Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
The Montreal Canadiens have more than Alex Ovechkin to keep an eye on Thursday night when they visit the Washington Capitals.
Unheralded defenceman Mike Green is blossoming into an offensive force on the back end for the Caps. He was tied with Montreal’s Andrei Markov for the NHL lead in goals by defencemen at eight apiece before other games Wednesday night, a surprising piece of trivia even for the most ardent hockey fans.
“My buddies, that’s about it,” Green said with a laugh when asked who might know the answer to that question.
from the D.C. Sports Bog,
Since that dark day, Washington is 7-4-2. They might not be the ‘84 Oilers just yet, but at least the franchise is now located somewhat north of hell. Boudreau, it stands to reason, must have deployed some sort of motivational wizardry, some magic set of words, some sloganeering that snapped this team out of its funk. Where does he get his inspiration?
“Movies, quite frankly,” he told me.
Yup, the Caps’ new boss is a movie fanatic who prefers action and adventure flicks, from crime tales to mobster dramas to historical capers. When he watches movies now, he keeps track of the motivational bits for possible use in the locker room.
from On Frozen Blog,
Leonsis emphasized that embracing new media is for the league merely an extension of the relationship its fans have already cultivated, passionately. “All of our fans are wired. They spend most of their time on broadband. They have their mobile devices.”
“People have underestimated the importance of search. They’ve underestimated the influence of Facebook. Facebook has a $15 billion valuation — more than every NHL and NBA team combined. What did they do? They brought a big audience of young Web-savvy customers. We have to look at our business in the same vein.”
So what’s ahead? For starters, the owner contends, increasing acceptance of bloggers and the blogosphere. Additionally, individual blogs that are likely to surpass The Hockey News in popularity and influence. Their quality, he said, “is better than the copy you see in the newspaper.” Then next up comes a very new age role for NHL players.
from Capitals Insider,
“We can take a lot from this,” defenseman Tom Poti said. Detroit “has only lost six or seven games all year, and we stuck right with them for 65 minutes. If we keep going out and giving a consistent effort like that, we’re going to be fine.”
Alex Ovechkin, who netted his 24th goal, added: “We don’t give up. We know we played hard. It was a great time for us. We played a great team in a great place.”
“We’re going to get back at it and keep on rolling,” defenseman Shaone Morrisonn said.
more and the key for the Caps is to, as Morrison said, “get back at it”. If the Caps play like they did last night, they will win more than they lose, but they need to maintain that effort all year long.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
But what if Ovechkin doesn’t want to play in Washington any longer? What if the young superstar tells the Caps he’d prefer to play someplace a little more cosmopolitan than Washington? You know, it could happen.
And frankly, I think Caps GM George McPhee should, at the very least, explore the possibility of trading the 22-year-old sniper.
The last time the Washington Capitals played the Wings at the Joe Louis Arena, they won the game 4-1 with goals from Jaromir Jagr, Robert Lang, Dainius Zubrus and Peter Bondra. That was in November of 2003 and it seems a lot longer than that.
Boy, how things have changed. The Caps decided to unload some high-priced players, taking on the attitude of building from with-in the organization. They have been active in the UFA market, but are spending wisely instead of throwing big money at big names. In the very near future, the Caps will become a team to fear, as long as they sign Alexander Ovechkin to a long term contract, something I see happening by the end of this season.
Today is also a day the Red Wings organization should have taken a look at their stance on the Hockey Bloggers. The Wings continue their refusal to acknowledge reputable hockey blogs and are paying the price for it. Heck, today is a perferct example. The University of Michigan hires Rich Rodriguez to coach their football team, the Detroit Lions lose again, the Pistons win again and we have 15 inches of snow to battle with today.
The Wings are hosting Alexander Ovechkin tonight, and yes, that is a the story for hockey fans, but sports radio hasn’t even mentioned it, the Wings beat writers do their typical work about it and that is all we have here in Detroit.
How refreshing it would have been if the Wings had invited or allowed a few hockey bloggers into the press box tonight. But then again, they would not be able to control what they write, and THAT folks is the story.
from Capitals Insider,
I was able to join Alex Ovechkin’s conference call with the Detroit media a few minutes ago. Ovechkin will be playing at Joe Louis Arena for the first time tomorrow night against the league-leading Red Wings, and the local reporters had lots of questions for him.
Q: Can the Caps still make the playoffs?
A: “Last week was very important for us. We play five games and we win four and lose one. We still have a chance. We play better and better.”
Q: How much are you looking forward to playing in Detroit?
A: “Detroit is one of the best teams in the league. It’s a great place to play hockey and I’ve never been here. So I’m really excited. They have great players so it will be big challenge for my team.”
from Slap Shot at the NYT,
The most sobering part of Wednesday night’s Rangers-Capitals game had nothing to do with the game — a 5-4 overtime victory by Washington, which was wildly entertaining unless you are a big fan of goalies — but the lack of people watching in Washington’s Verizon Center.
The team announced the attendance at 12,553, which is laughable. There were entire empty sections. Any camera shot that caught the sections behind the nets showed swaths of empty seats.
from the Washington Times,
Boudreau’s life in hockey has taken him to places like Biloxi, Miss.; Muskegon, Mich.; and Iserlohn, Germany. He has been a successful coach in a wide variety of leagues but took nearly a two-decade journey before he finally got his chance in the NHL.
“He is a very passionate hockey guy who lives and breathes the game and has a great way of relating to his players,” said St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray, whom Boudreau considers a mentor from their days together in the Los Angeles Kings organization. “Bruce has a neat way about him, and he is a guy people pull for. It was tough to see another friend of mine [Glen Hanlon] lose his job, but I was happy for Bruce as well.”
added 1:38pm, from Capitals Insider,
My story on interim Coach Bruce Boudreau in today’s Post was relatively short. My interview with him was rather long. Here’s some of the good stuff that didn’t make the paper….
Q: How about your ties and suits? Some folks crack jokes.
A: “I don’t want to be this. I’m trying so hard not to be the Oscar Madison of coaching. But it’s a reputation I’ve had since I was 17 years old. I’ve tried hard to change. But I am who I am. I think I have really nice suits.”
from Capitals Insider,
Hershey Bears defenseman Jame Pollock has left the team and signed with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Super League.
The Bears/Capitals immediately suspended him without pay, but that’s probably all the organization will be able to do because Russia isn’t covered by the IIHF’s transfer agreement.
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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