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Category: Washington-Capitals

Morning Line- Barry Trotz

As Washington fans continue looking at the clock...


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Two Game 7’s Tonight, Your Picks

I will do the normal open post tonight but now is probably the time to ask, who do you have tonight.

I am picking the Penguins and Ducks with one of the games going to OT, not sure which one at this point, but hopefully it is the early game.

First question should be, will you even be watching then follow up with who wins.

In case you have been under a rock- Pittsburgh at Washington and Edmonton at Anaheim.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Game 7- Pittsburgh Penguins/Washington Capitals

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

The message Penguins coach Mike Sullivan presented to his team Tuesday, even as the Capitals have pushed back in such a dominant fashion that you have to give them an edge going into Game 7, is that this is a huge opportunity. These are the games in which they live to play. He believes experience in these big situations will serve his team well; he has seen that his group has a knack for seizing the opportunities in front of it.

Trotz's group believes it has developed a resiliency and calm that previous incarnations of the Capitals did not have. The Caps get the biggest possible stage besides Stanley Cup finals to prove it. We might look back and suggest that this was, in its own way, a prelude to the Cup.

Eight years ago, Ovechkin and Crosby had their entire careers ahead of them. We thought that Game 7 was a preview of more of these moments to come. The reality is that we had to wait. And now the hockey world is watching because we know that you can't just assume it's going to happen again.

"I was just talking about it last night: Is this not the best rivalry in the game right now?" Yeo said. "You don't have your Colorados and Detroits anymore with the physical play."

Instead, you have Crosby vs. Ovechkin. The reigning champions vs. a team desperate to win its own. A surging Capitals team hitting its stride vs. a Penguins team looking to dig deep for one more win and see what happens from there.


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The Pittsburgh Penguins Now Face A Game 7

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Anything can happen in a Game 7. The Penguins won Games 1 and 2 in Washington so they won’t be afraid of the Verizon Center Wednesday night. They also have the Capitals’ history of failure against them in eight of their nine previous postseason matchups on their side.

But it’s hard to like the Penguins’ chances, isn’t it?

A team with Crosby, Malkin and Phil Kessel managed just 18 shots on Holtby. The Penguins’ first shot on goal didn’t come until 12:17 into the first period, and that one was from 136 feet when Brian Dumoulin happened to direct his clearing attempt on a Washington power play right at Holtby.

The reuniting of the HBK Line — Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Kessel — didn’t help. That group had seven goals and 18 points in the Penguins’ six-game series win against the Capitals last season. They produced nothing Wednesday night.

Not the three power plays were productive for the Penguins. They produced just two shots. It’s no wonder people were angry and booing. How can a team with so much offensive skill look so bad?


Highlights of Washington's 5-2 can be viewed below...

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The Washington Capitals Want To Change The Storyline

from Tom Gulliti of NHL.com,

Up to this point, the Eastern Conference Second Round between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins has followed roughly the same script as the second-round series between the teams last season.

Like last year, the Capitals trailed 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, but won Game 5 at home at force a Game 6. Last season they were eliminated in Game 6 in Pittsburgh.

"It's an opportunity to be in the same situation and write a different ending, which is very lucky for us. That's what you want," defenseman Karl Alzner said after the Capitals morning skate. "You want another opportunity and a crack at the game and this is exactly it."

The Capitals spent a long summer thinking about what they could have done differently after losing Game 6 last season. If they could have had a chance then to play that game over, they would have taken it.

Now they have it and don't want to waste the opportunity.

"Seldom in life do you get a chance to be in a position like we were last year, the position we were a couple of games ago," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "So it's just an opportunity. We're going to focus on [Game 6] and we have to. All that last game has done is get us an opportunity to continue to play and that's how we have to approach [Game 6]."

read on

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The Pittsburgh Penguins Move On, Focus Is Now On Game 6

from Jonathan Bombulie of hte Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had no use for nuance as he sat in his locker stall after Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night.

Momentum swings that went in favor of the Capitals, partially deflected shots that ended up on the sticks of Washington players, bounces evening out over the course of a best-of-seven series — Fleury wasn't interested in pondering any of those possibilities.

He gave up three goals in a span of five minutes in the third period, allowing the Capitals to erase a one-goal deficit and claim a 4-2 victory, and for that, he was falling on his sword.

"Just today in general was probably my worst one of the playoffs, I think," Fleury said. "I kind of want to forget about it quickly and move on."

By losing, the Penguins made the road ahead much more difficult and they know it.

They still lead the series 3-2 but Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena on Monday night is now a critically important contest. Win it, and the series is over. Lose it and head back to Washington for a decisive Game 7 on a two-game skid.

"We know the last one's always the hardest to get," Fleury said. "It's disappointing. Move on and redeem ourselves."


Watch the game highlights below...

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Sidney Crosby Participated In Practice And Alex Ovechkin Moved To The Third Line

Sidney Crosby participated in practice today.



And Alex Ovechkin has been moved to the third line...

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, sidney+crosby

Marc-Andre Fleury Has Been The Difference Maker

from Bill West of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Marc-Andre Fleury savored the sweat that ran down his face after Wednesday night's 3-2 win over Washington in Game 4 at PPG Paints Arena.

This time a season ago, his brow remained pretty dry as he watched Matt Murray propel the Penguins' Stanley Cup run. He became available in Game 3 of 2016's second-round series against the Capitals only to watch Murray put together a 47-save effort. Hopes of reclaiming the starting job looked pretty bleak after that.

At no point in this series or the previous one did Fleury present these playoffs as a redemption tour. His performance refuses to go by any other name, though. He finished with 36 saves in Game 4. He matched or exceeded 30 saves for the eighth time since the start of the playoffs.

Murray needed to stop 30-plus pucks just six times all of last postseason. But that was when the Penguins dictated terms with possession. Fleury has shined for a very different version of the team, one that arguably is far more reliant on the performance of its goaltender.

And that's still just fine by Fleury.

“I don't mind it,” he said. “I just go out and try to stop the next one. Sometimes I like to see more shots than others. I like the action. I like to contribute.

“I thought our guys did a good job of blocking them and letting me see the puck.”


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  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Top Players Don’t Come Through For The Washington Capitals

from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,

On the one side, you have the Washington Capitals, who have three games (if they can make them necessary) to prove that their long-running act shouldn’t be blown up.

On the other, you have the Pittsburgh Penguins, seemingly a lock to win the Stanley Cup if they can just manage to lose one or two more first-line players in the coming days.

These were only a couple of things that you were left to conclude after Pittsburgh’s 3-2 victory of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal, a couple of nights after Penguins’ captain and Hart Trophy finalist Sidney Crosby was helped off the ice feeling the effects of a concussion. The defending Stanley Cup winners seized a commanding 3-1 lead with the series moving on to Washington for Game 4 Saturday night.

Washington wasn’t outplayed. They managed to get 38 pucks on Marc-Andre Fleury and had another 24 shots blocked by Pittsburgh skaters. On the flipside, Braden Holtby made only 15 saves and another 11 hit Capitals defenders.

Washington was outcompeted.

"Our top guys didn’t step up," Washington coach Barry Trotz said.


Game highlights are below which includes the questionable penalty call against T.J. Oshie late in the game with Washington down by a goal.

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Trying To Make A Point Or Just Antagonizing?

The Characters:

Rob Rossi- I'm a flea-bit peanut monkey. All my friends are junkies. That's not really true...

Sports editor. Skeptic. Russian-leaning hockey fan. Radio hostTalking headRecovering newspaper addictAuthor(coming soon).

Barry Trotz- Head Coach of the Washington Capitals

from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,

“Barry, is the play by Alex that led to Sid sort of staggering into Niskanen — where he appeared to get the stick up toward the face — is that a hockey play?” Rossi asked.

“Was there a penalty?” Trotz asked. “I don’t understand . …

“Does there have to be a penalty to [not] be a hockey play?” Rossi countered. “I’m just asking. Is it a hockey play also?”

“I’m not going to defend anything,” Trotz said. “You want me to defend Alex? Then is [Chris] Kunitz’s predatory hit on [T.J.] Oshie okay? Or the one on [Nicklas] Backstrom, is that okay? I’m not gonna debate about all that stuff. So that’s a terrible question.”

“I was just asking about the stick,” Rossi said. “So, no? So, no, Barry?”

“Next,” Trotz said. “You got your answer.”


Rossi wasn't done, let's go to the video...

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  Tags: barry+trotz, rob+rossi

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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