Could Ovechkin overtake Injured Crosby for Hart Trophy?


The Washington Capitals continue their surge in the standings, defeating the Tampa Bay 4-2 tonight and the Capitals after a horrific start have emerged as the favorites to win the Southeast division and earn the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference. It’s a stunning turnaround for the Capitals who looked like a mess the first 8 weeks of the season and now a team that could get a favorable first round playoff  matchup and make some noise. The biggest storyline in Washington is the re-emergence of Alexander Ovechkin into an elite player and Ovechkin showing signs of being back to his old form is good for hockey.

A look at what sets Crosby above the rest & 200 goals by the numbers


What Sets Crosby Apart Extending his points streak to 12 games and tallying his 6th regular season hat trick to take over the NHL points lead with 40, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby continues to amaze his teammates in his 6th NHL season. “I’ve seen him for three years and I’m still like… ‘Oh, my gosh. It’s pretty unbelievable, ” Penguins defenseman Alex Goligoski said in his post-game comments. Collecting 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in his last 12 games, there’s a strong argument that Crosby is playing his best all around hockey of his career. Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter said it best when describing Crosby’s game this afternoon, following Calgary’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh. “An elite-level player like him has great creativity in his game and a tremendous skill set,” Sutter said. “It’s because of his work ethic, and how hard he plays every shift.”Read More »

All-Star Voting: Crosby leads all vote getters; Letang leads D-men in “write-in votes”


All-Star Voting Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby leads all vote getters in the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting Presented by XM with 118,755 votes. Crosby holds a significant lead in votes for forwards, leading Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin (80,169 votes) by more than 38,000 votes. Crosby’s teammate Evgeni Malkin is 10th among forwards with 56,255 votes. Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is second among vote getters, receiving 82,968 votes. As of today, Crosby, Ovechkin and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews (79,953 votes) would be the three forwards automatically selected to the game along with defensemen Duncan Keith, Nik Lidstrom (80,723 votes) and goaltender Carey Price (71,199 votes). Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos who leads the NHL with 20 goals and is tied for the NHL points lead with 35, is 4th among forwards with 78,833 voters. Voting ends on January 3, 2011 and the All-Star game will take place on January 30, 2011.Read More »

NHL Notes: Devils are an aging team


DePaoli on the NHL DEVILS FUNK: The New Jersey Devils are in disarray, off to a 2-7-1 start. Through ten games, the Devils have failed to develop any kind of momentum and things went for the worse last weekend. $100 million dollar man Ilya Kovalchuk was a healthy scratch on Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres, after being a few minutes late for a team meeting and the Devils were later embarrassed on home ice, losing to the Sabres 6-1 and followed up that game with a 3-1 loss on the road to the New York Rangers Sunday night. An interesting side note on the Kovalchuk decision is that head coach John MacLean never consulted with management about the decision to make Kovalchuk a healthy scratch. The Devils have struggled in just about every area. They have scored just 17 goals on the season, tied for the fewest in theRead More »

Backstrom joining Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin among the games elite?


Alexander Ovechkin is often compared to Sidney Crosby and a much lesser extent to Evgeni Malkin when discussing the games best player. That discussion will go on for years and it’s really a moot point as both players don’t play the same type of game. From a statiscal standpoint though, Ovechkin has truly been the more dominant player in 2009-2010 as the star winger is on his way to a third straight M.V.P. trophy. In 10 fewer games than Sidney Crosby, Ovechkin has 9 more points than Crosby and a +35, plus/minus advantage to Crosby’s +7. In 1 fewer game than rival Evgeni Malkin, Ovechkin has 27 more points than Malkin and a +48, plus/minus advantage compared to Malkin’s minus-6. When discussing the Penguins and Capitals it use to be Ovechkin/Semin versus Crosby/Malkin but it has now become Ovechkin/Backstrom versus Crosby/Malkin. Nicklas Backstrom has established himself as one of theRead More »

Quarterfinals showdown: Crosby, Canada to knock off Ovechkin, Russians?


No. 3 Russia vs No. 6 Canada The Hockey world gets their dream matchup a bit earlier than expected as Canada meets Russia in the quarterfinals tonight in what is an unexpected matchup between the two powerhouses. However, the hype is at a gold medal game level, one team will be going home as the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry now goes global in what is the most anticipated game since the 2002 Gold medal game between the United States and Canada. All eyes are clearly going to be on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. On the big stage this is the type of game that Crosby leads his team to victory but is 2010 Alexander Ovechkin’s year? The Russian’s possess more star power upfront with a lineup that boasts three of the top five players in the game in Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk. The Canadians though are a muchRead More »

Malkin, Ovechkin fuel Russia’s 4-2 win over Czech Republic


Evgeni Malkin scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves leading Russia (2-0-0-1 7pts) to a 4-2 win over Czech Republic (2-1-0-0, 6 pts) Sunday afternoon. Rivals Evgeni Malkin (2 goals, 1 assist) and Alexander Ovechkin (1 assist) played on the same line for the first time in the tournament, combining for 4 points as the Russians rebounded from a disappointing loss Thursday night to Slovakia. Ovechkin was limited to only one assist but fueled the Russian’s win with a game changing shoulder-to-head open ice hit on Czech Republic star Jaromir Jagr that led to an odd-man rush for the Russian’s and Evgeni Malkin netting his second goal of the game to give Russia a 3-1 lead. Czech Republic’s Milan Michalek scored at 14:51 of the third period to cut Russia’s lead to 3-2 but Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk scored an empty net goal with 13 seconds remaining to seal theRead More »

The Latest NHL Buzz: Ovechkin playing reckless?


Ovechkin day-to-day Alexander Ovechkin’s own coach called him “pretty reckless” today, just a day after Ovechkin delivered a punishing knee-to-knee hit to Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. It was a scare for both players but both players are expected to be okay. Does Ovechkin need to tone it down? Ovechkin, the NHL’s most unique player, is putting other players in danger, including himself. If he keeps playing with the recklessness that he does, he won’t have a long career. However, even Bruce Boudreau has doubts that Ovechkin will ever tone it down. The NHL is reviewing the hit. Bruins, Savard agree to 7 year extension

Inside the NHL: Around the Rink


*Petr Forsberg has decided to stay in Sweden and play with his close friend Markus Naslund. Forsberg has only played 15 NHL games since the 2006-2007 season. Following the lockout, Forsberg and Naslund each tried to sign with the same team and play together but for both of them to make their $6 million a year salaries, it wasn’t feasible. Now they’re playing together for free. Pittsburgh was among the few teams that looked into signing both forwards as a packaged deal but Naslund had no interest in coming back to Pittsburgh. *Alexander Ovechkin returned to action Tuesday night leading the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. Ovechkin scored his 15th goal of the season and now has 15 goals in 15 games. If Ovechkin (24 pts in 15 GP) stays healthy the rest of the season, he is the best bet for overtaking AnzeRead More »