Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mike Zeisberger at Sun Media:
Heading into his upcoming showdown against Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL’s most electrifying superstar is getting the support of NBA royalty.
If Alexander Ovechkin was wondering who might be in his corner in this star-studded second-round showdown between his Washington Capitals and the Penguins, he received his answer this morning courtesy of a gift from LeBron (The King) James.
James, whose CIeveland Cavaliers await the identity of their second-round opponent in the NBA playoffs, sent The Great 8 a personally-signed Cavaliers jersey.
“To Alexander The Great. Keep Up The Good Work. King James,” it said, scrawled across the jersey’s white numbers in James’s personal handwriting.
from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,
The hype is building for the NHL playoff series of the century, the Washington Capitals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Evil Empire versus the Forces of Good….
Hold it, let’s back it up for a moment:
a) Doesn’t Crosby stand a better chance of becoming Snivelling Sid than Commander Canada?
b) Doesn’t Ovechkin, with his one good front tooth and his bad hair, qualify as an honorary Canadian?
c) Doesn’t Ovechkin’s hockey stick have more personality than Sid?
d) Didn’t Ovechkin get his nickname, OV, from a Canadian beer?
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
The NHL, its sponsors and the league’s television partners all stand to benefit from Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals reaching the second round. But so does the team’s bottom line, according to club president Dick Patrick.
With four home games in the opening round, the Capitals anticipate turning a profit of between $400,000-$500,000, Patrick said. Those figures are after the team returned an estimated 60-65 percent of its gross ticket sales revenue to the league, which redistributes the money to the revenue sharing program and to players’ postseason bonuses. The Capitals are among the teams that benefit from revenue sharing.
Sidney Crosby talks about playing against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.
from Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post,
It’s a stunningly talented group of players for one series, each of them young and still evolving. And in the middle of it we find Crosby and Ovechkin, not yet combatants but perhaps moving in that direction. The league should hope so. Last we saw them on the ice together, the two were trash-talking each other, bumping along the boards.
There’s nothing quite like a rivalry where the lines are clearly drawn. Folks with an appreciation for showmanship identify with Ovechkin, with his celebrations and exultations. Those who revel in the notion of “tradition” and play their cards a little closer to the vest not only love Crosby, but tend to express a real distaste for Ovechkin. It’s wonderful, really.
On top of that, you’ve got back story. These two franchises have played seven times in the playoffs, and the Penguins have won six of the series. The Capitals would call it a rivalry, but the Penguins must figure the Caps are like a mosquito that keeps showing up at a certain time every year.
added 9:39am, A few of the Washington Post columnists gather to talk hockey- watch below….
via Neil Best of Watchdog at Newsday,
What if Saturday’s Penguins-Capitals game on NBC runs late, what with the Kentucky Derby scheduled for early evening on the network?
If the game goes to one overtime, it will remain on NBC.
If it goes beyond one OT, it will switch to Versus, except in Pittsburgh and Washington.
Two years ago, NBC famously sent a game in the Eastern Conference finals over to Versus to switch to Preakness pre-race coverage.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The interviews had ended, and Alex Ovechkin walked through the crowd in the Caps’ dressing room and into the shower area. As soon as the door closed, one could hear a distinctive scream.
“Flipping right!” ... or something like that. Kids are reading, so we’ll keep it PG.
The weight of the world probably was lifted off his shoulders. For one night. Now come No. 87 and the rival Penguins. Put your seat belts on.
“We believe,” Ovechkin said. “It doesn’t matter [if] we lose 2-1, 3-1 [in the series]. ... We come back. Not many teams do in history, [but] we do. We did. We did it. This year, we make everything history.”
continue for more on game 7 of the Rangers/Capitals series…
from CBC Sports,
As much as legends Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux dominated their era, the two greats never faced each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Fortunately for the NHL, it won’t miss out on another golden opportunity.
Thanks to the Capitals’ Game 7 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, the two most recognizable hockey players in the world will square off for their first-ever playoff meeting Saturday afternoon in Washington.
“Welcome to the circus,” proclaimed Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau after Washington rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to advance to the second round.
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,
So, inhale, exhale. The Rangers’ gloves are no longer around the throats of Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Alexander Semin and the rest of the Caps’ youthful corps. Now, they can continue to pursue their hockey destiny without unnecessary demons. For the first time in 21 years, a Washington pro team had won a Game 7, the most magical yet diabolical pair of words in sports. Even more important, the Caps’ grand project of building a true champion, not a pretender or some annual April disappointment, stayed on track. A season that might have ended in exhaustive blame-analysis can now continue.
What the Caps have built so far—the 108-point season, the best ever for this franchise—still stands. And the construction can continue in the next round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now bring on Sidney Crosby, the darling of NHL marketing who looks like James Bond, so he can face the Great Eight, the Capital who looks like everybody who was ever sent to kill Agent 007.
Serge Fedorov scored the game winning goal with under 5 minutes left in the 3rd period.
Tight-checking game, both goalies were outstanding but only one team can win.
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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