Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer last season, has returned to Moscow to be with his ailing grandfather and will miss the Washington Capitals game Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
A popular question for hockey fans in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was who was a better player: Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux?
There were viable arguments to either side of that debate. Gretzky had all the records. Lemieux had lesser teammates to work with. Etc.
Either way, it was a simple argument that only had two choices.
Things are a little bit more complex in this day and age. There are three potential choices to that argument.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Alex Ovechkin.
continued with a statistical argument…
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
With the two Alexes – Ovechkin and Semin – leading the charge, the Washington Capitals might be the greatest show on the ice right now, the heir apparent to the swashbuckling Edmonton Oilers of the mid-1980s. If that’s the case, then defenceman Mike Green is the 21st-century equivalent of Paul Coffey in style and approach – one of half-a-dozen promising young rearguards who will get a long look from the management staff of Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. Green plays a high-risk, high-reward style. Most nights, he is a defenceman in name only and plays almost as a fourth forward.
This is done with the permission of his coach Bruce Boudreau who, since taking over the reins of the Capitals last December, loosened them considerably on all of his young players. Now, instead of making a defensive choice on a 50-50 puck battle, they have permission to err on the offensive side. Some nights, it backfires, but on balance, it generally works.
and more on the Capitals plus other hockey topics, from Marian Gaborik to Sarah Palin
Update 1:55pm ET: Ken Campbell at The Hockey News has more thoughts on the Capitals today, specifically on Alex Ovechkin’s season thus far.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
The question was put to Tyler Sloan as he sat in the far corner of the Washington Capitals dressing room, a few stalls to the right of Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Semin and hockey’s most dynamic force, Alexander Ovechkin: If someone made a movie out of your career, what would they call it?
Sloan smiled as he undid his skates. Cinderella Man, he replied.
Indeed, his saga is the feel-good story of this early NHL season.
It’s the tale of a 27-year-old career minor-leaguer who finally gets his shot in the NHL.
Watch the big hit from Sloan on Langkow during last night’s game below…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
In fact, the Caps outdid themselves, finishing 0 for 5 with the man advantage. They reached a new low when they mustered only three shots during a seven-minute stretch of power play time in the first period.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There wasn’t much traffic in front of Miikka Kiprusoff. There weren’t many shots getting through from the point. There were plenty of puck battles lost deep in the offensive zone.
“We try to play so fancy, our big mistake,” Ovechkin said. “We know we have some great skills. But we try to create some create some crazy moments, play beautiful hockey.”
from Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post,
As a teenager growing up in the Long Island suburbs, Washington Capitals broadcaster Joe Beninati was always The Voice of any sport he ever played, often offering an impromptu running play-by-play commentary for his friends even as he also was participating in a street hockey game here, a lacrosse game there.
TSN’s James Duthrie goes behind the scenes to find out why Alexander Ovechkin would make the perfect rockstar.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It is late on a Monday afternoon, at the start of a rare Western road trip and the NHL’s 147th-leading scorer has drawn an unexpectedly large crowd to a downtown hotel conference room.
This is Alexander Ovechkin, after the long flight in from Washington: He is wearing a tuque, in the Capitals’ colour scheme, with the No. 8 emblazoned on it, which immediately conjures up a Cat in the Hat sort of aesthetic. The crooked grin contributes to the look, as does the melting ice cream bar that he’s holding in one hand, but can’t get to eat as he patiently fields a barrage of questions.
from Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times,
If Ovechkin won’t respect Malkin’s status as a superstar, the Penguins can’t respect Ovechkin’s status as a superstar. If that means that Eric Godard does Ovechkin a favor by rearranging his face, so be it.
from Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times,
Though the two are cordial and respectful of what the other has accomplished, it’s also clear that the two won’t be going out for vodkas soon. When the Washington Capitals took Ovechkin first overall and the Penguins selected Malkin second, the two were inseparable.
Though they are reluctant to say otherwise, it’s apparent that neither is on each other’s Christmas card list. Only Ovechkin and Malkin really know what happened to their friendship but it’s clearly non-existent now. Either that or Russians have a very funny way of showing it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org