fight with Staal, and how you’re gonna be fighting.”
from Japers’ Rink,
This morning I noted that “On this date back in 1998, Dale Hunter had three helpers and reached the 1,000 point plateau, becoming the first - and still only - player in NHL history with 1,000 points and 3,000 PIMs in a career.”
Maruk commented that Huntsy may be the only member to ever enter that exclusive club, and while you never say never… he’s probably right. A quick glance at the active Top 100 in points and PIMs makes you realize that it’s unlikely anyone currently playing is going to reach the double milestone, but let’s take a look at just how unlikely.
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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