Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
The Washington Capitals demonstrated three goaltenders do not fit in front of two nets.
Newly acquired Cristobal Huet presided at one end of the rink Thursday during his first practice with the team. Longtime face-of-the-franchise Olie Kolzig was at the other end.
As for reliable backup Brent Johnson? All he could do was watch from the bench.
“I think everybody realizes how weird it is in here right now,” Kolzig said.
added 7:37pm, Kolzig’s agent talks about this move at Capitals Insider...
from Ted’s Takes,
I think we helped ourselves without hurting our team’s future. We entered the sessions with a list of “must NOT do’s”:
1. Do not trade any young players in the lineup that we count as core.
2. Do not trade any first round picks.
3. Do not pick up any major salary requirements in the out years that make us NOT re-sign our young players. If we could add to the team without “blowing our brains out”, we would do so and we did.
Via a Sportsnet SMS alert and noted on TSN, Alexandre Giroux goes to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Joe Motzko.
Update 4:13pm ET: TSN link
Darren Dreger of TSN reporting Sergei Fedorov to the Capitals… Confirmed.
Update 1:17pm ET: More from TSN
Update1:33pm ET: Sportsnet SMS updates are reporting that the trade exchange was Fedorov for Teddy Ruth.
Per TSN, the Montreal Canadiens have graded Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a 2nd Round Pick in 2009.
Update1:18pm ET: More at TSN (and thanks the commenter below for pointing out the year of the pick. I’ve updated it.)
Editor’s note: In our “Friday Face off,” ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Is Alexander Ovechkin poised to be the new Gretzky, the player all the others will be chasing for years to come when it comes to goals?...
Scott: We often hear people bemoan the lack of a dynastic team, a team that captures the imagination of the hockey world. Do you think a single player can have that effect? We all know Crosby has proved himself to be special early on, but his high ankle sprain is going to cost him back-to-back MVP awards and league scoring titles. But if Ovechkin got to 60 or 65, do you think that would be some sort of catalyst to great excitement that transcends the normal?
Damien: Nope. Not while he’s in Washington. I know that won’t make the millions of Capitals fans across the world happy, or owner Ted Leonsis, or GM George McPhee, but the fact is, having Ovechkin not only in D.C. but in the Southeast Division just isn’t going to afford him the profile he deserves. At least not in the near future.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
“I wouldn’t call her uncompromising because she did, in fact, compromise,” McPhee says of Tatiana. “But Alex’s mother is very strong, very protective. And she knows what she wants.” What she and Alexander wanted was a no-trade clause, something McPhee had granted only once in his 10 years as G.M. In the end the two sides agreed that beginning in the seventh year of the contract, Alexander annually will submit a list of 10 teams to which he will not accept a trade.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Just before the national anthem on Saturday night, Sami Lepisto lifted his head as he stood at center ice. What he saw—a near-capacity crowd at St. Pete Times Forum and, across from him, Tampa Bay Lightning star forwards Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis—might have intimidated most players about to make their NHL debut.
continued (reg. req.)
from the CP via the Hockey News,
“The guys are just starting to really believe that we’re a good hockey team,” said Kolzig. “It took a little while. After so many years of losing, especially with young guys, you have to learn how to win.”
And the fans have noticed. While the Caps remain 27th in the league with an average home attendance of 14,431, they’re up 19 per cent in the New Year to 16,033 and over the last three games drew 17,205, 18,204 and 17,873.
more on Washington…
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
Olaf Kolzig turns 38 the week the playoffs begin, and the longtime Washington Capitals stopper is finally showing his age. Among the 45 goalies who have appeared in at least 20 games this season, Kolzig ranks dead last – 45th – in save percentage, at .884. His 3.07 goals-against average is also near the bottom of the league.
While Kolzig’s stats suffer somewhat due to a still inexperienced defense corps in front of him, the truth is, he’s played far better with far worse bluelines in past years.
more and some Nabokov & Vokoun talk too….
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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