Kukla's Korner Hockey
“It’s looking at yourself and wanting to win. It’s about wanting to work hard, wanting to help your teammates out, wanting to win, that’s all it comes down to. Our talent level’s there, our effort’s not.
“It’s concentration, it’s work ethic, it’s focus, it’s a lot of things. It starts in practice and it continues over into warmups, we shoot high on our goalie sometimes when we shouldn’t be and then we’re sloppy during the game and then we wonder why we are sloppy and can’t make the breakout passes. We’ve got to be better, all around.”
-Troy Brouwer of the Washington Capitals after losing to the Avalanche 5-1. The Capitals are now 1-4-0. More on the game from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider.
from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,
Capitals Coach Adam Oates can appreciate the cool play, but sides with those who don’t see that type of goal as appropriate.
“I’m upset. I was just talking to George [McPhee] and he said all the kids do that nowadays, which I understand. But would he have done it on his first goal?” Oates said. “He hasn’t scored yet tonight and he gets a breakaway, is he going to do that on his breakaway? We’ll see.
“I think it was a little bit of a mood thing, which I’m sure they talked about, because they didn’t play him after that,” Oates continued. “I’m glad the coach did that because this league, it will bite you if you’re not sharp. Don’t disrespect the league. I’m sure it was a rookie mistake.”
During Oates’s playing days, a goal like that would have brought at least a fight or a solid slash from a goaltender, if not more.
more and if you missed or want to see the goal again, watch it below...
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Yes, it’s only been three games – and I realize they started last season poorly as well before recovering to make the playoffs – but this Caps team does not look like a post-season squad, let alone a true Stanley Cup contender. And if it does go completely pear-shaped for Washington this year, there ought to be a change in the franchise’s halls of power.
Specifically, I’m taking about GM George McPhee, who has been in that role with the Capitals since 1997. He’s had fifteen seasons prior to the current one and hasn’t accomplished much – unless you count divisional titles, and I don’t. McPhee Like all long-tenured GMs who don’t achieve their ultimate goal, his regrettable decisions are starting to pile up.
So the question has to be asked: what is it going to take for owner Ted Leonsis to dismiss McPhee and move in a new direction?
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
“It doesn’t matter to me who is on the ice,” Ruff said, delivering maybe the most important message of the discussion. “If someone is taking advantage of your goaltender, you all respond…all five guys respond.”
Old school? Ruff was asked.
“Old school,” he said. “Everbody ropes, everybody rides.”
Saturday’s cross-check of Kari Lehtonen was confusing on a lot of fronts _ like why isn’t it a penalty when you cross-check a goalie in the head? But if one thing comes out of the incident, it will be that the Stars have a very clear message on what to do if someone messes around with their goalie.
more on protecting the goalie but first watch the cross-check to Lehtonen's head below from the Caps/Stars game a few days ago. The goal was waived off due to goalie interference but no penaly was called on Backstrom.
Lance Bouman of the Calgary Flames with a hit on Jack Hillen of the Washington Capitals and of course, Tom Wilson of the Caps goes after Bouma. Both received 5 for fighting.
Looked like a clean hit to me and the Capitals report Hillen will not return to the game.
Watch ther video below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
... As for being aware of the criticism that has nipped at his heels in recent times, Ovechkin is nothing if not self-aware.
"Of course I read the newspapers. I watch the TV when the people say something, what they say it's good things or bad things. I say 'OK, they're going to say bad things about me right now, I'm ready for it. Then, they're going to say good things about me, I'm ready for it,'" Ovechkin explained. "I'm not 21 years old. Mentally ... this guy tells bad things about me, I've got to do something different. I'm a grown man. I have experience. I've been in all situations before. So I'm OK with it."
And there's the paradox of being Alexander Ovechkin, no? He is not like other Russians. He does not hide in the shadows like Alexander Semin did for years in Washington. He does not flee from reporters like Evgeni Malkin does even now in Pittsburgh, where he has made an art of hiding in Sidney Crosby's shadow. He is not painfully shy like Pavel Datsyuk is in Detroit.
Ovechkin is the captain of an NHL team. He is the face of the Washington Capitals. And given his long-standing rivalry with Crosby, he shared some of the burden of dragging the NHL out of the wilderness following the 2005-06 lockout. He gets it. But in getting it, Ovechkin isn't necessarily a warm, fuzzy figure, at least not all the time.
A week before our chat with him at the Caps' practice facility, Ovechkin had flown from Russia for an annual league-organized series of interviews and photo shoots at the Prudential Center in Newark. While the day started well, by the end of it Ovechkin was a bear, providing terse one-word answers and grumbling at the demands being placed on him.
from Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington,
What follows is a sampling of how the Caps responded when asked what they consider reasonable expectations for them entering this season, their second under head coach Adam Oates and their 38th attempt to win a Stanley Cup:
Mike Green: “We’ve been there every year. We’ve been a team that competes. Making it to the playoffs is hard. It’s not easy to do in this league. We’ve proven ourselves in that aspect, that we’re a good team. But we haven’t proven that we’re a great team and the only way to do that is by winning the Stanley Cup.”
Joel Ward: “Obviously, the goal is to finish at the top of the division. That’s what we want to do. We know it’s going to be tough, but I think the way we played down the stretch last year was pretty good.”
George McPhee: “You come to camp every year hoping it’s the greatest year you’ll ever have. The objective is always to make the playoffs and put yourself in a position to have that great year, to compete for the Cup. We like our team. We have two young goaltenders with tremendous upside. It’s a veteran team now, but a young veteran team. They’re still on the front nine.”
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a fourth-round draft pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and forward John Mitchell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Mathieu Perreault, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Mitchell will report to Hershey.
Mitchell, 27, collected 14 points (10 goals, 4 assists) and 48 penalty minutes in 61 games with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season.
Perreault recorded 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 39 games with Washington last season. The Drummondville, Quebec, native tallied 70 points (33 goals, 37 assists) in 159 career NHL games with the Capitals. Perreault was drafted by Washington in the sixth round (177th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
via the Guardian,
The Olympic torch for Sochi 2014 is lit on Sunday during a ceremony in ancient Olympia in Greece. The president of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organising Committee says the event is 'very symbolic for Russia'. The flame is ignited by actress Ino Menegaki and is passed on to Alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou, and then Russian NHL star Alex Ovechkin. The ceremony marks the beginning of the longest torch relay for any Winter Games, including a trip into space.
Below, watch a video from the ceremony, Ovechkin appears in the last 20 seconds or so...
from Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post,
His 10-month-old engagement to Russian tennis star Maria Kirilenko has grounded him and brought purpose to his home life. On the ice, his strong relationship with second-year Capitals Coach Adam Oates , his growing comfort with last year’s switch from left to right wing and the late-spring resurgence that brought him his third Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player have silenced those who only 18 months ago were questioning whether he was still an elite player.
At the same time, however, his career is still at least partly defined by the two glaring omissions on his résumé: an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup title. The quest for both will dominate the next nine months for Ovechkin, bringing with it a perhaps unprecedented level of pressure and scrutiny — both in Russia, the host country for an Olympics for only the second time in its history, and in Washington, where each maddening flame-out in the playoffs, such as the first-round loss to the New York Rangers in May, both draws further attention to Ovechkin’s lack of a Cup title and lowers the Capitals’ window by another year.
“It’s not something I can relate to, because I don’t think I’ve ever had that much burden or responsibility on my shoulders. But you can definitely see it,” said Capitals goaltender coach Olaf Kolzig, who was the face of the franchise before Ovechkin’s arrival in 2005. “He seems really at peace now. But having said that, there are still expectations to win the Stanley Cup here, and with each year that passes, there’s more and more pressure. And then, you add the Olympics in his home country, and — wow. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.”
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.
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