Kukla's Korner Hockey
from D.C. Sports Bog,
At which point Brashear gave out his e-mail address over the radio. I’ll withhold that address for now, although it’s obviously not that hard to find. And what happened next? Aside from a Junkie saying “silly”?
“Five minutes later I’m getting [bleepin’] emails coming in, coming out,” Brashear said. “I’m thinking, ‘A lot of people want to talk to the players, so why not just start a blog and see where it goes?’ “
thanks to On Frozen Blog for the pointer.
from the Washington Capitals,
Watching Nylander darting about in the attack zone, curling off in sharp tight circles to elude defenders and protect the puck, you wonder how hard it would be to play on a line with him. Backstrom is picking up the art of playing with the slick Swedish center.
“I try to be close with him on the ice, so he can pass to me and I can pass back,” says Backstrom. “After a couple [practices] and games, I think I can read what he is going to do. We can know each other, that’s not a big problem. I think that is going to be good.”
As a rookie playing a strange position (left wing) in a strange country and on a smaller ice surface than he is used to, Backstrom is growing accustomed to his new environment both on and off the ice.
from USA TODAY,
What kind of transition do you expect to the NHL?
Backstrom: I have to get used to the smaller rink. I feel better and better, but in the beginning it was tougher than I thought. But I’m playing with good players, so that will make it easier for me. I just have to work on my skating and getting a little quicker, but it’ll be good.
From Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post,
In his first two seasons, Alex Ovechkin had more ice time on average than any Washington Capitals forward. Yet there was always one situation in which he’d be glued to the bench: as his team protected a lead in the final seconds.
That, however, has started to change this season. With a renewed commitment to defense, Ovechkin has gained Coach Glen Hanlon’s trust, and as a result, was on the ice in the last minute during each of the Capitals’ first two games, both victories.
“Coach trust me more right now,” Ovechkin said after yesterday’s practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “The reason is because I play well in defensive zone, I try to play more smart and I go to spot where I have to stay. It’s working.”
continued… (*link may require free registration)
from On Frozen Blog,
We would have blogged with passion aplenty absent any intervention from the Washington Capitals, but in reflecting on the past year, we’re overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the team’s communications professionals, its athletes, and that filmmaker fella with the nice perch at Verizon Center. The very first comment left at OFB one year ago today was from Mike Vogel. The second came from Ted Leonsis. The next thing we knew we were being invited into Verizon Center’s press box and players’ rooms. What’s excited us most about that remarkable hospitality is its visionary democracy: the Caps have led the entire professional sports industry in laying out the welcome mat to committed bloggers, and there were times last season when a press box row was populated entirely by bloggers.
Without a doubt, the Caps are very blogger friendly. I remember my first interview with Ted Leonsis…Phone rings at my home, “Hi Paul, it’s Ted”...
fro Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Which team will be this season’s surprise story? ESPN.com is picking the Washington Capitals and Scott Burnside will chronicle the team’s travels throughout the season. In Part I, we begin with the team’s newfound vision at training camp.
ARLINGTON, Va.—There is a carnival-like atmosphere inside the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Balloons, booths, NHL trophies and staff decked out in Caps jerseys fill the space between the two ice surfaces on which the Washington Capitals are working out.
from D.C. Sports Bog,
Brashear’s father had been in real estate, and he always wanted to get involved in that industry, and he’s already thinking about what he’ll do post-hockey. And so he and his buddies formed the company and built two houses-a one-level home and a cottage—this summer in Quebec City. And yes, Brashear was out at the sites, using nail guns and making cuts with electric saws and doing some roofing and lifting trusses and putting in hardwood floors and working on ceramic tiles. You know, the usual offseason stuff.
“It’s my company; I want to show the guys that I can be out there and working,” he told me.
From George Solomon at the Washington Post,
Kolzig might not be Cal Ripken—he missed 13 games last season with a knee injury—but his numbers are impressive. Nine seasons as the Caps’ regular goaltender, 702 games in goal overall. A regular season winning percentage of slightly better than .500, and just as important, two major NHL awards for community service.
“It’s rare an athlete plays his entire career with one team, but Washington gave me my opportunity and stuck with me when I was coming up and not what they call a top-end prospect,” Kolzig said. “Playing with one team my whole career, that’s something I’d like to hang my hat on.”
Alex Ovechkin participated in an NHL teleconference today. Here is the transcript…
Q. Lots of good stats but are you at the point where you want the team to make the playoffs? I can’t imagine it’s much fun if the team doesn’t make the playoffs.
ALEX OVECHKIN: My goal is to make the playoffs and I have to score goals and everybody has to score goals. So my goal is to score goals and try to win games.
Q. How is it going to be playing with Michael Nylander?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Right now I’m playing with Viktor Kozlov.
from Fox Sports,
His Capitals have lost tens of millions of dollars, he acknowledges, but the team is worth more than twice the $85 million he paid for it in 1999. The value will only increase if the team, which Leonsis has slowly rebuilt after initially overspending for players, returns to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2003.
“I have to laugh,” Leonsis said, “because we get slammed by newspapers or frankly even some new media properties, and I go, ‘Our salary cap has grown from $39 million to $50 million in two years.’ Whose shoes would you rather be in?”
more on Ted…
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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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