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Insider Only 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 he was taking shots where he was trying to hurt guys.”
There will not be any updates on the status of Gonchar until the morning when he is re-evaluated.
Speaking of Orpik, he has quite a rivalry going on with Alexander Semin. Semin is trying to take a shot at Orpik, any chance he gets. We hope we never have to see Semin drop the gloves again but these two may come to blows before the end of the series.
Philippe Boucher will move into the lineup if Gonchar is unable to play. If Gonchar is out for a significant period of time, the Penguins will call up Alex Goligoski.
Despite the additions of Chris Kunitz, Bill Guerin, there is still an area of concern in the Penguins organization that the Penguins lack team toughness.
Shero tried to address that need with the pursuit of Jarkko Ruutu, Ryan Malone and Travis Moen at the trade deadline. He will do the same this off-season at the draft via trades and during free agency.
Sidney Crosby has established himself as the most complete player in the National Hockey League during this years playoff run. Alexander Ovechkin is among one of the most unique players in the history of the game but there is a wide belief around the league, that most GM’s

value Crosby as the better player, if they had to pick between the two. Crosby is having a phenomenal series and it’s not just because he has 5 goals in the series. He was been unstoppable down low in the offensive zone.
The Penguins were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and Rob Scuderi neutralized Alexander Ovechkin throughout the game providing great gap control. The Penguins have made the needed adjustments since Games 1 and 2.
Scuderi, whose market value rises every game, also chimed in on Alexander Ovechkin’s antics. Scuderi added: “It’s tough. You want instant retribution. You want a big hit, catch him with his head down, knock him out across the middle, something like that. But it doesn’t do you any good. That’s your first snap thought but after a couple seconds you calm yourself down and you realize the best place to hurt them is one the scoreboard.”
The pressure is on Washington in Game 5. I felt coming into this series that Pittsburgh was going to win in 6 because of the Penguins experience and composure. Uncertainty right now in the Capitals locker room.
Craig Adams had a very good game on the penalty kill. His positioning was solid and he was aggressive at the right times. Under the radar pickup by Ray Shero at the trade deadline.
Whether you’re a fan or Miroslav Satan’s or not, you have to give him credit of the way he has played since getting in the lineup. Played very well tonight and unless there is an injury, Petr Sykora will remain in the press box.
Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher high on Viktor Kozlov
Although indications are the Capitals are going to make a strong attempt to resign Viktor Kozlov, I’m told Pittsburgh offered Kozlov a two year deal during the summer of 2007 and Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher remains very high on Kozlov. It’s a little early to start speculating but Kozlov will be a target if he hits the open market.
Fletcher worked for the Florida Panthers when Kozlov played with the Panthers.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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