mike-emrick

Wednesday night, the Caps and Rangers played another brilliant hockey game, which came in a series full of brilliant hockey games. Every game in the series was close, so it was appropriate that game seven would be decided in overtime.

10:18 into the extra period, there was a faceoff in the Rangers zone. Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Emrick decided that this was his moment to say something poignant– something to capture the moment– the tension of the game, the drama of the sport, and the anxiety of its nervous fans.

Instead, this is what he said.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Alex Ovechkin: ‘We Were So Close’

AlexOvechkinKathy Willens

Photo credit: Kathy Willens

After the Capitals nearly came back from a 4-1 deficit in game six, Alex Ovechkin assured the media the Capitals would go to New York and win game seven. They did not, but Ovi did everything he could. He scored Washington’s only goal, throwing a game-high six shots on net. In the end, it wasn’t enough. After the game, Ovechkin spoke to reporters in a hushed tone. The game clock above his locker was frozen on the moment the Capitals’ season ended.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

HoltbyGame7FrankFranklinII

Photo credit: Frank Franklin II

Braden Holtby lay on his back, looking straight up at the ironic Madison Square Garden ceiling. In 73 regular season games, Holtby anchored the Washington Capitals. He did the same for 13 postseason games, offering up one of the best playoff performances by a goaltender ever. In Wednesday’s game seven, he made 37 saves. But goalies — even great ones like Holtby — can’t stop everything. There was nothing he could do to prevent Derek Stepan‘s overtime winner, the goal that ended the Capitals season. After the game, Holtby, still clearly shaken, spoke to the media.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

VisnovskyBruceBennett

Lubomir Visnovsky leaves the game after being checked by Tom Wilson in the second period. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

Last season, searching to make an impact as a rookie with limited ice time, Tom Wilson got himself into a lot of trouble, often making questionable hits and dropping the gloves whenever he got the chance. He finished the season with the seventh highest number of penalty minutes in the NHL. Now in his second season, and sometimes skating top line minutes under new head coach Barry Trotz, Wilson has moderated his game, becoming less of a wrecking ball and more of an agitator. In game four, however, the wrecking ball was back.

With Lubomir Visnovsky attempting to corral a loose puck behind his own net, Wilson came flying in, delivering a massive shoulder to chest blow. While Visnovsky was ravaged by the hit, the check appeared clean. The puck was there, Wilson never left his feet, and he hit Visnovsky square in the chest. Nevertheless, the refs took umbrage with the hit, calling Wilson for a change. The Islanders were outraged.

“He’s an idiot,” Islanders forward Kyle Okposo said of Wilson, according to the New York Post. “That guy runs around, he hits reckless. He jumps, leaves his feet. There’s no place for that.”

Continue Reading

dmitry-orlov-rehab-1

Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

On Wednesday night Dmitry Orlov concluded his conditioning assignment in Hershey. The Russian defender has been out all season while rehabilitating the wrist injury he suffered in the World Championship last May.

In three games with Hershey, Orlov had three assists and six shots. He seems to have his heavy, booming slap shot back. Over the weekend, Orlov tallied two primary assists on the power play, just by rifling the puck on net.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

ted

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Washington DC yesterday. While he was in town, he took in the Caps-Pens rivalry game from the owner’s box at Verizon Center. Bettman also held court with the local media.

When asked about the growth of hockey in the DC Area over the last decade, Bettman marveled at the job both Alex Ovechkin and Ted Leonsis have done. Seconded.

“It’s the Ovechkin era and there’s an era that’s a little bit longer than that one and I would call that the [Ted] Leonsis era,” Bettman said beaming. “I think Ted’s ownership of this franchise has been nothing short of phenomenal in terms of how the community has been engaged and in terms of how fans have connected with and interacted with this franchise; the stability of ownership and management has been very important.”

Then it got weird. Bettman credited (I think) definitely-not-Washington Capital Evgeni Malkin.

Continue Reading

alex-ovechkin-roenick

Ahead of the Capitals rivalry night game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, NBC’s Jeremy Roenick sat awkwardly on a couch with three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin. Necklessly, Roenick asked Ovechkin about his passion for the game and how he felt about the constant criticism he receives from the media.

Ovechkin answered in Runglish. He made a boat metaphor.

The full transcript is below.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

barry-trotz-interview

On Tuesday, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz spoke to Sportsnet during their Hockey Central broadcast. In the interview Trotz gave an update on Mike Green’s future and shared his feelings on the coaching of Alex Ovechkin before last summer.

“I think there were some things that probably happened before I was here that led to certain things,” Trotz said, speaking in broad terms. “There was some bad advice given to Ovi at times in how they wanted him to play.”

“Ovi’s a guy that will do what you ask,” he continued. “He’s bluntly honest. It’s actually a strength, not a weakness.”

This year, Trotz has moved Ovechkin back to left wing and demanded more of him defensively. Ovechkin leads the league in goals, and the Capitals are challenging for the division lead.

“I made it pretty simple,” Trotz said. “When you have the puck do what you do. When you don’t have the puck, I want you to do what I want you to do. If you do that, you’ll have the puck more.”

The full transcription of his interview with Sportsnet is below.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Photo: Geoff Burke

If there’s one person who truly is an insider of the NHL, it’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie. While speaking on Montreal’s TSN 690 Monday, McKenzie spoke about the future of Capitals defenseman Mike Green. He believes the UFA will dealt by GM Brian MacLellan before the NHL’s trade deadline March 2nd.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

cm-punk-caps-winter-classic

Former WWE champion CM Punk recently quit the sports entertainment industry to try his hand at real fighting. I guess once you’ve lost to The Undertaker in one of the greatest matches in the last decade, it’s all downhill. On December 6th, Punk announced that he has signed with the UFC and will debut in late 2015.

Punk, in real life named Phil Brooks, is a huge hockey fan. While doing an interview with CSN’s Brian Mitchell to promote his UFC signing, Punk made a prediction for the Winter Classic and I don’t think you’re gonna like it.

He predicted the Blackhawks would totally stomp the Caps.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: