Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News:
“Right now,” [Mike] Green told the Washington Post recently, “if it’s on my stick, I’m shooting it.”
The question that needs to be asked now, though, is if Paul Coffey’s record of 48 goals, the hallmark for markers by a defenseman in one season, is going to be in jeopardy in the next few seasons? Are we looking at a defenseman who is capable of becoming the first 50-goal scorer in NHL history?
Don’t laugh; it could happen. Green is only 23 years old, which means he could still be five years away from hitting his peak as a player. And look at what he’s doing already.
from Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post,
Independent co-producers Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson have spent most of the last eight months trying to show a different side to the game, seen and heard through the eyes and the voices of Capitals veteran forward Brooks Laich and rookie defenseman Karl Alzner….
“There is very little sports on NPR, and certainly not much hockey,” said Hooley, a 40-year-old South African who narrates the features. “Chris and I thought there were so many stories that could be told, and we thought we could do it with sound. We’re not interested in the games in general. We just thought we could follow two players through the season on and off the ice and explain the game in a thoughtful way, especially what it takes to play at this level.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Jose Theodore didn’t know the rule, and neither did Coach Bruce Boudreau. So here it is: No. 25.2, which states, “No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal).
So that’s why Ryan Callahan’s decisive in penalty shots on Wednesday was allowed to stand after it hit the crossbar, bounced off an unsuspecting Jose Theodore and back into the net.
Theodore said it’s a lesson learned.
“To be honest, I thought when it hit the crossbar, when it comes back out that it was a no play,” he said. “So I didn’t really ... I didn’t know where the puck was, but I knew it wasn’t going in. I didn’t really try to get out of the way because to me it was a no goal. Obviously, I was wrong. It’s a lesson I learned.”
continued and watch the SO goal below…
from Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times,
The ice was disgusting,” Poti said after the game. “Every game here, it is an embarrassment. That’s why so many guys get hurt with groins. It’s a shame, to be honest with you.”
And while coach Bruce Boudreau and defenseman Mike Green said the ice wasn’t particularly worse than other games, the subject of ice conditions was a touchy subject Monday at practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Poti said he wasn’t going to talk about the ice anymore since he “said his piece” about the subject already. Sergei Fedorov said he didn’t feel comfortable talking about the playing conditions because he and his teammates were told not to discuss it.
“We just had a meeting. We’re not really allowed to comment… because we don’t wanna say something that will cause a problem,” he said. “We know for sure people who work and try to make ice better are working very, very hard, so let’s keep it that way.”
added 7:41am, On Frozen Blog has more on the ice conditions…
The Washingon Capitals claimed Staffan Kronwall off re-entry waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.
The 26-year-old defenceman was placed on waivers by the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Capitals goalie Brent Johnson will have hip surgery next week and is expected to miss up to two months.
The decision to have the operation was made Thursday. The Capitals said Johnson could be out six-to-eight weeks.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Winning consistently on home ice and making Verizon Center an unpleasant environment for opponents have long been among Boudreau’s priorities. In his postgame news conferences, he often makes mention of an arena’s “atmosphere” and how it played on the Capitals’ emotions—and ultimately affected the outcome of the game. After Tuesday’s 5-2 win in front of a sparse crowd in New Jersey, for example, Boudreau said the subdued mood at Prudential Center negatively affected both teams but that it mostly dragged down the Devils.
“It was a dead building,” he said. “When we played Florida [a 5-3 loss at Verizon Center on Dec. 2] it was very similar. It’s tough.”
“Dead” might be the last word anyone would use these days to describe the Capitals’ rink, which is gaining a reputation around the league as one of the loudest and most intimidating arenas in the NHL. The Capitals have hosted 14 capacity crowds this season—six more than all of last season—and 10 in the past 11 games.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
That the Devils played poorly in the first two periods of tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Capitals wasn’t really debtable.
They still had a chance to win the game, however, after Jamie Langenbrunner’s shorthanded goal 41 seconds into the third period cut what had been a 3-0 deficit to 3-2.
The Devils controlled play after that until Mike Rupp was called for goaltender interference at 9:09 of the third by referee Bill McCreary. It appeared that Washington’s Tom Poti reached in with his stick, tripping Rupp as he drove to the net and causing him to slide into goaltender Jose Theodore.
Devils coach Brent Sutter said it was clearly a trip.
“No question the video showed he was tripped on the play,” Sutter said. “He’s driving to the net and a guy trips him. How do you stop? Not every time a goalie gets touched does it mean there’s a penalty. Sometimes there are circumstances leading into it that make it happen. It clearly shows he was tripped on the play. He’s cutting to the net and gets tripped by the defenseman.,.That’s a penalty and we get it called against us when it should have been called the other way.”
Also from Tom...
the Devils traded defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to the Anaheim Ducks for the rights to center David McIntyre.
from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,
Many fans that were rooting for Detroit are actually our season ticket holders. They are happy Caps fans and loyal customers and they root for the Caps always except when we play Detroit. When we sell out the bottom and top bowl, the club seats go on sale via Washington Sports and some of those tickets get sold as groups or online to Detroit fans.
It is obvious that we have made progress. Perhaps ten percent of the arena was rooting for Detroit at yesterday’s game. I won’t rest until we have 100 percent Caps fans in our building but I admire what Detroit has built in terms of fan loyalty.
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
How much the Caps can take from this victory is debatable. The Red Wings, after all, were missing two front-line players because of injuries, Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg. Holmstrom is a monster in the crease; without him Detroit’s power play, the best in the NHL, suffers. And Zetterberg might be the best two-way player in hockey right now.
Throw in the relative good health of the Capitals and the fact that they beat Ty Conklin, not Chris Osgood, in goal—and that the Red Wings entered the game in the midst of their first four-game losing streak in nearly a year—and Detroit was a good bet to go down.
But at the same time, that’s the NHL regular season. Before a team’s greatness is defined in May and June, they have to show signs in the regular season, and the Caps have now consistently shown they belong in the Boston-Detroit-Montreal conversation.
What really happened on the ice yesterday was another example of why the Capitals can never again be Ovie and the Overachievers.
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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