Tag Archives: Alex Ovechkin

The greatest Washington Capitals player ever from the moment he skated onto the Verizon Center ice. A league leader in scoring for multiple years.

wall-dunk-over-g-man-screengrab

Wizards: John Wall becomes latest DC #1 overall to win an All-Star competition

In keeping with D.C. sports tradition, one-time #1 overall pick John Wall (2010) of the Washington Wizards won an All-Star skills competition (The Post). Wall’s dunk over Wiz mascot G-Man sealed the deal for the East and the Wizards guard.

If there is one thing DC’s #1 overall picks know how to do, it’s perform well in All-Star skills competitions. Five (!) years ago, Alex Ovechkin (#1 overall, 2005) won the Breakaway Competition at the All-Star Game.

Last summer, Bryce Harper (#1 overall, 2010) came in second in the Home Run Derby: Bryce Harper hits 24 in Home Run Derby for 2nd place.


Best viewed on mute

You move, Stephen Strasburg (#1 overall, 2009)

This is fun, but what I’d really like to see is one all of these All-Stars get past the second round of the playoffs.

RELATED

Hope for DC sports from…Secaucus?June 7, 2010

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WASHINGTON CAPITALS 5 Calgary Flames 4 (SO)

GOOD:
Alex Ovechkin, 2 goals, 1 assist, shootout goal
Connor Carrick, 1 first NHL goal
Nicklas Bäckström with the equalizer in the 3rd
Michal Neuvirth bailing out Holtby
Not making a big deal about the final Southeast Division title banner

BAD:

Braden Holtby, 3 goals allowed in 1st period
Jack Hillen out for a while with a lower body injury
The security lines to get in

MEH:

The Caps browser theme showing Tomáš Vokoun and Alexander Semin

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Annual Capitals vs. Rangers playoff series begins tonight

Get the remote control handy — the Washington Capitals begin their Stanley Cup run tonight and they are totally going to get it this time. First off, they have to get past the New York Rangers which they have done in 2009 and 2011, but not in 2012. Vengeance for last year’s elimination is surely on the Caps mind. They are playing at the same time as the Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves finale so I’ll be back and forth.

There was a great story about the coaching staff in yesterday’s Post: Washington Capitals coaches are direct link to team’s run to 1998 Stanley Cup finals. Adam Oates, Olie Kolzig and Calle Johansson were all part of the improbable 1998 Stanley Cup Finals appearance and are now head coach, associated goalie coach and assistant coach respectively.

The pointless NHL Lockout kept me from getting into the team quite like I have been in the past. I also thought they were dead in the water in March and have been proven wrong. I can’t credit Oates enough for getting Alex Ovechkin to remember that he’s ALEX OVECHKIN, goal-scoring champion. Good work, for now and the future.

Apparently, Ovechkin just missed being the first Capitals Sports Illustrated cover boy (Mr. Irrelevant). Give the recent history of D.C. athletes on that magazine’s cover, I’m okay with it. More from DC Sports Bog: Alex Ovechkin’s almost-SI cover. Also, Jason Collins, most recently a Washington Wizards bench player, might be doomed though, not for his announcement, but being on the cover. Be careful Jason!

WHY WE FIGHT

The original commercial is gone. Thankfully.

PREDICTION

Caps in six. The Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Eastern Conference though — it’s a lock.

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Game 6: WASHINGTON CAPITALS 2 New York Rangers 1


The Capitals stayed alive in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, beating the New York Rangers 2-1 at Verizon Center. Braden Holtby came within a minute of a shutout (Craig Laughlin tweeted there should have been goalie interference). Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring 1:28 into the game on a power play. Jason Chimera also scored.

The series concludes on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden at 7:30. I expect multiple overtimes.

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Game 2: Washington Capitals 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 2

Just getting back from Spring Break in the Grand Stand — I completely missed Game 1 which the Caps lost. They came back to take home-ice advantage away from the Rangers last night though. They went up 2-0, but the Rags came back. Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner to move the series back to D.C.

That’ll get under a few people’s skin, but that has worked for Ovi and the Caps in the previous two playoff series with the Rangers.

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Capitals – Bruins playoff prediction

Tonight, the (7) Washington Capitals face the (2) Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Caps took the season series 3-1. The last time, they (especially Matt Hendricks) made Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (Capitals Insider, The Post) look really bad in the shootout. Of course, that isn’t in play in the postseason, nothing but overtime until sudden death.


The Bruins are the defending Stanley Cup champion, their first since Bobby Orr was around. Here are my keys to the series:

  • The Caps ought to bring out the throwblacks — For home games, switch to the black jerseys with the Capital dome to agitate Thomas. He’s not really big on the federal government and in particular…
  • Get President Obama to attend the Verizon Center games — Half of the Caps fans are thinking the same thing on this one. That might rattle Timmy a bit, right?

Oh a serious ideas? Um, second line scoring would be nice. Alex Ovechkin vs. Zdeno Chára (6′ 9″) is the main event of the series. Nobody challenges Ovechkin more than him and he will have a tough time meeting his historical playoff scoring rate. Now, if Nicklas Bäckström is on the second line and able to make some things happen, the Caps have a better shot.

Having only one healthy goalie, Braden Holtby (The Post), a third-stringer doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.

Honestly, I can’t predict the Caps to win a playoff series, they lose in the first round too often. At least if they get to raise a banner next Opening Night, they’ll have to have won the conference because they lost the division to the Florida Panthers — a sun belt team winning their division with fewer wins than the runner up, but more points virtue of overtime losses (Gary Bettman’s dream?).

Bruins in six

Also, DC Sports Bog had some great stuff about Caps TV color commentator Craig Laughlin stuff the other week:

Craig Laughlin, his accent, his phrases, his Sharpies
Craig Laughlin’s game notes

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Is Alex Ovechkin back? Is it too late for the 2011-2012 Capitals?

A few weeks ago, a rather scathing profile on Alex Ovechkin ran in The PostAlex Ovechkin: What’s wrong with the Washington Capitals superstar?

There were sources, named and unnamed, who offered their assessments of why Ovechkin wasn’t the 60 goals a year superstar of the past. The Caps poor playoff performances and lackluster 2011-2012 season have everyone looking for an answer. The narrative seemed to fit.

Since then, Ovechkin has been on a tear, averaging about a goal a game as the Caps challenge for the Southeast division or the final Eastern playoff spot. After two consecutive losses in overtime, last night Ovechkin had another big game, from both ends of the ice, as the Caps shutout the Minnesota Wild. Ovechkin made a critical blocked shot on the penalty kill as well as scoring a goal and an assist.


Ovechkin brilliant in Capitals winCSN Washington

Huge game tomorrow night with the Buffalo Sabres, tied for 8th place with the Caps, headed to D.C. I am not sold on whether the team at large has any heart, but Ovechkin has certainly raised his game of late. Whether the negative coverage is a coincidence or not, I don’t even care.

Here he is talking to Lindsay Czarniak, now with ESPN, about the recent criticism.

Capitals Insider (The Post), also noticed Ovi’s improved play: On Hockey: Alex Ovechkin’s well-timed return to form

Lastly, I was at my dad’s house yesterday and every time we watch the Caps together, they lose. We didn’t turn the game on and they won. No thanks needed…

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Youth hockey on the rise thanks to Capitals, Ovechkin

Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin has made ice hockey cool for Washington area’s youth athletesThe Post
Youth hockey is growing in BeltwayLand, seemingly concurrent with the arrival of Alex Ovechkin and rise of the Washington Capitals from a black sweater-wearing doormat to a annual division winner rocking the red. There is a similarity between the rise of youth hockey in greater D.C. to what happened in Western Pennsylvania after Mario Lemieux was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins and in Southern California when Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Both those areas have started producing NHL caliber talent.

The only Washington area NHL starter to date is Jeff Halpern who is from Potomac, Md. Halpren had to go away to prep school though. After that, he starred at Princeton and was signed by the Caps. After serving as captain in 2005-2006, Halpern signed elsewhere and bounced around before returning this season.

Another contributor to the growing youth hockey culture is Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The facility onto of the Ballston parking garage in Arlington increased available rink space. Additionally, the Caps have increased their outreach to youth hockey. The son of one of our friends plays on a team based out of there, I think. Growing up, I knew of only one of my classmates who played organized hockey. I think the Caps ought to focus on street hockey as well and perhaps see to it that there are some rinks around.

Back to the ice, the Caps blew a 2 goal lead in 12 seconds to the Winnipeg Jets with under 2 minutes to play last night. At least they got a point for the shootout loss (Florida Panther-ed!). I still think they will win the division.

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What do you mean the Capitals – Penguins rivalry is waning?

Capitals vs. Penguins: A rivalry with a big missing piece in Sidney CrosbyThe Post
Penguins talk about a cooling Ovechkin-Crosby rivalry – Capitals Insider, The Post
To paraphrase one co-worker: “I believe as a matter of basic theology that every time the Penguins lose, an angel gets its wings.”

Maybe the Pittsburgh Penguins fans don’t feel as strongly with Sidney Crosby chronically concussed (after all they are frontrunners, but don’t admit to it) and Alex Ovechkin under-performing, but Washington Capitals fans will always hate the Pens. As long as Western Pennsylvania brain drain flows into BeltwayLand, this rivalry will be strong. Even if they all moved back, we’d still hate the Pengyunz because of the terrible playoff history, including Pittsburgh’s “creative” scheduling. More Haterade from early in the season from La Coupe Hauxer.

In other news, I went to late Tuesday’s Caps vs. Calgary Flames game. Free company tickets in 102. I took a bunch of photos which you can view on my flickrstream. Ovechkin scored early and got an assist. He and the rest of the team beat the Flames 4-1, but then they had a typical tough trip to California. Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green both went home early.

Also

NHL delays realignment after players’ association refuses to give consent
NHLPA is blocking the realignment that almost everybody wants. Donald Fehr, the union chief, has his hands all over this one. I think it still happens, the NHLPA just wanted some leverage. Fehr was the union leader involved in the 1994 MLB strike. Fun!

Finally, an epic jersey foul:

THat's a sport coat

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