Kukla's Korner Hockey
Three of the four teams listed make the playoffs, which team is left on the golf course?
added 10:30am, As a KK reader pointed out, Carolina should also be on this list, so I have added them to the poll after about 100 votes.
from Japers’ Rink,
Add another vote to the “Ovechkin for MVP” campaign, this from rival Evgeni Malkin:
“I still have chances to become the MVP this season, however I am sure that Alexander Ovechkin is the best player in NHL this season and he will win this award.”
Sergei Fedorov brings up some points the Caps and Washington fans need to remember.
Scroll to the 4:11 mark of the YouTube video at On Frozen Blog and listen to what Sergei has to say, especially the going “flat” remark. The Caps need to keep the momentum going but not get to “high” with the victory last night.
from Slap Shot at the NY Times,
How overarchingly great has Ovechkin been this year? Beyond getting more goals than anyone else, he takes more shots than anyone else, fires more shots wide than anyone else — in short, he’s simply got the puck on his stick more than anyone else. Consider this list of the only players with 400 or more combined shots and missed shots:
Player, team Shots Missed Total
Ovechkin, Wsh ..436 ..196 632
from the Washington Post,
It was, without question, the most important game several of the Washington Capitals had ever played in. But it never looked that way.
In a contest that featured all of the intensity of a playoff game, the Capitals’ impressive core of youngsters and veteran goaltender Cristobal Huet buoyed their hope of earning a spot in the playoffs with a 4-1 thumping of the Carolina Hurricanes.
continued (reg. req.)
added 11:26pm, from Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
Playing on some of the worst ice in recent NHL history — riddled with cracks like a windshield after a wreck — the Caps scored twice early, then answered a Carolina goal with a power-play goal during a controversial second-period sequence.
Alex Ovechkin took exception to Eric Staal poking at Huet’s glove after a save on Scott Walker on a short-handed two-on-one and threw Staal into the boards.
But the Capitals remained on the power play because a coincidental minor was called on Niclas Wallin in the brawl that followed, and Alexander Semin scored to make it 3-1.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
“It’s probably the most important week in my NHL career,” Ovechkin told a larger-than-usual crowd of reporters and cameras at Kettler Capitals Iceplex yesterday morning. “We had that bad feeling the last [two] years because we didn’t play for the playoffs.”
Tonight, Ovechkin (league-best 62 goals and 109 points) and the Capitals open a three-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes with a trip to the postseason—and the Southeast Division title—still within their grasp.
more (reg. req.)
from Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail,
Ovechkin has already won the Richard trophy and seems likely to win the Art Ross as well. Let me make the case for Ovechkin’s name on the Hart.
First of all, he has not simply won the Richard trophy. He has smoked the competition with a season for the ages.
Maurice (The Rocket) Richard set the bar with 50 goals in 50 games in the 1944-45 season. The number of 50-goal seasons has recently been raised to 182 by Ilya Kovalchuk and may grow by another should Jarome Iginla notch one more goal in Calgary’s final three games. To properly compare these results across over 60 years of the changing face of hockey it is necessary to adjust for (at least) two things.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washinton Post,
But now Fedorov is grateful for the change. He’s having more fun than he’s had in years, he said, reinvigorated by Boudreau’s up-tempo system and a roster filled with young and talented players that remind Fedorov of himself 15 years ago.
“Just getting the chance to play hockey the way it’s supposed to be played, which is using hockey sense, not robotic,” Fedorov said, referring to the Blue Jackets’ defense-first strategy. In Columbus “you had do things that didn’t require much skill. It’s much, much different here. That’s why it’s exciting and refreshing.”
read on (reg. req.)
from Kevin Dupont at NBC Sports,
The ‘08 playoffs without A.O. would not be O.K.
Just as big-time scoring has dried up around the league, so has the sport’s big-time entertainment factor. Ovechkin not only knows how to score (and there is an intelligence to getting those four ounces of rubber in that 24-square-foot net), but he knows how to entertain, too. His trademark, stamped on nearly every goal, is that running leap he takes into the glass that rings the boards, which sometimes leaves fans in the lower loges thinking that he is about to leave one of those Wile E. Coyote silhouettes carved in the glass as he makes his way through the stands and toward the pizza stand.
Showboating? Perhaps. But so what. If anyone has a right to crow a little, or a lot, it’s Ovechkin, who obviously delights in doing what he is supposed to do. He likes to score. He really likes to score.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
One would think being the first 60-goal scorer in the NHL in 12 years would bring a little more excitement out of Alex Ovechkin, but the Washington Capitals superstar says he’s too preoccupied with his team’s playoff chase right now.
“The last two years at this time we were thinking about vacation and what we going to do in the summer,” Ovechkin said Monday on an NHL conference call. “We weren’t thinking about the playoffs. Right now, we have a great chance to move forward.
“My personal stats are my personal stats but right now I’m just thinking about the team.”
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