Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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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.
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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.”
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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.”
Alexander Ovechkin scored his 60th goal of the season at the 11:30 mark of the 3rd period tonight.
I will re-check all the entries and post the official winner on Monday.
added 10:43pm, Watch Ovechkin’s 60th goal…
NEW YORK (March 21, 2008) – National Hockey League (NHL) content is now available on-demand for free through Hulu.com. A partnership between the NHL and the new online video service known as Hulu was announced last week. Under the agreement, the NHL is providing full-length “Games of the Week,” full-length classic games, “Best of the Week” highlights and all-access features focused on NHL players and events.
The Hulu.com (NHL page) website brings together the widest selection of premium video from across 50 content providers with an elegant, easy-to-use interface. With a focus on the video viewing experience, Hulu.com streams videos in high-quality while offering additional tools to enhance the viewing experience, including full-screen view, a pop-out window, a ‘lower lights’ feature and much more.
“NHL fans are early adopters who consume New Media more than fans of other sports,” said Troy Ewanchyna, NHL Director Business Development. “Partnering with Hulu is an important next step in our commitment to delivering NHL content our fans want, when and where they want it.”
In addition to NHL content, U.S. consumers can go to Hulu.com to watch a large selection of hit TV shows, movies, clips and more in high-quality – any time, for free. Hulu’s extensive distribution network includes Hulu’s partner sites (AOL, Comcast’s Fancast.com, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo!) and other Web sites where users have embedded Hulu videos.
I have embedded the recent Capitals/Penguins game and must say the picture quality is very good… Watch it now and play around will all the options you have. Moving to different time areas of the video works well too.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
No Russian born player has ever won the Art Ross Trophy. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh’s Evgeny Malkin are poised to change that with the pair continuing to battle for the league lead in points.
However, the buzz around the NHL as the regular season winds down targets another major award; the Hart Memorial Trophy.
From Dan Steinberg in the DC Sportsblog, mention of a press release:
Hair Cuttery, the largest privately-owned chain of hair salons in the country, announced today that it has signed NHL Washington Capitals’ hockey star Alex Ovechkin to a 6-month partnership agreement commencing in October.
Ovechkin proves that even if you’re a multimillionaire, you can still appreciate a good haircut at a great price. After signing a 13 year, $124M contract - the richest in NHL history - the 22-year-old Washington Capitals’ left wing is still a regular client at the Ballston Common Hair Cuttery in Arlington, Virginia.
$14 haircuts. Interesting, this odd world of hockey endorsements. (And it seems like it would’ve been a decent gig for Jose Theodore, too.)
*hat-tip to Rick Couchman at Hockey.com for the link
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