Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take,
We played Anaheim on Wednesday and L.A. on Thursday. So we traveled three time zones on Monday night to get to California; adjust to new time zones; and played back to back games. We play again on Saturday night so three west coast games in four days.
Note: L.A. hadn’t played since Sunday so they were well rested. We are banged up and we played like we were tired. The fans out in LA didn’t see our best. But L.A. will come to Verizon Center soon enough and the tables will turn on the schedule.
more and any Western Conference fans, feel free to comment!
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Here’s a first for me, in the new give-and-take world of cyberspace sports writing. Ted Leonsis, the Washington Capitals’ owner and AOL mover and shaker, took a shot at me in his blog, Ted’s Take. Leonsis took exception to my views on the ballot-box stuffing controversy in Montreal, in which Canadiens supporters have their six candidates miles ahead of the pack in the voting for the 2009 All-Star Game.
What fun! Usually, it’s the other way around – writers critically analyzing the work of owners, general managers and players, mostly done in a vacuum. Turnabout is absolutely fair play - I wish more of them did it. A real dialogue could be a useful tool in ridding the industry of the lame blah-blah-blah that passes for analysis these days, fuelled largely by professional athletes who are coached to say nothing of consequence, for fear of alienating opponents or tarnishing their brilliantly polished images.
continued with many more NHL topics…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Byfuglien and defenseman Brent Sopel were scratched for the game against the Stars. Both have been mentioned in recent trade speculation. Quenneville said Sopel, often injured this season, was a healthy scratch and was in the Hawks’ locker room after the game.
Most prominent of the trade rumors have Byfuglien going to the Capitals in a deal that would bring Nylander back to the Hawks. A straight-up deal was nixed by the Hawks this week, apparently because they couldn’t stay under the salary cap if they acquired Nylander. Adding Sopel to the deal would allow them to do that…
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Star has learned the NHLPA has filed a grievance over the Washington Capitals’ refusal to allow representatives of the union into the Capitals room.
The union believes this to be a violation of the agreement, which states: “No one other than NHL, NHLPA or team representatives or properly accredited members of the Media shall be allowed in dressing rooms during Media access periods.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the issue is isolated to one club. “From our perspective, it’s not something either the collective bargaining agreement or applicable law provides for or guarantees, and our position is that each club has the latitude to establish its own policy,” Daly said.
I asked the Capitals about this situation this morning and they are deferring to the quote from Bill Daly.
This note from the Caps PR department this morning-
Alex Ovechkin’s 171 career goals are not only the most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2005-06, they are the most of any player who has entered the league since 2002-03. Among those goals, however, he has scored against all but three NHL teams: Los Angeles, San Jose and Minnesota, Washington’s next three opponents in succession.
If Ovechkin just keeps doing what he’s doing he’ll be able to put checkmarks next to those teams as well, beginning tonight in LA. He enters the game with a five-game goal-scoring streak and multiple-point games in each of them, with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) and a +12 rating in that time.
via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Mike Green was wearing a shoulder sling on his right arm after the game. But he said he’s hopeful the injury is not too serious. When I asked him if it was sprained or separated, the defenseman said he won’t know until the morning.
“It was a good hit,” Green said of Chris Pronger’s shoulder check that sent him hurtling into the end boards. “I seen him coming, but he’s so big I couldn’t brace myself. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow morning. I’m just trying to keep it still right now. Obviously, it’s not too bad, so we’ll see how tonight goes.”
from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,
How’s this for a potential scenario: Would the Hawks consider putting Cristobal Huet on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minors in order to free up cap space for Nylander? It’s certainly an option.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
“At times we stood around and were in awe of him,” Coach Randy Carlyle said that night.
The line of witnesses now spans two continents. On Saturday night Ovechkin got 12 shots on goal against New Jersey and tied the score with a second left in regulation.
“But before that he was so excited when Nicklas Backstrom scored, he nearly took him out,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday. “And then when he scored the last one he did the same thing. It’s just fun to watch him. At no time am I surprised by something he does.”
Ovechkin’s mad, post-goal rushes into the glass — Lambeau Leaps, with a ricochet — have become his trademark. “Just something I like to do,” he said with a shrug. “I love hockey.”
The Washington Capitals are taking on the LA Kings Thursday night in LA and the Kings are having a Russian Heritage Night to celebrate.
Heidi Androl catches up with Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov as they prepare to face the Kings on Russian Heritage night!
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Sources familiar with the negotiations say the Blackhawks turned down a deal last week that would have had ex-Bruin Michael Nylander, now with the Capitals, wearing the Indian Head by this weekend. Someone in that Hawks’ lineup would have to be going back to D.C. to even out some of the $8.5 million Nylander is due over the two seasons after this one. The likeliest candidates: Dustin Byfuglien (two more years at $3 million per) or Brent Sopel (two more years at $2.5 million per).
If the Bruins keep the juices flowing, and the Panthers continue to struggle, UFA-to-be Jay Bouwmeester, 25, would be a dream addition to the Boston back line.
more hockey topics…
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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