Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,
The Caps and their fans are not just shocked by the losses, but by the combined 13-5 score, too. In one loss, they gave up six straight goals; in the next game, five in a row and, on Thursday, they trailed 2-0 entering the final minute. The last time the Caps lost three straight in regulation time at home, they fired the coach—last season.
“You can be told a little too often how good you are. I don’t know if ‘cavalier’ is the word, but you can be too cocky at times, not play as hard as you should, be more pretty than gritty,” General Manager George McPhee told me yesterday. Thursday night, he was so frustrated he went into his suite muttering, “I’m going back into my cave.”
Far better to experience such issues now than in April, when you can be dumped out of the playoffs before you have figured out your problems, much less fixed them.
from Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail,
What has quickly become the NHL’s spiciest rivalry continues Sunday afternoon in Washington, assuming that Sidney Crosby’s sore groin is ready to go.
Alexander Ovechkin won Round One, capturing the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 2006. Crosby won the Art Ross and Hart Trophies in 2007 to claim Round Two. But Ovechkin trumped that last season with an unprecedented sweep of the Ross, Hart and Richard trophies.
These two are such great talents and still so young. So the question just dangles – how good could they be over time?
The answer to this question is in career projections. This exercise is much like trying to forecast the weather over the long term – accuracy is very challenging. But the exercise is awfully interesting.
continued with charts comparing the two to some of the greats of the game…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
“We want to take it easy and make it’s going to be okay,” Ovechkin said, standing rather comfortably. “Me and [head trainer Greg Smith] tried some things this morning but it didn’t work. We decided to see what’s going to happen the next couple of days.”
Asked if he’s going to be able to face the Penguins (Sunday), he said: “We’re going to see. Probably.”
from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take,
Trade deadline day in the past has been a fan and media favorite, very exciting with lots to talk about.
Yesterday was different. Why?
To start, we are well into the new CBA and its ramifications have started to take root. There are only 50 contracts that a team can take on. There is a hard cap and as folks have noticed, the cap will be flat to down over the next few years. Hence there was a lot of trading player for player and salary for salary. It reminds me a bit of the NBA trading dollar for dollar and contract for contract.
The economic landscape has changed too. Teams aren’t looking to add to payroll. They want to shed payroll. Many teams that had high-priced veteran players were looking to exchange those contracts for younger players with lower-priced contracts
via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Alex Ovechkin just left practice after taking a slap shot off of his right foot. He went to the bench in obvious pain, removed his skate and then was helped to the dressing room by a trainer.
Update:A team spokesman just told reporters that the injury is not believed to be serious. But judging from Ovechkin’s reaction—he smashed a stick or two on the way to the dressing room—this bears still watching.
“We just made it 5 to 2, and we’re jumping on each other like we just won an overtime game. I’m sure if I were on the Carolina bench I’d be going, ‘Look at these idiots.’”
-Caps coach Bruce Boudreau after the Caps lost to the Hurricanes 5-2. Watch a post game video at On Frozen Blog.
via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Tom Poti came out for warmups, but when I looked up a few moments later, the veteran defenseman had been pulled from the ice. I don’t want to speculate here, but it certainly is curious considering tomorrow is the NHL trade deadline.
I’ll update when I know more.
added 8:17pm, Tarik says groin injury.
from Home Ice XM204,
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis joined Scott Laughlin for his monthly appearance and they talked about the upcoming NHL Trade Deadline, playoff expectations, and Don Cherry’s controversial comments regarding Alexander Ovechkin.
from Mick Kern of XM204 Blog,
Like it or not, Ovechkin does get away with some questionable physical play on the ice, and one of these games, he’s going to have to face the consequences, like all players do.
Do not get me wrong, and I’m concerned that a legion of Ovechkin apologists will rush to judgement, as they foam at the mouth at even a hint of criticism directed the way of Number Eight; Ovechkin is one of the few true superstars in the NHL, and is very good for business.
He should continue to celebrate goals in the manner which has made him famous, but he should also understand when someone decides to go all Dale Hunter on him. Oh sure, when a player does that, it’ll be wrong, and should be penalized, so I’m not suggesting someone should do it, I just think it’s a matter of time before someone will do it.
from Shawn Lavigne of the XM204 Blog,
I have enormous respect for Don Cherry but there are weeks when I watch ‘Coaches Corner’ where I just scratch my head in bewilderment at some of the stupid comments he makes. Last night on his ‘hockey pulpit’ he talked about the theatrics of Alexander Ovechkin and the ‘boring Europeans’ on the Detroit Red Wings and after 25 years of this anti-European garbage spewing from his mouth it motivated me to share my thoughts.
As broadcasters most of the information that we comment on is our opinion but unfortunately in Canada when it comes to Cherry it is suppose to be taken as religion with his anti-european cult of followers. Trust me I’ve been in sports radio and television for 15 years and heard it all from callers and hosts who bow down to the Great Wall of Cherry.
added 5:51pm, from Nate of Welcome to the Show,
Cherry is entitled to his opinion, of course, but it raises a good question: do we have to listen to it? Specifically, for those of us in the U.S., should NHL Network subject us to this garbage on a league-owned network?
Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Hockey Night in Canada when I had the chance to watch for four years in Michigan. I wish Jim Hughson could follow me around and describe my every move for a day.
And there’s room for criticism on NHL properties; you’ll see it on NHL.com and hear it on NHL Live and On the Fly. But Cherry’s xenophobic, misguided and frankly wrong comments have no place on a league-owned network.
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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