Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
The Flyers’ rationale heading into the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals that begin Friday night in Washington is simple. If Ovechkin spends more time exacting revenge on irritants such as Mike Richards and Scott Hartnell, he’ll spend less time firing rubber in the direction of Marty Biron.
“The big knock on Peter Forsberg was that you could get him playing more of a physical game instead of trying to score,” Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher said. “I can see Ovechkin going that way. He seems like he might have that in him, where he’s more worried about hitting guys than he is scoring. If you can push him that way, yeah, that’s good. We’ll see. It’s his first playoff series, right?”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Now, after an equally long and circuitous career as a minor-league coach, Boudreau is where he has dreamed of being all along, playing for a Stanley Cup.
Much like his coaching counterpart, John Stevens.
On Friday night in Washington, Boudreau and Stevens will coach their first Stanley Cup playoff games when the Flyers visit the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Boudreau led the Capitals to a miraculous turnaround, taking them from 15th in the conference three months ago to a playoff-clinching victory in the final game of the regular season.
from the Washington Times,
This whole deal for the Washington Capitals — the sellout crowds, the crazy flurry of wins to finish the season and a return to the postseason — started with a fire sale.
Owner Ted Leonsis and general manager George McPhee decided during the 2003-04 season that the Caps were not a Stanley Cup contender and — with a possible work stoppage looming — it was time to start over. So McPhee went about taking apart the roster he had put together, sending away his best players for prospects, draft picks and salary relief.
“The process is hard to go through, but when the ownership back you up like they did, you feel like you can take your time and build it right,” McPhee said.
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
“We’re excited to play the Capitals,” said winger Scottie Upshall, whose second-period goal was all the scoring the Flyers needed against the Pens on this afternoon. “It’s going to be a good test. They have a great team. We’re pumped to be playing one of the best players in the world right now.”
How hot is Ovechkin? This hot: His 65 goals not only led the league, but were the most ever by a left winger and 13 more than any other player this season. Eleven of those goals were game-winners, also tops in the league.
Asked for his thoughts on playing the Caps, Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said, “Well, obviously No. 8. That guy makes them go. They’ve probably been the hottest team in the league for a month-and-a-half. It won’t be easy.
“But if we play the way we did Friday [a 3-0 shutout of the always-troublesome New Jersey Devils] and [yesterday], for all 60 minutes, we’ll be OK.”
from Dan Steinberg of the Washinton Post,
Two female fans sported red tank tops with puffy paint spelling out slogans too racy for a family blog, and two more wore red T-shirts that read “Mrs. Ovechkin” and “Mrs. Backstrom.” They said the men of their dreams actually noticed these shirts.
“They kind of looked over and smiled,” reported 19-year-old Cam Mancini, the wishful Mrs. Ovechkin. “Probably thinking, ‘Okay, let’s call security now.’ “
Ten gents from Ontario, Canada—close friends of Caps winger Matt Cooke—arrived wearing matching off-red Caps T-shirts; some adorned with a handwritten “Cookie” on the back.
“If he scores I’m gonna streak tonight, maybe,” promised Gary Sage of Belleville. “It depends how much we drink, how long they’re going to keep me in jail, and if they can catch me. I’m big-boned, but I’m pretty fast.”
thansk to Ted’s Take for the pointer…
added 9:38am, Head Bangin Caps fans may enjoy this, others, like me, may walk away with a headache!
from Lew Serviss of Slap Shot a the NY Times,
The Caps have done it. With a 3-1 victory Saturday over Florida, Washington won the Southeast crown and the third seed in the East.
It’s an amazing comeback. Back in November, the Caps were dead last in the league, a team with amazing young talent — Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin! — but a proclivity for vise-gripping the stick. In came rumpled, straight-shooter Bruce Boudreau from three decades of minor-league obscurity. Bruce turned ‘em loose.
Alex Ovechkin’s dream National Hockey League season that will include a goal-scoring title and likely league scoring championship will continue with a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet Saturday night but it mattered little as his Capitals teammates stepped up in a 3-1 win over visiting Florida to give Washington its first division title since 2001 and fourth in franchise history.
Watch the video highlights of the game tonight…
from Lightning Strikes,
“Every time I read Bruce Boudreau’s comments that Vinny just happened to step in front of a train,’’ Feaster said. “First that’s what it was because (Lecavalier) wasn’t looking. Then it was he didn’t see him coming. I think he embarrasses himself every time he opens his mouth about the subject. I think they should be happy Matt Cooke is in the lineup tonight, it’s only a $2,500 fine….
How about this scenario- Caps and Panthers tied with about one minute to go in regulation. Panthers coach Jaques Martin knows if the Caps get a point, they are in the playoffs.
Does he pull his goalie to try to get a regulation win which would prevent a playoff spot for the Caps?
from the NHL Blog at the NY Post,
Should the Capitals make it into the post-season, I think they automatically become a favorite to win the East and Bruce Boudreau must be a favorite for Coach of the Year. The management has assembled a spectacular cast around their Russian star and Boudreau has so obviously righted a team Glen Hanlon left in shambles.
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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