Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Washington-Capitals

The First ‘Sweep’ Talk Of The Playoffs

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Should Alex Ovechkin’s name be changed to Ov-NYET-kin?

That’s NYET, as in nothing. Zip. Zilch goals in two playoff games as he heads for Broadway looking more like a bit player hidden among the headlining Rangers as Henny Lundqvist blanked Ovie and his Capitals, 1-0, on Saturday in our nation’s capital.

“We battled all three periods” says the Blueshirts’ behemoth blocker. “I was aware of Ovechkin but I felt sharp and confident.”

Perhaps it’s a bit cruel to demean Ovie, the NHL’s most feared shooter, as the Blueshirts prepare to host the National Hockey League’s most colorful — give or take Pittsburgh — team on Monday night at The Garden.

Where once The Maven’s suggestion of a New York sweep — made here last Wednesday — seemed the stuff of fairy tales, it now seems very possible, if not probable. As I said in my original forecast of an opening round triumph for John Tortorella’s team, GOALTENDING is the be all and end all of playoff superiority.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

“They won the game and the only thing he (Tortorella) did was cry about the two [areas] we won—faceoffs and a penalty. He’s playing the whole game, and it’s pretty lame, quite frankly.”

“He’s talking about Nicky Backstrom, who was 48-percent. He was one of the worst centermen the first half of the year in faceoffs altogether. We went in and I talked to the league and the league said they are perfectly legal. So he’s just crying right now. It’s a dumb thing to cry about. We’re told not to do this, but he’s trying to play the gamesmanship and get the referees on their side. ...Give us a break.”

-Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Fedorov Near End Of His Career

from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,

He knows the creases in his forehead are deepening at the same time his speed is declining. Nothing can hide the obvious. Not the chic red ski cap he wore after practice yesterday—not the Ferrari, not the Maybach, not the European designer jeans and certainly not his tentative Game 1 performance in a 4-3 loss to the Rangers.

In pro-athlete parlance, Sergei Fedorov is old. And so there is a genuine feeling around the organization it might be good to see the Russian legend now, in these final weeks of the 2009 season, because you never know when the great ones will go—and Fedorov more than qualifies….

He concedes the life of an NHL veteran is getting old. “I don’t mind preseason, but I guess the travel, long schedules eventually get to you somehow,” Fedorov said. “It’s probably when you’re younger you kind of digest that. It’s a little bit easier. When you’re older, you’re a little bit, you know, battling.”

more and the one thing I remember about Fedorov in his prime was his strong skating ability.  He was so strong on his skates and could find that extra gear when needed.  Watch a highlight of Sergei below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+fedorov

Here’s Your Headline Of The Day

image

Sports Illustrated posted an AP story which basically states Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau is leaning towards starting goale Jose Theodore tomorrow.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

AO On E:60

ESPN’s award-winning primetime newsmagazine E:60 will profile National Hockey League star Alexander Ovechkin in the episode airing Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. ET. The program, which launched in October 2007, combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent meetings.

E:60’s Rachel Nichols has an all access pass inside the life of this megawatt hockey god who is equal parts everyman, equal parts rock star. In this revealing portrait, viewers see what makes Ovie run 100 miles per hour on and off the ice: his unabashed joy and enthusiasm, his love of fast cars, his simmering rivalry with the other name on the NHL’s marquee, Sydney Crosby, his hell bent for leather style of play that leaves defensemen swiveling their heads, and his burning desire to turn the nation’s capital into a hockey mad city.

The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky, NBA star LeBron James, Caps owner Ted Leonsis and iconic hockey commentator Don Cherry are among the voices in the feature.

Watch a one minute preview of the show below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Time To Think Of A Goalie Change In D.C.

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

Bruce Boudreau might disagree, and he gets to make the choice. But after watching Jose Theodore be awfully hard to hit Wednesday night in Washington’s series opening loss to the New York Rangers, you’ve got to believe the man they call Gabby is at the very least considering giving rookie Simeon Varlamov the start for Game 2 on Saturday….

Let’s say Boudreau sticks with Theodore, who now has four wins in his last 15 playoff starts, for Game 2, and the veteran netminder plays poorly and the Caps lose.

Then, you have to stick with Theodore probably because it would be difficult to put Varlamov in for a do-or-die Game 3 in Madison Square Garden.

But if you go with Varlamov for Game 2, he might steal one and even the series, or if he loses, you can go back to the more seasoned Theodore for Game 3.

read on

added 9:40am, from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

Boudreau has two days to mull his decision before Game 2 on Saturday.

It’s not one he plans to rush into, but he was certainly down on Theodore’s performance after tonight’s 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Theodore faced only 21 shots, and probably could have stopped any of the Rangers’ four goals.

“He’s right,” Boudreau said when he was told that Theodore accepted the blame for the loss. “You need the save and he didn’t make the save. But I’m sure he’s going to bounce back. He’s a professional. He’s played this game long enough, I’m sure he feels bad enough.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Have Defensive Zone Issues

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Bragging is not The Maven’s forte.

With that in mind I’m not suggesting that my prediction of a Rangers opening series victory over Washington was underlined by their stirring win in Game One.

But looking ahead to the second game in our nation’s capital on Saturday, it is apparent that the Capitals may very well be a paper tiger and not necessarily a playoff scoring machine.

As I told you over and over again in my previews of this fascinating match-up, the Caps are so weak in goal and so deficient on defense that all the Ovechkins and Semins and Greens cannot compensate for a goalie so riddled with doubts — and deficiencies — as Jose Theodore.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How To Handle Avery

from Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post,

The Capitals are expecting some antics from Avery, prepared for it, actually. “Wouldn’t you do what you do best?” asked Coach Bruce Boudreau. Avery’s role in the first-round series between the Capitals and the New York Rangers will be to agitate Ovechkin if he can, and in general to be “a really good thorn in our side,” Boudreau predicts. They’re braced for his irritating act, the swaggering belligerence clad in a high-fashion wardrobe—will he wear Dries van Noten to the game, or Alexander McQueen?—and the combination of raw knuckles and condescension.

Avery’s tactics are all about control; it’s as if his hand is on a dial manipulating the temperatures of others. He upsets his victims with crudeness, but what should bother them most is his calculation. It’s all a set-up, he goads others by questioning their toughness, gets the best of them by honing in on their insecurities, then leaves them regretting the loss of self-control, and often walks away the winner.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

All Eyes On Theodore

from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,

Of all the concerns surrounding the Capitals’ feasibility as a real contender—maturity, toughness, the psychological wound from being one-and-done against the Philadelphia Flyers a year ago—No. 1 is Theodore’s inconsistency. It’s why the Rangers have just one on-paper advantage heading into this series—Henrik Lundqvist in goal.

Again, Theodore doesn’t have to be what Arturs Irbe was to San Jose 15 years ago; that otherworldly goalie, making out-of-body experiences a reality on ice.

But more than even a hard-checking opponent or a stingy goalie across the ice, Theodore can stop Ovie and a hungry Capitals team from going as far as they want to this postseason. If they have real designs on Lord Stanley, it’s up to the guy in goal. This postseason is on him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jose+theodore

How To Beat The Capitals

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

I’m sitting in the barber chair getting my locks clipped, while reading the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. Lo and behold, my eyes drifted down to the Eastern Conference predictions made by Pierre (What Doesn’t He Know) McGuire. Alas and alack,  Pierre selected Washington over New York in six games. Poof! Just like that; my doubts about the Rangers were erased.

Since Sports Illustrated’s predictions are always right, about 20 percent of the time, I immediately knew that everything will be just hunky-dory with the Blueshirts. If Sports Illustrated picks them to lose, it automatically means that the Rangers will win.

But I also know that my loyal and intelligent readership wants more than that little SI snippet to prove my point, so I’ll move on to The Fischler Guaranteed to Work Game Plan.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

« Previous       ‹ First  < 146 147 148 149 150 >  Last ›      Next »

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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts