Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Brent Sutter’s squad has faced significant challenges along the way and successfully handled almost all of them. The Devils, who have won four of their last six and 13 of 18, trail the Rangers by four points and the Flyers by two, and are one point ahead of the Penguins.
“I think it has something to do with leadership and something to do with character in your room,” said Sutter, who gave his players a day off Sunday, said of his team’s rise. “It’s a very confident mind-set in the dressing room. It’s been there since Day One of training camp. Guys have worked and played hard and paid attention to what is put in place.
from Capitals Insider,
My name is Slava Malamud. My position is Foreign Correspondent in North America for Sport-Express, Russia’s daily newspaper, the most widely read sports publication in the Motherland…
Tarik and I have decided that in light of the sudden popularity of all things Russian among the Caps fans it would be good to have me occasionally contribute to this blog with stories on this very subject….
Q & A with Alexander Ovechkin
If you and Malkin ever got into a fight on the ice - who would win?
“Whoever landed the first punch. But fighting is not my calling. And really, I don’t see any rivalry between myself and Malkin. Or between myself and Crosby. And now they are adding Semin to our threesome too. There is nothing of that sort: we just play, get our points, someone is in front, someone is second… Of course, a headline like “Ovechkin Versus Malkin” catches the eye, but I don’t see any reason to pour gasoline onto the fire.”
Of all the players you have met on the ice, which one is the most unpleasant?
“Probably (the ex-Penguin, now a Senator) Jarkko Ruutu. He is the dirtiest player and does everything in an underhanded way. Just a rat running around…”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Ovechkin never stops. He is a mix of ferocity and fury; insatiable in his hunger for the puck, his desire to score, his will to win. He is Jim Brown on skates, a dominant physical force of nature who would just as soon go through an opponent as around one (or two, or three). He’s what Rocket Richard must have been like in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
Too bad, though, Ovechkin has approximately one-third the number of All-Star votes as NHL favorite son Sidney Crosby. One-third as many votes as Crosby? Why, the league’s best player has one half as many votes as Alex Kovalev, and just over half as many as the great Alex Tanguay!
The NHL should be embarrassed for itself.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
While it’s unclear who will be able to suit up, this much is known: The Capitals have been one of the league’s best teams over the past month despite an injury-ravaged lineup that, on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, was minus eight players who were on the ice opening night.
Since the roster became a virtual revolving door on Nov. 24, they’re 10-4-0 and have built a comfortable eight-point edge in the Southeast Division.
In that span, 11 players have been recalled from the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, five have made their NHL debuts, and even a front-office employee was signed to serve as a backup goaltender. In all, 35 players have donned a Washington jersey this season compared with 26 at this point a year ago.
The words of Rangers coach Tom Renney after blowing a 4-0 lead and eventually losing 5-4 to the Capitals in OT.
Watch his post game press conference below.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Bryan Helmer and forward Andrew Gordon from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Helmer, 36, is a 6’1”, 215-pound 16-year pro from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He is the Bears captain and is the active AHL games played (894) and assists (361) leader. The undrafted Helmer, No. 43 with Washington, has 11 assists in 25 AHL games with year. He was recently named captain for the Canadian team in next month’s AHL All-Star Classic. This is Helmer’s second recall of the year, as he recorded one assist in six games with the Capitals from Nov. 28 – Dec. 10. He has 24 points (8g-16a) in 140 career NHL games with Washington, Phoenix, Vancouver and St. Louis.
Gordon, 23, is a 6’0”, 185-pound second-year pro from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has 20 points (10g-10a) in 30 AHL games this year and is one of only four Bears to have double-digit goals and assists. Gordon has two game-winning goals and has tallied at least one point in 15 games this season.
via On Frozen Blog,
In Saturday’s SovetskySport, an obviously frustrated Alexander Semin informs Dmitry Chesnokov of his latest injury—incurred non-accidentally at the stick of St. Louis’ David Backes Thursday night:
“I have already been to the doctor. I think that maybe my nerve was hit. And now it is squeezed. I can hardly walk. I have no clue how many games I am going to miss. I felt bad this morning. I feel worse than I did yesterday. I am trying to [use] pain relievers . . . I am so tired of these injuries. Just [recently] one injury healed, my shot got better. Now here is another one. When is this all going to end?”
Bill Eichenberger of the Sporting News Today chats with the Capitals Mike Green,
Q: How is this team different than it has been over the last few years?
A: We have a lot more structure. I think the guys are following what the coaching staff is telling us. With (coach) Bruce (Boudreau) here, he’s been the biggest difference.
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,
And then there were no replays in the press box - because Nassau Coliseum doesn’t get Versus. Go figure.
more on the Caps OT win against the Islanders.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org