Canes scored 3, Ovechkin's line with Nylander and Kozlov scored 4. Canes won 4:3. Go figure. :-)
Ovechkin scored 4 goals, one was scored soccer style, another was in his own net, but the other two were legit. He had also the first assist on Brian Green's goal that was scored after the siren therefore dismissed.
What was that saying? "At least Titanic had a band..." If the team won't make playoffs, at least there will be something to remember for the Caps fans this year.
This was the most entertaining game of this year and maybe of the last 2 years.
I really hope Boudreau will keep the line of Ovechkin and Kozlov centered by Nylander intact. How long did it take to figure out this line combination? How many Caps Head Coaches it takes? :-) Everybody was talking about Kozlov - Ovechkin chemistry from the Olympiad when they downed Canada, but Kozlov was playing on the wing there! Yashin was the center, not Kozlov. How come someone could miss that part? Oh wait, that's right, it had cost Hanlon a job.
Now we have Nylander as the center and everything clicked. By the way, Kozlov's move and pass to Nylander was exact copy of the Ovechkin's goal vs. Brodeur/Canada. Now we are talking chemistry, Koz-Nyl-Ov, this molecule has a similar behavior to the total domination line of Robert-Martin-Perreau, Koz-Nyl-Ov completely dominated Canes 5 on 5.
"At least Titanic had a band..."
Go Caps! Viva Ovechkin!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Canes scored 3, Ovechkin's line with Nylander and Kozlov scored 4. Canes won 4:3. Go figure. :-)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Imagine that Gazprom or another company will sponsor Moscow Dynamo to offer, say, 15 million a year for their alumnus Alexander Ovechkin [a.k.a. to give him an offer he can't refuse -- my comment]. Right now he is at crossroads, he has problems signing a new contract with Washington. ORHL needs a franchise player for its startup league, just like Crosby is needed for the NHL. What can you say about Ovechkin returning to Russia? Is it a dream or a real possibility in the near future?Larionov: This is an interesting option. I'd be happy to express my opinion about this possibility and others. But before that I must get fully involved into the works of ORHL proposal and only after that I could make some loud statements about things of this nature. So if you don't mind let's continue this conversation after the New Year's Eve.
- Among the people getting involved into development of this proposal are Bob Goodenow and Scotty Bowman.
- Wikipedia: "As measured by its market capitalization as of June 2007 (US$300 billion), Gazprom is the world's third largest corporation following this measure. Gazprom chairman Dmitry Medvedev says the company's market capitalization should quadruple to reach one trillion dollars by 2017, which would make it the world's biggest corporation."
Another part of the interview that I found interesting (or what a smart guy Igor Larionov truly is):
Q.: Do you think it is possible to persuade Gary Bettman to sign a new transfer agreement on our terms? Meaning that NHL would pay several million dollars of compensation when drafting (players like) Ovechkin?
A.: I think it's wrong if the compensation paid for Ovechkin or Malkin would be that huge. There's a lot of talent coming from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland and Slovakia to NHL nowadays. All European countries who signed the agreement must be treated the same. Why are we better than those Swedes? They won the Olympics last year and the World Championship. And we can't win anything at the international level for almost 15 years.
Or look at the recent series between Canadian and Russian juniors. It was horrible! How can we demand such astronomical amount of money from NHL after this defeat?
Q.: So you think we should sign a contract on Bettman's terms, just for the sake of it?
A.: I think Bettman understands that the hockey market is changing and the amount of compensation should be increased. But it shouldn't be astronomical, not in millions of dollars. And another reason why it is unfair is because it's not just the clubs that are paying for the development of the young players, but also the parents that are paying for it. I know it from my own experience, I spent 20 thousand dollars for my son to play hockey last year. This includes the ice rental, traveling to tournaments, the uniforms and equipment.
Last year when I was in New York I met with Gary Bettman. He said that he was ready to discuss the new transfer amount. But he doesn't know with whom he should talk. That is, Russian Hockey Federation didn't even appointed a person who would negotiate with the NHL.
Q.: Do you have in mind a time when our federation was headed by Alexander Steblin?
A.: No, it was already with Vladislav Tretiak in power.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Bruce Boudreau moved up from the Caps' minor-league team in Hershey, Pa., to replace Hanlon. And maybe he'll improve the Capitals, but probably not.
Which makes the upcoming summer very intriguing. Washington star forward Alex Ovechkin can become a restricted free agent. Remember, this is a guy who came into the league with Sidney Crosby, and generally earned as much acclaim for his ability as Crosby.
But Pittsburgh has built a great supporting cast around Crosby, who was the league's Most Valuable Player last season. Ovechkin, meanwhile, has suffered through constant losing in Washington.
So, what will Ovechkin do? The Capitals have already told Ovechkin they'll give him the maximum allowed.
Most scouts believe there will be teams willing to part with the five first-rounders that it will take to sign Ovechkin. Let's face it, the immediate future doesn't look very bright in Washington.
SovSport.ru also reports that Ovechkin will get more than Crosby, he allegedly will get an offer for 10.3 million (info based on some "Sport" radio station).
Лидеру клуба НХЛ «Вашингтон Кэпиталз» Александру Овечкину, который будущим летом становится ограниченно свободным агентом, скорее всего, будет предложен новый контракт в 10 миллионов 300 тысяч долларов за сезон. Для сравнения годовой оклад Сидни Кросби из «Питтсбурга» сейчас около девяти миллионов, сообщает радиостанция «Спорт».
Sounds like something is brewing, but... I wonder if that rumor from Ted Kulfan and SovSport comes from a previous Larry Brooks article:
"Even if owner Ted Leonsis tries to make him the NHL's highest-paid player by offering a max contract of $10.3 million per season, the value of a max contract - 20 percent of the cap - will rise this summer in direct proportion to the anticipated 7-to-10-percent cap increase for 2008-09."
My name is Shanna Westbrook and I'm a Buffalo Sabres fan. I live in the DC area though and am actually a Buffalo transplant. My husband is from DC and is a HUGE Caps fan. And through his affection for the Caps, he managed to turn my 7-year old daughter into a Caps fan as well. She loves Alex Ovechkin. My son, Parker, however is a Sabres fan like me. Anyway, we were in attendance at last nights Sabres-Capitals game and were lucky enough to meet Alex after the game. Well, under the circumstances, lucky isnt the correct word. Let me explain.
My daughter Lindsay was diagnosed not too long ago with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It was ridiculously hard news to take since we never saw that particular diagnosis coming. Both of my children play youth hockey and have for years. At first it didnt slow her down much at all but now, thanks mostly to chemotherapy and other meds, she's so tired and sick all the time that she just cant play anymore. So to make up for the loss of hockey in her life (and it's a shame because she was so good at it) my husband has been taking her to Capitals games, and when she's too sick to go, we all watch the games on TV and it lifts her spirits tremendously. And ours too.
Now to make a boringly long story a little shorter, I'll get right to my point.
My husband's business partner has a friend in upper Caps management and he arranged for Lindsay (and us too) to meet with Alex after the game last night as a surprise to Lindsay. My husband made up this ridiculous story for her when she questioned why we were still at the arena when the game had ended, lol. She's a smart girl but she never saw this coming.
But when Alex and some other guy(I'm not sure who he was, public relations maybe, but he was informing Alex about Lindsays cancer) walked in the room her little jaw dropped and she just stared at him. He came over to talk to her (he called her sweetheart) and she was just speechless. Then all of a sudden she just started bawling, a little overwhelmed maybe. And what Alex did next was totally unexpected. I moved over to go comfort her and hopefully get her to talk to him but Alex beat me to it. He sat down on a bench and set her on his lap and just held her in his arms. I couldnt believe it. At that point, I started crying as well, lol.
After she calmed down, they just started having a conversation like they've been best friends for years. She told him about how she plays,or played rather, hockey and he gave her a few tips, lol. She told him about how she had a chemo treatment that morning and she wasnt feeling too well and he gave her another hug. Then he taught her how to say "I love you" in Russian. That was...interesting lol. They just talked back and forth for a while. A lot longer than I thought actually. And before he left and we went home he gave her an address and told her she could write to him anytime she wanted and he'd make sure he'd get it. I think it may have been a fan club address or something. I cant imagine it'd be his personal address. He even gave her a "special" nickname: Lulu, lol. I asked him why Lulu, and he said because he likes that name, lol. He's a funny guy. And even with his semi-broken english(it's getting much better though) it was just an unbelievable night. I just wanted everyone to know what an AMAZING guy we have here in Washington. I've never had an experience quite like that one.
Update: My guess is Alex called her not Lulu, but Lyalya (Ляля), or Lyalechka (Лялечка). This is how Russians call baby girls sometimes. For example, here's the Russian internet catalog site www.lyalya.ru that sells babies products similar to what Babies"R"Us does.
"Briere, Bryzgalov and Smith named the NHL's three stars of the week"
By Wes Goldstein, CBSSports.com
Sometimes the best things in life are free.
The Phoenix Coyotes have to believe that, at least a little after plucking the waiver wire a couple of weeks ago for a No. 1-caliber goalie who is entering the prime of his career.
Oh yes, Phoenix has also won four games in a row. It may not last for the league's youngest team, but Phoenix was outscored 15-1 and on a three-game losing streak when Bryzgalov joined and he ended the slide by posting a shutout.
"You look at teams like Calgary plays in front of (Miikka) Kiprusoff or how Vancouver played when they got (Roberto) Luongo, and I'm not saying we're those teams, but you can see how a mindset changes and how well teams play," Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. "We lost those three games, and a lot of what happened we deserved.
"We were pretty fragile going into that next game in L.A. Then Bryz came in and he was phenomenal in that first period. We started getting our confidence and thinking we are a good team. That was huge for us."
Equally big was Bryzgavlov's strong play in the next three starts, all Phoenix wins that helped move the Coyotes above .500 for the first time since winning on opening night.
"I think our goaltending was adequate before, but it got a lot better with Bryz in net," Gretzky said. "You get a guy of this caliber and your talent level goes up. He's helped us turn this team around and maybe our franchise. One guy can really turn things in the right direction."
I wish GMGM, not Gretzky would say that.
GMGM skipped the first step:
- 1. Pick up Bryzgalov
- 2. Let go Hanlon
- 3. Hire Boudreau
Not that Olie was bad, but I could swear Caps would beat Sabres with Ilya.
Here's what Corey Masisak said about the situation:
With the fewest points in the league, the Caps had first crack at Bryzgalov, who is an unrestricted free agent after the season (so is the No. 1 guy on this team, in case anyone forgot) and is making $563,000 more than Johnson this season.
Three reasons for not making the claim are
- 1) What do they do with Johnson?
- 2) Being worried about Olie Kolzig's reaction
- 3) Money.
Still, a young, quality, cheap goaltender is available for nothing, well, almost never.
...hmmm... What to do with Johnson? How about "What to do with Hanlon?" Being worried about Kolzig? Are we talking about retirement community here or competitive professional hockey team? Money? How much Kolzig makes?
Sometimes you don't need to fire the coach to win two games in a row, you just need to get a goalie of Bryzgalov caliber. I think GMGM did a good job this summer and bringing Jurcina before that, but letting Bryzgalov go to another team? Huge, huge mistake... I don't care if he and Burke were playing chess games, it is still a huge mistake.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
- It pains us to say it, but Michael Nylander pulled an Esa Tikkanen late in the third. It was that kind of night for Michael Nylander. After the game, Boudreau told the press that had the Caps gotten that second goal, he felt the momentum achieved from it would have willed them to a tying goal.
- Viktor Kozlov: an enigma wrapped in a mystery. So much skill, so much size, so much sizzle accompanied by too much fizzle. His numbers this season aren’t bad at all, but you consider what’s in his toolbox, and you’re left puzzled by the frequency with which he authors impact-free shifts.
What happens next? According to Capitals Insider:
Ovechkin-Nylander-Clark (Nylander returns to the top line)
Pettinger-Kozlov-Semin (Pettinger back in the lineup)
Nylander gets promoted to the top line and Kozlov goes to the second. Why? Here's why:
From theahl.com 01/28/2007
If you have talent you don’t care to use, you will not enjoy playing for Bruce Boudreau:
“If a player brings talent but his work ethic isn’t what it should be, I will probably be harder on him, maybe harder than I should."
I am very happy that Nylander is centering Ovechkin again, I've always said this is the way it should be. They will click. Nylander is the awesomest player and he made some mistakes last night. But... "The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything." (William Connor Magee)
Jagr on Nylander (from HFBoards):
"You know, I lost Nylander in summer. Strcena was 15 games out. It is not fun. I don´t want to complain, but with player we bought I did not have chemistry:-(
We invested a lot of money to centers but I play in the line with kid who came from farm team."
Monday, November 26, 2007
Here is Ovechkin's popularity (year 2007) based on Google search results (click to enlarge).
The world leader in searches for "Ovechkin" is Canada, no surprises. United States is sixth after Canada, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland...
Here is Ovechkin's popularity in Canada by regions and cities...
He is the most popular in French Canada (he said Montreal is his favorite city outside US, of course. :-) He also said something about Montreal girls... :-))
And here is Ovechkin's popularity in United States by regions and cities...
In United States District of Columbia comes fourth after Minnesota, Massachusetts and Michigan. As of cities Washington is again fourth after Buffalo, Minneapolis and Boston. New York is in the eight place...
As of Lindsay Czarniak...
Photo courtesy "On Frozen Blog"
Yes, Lindsay Czarniak is a babe....
sorry, guys... :-)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
November 25, 2007 -- MAYBE someone can provide one good reason for Alex Ovechkin to sign a new contract with the before becoming a restricted free agent on July 1, because we sure can't think of any.
Ovechkin, stuck in a hockey market in DC that's as irrelevant now as it was before the lockout and therefore denied a suitable stage to showcase his brilliance, isn't going to make more money by signing with the Caps than he would by inviting offer sheets this summer.
Even if owner Ted Leonsis tries to make him the NHL's highest-paid player by offering a max contract of $10.3 million per season, the value of a max contract - 20 percent of the cap - will rise this summer in direct proportion to the anticipated 7-to-10-percent cap increase for 2008-09.
Honestly, if Kevin Lowe believed Thomas Vanek to be worth four first-round draft picks last summer, any number of GMs with cap space to accommodate an annual hit of up to $10M per surely will feel the same way about the dynamic 22-year-old Ovechkin. He has registered 112 goals and 221 points in his first 184 NHL games.
Memo to Brian Burke and all those who would howl at the thought of rival teams "poaching" another club's marquee player: Ovechkin does not belong to the Caps.
Time is running out for GMGM... There's a hope with new Coach, Caps got two wins in a row, hopefully it will continue, but if the team won't make playoffs again and Ovechkin won't be locked with a new contract soon (and these two things are very correlated), we might see him in different uniform.
What Larry Brooks is saying is very arguable, but he basically repeats what a lot of fans on Caps forums and on Capitals Insider board are saying, Ovechkin doesn't belong to the Caps, let Ovechkin go to a better hockey place.
I see these comments all the time, everywhere... At first you think what kind of fans these people are? So brutal or so honest to themselfs?
Update: Here we go... I didn't have to wait long... :-)
Caps Forum: "I love AO and I don't want to lose him, but honestly he does deserve better than what he gets here in DC. We are a lousy team and organization right now and management is been reluctant to do much about it. Hiring Bruce seem to got us going for the past 2 games, but are we even close to being a team that can compete night in and night out. We have some huge holes here, most notably on defense. I love AO because of his superior skill but also because he is a competitor and plays so hard when he could just as easily cruise given his talent. He so competitive because he wants to win, and the Caps haven't shown they are willing to do what it takes to win."
This post has been edited by BreakOutInSong: Today, 09:08 AM
Obviously you would never see those comments about their players in Detroit, even when Red Wings were Dead Things, and then you kind of get used to it. I don't know, but the fact is that Larry Brooks states something very close to what Caps own fans are saying...
And it makes you wonder what Caps management is thinking? Do they agree?
Friday, November 23, 2007
Boudreau was promoted from the Capitals' farm team in Hershey on an interim basis. It makes sense for the Capitals to wait and see if he has the right stuff to coach on a full-time basis in the NHL (his resume suggests he does) before sifting through the available candidates who are currently looking for work (Pat Quinn, another Canucks' alumni, and Dave King, who knows something about how to handle Russian players, would be two prime candidates if the Boudreau experiment doesn't pan out).
...hmmm... No mentioning of Hartley, maybe he is in Moscow already :-) I don't think Hartley is a good answer. Dave King? maybe... Pat Quinn? nah...
For Boudreau to keep a job... he needs to win the next 10 games, like Alex promissed in his interview to SovSport:
"The season is long, we have only passed a quarter of the distance. Everything can still change. Watch us to win 10 games in a row…"
Actually Boudreau needs to win today in Philadelphia. One more loss and his interim status will become permanent. :-)
Frankly sounds almost impossible plus Semin injured his wonky ankle again. Boudreau has no room for mistakes, very tough task for him or any coach.
Ken Campbell, THN, on Boudreau's interim status:
Of course, it was only fitting the Capitals would name Boudreau an interim coach. Certainly wouldn't want to give the guy a sense of security, now would they? Actually, it makes sense, since Capitals GM George McPhee is also on thin ice. Should he be fired this summer, the new guy coming in likely wouldn't want to be committed to a coach he didn't hire.
But for a guy who was called up and sent down 26 times during his tenure in the Maple Leafs organization, Boudreau doesn't seem to mind the designation.
"Actually, I think it was a smart move," Boudreau said. "If I had been George (Capitals GM McPhee) I would have done the same thing. I'm sure he has some confidence I can do the job or he wouldn't have brought me here in the first place, but I also know he probably wants to see how things go the rest of this season.
“Now it's up to me and I absolutely want to do everything I can to have that interim tag removed from my name. (Philadelphia Flyers coach) John Stevens was an interim coach and he proved it to Philadelphia."
More of Eric Duhatschek:
Alexander Ovechkin, with 13 goals in 19 games, remains about the only reason to come out and watch the Washington Capitals play this season.
Are we gonna have the two-part show, performed by a single actor Alex Ovechkin again this season? In the first part the actor leads the team in all stats and there is a hope for playoffs. In the second part that single actor again leads the team in all stats, and he is the only reason half of the audience is still watching, the other half has left already...
Last season when Caps lost the chances for playoffs, it was horrible... that gloom and doom was carried to this season, I believe... Nobody wants to lose and if Alex won't have his new contract signed soon... we might see him elsewhere next season...
Highly unlikely, but it is possible.
Update: Caps 4 - Flyers 3. Congrats to Boudreau and the team! When Flyers scored the third in a row to even the game and force overtime, I thought, that's it, it's a final meltdown, but Nicklas Bäckström turned to final countdown. Just like Ovechkin said, "Watch us to win 10 in a row"
One down, nine to go... The journey back to .500 and... shhhh playoffs has begun...
Happy B-Day, Nicklas!
By Tim Leone, Patriot-News
The Caps lost a 3-0 lead but were rescued by Nicklas Backstrom's game-winning goal at 1:55 of overtime. The rookie beat goalie Martin Biron off a rush by Alex Ovechkin in which Ovechkin whiffed on his shot.
"Quite honestly," said Boudreau, elevated Thursday from his position as Hershey's head coach in the wake of Glen Hanlon's firing, "I caught myself saying, 'Ovechkin is up. Ovechkin? Holy smokes.' That's what caught me most of all. I was here in front of 20,000 people. It was a good situation."
By Scott Morrison, Winnipeg Sun
So it falls to Boudreau, who made his debut yesterday afternoon in Philadelphia, to get the Capitals pointed in the right direction. And it falls to McPhee to get Alex Ovechkin under contract. If Boudreau fulfils his task, it will help McPhee take care of his. If they fail, consider them both working on an interim basis.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Ovechkin: "Of course I am surprised. I really like him, he give me a lot. It's hard for him, hard for the team. It's life. I've never been in this situation in my life, with coach getting fired. If team lose, guy who will be fired is coach. If we win, nobody talking about coach. If we lose, everyone talks about coach."
According to rjmbeau at Caps forum in an interview after the game Kovalchuk said (about Washington Capitals):
"Give the team a chance replace coach before it's too late... They'll (meaning the players) will be shocked at first but they'll will get over it - we did..."
Everybody knew it was coming and still... it is a shock. I couldn't look at Hanlon's face in the third period... it was a face of very sad man...
After Wednesday's loss, he was asked whether he believes his players can turn things around.
"Of course I do -- or I wouldn't go in tomorrow," Hanlon replied, his voice soft and words slow. "You never stop believing. That's the real hard part of handling losing, is that you can never stop believing. ... I believe in the players."
Oh well, it's part of a job... Best of luck to you, Glen...
According to Capitals Insider so far Bruce Boudreau started where Hanlon left it, Kozlov centering Ovechkin...
"The key here, obviously, is that Backstrom is sharing time on the fourth line."
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Ovechkin's interview with Sport-Express journalist Slava Malamud after the loss to Florida Panthers
Ovechkin: We did not use all the chances again. We scored two goals only at the end of the third period and it was not enough... In short we lost because of our own costly mistakes.
Malamud: Obviously, the team is in crisis.
O.: Not that we are in crisis, it's just a string of bad luck. It will sure end, but we are stepping on the same rakes over and over again.
M.: Another loss or two and your coach could be fired...
O.: I find it difficult to say anything about it. I am trying not get into such things and even think that Glen or someone else could be fired.
M.: I know that you personally like Hanlon...
O.: Yes, he is a good man and he is a very good coach! He has complete trust in me. Hanlon is one of the reasons why I feel great being with Washington.
M.: Have you heard that Hartley, a former Atlanta Thrashers Coach, allegedly got an offer from Moscow Spartacus?
O.: I hear about it for the first time from you.
M.: Do you know anything about Hartley? Have you discussed his candidacy with Kovalchuk?
O.: I know absolutely nothing about him. And we've never talked about him with Ilya.
SovSport journalist Dmitri Chesnokov's interviews after the loss to Florida Panthers
Semin: THE TEAM LACKS LEADERSHIP...
Chesnokov: Congratulations on return! But why Washington woke up so late in the game?Semin: At least it happened... (snapped Semin and started to look at the game stats) Aha, I had 18 minutes of playing time. And I was told that I'd only play 10 minutes. It was hard after not playing for the whole month.
C.: Did they ask you to come back quickly because Caps were in crisis?S.: No, I already feel fine myself.
C.: Is there a pressure on the team?S.: We can see that the fans are unhappy. They come to see us to win. But we had a string of bad luck. Long… do not recall when it was that long.
C.: Does the team trust in Hanlon?S.: And how can one play without it?
C.: Sometimes looks like Caps have no desire.S.: We don't always have a man who can lead the team or change the momentum.
C.: What about you?S.: I'll try (smiles).
Kozlov: THIS IS THE MARATHON...
C.: You've started the season very well. What happened?Kozlov: I have always said that regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. But, as we can see, yet we do not have enough skill in the offense, although we create the moments. That's how we are playing…
C.: But on paper you have a nice cast.K.: The names are not the main thing. What is important is the team chemistry. We still have to work on what. We must get rid of the mistakes that lead to goals scored on us. And we still lack patience and endurance.
C.: I am afraid that by the end of December Washington will be an observer, losing chances to get into playoffs.K.: It all can happen... (Kozlov philosophically agreed)
Ovechkin: I BELIEVE IN HANLON
C.: It looked like Washington played without fire.Ovechkin: What? (Ovechkin is indignant) Then there is no point to go on ice. All I can say is that the team really wants to win.
C.: Why are you losing then?O.: We must reverse it, change ourself. We should not concentrate on losing streak.
C.: But it looks very gloomy, only 3 wins over 42 days!O.: The season is long, we have only passed a quarter of the distance. Everything can still change. Watch us to win 10 games in a row…
C.: And what was the goal of this season?O.: The goal is still there, to get into playoffs.
C.: In the league's history very few teams got out of the hole Washington has digged himself in.O.: History is a history, but we need to think about hockey.
C.: Do you have faith in the coach?O.: Of course. Why do you ask?
C.: In the second and third period the fans chanted "Fire Hanlon!".O.: I have not heard it. But the fans can be understood, in this dire situation the primarily blame always goes to the coach. I don't believe he is our main problem. And the team doesn't feel that Hanlon will be removed any time soon.
C.: The team owner Ted Leonsis said in the press that he had started talks with you about your new contract.O.(snapped back): Maybe he started it with someone else, but not with me.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Theoretically Washington could pick up Bryzgalov, and though they have Olaf Kolzig, the veteran is not eternal. It is clear that Ilya could only reinforce Capitals. But Ovechkin's team is so stupid this season that they didn't even try to pretend.
from Capitals Insider
Nice point by Roger on Sutherby's trade to Anaheim:
Correct me if I'm wrong but this indicates that the Capitals were not interested in Bryzgalov at all because I believe that Anaheim would have traded him instead of giving up a pick.
Is that a clear assumption?
Posted by: Roger | November 19, 2007 03:24 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
from Ottawa Sun By BRUCE GARRIOCH
The Capitals are having trouble negotiating with restricted free-agent LW Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin fired Meehan and has hired a lawyer to be his advisor.
Sources say the Caps were confident they'd be able to get something done with Meehan, but are having issues since Ovechkin, who's making $1.3 million, decided to take over his own negotiations.
It's believed the Caps are willing to offer a deal similar to the five-year contract that will pay Sidney Crosby $8.7 million per season starting next year.
It's believed Ovechkin's camp, which includes his mother Tatiana, is looking for a bigger deal, in the $9-to-10 million range.
This could get interesting because somebody would most certainly give Ovechkin an offer as a restricted free agent on July 1
And also there...
The Capitals need to turn it around or GM George McPhee could be in trouble. There's a strong belief that owner Ted Leonsis gave McPhee a mandate to win this season. The club is spending more than $40 million on salaries ...
from "The Fourth Period"
The Capitals would like to get Ovechkin inked to a five-year contract, and TFP has learned they have already approached him with a figure around $8 million per season.
And now the question why Hanlon didn't put Nylander, one of the best centers in NHL, with Ovechkin until now, has the answer. Come on... Hanlon is not THAT dumb... He didn't put Ovie and Nylander on one line because Ovie can score even more than before... and GMGM is negotiating... see where it goes?
Only when the team dropped to the last place (see "The Capitals need to turn it around or GM George McPhee could be in trouble") Nylander was put on Ovechkin's line where he was supposed to be from the day one.
Now one more thing to ponder... I believe Ted Leonsis made a commitment not to pay top dollars to any player after he got rid of Jaromir Jagr. Will he make an exception to Ovechkin when he still continues to pay Jarg's salary?
When you look at this angle, ...hmmmm... I am not sure... It means there's a chance Ovechkin is playing his last year for Capitals.
11/14/2007 Update from Capitals Insider
Ovechkin Extension (Non) Update
After practice, I caught up with Alex Ovechkin to ask him about a number of things. One of them was the status of his negotiations with the Caps on an extension. His entry-level deal expires in July, at which time he will become a restricted free agent.
Nothing has changed, he said, since the last time I asked him about this on Oct. 29 in Toronto, adding that serious talks still have not started and that he's not sure when they might.
I asked him if that lack of an offer is bothering him. At first he said, "No." Then he paused for a moment before saying, "Of course I think about my contract. It would be stupid to answer that I don't think about my contract. Of course I think about it. But we don't start talking. We just wait. We still have time."
11/17/2007 Update from Scott Morrison, Ottawa Sun
Caps simply need to find a way to sign Ovechkin ...
ALEX THE GREAT
Where exactly the Washington Capitals are in their negotiations with star Alexander Ovechkin, general manager George McPhee is not saying. He wants to keep contract talks as private as possible to avoid the daily questions and potential distractions. The Caps have enough on their plates on the ice, without any off-ice issues.
Bottom line is McPhee simply has to find a way to sign his star, who potentially could become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but the Caps are not likely to let that happen. The question is whether the $8.7 million US, on average, the Pittsburgh Penguins are paying Sidney Crosby, will be enough for Ovechkin. There have been reports the 22-year-old has rejected that figure, but they also have been denied.
The Ovechkin pot got stirred this past week when he was quoted by a Soviet reporter, who is based in the U.S., as saying: "I don't know yet where I will be next season. I am not negotiating my new contract. I want to stay in Washington. But who knows what is going to happen?"
Who knows, indeed.
Like we said, the Caps just have to get it done. According to stats the club issued before their game last night, Ovechkin had scored three of their past four goals and had accounted for 29.3% of their goals this season. Only Kovalchuk had a higher percentage, at 30.6%. And despite that the Caps were in last place.
Monday, November 5, 2007
from the Washington Post
“The overriding theme for us is [a] lack of scoring,” Hanlon said. “That’s the main thing. Defensively we’ve made as big an improvement as any team. We don’t have those chaotic games where we’re running around. But there’s a price for scoring goals and, at times, we’re not doing that.”
In two years with Caps Ovechkin never had a luxury of a good center. Zubbie was okay, but he was not a natural center in the first place and he was lacking a playmaking ability. That's why I was very happy when Caps signed Nylander, I was, just like the rest of a hockey world, sure that Nylander would center Ovechkin.
Hanlon thought different, he placed Nylander on the second line, moved Backstrom to the wing. What's up with that? His answer was to create at least two balanced lines and let Backstrom to adjust to NHL.
Time has passed, Caps have lost Semin to ankle injury, the scoring went down. What other coaches do in this situation? Detroit has similar problem and separates Datsyuk and Zettenberg for the same reason from time to time. But when the scoring is down, when the team struggles, Coaches juggle the lines, put all stars on one line. We've seen it in Detroit, we've seen it in Columbus this year.
What about Hanlon?
He never tried Nylander-Ovechkin combination playing 5 on 5. Yes, he did put Nylander and Ovechkin on PP in the last game and Ovechkin scored immediately. What would common sense tell him to do in the next game? Put Ovechkin and Nylander together, create the deadliest line and go with it.
...Hanlon puts Gordon to center Ovechkin for tonight's game vs. Carolina.
Unbelivable...Scotty Bowman would juggle the lines in one game, heck, in one period, to see if it would click. Hanlon hasn't done it in the training camp(?), in pre-season(?), in any of the games in October and now November. That's what probably separates Hanlon and Bowman.
The Glen Hanlon's experiment is over... Kozlov, Nylander and Backstrom are playing their natural positions and Ovie got Nylander. Whew...
From Capitals Insider:
Hanlon said Backstrom has seen his last game on the wing. Last night was his third game as a full-time center, and apparently he's proved to the coaching staff that he's ready to play his natural position on a regular basis in the NHL.
Speaking of Glen Hanlon...
from Forbes "NHL Team Valuations" - #28 Washington Capitals
With a great building and one of the most exciting players in the NHL in Alex Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals could be among the elite franchises in the league instead of one of the worst. The Caps are riddled with incompetent management. General Manager George McPhee has been at the helm for 10 years and has never come close to building a championship caliber team and has gotten the Caps to the playoffs only once during the past five seasons. Glen Hanlon has proven himself to be incapable of coaching at the NHL level. It can not be a surprise to owner Ted Leonsis that his team's attendance is near the league bottom.
Major corporate sponsors are Time Warner's AOL (nyse: TWX), Anheuser-Busch (nyse: BUD), Coca-Cola (nyse: KO), Sprint Nextel (nyse: S), Kettler. Naming rights sponsor is Verizon Communications (nyse: VZ).
Update 11/11/2007 Wait a minute... I said it first... :-)
from Washington City Paper
Last night, Hanlon tried something extraordinary: He tried using common sense. He promoted his best center (Michael Nylander) to the first line to play with the team’s franchise winger (Alexander Ovechkin). He moved defensive center Boyd Gordon—who had recently been centering Ovechkin on the first line—back to his regular spot on the shutdown line. He shifted Viktor Kozlov—a natural right wing who had been playing center because of a supposed chemistry with Ovechkin—back to the right wing, where Kozlov has always enjoyed more success. He moved rookie center Nicklas Backstrom—who had been playing both wing positions while adjusting to the NHL game—to center. And he moved Tomas Fleischmann—who has been bouncing in, out, and all around the depth chart so far this season—back to the left wing, where he has constantly proven to be the most productive.
The result? The Caps, who came limping into Ottawa after losing 10 of their last 12 games and sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference, beat the league-leading Senators...
How about that? Who would have guessed that, when you put players in their actual positions, they score goals? It only took Hanlon 16 games to figure that one out.