Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/28/14 at 08:49 AM ET
All from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Here are 15 observations through the first round of the NHL playoffs:
1. Nathan MacKinnon might have a wrist-shot as rippingly accurate as his Colorado Avalanche boss, Joe Sakic, and that’s saying something. Now, if he can come anywhere near Sakic’s record eight overtime winners (seven more to go), he’ll be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
2. The New York Rangers had no qualms about giving up centre Brandon Dubinsky in the Rick Nash trade package, feeling they had Derek Stepan and Brad Richards in the middle, but I don’t know if I’d trade the Columbus Blue Jackets’ heart-and-soul player, who is getting points and bugging Sidney Crosby on every shift, straight up for Nash right now. Nash plays like the swooping Peter Mahovlich (without the four Cups) but he does not appear to be a leader.
- If you’re Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, do you consider using one of those get-out-of-jail buyouts that don’t count against the cap on Mike Richards, who’s looked better the last two playoff games but had a miserable regular season? Has the speed of the game ramped up too much for Richards or is this a write-off season? He’s only 29. He’ll have $26 million over six years left on his contract after the playoffs. I guess if Tampa can buy out one-time face-of-the-franchise Vincent Lecavalier, the Kings might have to consider it for Richards.
Followed by some Ovechkin talk.
“Alexander Ovechkin is a great, great hockey player. The criticism of him is very unfair,” Capitals president Dick Patrick said. “How can we be unhappy with what Alexander Ovechkin has accomplished in the National Hockey League?”
There’s the rub. Nobody debates Ovie’s talent.
The question is what has he accomplished for the team with seven years and $70 million left on his contract? No Cups. Not even close.
You can blame McPhee for not surrounding Ovie with the requisite supporting cast to get closer (they badly need to upgrade the defence, need more consistent goaltending and more top nine forwards), but to let Ovie skate away from criticism — he does have the ‘C’ on his chest — is patently wrong.
- The Twitterverse is an interesting species. You dare to say you would have voted Varlamov, Rask and Bishop 1-2-3 for the Vezina with Carey Price not in there, and you get tweets asking if you hate Canada, Quebec or just the Montreal Canadiens?
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