Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Capitals Insider,
I was able to join Alex Ovechkin’s conference call with the Detroit media a few minutes ago. Ovechkin will be playing at Joe Louis Arena for the first time tomorrow night against the league-leading Red Wings, and the local reporters had lots of questions for him.
Q: Can the Caps still make the playoffs?
A: “Last week was very important for us. We play five games and we win four and lose one. We still have a chance. We play better and better.”
Q: How much are you looking forward to playing in Detroit?
A: “Detroit is one of the best teams in the league. It’s a great place to play hockey and I’ve never been here. So I’m really excited. They have great players so it will be big challenge for my team.”
from Slap Shot at the NYT,
The most sobering part of Wednesday night’s Rangers-Capitals game had nothing to do with the game — a 5-4 overtime victory by Washington, which was wildly entertaining unless you are a big fan of goalies — but the lack of people watching in Washington’s Verizon Center.
The team announced the attendance at 12,553, which is laughable. There were entire empty sections. Any camera shot that caught the sections behind the nets showed swaths of empty seats.
from the Washington Times,
Boudreau’s life in hockey has taken him to places like Biloxi, Miss.; Muskegon, Mich.; and Iserlohn, Germany. He has been a successful coach in a wide variety of leagues but took nearly a two-decade journey before he finally got his chance in the NHL.
“He is a very passionate hockey guy who lives and breathes the game and has a great way of relating to his players,” said St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray, whom Boudreau considers a mentor from their days together in the Los Angeles Kings organization. “Bruce has a neat way about him, and he is a guy people pull for. It was tough to see another friend of mine [Glen Hanlon] lose his job, but I was happy for Bruce as well.”
added 1:38pm, from Capitals Insider,
My story on interim Coach Bruce Boudreau in today’s Post was relatively short. My interview with him was rather long. Here’s some of the good stuff that didn’t make the paper….
Q: How about your ties and suits? Some folks crack jokes.
A: “I don’t want to be this. I’m trying so hard not to be the Oscar Madison of coaching. But it’s a reputation I’ve had since I was 17 years old. I’ve tried hard to change. But I am who I am. I think I have really nice suits.”
from Capitals Insider,
Hershey Bears defenseman Jame Pollock has left the team and signed with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Super League.
The Bears/Capitals immediately suspended him without pay, but that’s probably all the organization will be able to do because Russia isn’t covered by the IIHF’s transfer agreement.
From Howard Fendrich at the Sun Herald,
Heading into today’s game at Carolina, the Capitals are 2-1-1 under Boudreau, giving them the same number of points from those four games as they earned in the previous 13.
“That’s what Bruce is trying to preach: Expect to win every night,” goalie Olie Kolzig said.
Boudreau will have to wait until next week, when the Capitals have five days off in a row, to fully implement his system. It calls for aggressive, attacking play, including asking defensemen to press forward, and it was responsible for an AHL championship in 2005-06, his first season with Hershey.
I think The Sailor took a wrong turn with his boat.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Maybe someone can provide one good reason for Alex Ovechkin to sign a new contract with the before becoming a restricted free agent on July 1, because we sure can’t think of any.
Ovechkin, stuck in a hockey market in DC that’s as irrelevant now as it was before the lockout and therefore denied a suitable stage to showcase his brilliance, isn’t going to make more money by signing with the Caps than he would by inviting offer sheets this summer.
continued plus more NHL talk including this,
Dialogue has resumed between Scotty Bowman and the board of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment aimed at working out a deal so the nine-time Cup-winning coach and one-time player personnel director would become the Toronto club’s president and director of hockey operations, Slap Shots has been told.
via the Patriot-News,
“Quite honestly,” said Boudreau, elevated Thursday from his position as Hershey’s head coach in the wake of Glen Hanlon’s firing, “I caught myself saying, ‘Ovechkin is up. Ovechkin? Holy smokes.’ That’s what caught me most of all. I was here in front of 20,000 people. It was a good situation.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Afterwards, Hanlon conceded that he’d never undergone anything quite like the current meltdown at any other stage in his career, as a player or a coach, and sounded as if he were out of answers. So Boudreau gets the first chance to pick up the pieces and in a month or so, McPhee will start to get his answers: If this were really a coaching issue, or if the team that he’s rebuilding isn’t quite ready to turn the corner just yet.
from the Washington Capitals,
The Washington Capitals have relieved Glen Hanlon of his coaching duties and named Bruce Boudreau the team’s interim head coach, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
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