Capitals Overtime: Caps players now on the ice for morning skate at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Ovi was splitting practice with Matt Hendricks, according to @SWhyno. Joel Rechlicz will play on the forth line and Bolts recalled. Dale Hunter says that you need a physical guy when on the road. Exactly. Why we never heard it from Boudreau? I am starting to like Dale Hunter.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Schedule: PTT Pattaya Open (Pattaya City, Thailand) February 7-13, 2011
WTA rankings: Maria is 26th in singles. January 30, 2012
Here is WTA Schedule...
Q.: You prepared for your season in
United StatesWashington, DC. What memories did you keep of these weeks?
I have only a good memories from this trip and I will never forget them! It was the best time I have ever spent in the United States. I had the time of my life!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Elliotte Friedman is extremely good journalist. Love his "30 thoughts" and always looking forward to read it.
Here are excerpts from his new 30 thoughts just released::
13. Wrote last week that I understood Alexander Ovechkin's decision to skip All-Star weekend because of his suspension. Learned very quickly I'm in the minority on this one, from Andy McDonald calling him "classless" to a couple of team executives saying they would've advised Ovechkin to go there, not play, but smile and sign autographs. That would've scored major points.
14. That said, the sense is the Capitals are strongly behind him...
Wait, how many of you consider Andy McDonald a majority? Who knows this guy? Raise your hand if you can recognize him during St. Louis game without a help of a TV commentator!
Couple of team executives? hahaha... Take out Pens, and you have one random xenophobe.
What about a quote from Stanley Cup MVP from Pittsburgh, a.k.a. Evgeny Malkin? (I don't blame him, not at all. He made his decision) What about Brendan Shanahan himself? ("I think I respect it," he said on Saturday in Ottawa) What about Datsyuk? (Judge not, that ye be not judged)
But the main thing is, Ovi wouldn't do if he didn't feel a strong support from Ted Leonsis (I do not agree in any way with the suspension of Alex Ovechkin for 3 games), from GM George McPhee (Yes, I support him in that) and most important, from Caps fans (78% of Caps fans felt that Alex Ovechkin should not go to All-Star event).
It's us against the world...
14. That said, the sense is the Capitals are strongly behind him and realize (as does Ovechkin) that from now on, he will be judged solely on playoff performance. So, if a couple of days wearing SPF 30 in Florida means April, May and June success, they'll live with the fallout.
P.S. I am asking Ovi's fans to retweet @KevGull's tweet. Talking about "Taste of your own medicine."
Ovechkin will travel to Florida according to Dale Hunter. Anybody on Caps line-up who will score a hat-trick: beware of Ovi or you'll get a taste of shaving cream. :-)
Capitals will have two back-to-back games Tuesday vs. Bolts and Wednesday vs. Panthers. This will conclude three-game suspension for Ovi and he will be eligible to play Saturday in Montreal.
Photo by @kat4888
Ovi practiced today with Johansson-Perreault-Semin line rotating with JoJo.
Looking forward to it. Especially if he'll take care of Downie tomorrow. And won't hurt if he'll beat up Bourque to pulp Saturday. According to Hunter Backstrom didn't skate at all during All-Star break.
Here's Dale's Hunter interview
Ovi talks to media after morning skate
I didn't watch All-Star, I was at the beach. It was a refreshing time for me. I met a lot of other hockey players there...
Unfortunately I won't be able to help my team, but I am gonna be there and I'm gonna watch the game upstairs.
According to CSNWashington Ovi also said this:
“I’m pretty rested right now,” Ovechkin said after practicing with his teammates for the first time since Jan. 23, when he was informed of his three-game suspension. “I was surprised. My body feels fresh. My arms, my legs, my head.”
What seems to be just a week is actually a very important rest. Just ask Igor Larionov who, after scoring a goal for Red Wings in triple overtime, directly contributed it to his vacation in Florida during All-Star break.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Here's the book (lib.rus.ec/b/200470) Pavel Datsyuk took with him to read at "All Stars" in Ottawa. I can't stop to marvel at this Man!
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
Даже во дворе, когда разбивались на команды, называли в самом конце. Большое спасибо за доверие. И за уникальный шанс. Теперь представляю, что чувствуют ребята, когда их выбирают первыми. А сейчас все дело за агентом – пусть подпишет мне большой контракт!
Even on the street, when we would split into teams, I was called at the very end. Thank you very much for your confidence. And for a unique opportunity. Now I can imagine what the guys feel when they are chosen first. And now the whole thing is for my agent, he needs to sign me a big contract!
Friday, January 27, 2012
The Caps captain was spotted by fans soaking up some rays on the beach in Miami on Thursday. At one point, one of the fans tweeted a video of Ovi playing football, but that video has since been taken down.
With girlfriend Maria Kirilenko out of the Australian Open and her 25th birthday to celebrate, could a Miami rendevous be in the works?
We chatted with Ovi last month about his relationship with Kirilenko, who he met at the US Open last year.
"She is good athlete," he told us. "Maybe better than me."
We can't imagine her in full hockey gear, but Ovi admitted that he has had her on skates before.
"She's pretty good, actually," he said, after also admitting that he lost to her in a friendly tennis match.
We'd love to see video of that.
Well, at least the mystery has been solved about Ovechkin's Miami Beach YouTube video that had been taken down...
Gino explains Ovi's decision to skip ASG:
я не осуждаю его, ни в коем случае. Он принял такое решение. Просто наверно ему сейчас это необходимо. Он получил эту дисквалификацию, наверно некомфортно себя здесь чувствовал и в первую очередь зная, что он не проведет следующие два матча, ходить с грустным лицом на таком празднике было бы неправильно. Он просто взял отдых, где-то подумать. Он возьмёт себя в руки, и он выйдет на свой уровень, это точно.
I don't blame him, not at all. He made his decision. He just probably needs it right now. He was suspended, probably he felt uncomfortable to be here in the first place knowing that he will sit for the next two games, and walk around here with a sad face on such a holiday would be wrong. He just took a vacation, to think about, to digest it. He will take care of himself and he will get back to his level, that's for sure.
How ironic it is to hear from a lot meaner, a lot dirtier hockey player such as Malkin. But he has a huge fan base in Pittsburgh that allows him to escape any kind of similar judgement. It is unbelievable how Pens hockey fans can raise the noise level to unbearable when they need it and put such a pressure on NHL when they want it.
Changing a charging call to three-game suspension?
Try it with Matt Cook and good luck with that. Obviously Mario's connections help them a lot as well.
Scotty Bowman "Искусство руководить командой во время матча"
Here's an interesting photo by SovSport of team Russia's coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov reading the book in Russian by Scotty Bowman called "The Art of Coaching the Team During the Game". Has anybody ever heard about this book? I've searched Amazon.com and nothing even came up close.
Zinetula Bilyaletdinov spent the first half of January in North America. The head coach of team Russia was in Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa. He crossed the Canadian border and went to Detroit, New York, Chicago... It is easier to say where he hasn't been, writes Sovietsky Sport journalist Pavel Lysenkov. The route to which Bilayletdinov followed was devised by @KravchukIgor, chief Russian scout in Noth America.
The interview is very long and they discuss virtually every Russian NHLer. It was interesting to read about Flyers' Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky and why Bryz still can't play to his potential. Bilyaletdinov notes that he would change some things in Flyers defensive system, but it's not up to him. Anyhow here are some excerpts related to Washington Capitals Russians. Enjoy.
The head coach of Russian junior team Valery Bragin said to Sovietsku Sport that from his current team only Evgeny Kuznetsov has chances to get to the Olympics in Sochi. Do you agree?
By and large Bragin is right. Yes, Kuznetsov is a pronounced leader. Nail Yakupov? He had moments when he was playing great, especially in the semi-finals against Canadians. His passes are crisp and he is fast. Both goalkeepers, Wasilewski and Makarov, made me happy. They had for 50 shots on goal in the game! it's largely because of to them Russia took the silver. But they're young... I just talked to Bragin, asked about them and he said that it is early. Let's see who will leave overseas next season. We will involve those who will remain with a second national team. This will be good for them. If they show themselves, we can call them to the first national team on Euro Tour. The next stage will be the World Cup. And only then the Olympics. You can't expect everything immediately.
You have seen the Washington Capitals with your own eyes. Does it make sense for Kuznetsov to go there this fall? Or is it better for him to stay in the KHL till the Olympics?
If you want go to the NHL, you need to be ready for it as a player.
Is Kuznetsov ready?
It's hard to say if he is ready 100 per cent. He is a capable forward who is still gaining experience. But if they put Kuznetsov in the Washington's lineup, I think he will be able to cope with it. I'm not sure that Kuznetsov or Vladimir Tarasenko can debut in the NHL like Ovechkin did. Ovechkin got more than 100 points in the first season. Although it's better to avoid such comparisons. Taras, Kuzya and Ovechkin are completely different players.
Alexander Ovechkin in an interview to Sovietsky Sport said, "Bilyaletdinov made the most coaching impact on me. When he came to Dynamo I was like a puppy and he began to coach me to become a master. Thanks to Zinetula Haydyarovich I became who I am now."
It is very nice of him to say that. I never had any problems with him.
How Ovechkin has changed since his days with Dynamo?
A lot is said about him this season... I saw him live at the game vs Montreal. I liked what I saw. Alex scored a power play goal and showed a competent, responsible play. I can see that he can play well in both offense and defense. Ovechkin has progressed in terms of defensive play. He plays for the team.
They say that Alexander plays a primitive hockey. He is a forward of one move.
I do not think so. Each player has a stronger side. Ovechkin is a power forward with a good shot. He can beat you one to one, he creates scoring chances.
So why didn't he score a single point in five games at the 2011 World Cup?
I didn't flew to Bratislava.
But you have seen them on video.
You have to know what happened there. What was the atmosphere in the team, how Ovechkin was used. I can't judge it because I was not there.
Do you see Ovechkin in the most valuable player role? Like what you had in Radulov during the Euro Tour.
You just have to use the player properly based on his best qualities. The national team choses the best players and they must give all for the result. As of the coach, his task is to create the team.
Did you see that hit in the game against Pittsburgh for which Ovechkin got three games suspension?
Yes, I saw it and I was very surprised. I didn't see a hint of a foul play! It is hard to understand why Sasha was punished. Even the referee didn't give him a penalty.
Did you too had a breakfast with Ovechkin?
No, we met after the game. The boys were rushing to the airplane, didn't have much time. We got together with Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Dmitry Orlov.
Compared to the last season Semin got twice as less points.
But he is still the master. He knows how to play with the puck and without it. He can skate around you and score the goal.
Semin was shining when he played with Sergei Fedorov. Is he too dependable?
Every hockey player would like to play with a good partner. Yes, a professional should go out and play with anyone put on his line. But put Semin with Datsyuk or Malkin and his stats will double. It's a simple math, the amount of skill will increase.
And what do you think about Orlov?
He plays a stable and solid game. He's calm and confident. Doesn't do anything in excess. This is his first season in the NHL. But I'm glad that he already shows a stable game.
Is he ready for the World Cup?
And why not?
Photo by @GiddyBang
Meanwhile, in Ottawa:
Wish Ovechkin was here. We miss him. But I think that in Alexander's career there still will be a lot All-Star games
SovSport: Did he do the right thing refusing to go to Ottawa because of the suspension?
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
SovSport: What kind of skills competition do you want to get involved?
Who'll be the fastest to finish dinner at the restaurant. Or who will be the fastest to arrive to a night party...
Here are the results of the poll, the headline and the last question were taken from actual tweets...
SHOULD OVI SUCK IT UP AND GO TO ASG?
53% No, because the rest will help him in playoff run.
25% No, he was not voted into the All-Star game by the fans.
11% Yes, he should because he was selected by the NHL.
11% Yes, because a ton of young kids look up for him.
78% said No, 22% said Yes.
Similar poll conducted by Capitals Insider:
Just to remind you that basically NHL either agreed that if Ovi would go, it would be a distraction or didn't want to give him another suspension. Obviously the Capitals and the NHL talked before the announcement:
TSN: What message is the NHL sending by not suspending Alexander Ovechkin for skipping the All-Star Game? That it's optional for everybody or it's just All-Star and not worth going to war with the Capitals and their superstar?
Bob McKenzie: There's no hill to make a stand on here. They just gave him a three game suspension, they didnt feel like making it a four-game suspension. If there was no suspension here there wouldn't be an issue and they would force him to go.
Here's a nice exchange of the tweets after some St. Louis player called Ovi's decision classless:
And finally, read (if you haven't already) an excellent post from Japer's Rink by Becca H.
If he attended, as he was originally supposed to do, the weekend would become about his suspension and his hit; it would distract from the focus of the weekend and leave a bit of a black cloud over what is supposed to be a fun event, not just for the fans but the players, too (not to mention deprive another player who wasn't suspended from participating in his first - and perhaps only - All-Star Game). If he bowed out, it would be seen as petulant, a "take your ball and go home" move that meant he was pouting over having to take his medicine.More...
Ultimately he chose the latter, sending a number of pundits, fans and NHLers past and present into a tizzy. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont went so far as to say that Ovechkin needs to be "more respectful of the ASG" – no offense to Mr. Dupont, but of all the things we want Ovechkin to be respectful of (his teammates, opponents, GM and coach), the All-Star Game ranks pretty low on the list.
And if you ask me, the collective outrage of a vocal group of Ovechkin detractors is dripping with irony and hypocrisy.