BRAVO, OVECHKIN!

 

I never thought I’d say this, but…bravo, Alex Ovechkin! The NHL has always been run by Canadians, for Canadians, even when NHL-affiliated events transpire elsewhere. Want proof? When the 2002 Winter Olympics took place in Salt Lake City, Canadians hired to tend the ice (the U.S. had apparently lost the recipe) interred a Canadian dollar coin under the center face-off dot. A lucky loony, buried in American ice. U.S. Coach Herb Brooks was not amused. Me, neither. The 2010 Winter Olympics take place in Vancouver. NHL players will participate, as they have since 1998. But the NHL has no commitment to the Olympics beyond Vancouver. There’s talk of this being the last Olympics NHL players will participate in. It disrupts the NHL schedule, it detracts from the Stanley Cup playoffs, blah, blah, blah…all that’s true, but why stop now? You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. But ifRead More »

SKATERS OF THE WORLD UNITE

 

The NHL Players’ Association has reorganized, ousting a cartel of cooperation led by the deposed Paul Kelly and setting the stage for Bob Goodenow-style hardliners to assume control in advance of the current CBA’s expiration on Sept. 15, 2011. That’s not good news. Hockey has long been its own worst enemy. In this case, NHL players just refuse to accept hockey’s status as a fringe sport. It’s not the NFL, MLB or even the NBA. TV ratings, in fact, give the nod to the World Series of Poker. The NHL isn’t New York. It’s Saskatoon. Hockey players tend to forget that. NHL superstars are quite happy with their level of pay even though Oliver Perez makes more than Sidney Crosby. Within the context of the revenue produced by hockey, the Crosbys, Malkins and Ovechkins do fine. They are fairly compensated. Fading older players are reportedly behind the union’s new-found militancy.Read More »

Malkin quietly had 10 points in the series

 

Overlooked in the Alexander Ovechkin – Sidney Crosby hype, Evgeni Malkin quietly had 10 points in the Penguins second round series against the Washington Capitals. Malkin registered 8 points in the final 5 games of the series and while he didn’t put up Crosby, Ovechkin numbers, 10 points in one playoff series is nothing to be disappointed about. Crosby (21 pts) and Malkin (19 pts) have combined for 40 pts through the first two rounds of the playoffs and it’s no surprise the Penguins have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals when they’re getting that type of production from their two superstars. Malkin is within four points of passing his points total (23) from last years Stanley Cup playoff run The Penguins will be off the ice until Saturday morning

Insider Report: Game 7 Preview

 

The NHL got its dream matchup between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and the NHL got its dream series after David Steckel scored 6:22 into overtime to force a game 7 in Washington, Wednesday night. With the series tied at 3-3, momentum has shifted to the Capitals. Will the Capitals hold serve at home, or will Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins advance to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals? Game 7 Preview Pittsburgh – Offense Sidney Crosby has been phenomenal against the Capitals, establishing himself as the games most complete player. Crosby has matched the hype and has 6 goals in the series matching his total for the entire 2008 playoffs. Evgeni Malkin has had his moments putting on a dominant performance in game 3 and scoring the OT winner in game 5. Elite players elevate their play in key situations. CrosbyRead More »

Ovechkin getting little help to combat Crosby, Malkin

 

Alexander Ovechkin has been sensational in the Capitals second round series against Pittsburgh. Ovechkin has 7 goals in five games and has answered all the hype. Ovechkin’s rival Sidney Crosby has been just as good if not better. While Crosby and Ovechkin have cancelled each other out, a reason the Penguins are up 3-2 in the series is because of Evgeni Malkin. After being held pointless in games 1 and 2, Malkin has been phenomenal since, putting on a dominant performance in game 3 and scoring the OT winner in game 5.

Post-Game Buzz

 

Alexander Ovechkin was the center of discussion following the game regarding his knee-to-knee hit on Sergei Gonchar in the first period of Game 4. Alex Ovechkin was remorseful indicating the hit was an accident but as expected, the Penguins believe the hit was dirty and among those to speak out was Brooks Orpik. Orpik Added: “That’s three games in a row where he’s out there trying to hurt guys,”. You just watch the way he hits. And I love the way he plays, but he could get a charging penalty every time he hits. He leaves his feet, and takes countless strides. We’ve gotten lucky up to this point. And he likes to target the Russian guys, for some reason. “Everyone likes to play hard, and play physical,” “But there’s a line you can’t cross, and a lot of guys in our room felt like the last couple games heRead More »

Penguins contain Ovechkin in 3-2 win

 

Alexander Ovechkin is one of the most unique hockey players in the history of the game as he possesses a scoring ability that rivals some of the games greatest players but what makes him unique is that he plays a physical style to go along with his goal scoring prowess. The physical type of game that Ovechkin plays is a very rare trait from a goal scorer who has scored more goals in his first four seasons than Mario Lemieux (215) did. Ovechkin lit the lamp against the Penguins in the first two games of the series, scoring four goals and recording 21 shots on goal. It was expected that Brooks Orpik and Sergei Gonchar would get the primary duty of slowing down Alexander Ovechkin. In Games 1 and 2, Bruce Boudreau opted to match Alexander Ovechkin against the Penguins pairing of Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill. With the seriesRead More »

Fleischmann scores game winner, Capitals take 1-0 series lead

 

Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin each scored 1st period goals but  the difference in the game was Tomas Fleischmann who scored the tiebreaking goal with 18:14 remaining in the third period as the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Saturday afternoon at the Verizon center to take a 1-0 series lead.

Series Preview: Penguins in 6

 

Star Power PIT: Evgeni Malkin 112 pts, Sidney Crosby 103 pts, Marc Andre Fleury 35 wins WAS: Alexander Ovechkin 110 pts, Niklas Backstrom 88 pts, D Mike Green 73 pts Advantage ‚Äì Pittsburgh Forwards Pittsburgh: Down the middle, the Penguins are the deepest team in the NHL with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. Crosby and Malkin powered the Penguins through the first round combining for 17 points in the series while Jordan Staal has teamed with Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy to become the most complete third line in hockey. While Crosby and Malkin are putting up stellar numbers in the playoffs, they are not getting much help from their wingers. Ruslan Fedotenko was the only top 6 forward to score an even strength goal¬†for the¬†Penguins in their¬†first round series against Philadelphia. Chris Kunitz has added a much needed physical presence on Sidney Crosby‚Äôs line but he hasRead More »