Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tarik El-Bashi of Capitals Insider,
Here’s what Alex Ovechkin had to say about his goal celebration tonight: “Me, Jose Theodore, [Nicklas] Backstrom and [Mike Green] said if I score goal, Jose tell me just put the stick on the ice and try act like it’s so hot. Backie stopped and Greenie stopped, so I have to do it myself.”
When I asked him if he expected to be ripped by Don Cherry, he shot back with a big smile: “Oh yeah, he’s going to be [ticked] off for sure. I love it. I can’t wait ‘til he says something about me. Old coaches, old system, you know?”
more inlcuding reaction from Boudreau and Tocchet.
If you missed the goal and celebration, watch it here.
added 8:55am, Damian Critodero of the St. Petersburg Times has more from the Tampa side…
added 10:57am, Locker room video added below…
Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season midway in the first period against the Lightning.
AO followed the goal with a celebration with his hands wiggling over his stick which he had placed on the ice.
added 8:36pm, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
After ripping a shot past Mike McKenna, Ovechkin dropped his stick then bent over it and attempted to pick it up. But each time he reached down he pretended that the stick was too hot to touch.
The Lightning fans didn’t appreciate the gesture and booed Ovechkin. Can’t wait to see what Don Cherry will have to say about it on Coach’s Corner on Saturday night.
video added 10:25pm...
added 10:47pm, Extended version of the video added below which was provided by On Frozen Blog....
Every week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.
Question No. 3: Penguins fans are saying that Geno Malkin is the league MVP. Good evidence in the last game - he got five points, he hit the 100-point mark, he leads it by 10. Who’s your choice? It’s basically coming down to Alex Ovechkin or Malkin.
Pierre McGuire: Ovechkin. The big thing on Ovechkin is that he’s probably scored the best goal of this NHL season against the Montreal Canadiens. He does this virtually every single night. If he’s not part of the Washington Capitals, they’re probably not leading the Southeast division, they’re not pushing for home ice in the playoffs. He’s the most valuable player. Take him off the Capitals, they’re not anywhere near as good.
Keith Jones: For me, it’s Malkin. You think of Mike Green with the Capitals, you think of Sergei Gonchar with the Penguins. Gonchar playing now just 15 games, Malkin over the 100-point mark again. Without a great defenceman on the blueline for much of the season, Malkin has gotten the job done.
more and two other questions answered…
from Dan Steinberg at D.C. Sports Bog,
Yes, those were cowbells you heard all over the arena. Several hundred red cowbells reading “Rock the Red” made their debuts at concession stands, retailing for (I think) $8. There were a lot of people who had been drinking St. Patrick’s Day-related beer that day, and many of them wound up with cowbells in their hands.
Good? Bad? Indifferent? I tended to think good, until I heard some of the particularly insistent cowbell shakers, which made me think possibly bad. There are no plans to pass out 18,000 cowbells for the playoffs, in case you were wondering.
Capitals lose to the Thrashers 5-1 last night. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau talks about the loss.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
There never has been another Rocket Richard, a fiery blend of speed and strength, a stocky body with overwhelming strength, plus a wild look in his eyes as he bore down on goalies. A product of Montreal who played for the Canadiens, Richard also embodied Gallic pride and wore his ethnicity as a chip on his shoulder. It’s doubtful the city and all of Quebec ever will embrace an athlete as it did “The Rocket,” who died May 27, 2000, at age 79.
By the same token, there hasn’t been a player since Richard that so closely resembles him in size, strength, skating, shooting and scoring as Ovechkin, whose passion for winning closely rivals Richard.
“I think that’s a great comparison and as good a comparison as I’ve heard in a long time,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The only thing Alex doesn’t have is the temper that Rocket had, where he would blow up and go nuts. Alex is the same fiery type of guy with the same physical attributes that Rocket had in his day that Alex has in this day.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Brian Pothier got his life back when the headaches and dizziness suddenly subsided in December, almost a full year after he suffered the fourth documented head injury of his professional hockey career. Now the Washington Capitals defenseman is on the verge of regaining something else: his NHL career.
continued and watch an interview with Pothier by Mike Vogel below…
from Mike Rucki of On Frozen Pond,
Last night’s win—while exciting, important, and offensively impressive—was an uneven and at times sloppy effort. The team played with heart, but were seemingly disorganized on defense and offensive back-checking. Theo yielded a few juicy rebounds, but also made some stellar saves. A balanced scoring effort managed to offset (barely) a weak defensive one.
Methinks Coach Boudreau will be putting the team through heavy defensive drills as they head back out on the road… because games like this one, while producing an important two points, won’t cut it in the playoffs.
from Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider,
When the Caps left town Monday afternoon, several players said they hoped getting away from home would help them refocus and get back to basics.
Did it ever.
The Capitals completed a stellar two-game trip tonight in Philadelphia, where they claimed a 2-1 win over the rival Flyers two days after beating the Predators in Nashville by the same score. Suddenly, that four-game losing streak at Verizon Center seems like so long ago.
“Getting the win in Nashville was nice to get back in the winning column,” said Brooks Laich. “But you don’t want to take a step back after taking a step forward. To get a win here, in a building where we’ve had a tough time. Obviously, we wanted a little redemption from the last time we played here.”
That was the quote of the night.
continue for more on the Capitals…
fromn John Glennon of the Tennessean,
There were a couple of hard-hitting bouts in the opening period, with the Predators coming out on top in both. Wade Belak buckled Donald Brashear with a straight left and dropped him to the ice, while Jordin Tootoo turned Matt Bradley’s face into a bloody mess — cutting Bradley’s nose badly and giving him a black eye to boot.
“We have guys that can battle each and every night and that’s part of our team,’’ Tootoo said. “We play physical and bring it all.’‘
Brashear didn’t return after the fight and might have sprained a knee when he fell to the ice.
more on the Preds including some Radulov talk…
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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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