Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: washington capitals

Canadiens trade Lars Eller to Washington

From the Montreal Canadiens:

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  Tags: lars+eller, montreal+canadiens, washington+capitals

Ovechkin at fault for Capitals’ playoff faltering

From the New York Post's Larry Brooks...

Yes, yes, it’s true. Despite having played on two Presidents’ Trophy winners and six division champions, Alex Ovechkin never has advanced to even the conference championship round during his 11 years as a Capital, but this dubious achievement now comes with a hashtag.

As in: #StupidUnfairPlayoffFormat.

Of course, no format can quite explain away how Washington — with Ovechkin, but three different head coaches (Bruce Boudreau, Adam Oates, Barry Trotz) — has lost five series with home-ice advantage and another while holding a 3-1 series lead since 2009.

Ovechkin may have outplayed Sidney Crosby this time, but the fact is even if the Great 8 was not the overriding problem, he was not the solution. Again.

He is a great athlete and a compelling one, but is it not fair to wonder when the best player in the league is going to be the best player in the playoffs, even once?

To those singing the “It wasn’t Ovechkin’s fault” chorus: Some of it kind of was.

Brooks continues, discussing the Sharks' rebuild-on-the-fly, Brian Boyle, the Rangers' coaching plans and the Florida Panthers' coaching and front office moves.

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  Tags: adam+oates, alex+ovechkin, barry+trotz, bruce+boudreau, washington+capitals

Your Jack Adams Award Finalists: Gallant, Ruff and Trotz

GALLANT, RUFF AND TROTZ VOTED JACK ADAMS AWARD FINALISTS

NEW YORK (May 5, 2016) – Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers, Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars and Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Jack Adams Award, presented to the head coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association submitted ballots for the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2016 NHL Awards, hosted by actor Will Arnett, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Following are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, in alphabetical order:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: barry+trotz, dallas+stars, florida+panthers, gerard+gallant, lindy+ruff, washington+capitals

Hornqvist’s OT winner gives the Penguins a 3-games-to-1-lead over Washington

Patric Hornqvist jumped on a turnover from Mike Weber and scored the 3-2 OT winner in Wednesday's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, giving Pittsburgh a 3 games-to-1 lead in the teams' second-round series:

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  Tags: mike+weber, patric+hornqvist, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

Ovechkin hacks Crosby, who reacts angrily

Sidney Crosby took s nasty slash to the right hand from Alexander Ovechkin and angrily exited the Capials-Penguins game. Crosby would return:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, washington+capitals

T.J. Oshie’s OT goal

Here's T.J. Oshie's overtime game-winner for the Washington Capitals, which required video review to confirm:

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, tj+oshie, washington+capitals

Here’s the NHL’s second-round playoff schedule

From the NHL:

2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE

NEW YORK (April 27, 2016) – The National Hockey League today confirmed the schedule for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round. In the U.S., NBC Sports Group has exclusive coverage of the Second Round. Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports continue exclusive coverage throughout Canada. All times listed are ET and subject to change. Future start times and television information will be released as they are determined.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dallas+stars, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Kane, Ovechkin, Andersen and Gibson win Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Jennings Trophies

From the NHL:

KANE, OVECHKIN, ANDERSEN AND GIBSON CAPTURE 2015-16 REGULAR-SEASON TROPHIES

NEW YORK (April 10, 2016) – The 2015-16 National Hockey League regular season concluded on Sunday with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane capturing his first career Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring champion, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin claiming his sixth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader and the Anaheim Ducks tandem of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson winning the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders who play at least 25 games for the club allowing the fewest goals.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, anaheim+ducks, art+ross+trophy, chicago+blackhawks, frederik+andersen, john+gibson, patrick+kane, rocket+richard+trophy, washington+capitals

Alex Ovechkin scores his 50th goal

Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal to cap a hat trick against the St. Louis Blues:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals

Toronto trades Daniel Winnik to Washington for Brooks Laich

From the Maple Leafs:

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  Tags: brooks+laich, connor+carrick, daniel+winnik, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

Friedman: Ovechkin to miss All-Star game, sit out a regular season game

George here on the late shift. I think that the NHL forcing anyone who "skips" the All-Star Game to sit out a regular-season game is plain old dumb, but it appears that Alex Ovechkin will have to endure the one-game sit-out:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, all-star+game, washington+capitals

Alex Ovechkin scores his 500th goal

Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th goal against the Ottawa Senators:

 

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  Tags: alex+ovehckin, andrew+hammond, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Brooks: Patrick Kane’s Hart candidacy is free and clear

The New York Post's Larry Brooks believes that those opposed to Patrick Kane's candidacy for the Hart Trophy based upon last summer's events should pipe down:

I have no idea whether or not I would want Patrick Kane to date my sister. I don’t know him except from afar and through a locker-room interview scrum or two. But that hypothetical would not inform my choice for the Hart Trophy if I were to have a ballot, nor should it become an issue when votes are cast immediately after the regular season.

There is no morals clause attached to the Hart, which goes to, “The player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”

At this point, with Kane on a franchise-record tying 21-game point streak he aims to break Sunday night, the Blackhawks’ winger is the MVP frontrunner, with Dallas’ James Neal and Tyler Seguin and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, the Islanders’ John Tavares and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin also in the conversation.

This is a case about hockey. There is nothing more to see here beyond Kane’s brilliance on the ice, just as the Erie County’s DA office decided there was nothing more to see in the “so-called ‘case’ ” there, either.

Brooks continues...

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, dallas+stars, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, john+tavares, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, patrick+kane, tyler+seguin, washington+capitals

Ovechkin passes Fedorov as all-time leading Russian-born goal-scorer

After several games of trying, Alex Ovechkin passed Sergei Fedorov to become the all-time leading goal-scorer among Russian-born players, scoring a game-tying goal on Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen:

Dallas still defeated Washington 3-2.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, antti+niemi, dallas+stars, washington+capitals

Disallowed goal means Ovechkin still hasn’t passed Fedorov

For the second time, Alex Ovechkin theoretically scored his 479th goal, but the goal was disallowed due to a coach's challenge:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, sergei+fedorov, washington+capitals

Ovechkin to Kuznetsov to Ovechkin

Slick passing play:

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  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, evgeny+kuznetsov, washington+capitals

Coach’s challenge aiding ‘incidental contact’s’ cause

Earlier today, ESPN's Craig Custance discussed the effects that the coach's challenge has had upon video coaches, and this afternoon, the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno discusses the fact that the standards of goaltender interference have changed--not only under the new rule, but with "incidental contact" yielding more and more waved-off goals:

It can definitely help the goalies. [Jonathan] Bernier and fellow Leafs goalie James Reimer said a handful of goals against might not count thanks to coach's challenges.

"I think they would be the first ones to tell you it's great for the referees, too," Bernier said. "We all make mistakes, and obviously that can change momentum of the games."

It changed momentum of the Sharks-Capitals game, even though some players complained that there wasn't sufficient contact between Jay Beagle and goaltender Martin Jones to take the goal away. Beagle appeared to brush Jones as the puck was going by, and referee Tim Peel said the goalie wasn't able to do his job.

"Any incidental contact, call it. That's the standard that seems to be set now," Capitals coach Barry Trotz told reporters. "I don't have to agree with it, but if that’s the standard, then you're going to get a lot of challenges from the coaches around the league."

Rederees determining a standard for these subjective calls is crucial to how effective coach's challenges will be. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby said he considers getting bumped part of the game, but perhaps the slightest contact will lead to goals being wiped out.

"It's not even a game of inches, it's a game of millimetres," Reimer said. "You get bumped on the skate lightly and he knocks you off balance for a half-second and the puck goes in."

Continued

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  Tags: barry+trotz, braden+holtby, james+reimer, jonathan+bernier, martin+jones, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

3-on-3 OT is an adjustment for players, coaches

From the Associated Press:

Count Washington Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen among those around the NHL taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the league’s new 3-on-3 overtime.

A few things do seem clear about the setup: It will make goalies’ stats uglier, result in fewer shootouts and force coaches to decide whether to focus on defence or an all-out attacking style.

"I wasn’t really sure about it at first," said Niskanen, whose team hosts the New Jersey Devils in a season-opener Saturday. "Now I think it’s probably going to do what it was designed to do: Teams are going to get ‘grade A’ chances, and if that’s what people want to see, then let’s do it. Fans are going to love it and the forwards are going to love it. Goalies and ‘D’? Maybe not as much."

As the hockey season gets going this week, how teams deal with the switch from 4-on-4 in OT to one fewer skater per team could wind up having a real effect on the standings.

Consider this: A year ago, with 4-on-4 rules, 44 per cent of overtime games were decided by a goal before they got to a shootout, according to STATS, about the same percentage that it's been in the 10 years since that format began in 2005-06.

But during this preseason, the first NHL test of 3-on-3 after it was tried in the AHL, 72 per cent of OT games ended before a shootout, STATS said.

Factor in that nearly a quarter of all regular-season games over the past decade went to overtime, and what might seem like a minor rule change takes on more significance.

Continued, and here was Jason Garrison's OT winner from last night's Bolts-Flyers game:

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  Tags: jason+garrison, matt+niskanen, philadelphia+flyers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Capitals won’t have Nicklas Backstrom’s services to start 15-16 season

Via The Score's Ian McLaren, the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan reports that Nicklas Backstrom's hip surgery will yield an absence at the beginning of the regular season:

The Capitals expect top-line center Nicklas Backstrom to miss the start of the regular season after undergoing offseason arthroscopic hip surgery, Washington Coach Barry Trotz said Thursday. Backstrom practiced with the team on Wednesday, but it was non-contact, and he and Trotz have maintained that there’s no timetable for his return.

“He won’t start the season,” Trotz said. “I know that for sure. I wouldn’t think that’d he’d play through those first four games.”

The Capitals open the season on Oct. 10, and they play their first four games at home before a Western Canada swing through Calagary, Vancouver and Edmonton. Trotz said Backstrom hasn’t had any setbacks, but he’s preparing for a “worst-case scenario” return of Nov. 1 and then working back from there.

“Going down the Canada trip, who knows? He might make that trip, but I’m not sure if he’d get to the point where he could play or not or anything,” Trotz said.

Continued

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  Tags: barry+trotz, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Marcus Johansson awarded 1-year, $3.75 million contract

From the Washington Capitals:

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  Tags: marcus+johansson, washington+capitals

Justin Williams signs with Washington

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  Tags: justin+williams, washington+capitals

Friedman’s ‘Headlines’ include discussion of front-office compensation, Competition Committee talk

 

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman issued his customary "Saturday Headlines" during the second intermission of Hockey Night in Canada's Saturday broadcast, and he discussed the following topics:

According to Friedman:

  • The NHL's GM's will ensure that teams who have fired coaches or managers will not receive draft pick compensation--only coaches and front office executives who are under contract to an NHL team, not fired by an NHL team, will require compensation;
  • Friedman believes that John Hynes, Ray Shero's AHL coach for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will probably be named the Devils' next coach, not Phil Housley;
  • Friedman doesn't believe that the Rangers will allow the Maple Leafs to speak to New York Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton;
  • He states that the Capitals and Braden Hotlby's representatives have begun to talk contract turkey;
  • And the NHLPA's Competition Committee will review the NHL's GM's proposals for 4-on-4-to-3-on-3 OT, defensive centers placing their sticks on the ice first and the 5% growth factor in the salary cap will all be discussed, with a "trial period" for 3-on-3 OT and possibly lesser growth for the cap in the offing.

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  Tags: braden+holtby, gm+meetings, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nhlpa, phil+housley, ray+shero, salary+cap, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

NHL announces start times for possible TB-MTL Game 5, NYR-WASH Game 6

From the NHL:

START TIMES SET FOR 2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SECOND ROUND EASTERN CONFERENCE GAMES SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

NEW YORK (May 7, 2015) – The National Hockey League today announced updated start times and national television information for 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round Eastern Conference games scheduled for Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10.

  • The start time for Game 5 (if necessary) of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Montreal on Saturday. The game will be seen on CBC, TVA Sports and NBCSN. 

 

  • The start time for Game 6 (if necessary) of the series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Washington on Sunday.  The game will be seen on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports.

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Jimmy Fallon pokes fun at NHL mugshots, playoffs version

In the comedy department (we have that here), Jimmy Fallon poked fun at the "mugshots" of players taking part in the second round of tne NHL playoffs last night, and the results were quite amusing:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, chicago+blackhawks, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Burakowsky gets the better of his hero

From NHL.com's Katie Brown:

Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky spent a large portion of his childhood idolizing New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

On Wednesday, Burakovsky scored his first two Stanley Cup Playoff goals -- against Lundqvist -- to help the Capitals to a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Verizon Center.

"Obviously he's been my favorite goalie since I grew up," Burakovsky said. "He's kind of close to my hometown so I've been watching him my whole life. It's a pretty special moment for me to score two goals on Lundqvist in such an important game as this."

Burakovsky's first goal tied the game at 16:29 of the second period. After intercepting a pass from Rangers forward Chris Kreider, he held the puck and skated through the slot toward the right wall, exhibiting admirable patience in outlasting Lundqvist to make it 1-1.

"I wasn't really planning it, it just happened," Burakovsky said. "I don't know how to describe it. It's just in my head, guiding me sort of. I'm just trying to take the puck to the net."

Continued, and here's the second of Burakowsky's two goals:

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Holtby’s penalty shot save helps Capitals defeat Rangers, take 3-games-to-1 lead

Braden Holtby's penalty shot stop on Carl Hagelin helped the Washington Capitals take a 2-1 victory and 3-games-to-1 series lead over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Caps vs. Bolts in the Eastern Conference Finals? That sounds loony, but it appears to be what we'll see next week at this time...

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  Tags: braden+holtby, carl+hagelin, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Beagle’s goal all the Capitals needed

Jay Beagle's off-two-skates goal was all the Washington Capitals needed to defeat the New York Rangers 1-0 on Monday night:

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  Tags: jay+beagle, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Yet another Patrick Sharp trade rumor

Via CBS Sports' Chris Peters, one Tweet spiced up a rather dull--by imminent-trade-deadline standards--Friday by a significant margin:

I'm not sure why the Patrick Kane-less Blackhawks would want to rid themselves of Sharp unless it was strictly due to his $5.9 million cap hit for the next two years.

Who would go the other way? Kuc never stated that.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, patrick+sharp, washington+capitals

Why Ovechkin wanted a Honda

In case you were wondering, per the Washington Post's Alex Prewitt:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, washington+capitals

Simmons: The Leafs’ management whiffed on the comparative coach-hiring process

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' Sunday notebook is quite good, and it includes another take on Phil Kessel's worth, a note about the "analytics department" teams' coaching records (with an emphasis on "coaches," plural), and a great quip from Randy Carlyle about the coach-critiquing business, but given Carlyle's status and the Maple Leafs' desire to hire a head coach after this season, this seems like the most appropriate place to start:

[Mike] Babcock is a pending free agent who wants big money and a big opportunity to win wherever he ends up coaching next hockey season — assuming he leaves Detroit, which isn’t in any way certain.

The Leafs can offer up money. They can’t guarantee contender status.

That leaves the Leafs open to playing a different waiting game of sorts. Rather than wait for the available free agent, they will monitor the list of those who potentially could be out of work at season’s end.

High on their list of candidates are Todd McLellan in San Jose and Dave Tippett in Arizona. Should either of those coaches be let go, the Leafs would likely act quickly. The same is certainly true in St. Louis, should Ken Hitchcock’s Blues be eliminated again in the first round of the playoffs and a change be made there. And the least likely candidate is Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, a Leafs lover who has had a history of terrific regular seasons and not-so-terrific post seasons.

This much is obvious: The Leafs had little interest in Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette, who have gone into Washington and Nashville and made an immediate impact. The internal belief was Randy Carlyle was equal to, if not better than, either of those coaches.

Should the Caps and Predators qualify for the post-season and the Leafs fall short, that decision by club president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis will have proven, if it hasn’t already, to be incorrect.

Simmons continues...

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  Tags: barry+trotz, detroit+red+wings, mike+babcock, nashville+predators, peter+laviolette, phoenix+coyotes, randy+carlyle, san+jose+sharks, todd+mclellan, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

This is not the greatest shootout in the world…This is just a tribute…

The Florida Panthers defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Tuesday night, and they did so by taking a 20-round shootout, with Nick Bjugstad scoring the game-winning, 6-shooters-to-5-shooters-scoring goal:

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  Tags: florida+panthers, nick+bjugstad, washington+capitals

Some of the same, some different as Road to the Winter Classic prepares to kick off

USA Today's Ted Berg spoke with the producers of Epix' version of The Road to the Winter Classic, and I guess this was inevitable...

In a small, dark room in lower Manhattan, Fritz Mitchell stares at a computer monitor as video editors tap away on computer keyboards, cuing up footage of Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

Leonsis, interviewed in an otherwise empty hockey arena, is discussing the progress of his team's most recognizable star — forward Alex Ovechkin — and so animatedly sings the veteran's praises that Mitchell and his crew struggle to find "room tone," the arena's background hum, a note necessary for seamlessly splicing together the highlights of the interview.

"(Leonsis) seems approachable, like a regular guy," says Mitchell, a producer on the fourth season of Road to the NHL Winter Classic, which debuts [Tuesday] on Epix at 10 ET.

"We're going to make him a character," says executive producer Ross Greenburg from a couch a few feet away.

But the fact that Epix' folks claim that they want the players and coaches to "forget the cameras" after the level of--if you'll pardon me for being a blunt Red Wings fan--"embedded" journalism in HBO's 24/7 had become post-Bryzgalov guerilla journalism, i.e., "Let's try to find someone else who's wild" to the point that Mike Babcock and Ken Holland finishing each other's sentences and Todd Bertuzzi drinking beer may have been the most "human" moments of a 247 that had the Wings and Leafs stumbling their way through a December spent trying not to embarrass themselves, or be embarrassed for exploitative purposes:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: barry+trotz, chicago+blackhawks, jonathan+toews, patrick+kane, ted+leonsis, washington+capitals

Summarizing Cox and Friedman’s comments from Saturday’s ‘mini Hotstove’

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman had about 70 seconds' worth of time to issue their version of the Satellite Hotstove on Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, but they sped-talked their way through the following topics:

1. Cox says questions were surrounding Kaberle-Rangers participation in Kaberle's skate in Toronto today as the New Jersey Devils have had Scott Gomez around for over a month, but he can't travel with them on the road as he's not under contract/can't be paid;

Kaberle is allowed to travel with the team, per an NHL memo, for about 10 days before the team has to sign him or let him go, so the Rangers have to make their decision in another 7 days.

2. Friedman reports that while Taylor Hall remains on the IR with a sprained knee, Hall can at least skate early next week, though his timeline has not changed;

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dmitry+kulikov, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, luke+schenn, nathan+mackinnon, new+york+rangers, niklas+hjalmarsson, philadelphia+flyers, taylor+hall, tomas+kaberle, washington+capitals

Alex Ovechkin catches Niklas Hjalmarsson with a hit to the jaw

I don't like going around in the evening to search for ugly hits, but this one made me say, "Oh, boy" right away. As the Hockey News's Jared Clinton notes, Alex Ovechkin went after Niklas Hjalmarsson during the Washington Capitals' 3-2 win over Chicago, and...It ain't pretty:

For the second straight game, Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin threw what can best be described as a questionable hit.

On Tuesday night, during the Capitals game against the Calgary Flames, Ovechkin caught Curtis Glencross with a high hit. A scrum ensued, everything was sorted out, and what came of it was a roughing call to Glencross.

Friday night, in the Capitals first game since the hit on Glencross, Ovechkin caught Chicago Blackhawks’ defenseman Niklas Hjlamarsson with another hit in the upper chest and head region. This time, it was whistled by the referees as an illegal check to the head:

Clinton continues and argues for and against an Ovechkin suspension.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, niklas+hjalmarsson, washington+capitals

Washington Post: 2015 Winter Classic to be held at Nationals Park

I still get email alerts for the "Winter Classic" some eight months after "The Winter Classic at the Big House," and when I looked for Wings news this evening (George here if you haven't figured it out by now), all sorts of "reports" lit up my inbox.

According to the Washington Post's Alex Prewitt and Mike Debonis, the most conspicuous absence involved in this year's Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks--the venue--should be revealed...By the end of the month?

An agreement has been reached for Nationals Park to host the 2015 Winter Classic on Jan. 1 between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, multiple individuals with knowledge of the situation said Saturday.

The deal between the NHL and the Nationals finalizes the location that has been widely assumed since it was announced that the Capitals would host the annual event on New Years’ Day, though negotiations between the two sides had dragged into the fall. Last month, sources indicated that there were still hurdles to clear.

No timetable for an official announcement was given, though one source speculated it would happen “before the end of the month.” The Capitals begin preseason training camp on Sept. 19, have their first preseason game on Sept. 21 versus Buffalo and open the regular season on Oct. 9 versus Montreal.

Prewitt continues, pointing out that the NHL's in charge of securing the venue, and let's just say that given that Daniel Cleary couldn't wear #11 without reimbursing the NHL for already-printed Alfredsson jerseys at this time a year ago, I'm guessing that the merchandise already being produced by Reebok in China, Thailand and Vietnam doesn't include any "at the [venue x]" labeling.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, washington+capitals

The 2015 Winter Classic remains a ‘location to be determined’ event

The 2014 Winter Classic was marketed very strongly as a showdown at "The Big House" (a.k.a. Michigan Stadium), but the 2015 Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks hasn't included, oh, say, a "Battle at RFK" angle.

According to the Washington Post's Alex Prewitt and Mike DeBonis, there's a good reason for the lack of location-specific marketing:

Since it was announced in December that the Washington Capitals would host the 2015 Winter Classic, it has been widely assumed the most natural venue for the game was Nationals Park.

NHL representatives visited Nationals Park, in addition to RFK Stadium and FedEx Field, a person with knowledge of the situation said at the time of the announcement, and had pegged the ballpark as the likely site for the annual New Year’s Day game.

But with one month left until the NHL preseason begins and with the Jan. 1 game between the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks less than five months away, there has still been no official announcement where it will be held, and a source with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday there are hurdles left to clear.

Continued

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, washington+capitals

It appears that the Hawks and Caps will still have to take part in HBO’s 24/7 fun

Unless they manage to catch Patrick Kane on an off night (ha ha ha, kidding...sort of), HBO's 24/7 series isn't likely to garner a whole bunch of "unforgettable" footage of the Blackhawks, especially given the way the Wings and Leafs tried so very hard to avoid becoming the next Ilya Bryzgalovs last season, but Comcast Sportsnet Chicago reports that 24/7 may remain the price of admission to taking part in a Winter Classic:

The Blackhawks and Capitals will square off in the 2015 Winter Classic on Jan. 1, but the NHL has yet to announce its plans for the "24/7" series leading up to the game.

According to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, the league is still in the process of finalizing its plans, but an official announcement is expected to come soon.

That link requires a SBJ subscription...

"We're having a series of meetings with the NHL discussing how we move forward on that project," HBO Sports President Ken Hershman told The Daily. "Hopefully, we'll have something to announce shortly."

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, washington+capitals

Pair of 2014 draft picks signed in Capitals’ Vrana, Stars’ Honkus

Two 2014 draft picks have been inked to entry-level deals over the past 24 hours:

Update: Make it three:

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  Tags: dallas+stars, washington+capitals

The wining and dining period and draft’s uncertainty make for great theatre, but not the best draft

One really begets the other here, so bear with me:

Via Chris Nichols, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher spoke with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo about the free agent wining and dining period, which is clearly very good in terms of sensing the "fit" for players with various organizations, but isn't necessarily fascinating in terms of the way that it's driving players' "market values" into the stratosphere...

Cue Fletcher: “I’ve had the opportunity to speak with several agents of pending UFAs and try to get a sense of who may have interest in coming to Minnesota and talk about different roles and whether what we have to offer them fits from a role and an ice time standpoint with what they’re looking at. There’s been some ones that may work out, there’s been some ones that clearly won’t work out. But that’s good. I wasn’t really involved in the shopping period last year, but it’s been great. It gives you the sense where instead it used to be July 1 it was such a battle to sign guys. You were competing with other teams to sign players. It wasn’t like you were spending time interviewing players to get their idea of an ideal role. We weren’t having these conversations you might assume we were having. A lot of times you had to make quick decisions and you were throwing money around. So the great thing about the shopping period is you can say, hey this is what we have. This is the type of role. This is the type of fit. Does that interest you?”

And the lack of consensus as to who-goes-where from picks 1 to 4 to the utter mess of players who could be drafted anywhere from 5th to 40th means that we could see a flurry of trades to move up and/or down (and a first round that takes four or five hours starting tonight at 7), as NHL.com's Dan Rosen notes...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: chuck+fletcher, dave+nonis, minnesota+wild, sam+bennett, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals

NHL Names post-season All-Star team

From the NHL:

NHL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 ALL-STAR TEAMS

LAS VEGAS (June 24, 2014) -- Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, who each earned his third career berth on the First All-Star Team, head the list of players voted to the 2013-14 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Crosby received First Team honors for the second consecutive season, while Chara earned a spot on the First Team for the first time since 2008-09.

Joining Crosby and Chara are two second-time selections to the First Team, right wing Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. The squad also features two first-time recipients, left wing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and goaltender Tuukka Rask of the Bruins.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+pietrangelo, anaheim+ducks, boston+bruins, boston+bruins., chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, corey+perry, dallas+stars, duncan+keith, jamie+benn, joe+pavelski, nashville+predators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, shea+weber, sidney+crosby, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals, zdeno+chara

Duhatschek: NHL likely to hold outdoor game between Kings and Sharks next February

The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek presented a Canada-centric look at the NHL's 2014-2015 season schedule on Sunday evening, and he revealed that the NHL will probably hold an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season:

For the upcoming season, there is one Winter Classic – Jan. 1 in Washington, where the Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks – but it is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January. The NHL is firming up the details of its outdoor schedule, though it is believed the number of games will be sharply reduced from the six that were on the schedule a year ago, Last year, the NHL flooded the market with outdoor games primarily for two reasons – to generate additional revenues coming out of a lockout that saw the cancellation of 34 games per team; and to draw attention back to the league before and after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Three of the six outdoor games came just before the NHL took its Olympic break and two others came immediately afterward.

With no Olympics to bother with this year, the NHL All-Star Game returns to the schedule after a one-year hiatus, with Columbus hosting the 2015 event during a four-day between Jan. 22-26.

Continued with more "key dates"...

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, los+angeles+kings, san+jose+sharks, washington+capitals, winter+classic

Matheson weighs in on Babcock, Ovechkin, PK’s payday, Caps GM talk and top prospects

I kind of "stole" the prime quotes from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column for my Malik Report overnight entry, but I smiled broadly and nearly laughed out loud form the Blog Cave while reading Holland tell Matheson the same dang thing--almost word for word--that Babcock's been repeating to journalists and radio talk show hosts who can't or won't believe that Babcock will remain with Detroit when he can coach anywhere he wants after his contract's up a summer from now:

“I don’t believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence … I believe he’s happy in Detroit, but there are options,” said Holland, whose contract is also up next July, but will certainly get a new one from owner Mike Ilitch.

Holland has got the Red Wings into the playoffs in each of his 17 seasons. There were three Stanley Cup championships in 1998, 2002 and 2008, plus a Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.

Late-season rallies were required to keep a 23-year playoff streak alive while the Red Wings integrated lots of young players — Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurko, Danny DeKeyser — into the lineup each of the last two years.

“Two years ago, we won our last four games to get into the playoffs. This year, we got in again (despite a terrible run of injuries),” said Holland. “Mike’s a tremendous coach, if not the best coach in the league, then one of the best.”

Matheson's main column focuses on Babcock and Holland, but he also included this nugget of wisdom from Ottawa Senators assistant coach Perry Pern (regarding Barry Trotz's attempts to get Alex Ovechkin to "buy in" to playing defense, as Matheson addressed in a Sunday afternoon column):

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, barry+trotz, detroit+red+wings, george+mcphee, julien+brisebois, ken+holland, kris+letang, marian+hossa, mike+babcock, montreal+candiens, perry+pearn, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, pk+subban, pk+subban, ray+shero, washington+capitals

Matheson handicaps awards races, says Oilers should retire #94, Jets should trade Kane

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson kicked off his last regular-season slate of Hockey World columns with individual awards picks, and his pick for the Vezina Trophy is a surprising one:

Vezina Trophy (top goalie)

1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado.

2. Tuukka Rask, Boston

3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay

Had off-ice issues this year which weighed on him but very consistent work. Rask is best Finnish goalie right now, and they’ve got a full stable of good ones around the NHL. Bishop, nursing sore wrist as playoffs loom, is a six-foot-seven giant and a workhorse.

Matheson continues, making a plea to the Oilers to retire Ryan Smyth's number...

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  Tags: antti+niemi, calgary+flames, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, evander+kane, george+mcphee, henrik+zetterberg, jonathan+ericsson, ken+holland, ryan+smyth, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, vezina+trophy, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Matheson ponders an ‘Ovechkin divorce,’ reveals Teemu Selanne’s toughest opponents

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned a particularly prolific set of Hockey World columns and blog entries (so much so that I'm stealing one for my Malik Report blog), and we're going to start sifting through four separate columns/entries' worth of observations and nuggets of wisdom with a question that many have pondered but few have tried to analyze:

Is there any logical way in which the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin can engage in a civilized "divorce" (and/or removal of that heavy captain's "C"), or is the team, "Married to Alex Ovechkin for life?"--to the detriment of an increasingly rotating cast of coaches, goaltenders and complementary players?

Since the Gretzky trade/sell to the LA Kings in 1988, we all know anybody can get dealt, although that’s Leonsis’s call, and the question is how many people would give up their tickets to games if Ovie wasn’t there. There’s 100s of people in Caps’ No. 8 jerseys at games in Washington. But, winning often trumps player loyalty and in the time Ovechkin has been with the Caps, they have won three playoff rounds in, this, his 10th year.
 

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, chris+pronger, derek+roy, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, mike+green, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, teemu+selanne, vladimir+konstantinov, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Alex Ovechkin, Jack Hillen collide in spectacular and scary fashion

Yahoo Sports' Harrison Mooney reports that nobody got hurt in this collision between Alex Ovechkin and Washington Capitals teammate Jack Hillen, but it sure looked like what happens when semitrucks collide:

 

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, jack+hillen, washington+capitals

Capitals’ Orlov to have a chitchat with Department of Player Safety after boarding Schenn

From the NHL's Department of Player Safety:

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov will have a phone hearing Monday for his hit on Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn during the third period Sunday at Verizon Center.

Orlov, who scored two goals in the game, was assessed a major penalty for boarding at 9:33 of the third.

The following grounds for the proposed supplemental discipline are being considered: boarding. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to these infractions accordingly upon further review.

The Flyers won in overtime, 5-4.

Here's the play in question:

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  Tags: brayden+schenn, dmitry+orlov, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

Fan Takes Puck To Head

During the Philadelphia Flyers vs Washington Capitals game yesterday a female fan took a puck to the head.

 

 

Hockey players and clearly fans are tough.  Glad to see she is alright even if she may be heading to an NHL fan edition of concussion-protocol.

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  Tags: fan+hit+in+head+with+puck, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

The Morning After Skate

Before we get started with this the morning after skate this morning take a moment to reflect upon those that have served your country – no matter where you call home. Without those whom came before we would not be here today.

Now - Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.

In Case You Missed It

New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens

Power Play goal all around in the Bell Center last night.

The opening goal of the game came just shy of the two minute mark in the second period as Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher would give the home team the early lead.

It would be a holding call to Canadiens Francis Bouillon for holding that would give the Islanders their second power play of the period, this one leading to a slap shot goal from Pierre-Marc Bouchard to tie the game.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, cam+janssen+scores, colorado+avalanche, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, vancouver+canucks, washington+capitals

Video: Barch suggests that Caps fans can’t handle the tooth

Via Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney, Florida Panthers scrapper Krys Barch lost a tooth during the course of the Panthers' 3-2 shootout loss to Washington, and when he was being "chirped at" by a few unruly Capitals fans, Barch chose to mockingly offer a pulled-out tooth to the gents jabbering at him:

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  Tags: florida+panthers, krys+barch, washington+capitals

Brooks: Emery-Holtby scrap speaks poorly of Flyers, NHL

I never fought when I played goal, and I'd delicately describe the practice as "dumb" in the modern-day NHL, so you'd be correct to suggest that I thought Ray Emery's scrap with Braden Holtby was idiotic, and that the combination of injuries sustained during the Caps-Flyers brawl and the lack of supplemental discipline for Emery because there are apparently "no rules" prohibiting one goalie from skating to the other end of the ice and choosing to lay a beating upon another goalie all yielded a lack of team discipline and a lack of responsiblity-taking on the part of the NHL.

The New York Post's Larry Brooks' Sunday column includes a pondering about the Vanek-Moulson trade, a note about the Oilers' goaltending, suspension talk and much more, but his main thrust involves the Flyers-Capitals brawl and Emery's conduct, with Brooks suggesting that the Flyers' lack of discipline can be traced down from its ownership to the GM coach and players:

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  Tags: braden+holtby, craig+berube, ed+snider, philadelphia+flyers, ray+emery, washington+capitals

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