Kukla's Korner Hockey
from pucksandbooks at On Frozen Blog,
“Let’s go Flyers!” (tepid) . . . “Flyers suck!” (thunderous)
There was last night in our building, in abundance, hatred. Blissful, beautiful, bellicose, and long-lost loathing, united against the orange and black. The universe at last seemed ordered. An observer in the Phone Booth last night couldn’t help but imagine these two teams—so evenly matched last spring, last night, and likely for much of the next decade—engaging in scores more of these heart-stoppers of hatred, but with division pride at stake each time. And near the end of regular seasons, division titles on the line. Except that can’t happen.
What a (Bettman-birthed) tragedy.
Thanks to Gary Bettman, for the past 10 years we’ve wandered in a division of dreck, an outpost of ‘Oh who cares?’ as the winter evenings’ scores scrolled by. But not last night.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Still stung by his team’s 7-1 defeat at the Wachovia Center last month, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau recently took some verbal shots at the Flyers for what he perceived as running up the score.
“What goes around comes around eventually,” he told NHL.com. “And it will.”
Boudreau’s Caps play host to the Flyers tonight.
Relayed Boudreau’s comments, Flyers coach John Stevens bristled after today’s morning skate.
“You guys can take this Boudreau stuff and you can take it somewhere else,” Stevens told reporters. “I’m not getting drawn in tit-for-tat stuff. I don’t know where this is going. Bruce coaches the Washington Capitals. I don’t care what he says. I’ve got my team to get ready here. This is obviously an important game, a hard game, and I don’t care what he said, to be honest with you. He can say what he wants….”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
...OK, puckheads, now that we’ve wasted a few seconds of your time, we draw your attention to tonight’s game between Backstrom’s Capitals and the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.
The last time these two teams met was Dec. 20, when the Flyers pasted the Caps, 7-1. That was their first encounter since last spring’s first-round, seven-game playoff victory by Philadelphia. Needless to say, the Caps were looking forward to tonight.
“We had like 50 shots on them that night [48 to be exact],” Backstrom said of the Dec. 20 game. “It was a weird game. Everybody on the team is very much excited about this game [tonight].”
We like Washington’s chances. The Caps are an Eastern Conference-best 17-1-1 at home.
...Now, who knows. Also, at the end of the interview, “Hockeytown is back here (Washington), that’s for sure.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,
Alexander Semin engaged in his first career fight tonight with Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, who had two small scratches under his right eye after the encounter. And for those of you who weren’t watching the game, check out the first video. Descriptions of Semin’s punches toward the end of the fight ranged from him playing the bongos to him looking like Energizer Bunny beating a drum….
go watch the video…
added 9:13am, On Frozen Blog comes up with the perfect Headline- “Alexander Semin Fights Scut Farkus”. Visit OFB to see the comparison.
“It’s not right that the best player in the game is not a starter. We want to get the fans involved and they have the right to vote for ever they want. There’s 21,000 fans at every home game in Montreal, and everyone in Montreal is a hockey fan. Everybody who knows hockey, knows that Alex would be in the starting lineup if it went on merit. But he’s not.”
-Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau on Alexander Ovechkin not making the starting lineup of the All-Star roster. A little more from Bruce at Capitals Insider and I agree 100% with Bruce, it makes me question this process going forward.
from Lightning Strikes,
A Capitals official told Washington reporters after Thursday’s game that he did not believe Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin would get supplemental discipline for his hit on Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward that left Heward unconscious on the ice for 90 seconds but, thankfully, only with a concussion.
Still, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said early Friday morning that the hit, like all others that results in injury, will be reviewed.
added 1:28pm, “Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward has been released from a Washington D.C. hospital and is traveling back to Tampa today. Heward suffered a concussion during the third period of last night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Heward, 37, was taken to Sibley Memorial Hospital last night, accompanied by Lightning Assistant Athletic Trainer Mike Poirier. He underwent further testing, where it was determined that no damage to his cervical spine occurred. Heward was kept overnight as a precaution and will be sidelined indefinitely, though the prognosis for his personal health is good.’’
added 1:40pm, No action will be taken against Ovechkin.
“Ovechkin just doesn’t sit on the outside and take one-timers, he’s in front of the net, he goes behind. He does a lot of wraps. He’s a special player because he’s an aggressive player. That’s why I think he’s the best player, because he’s an aggressive player. He’s not just a pure sniper who sits on the outside all day.”
-Lightning coach Rick Tocchet on Alexander Ovechkin. More from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes as the Bolts prepare for the Capitals tonight.
from Mike Vogel of dump ‘n chase,
Five years ago tonight, the Caps were on the business end of a 7-1 spanking at the hands of the Sabres in Buffalo. The loss dropped the Caps’ record to 11-23-3-1 (Note almost exact opposite of current 24-11-3 mark). Maxime Ouellet, thought to be the Caps’ goaltender of the future at the time, started and went the distance, giving up seven goals on 42 shots. The game was Glen Hanlon’s 10th as the Caps’ head coach; the loss dropped his record to 3-5-2.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals retired Mike Gartner’s No. 11 jersey prior to tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, honoring the Hockey Hall of Famer who ranks second in Capitals history in goals (397), assists (392) and points (789). Gartner becomes the fourth player in Capitals history to have his number retired, joining Yvon Labre (No. 7), Rod Langway (No. 5) and Dale Hunter (No. 32).
“I always look back on my 10 years in Washington with great memories, great admiration and great thankfulness,” Gartner said. “I will always have a very special place in my heart for this area and for this franchise. I really became a hockey player here, and I also became a young man, and was shown the importance of being involved in the community.”
continued at WashingtonCapitals.com…
Watch a tribute video below that the Capitals put together for Mike…
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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