Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fight fans rejoice!

Fans of fistacuffs (and players short on skill but long on toughness, grit and determination) will be pleased to hear that Matt Bradley has been signed to a 3 year contract extension. He'll make a million bucks a year, and earn every penny of it the hard way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Alzner on board

Per the team, the Capitals have signed Team Canada (jr) Captain and WHL player of the year Karl Alzner to a (standard) 3 year rookie contract. Alzner was the Caps first round pick (5th overall) in the 2007 entry draft.

I expect Alzner to split time between Hershey and Washington next year, unless he shows something truly remarkable in development and training camp. The Deuce, however, has him pegged as a full time Cap in his rookie season. I'll gladly pay up the 20 bucks I bet him if that's the case, since he's been pegged as the rock solid physical defenseman the Caps so desperately need. For more on Alzner, click here to read Vogs' washingtoncaps.com feature.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

9 out of 10 NHL players agree

Well, technically it's 8.7 out of 10 NHL players, but we'll round up. Alex Ovechkin is The Sporting News' NHL player of the year, receiving 250 of a possible 287 votes from his peers. Evgeni Malkin finished second (just like the Penguins are about to do) with 18 votes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lepisto scores! Lepisto scores! Wait... that's not a good thing?

Normally, watching Sami Lepisto score in overtime would be good times for Caps (and Bears) fans, but if you're a fan of USA hockey it's the last thing you wanted to see this morning. Caps farmhand Sami Lepisto ended team USA's run 3 minutes and 59 seconds into overtime, sending Team USA packing and moving Finland into the semifinals of the tournament for the third straight year.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

IIHF Brawl for it all, part II

Fate clearly has a sense of humor. After crushing Norway 9-1, the US will play their first elimination of the IIHF world championships tomorrow... against Finland.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The whole US-Finland "brawl" thing

Earlier today while I was at work, my girlfriend sent me the following email:

"Subject: US vs. Finland hockey tournament debacle

Did you hear about this? Talk about poor sportsmanship--- bad call or not, how embarassing..."

When I saw her later, she asked why I hadn't emailed her back on the subject. It turns out she'd read this AP article on a link from AOL, which detailed the US team's 3-2 loss to Finland and a supposed cheap shot by Dustin Brown on Jussi Jokinen with time running out. I explained to her that I wanted to see the play before I commented on it.

After seeing the play and ensuing altercation (video below), I can say while the hit by Brown was illegal (shots to the head are automatic penalties in international play) he had every right to make a physical play on Jokinen. Brown was covering back defensively to keep Jokinen from potting an empty net goal, which is type of play the US expects from its youngsters. He lined up Jokinen for a big hit, which should not be unexpected as the game was not over yet and separating his opponent from the puck was the best way to prevent him from scoring. There would be nothing at all for the Finns to complain about had Jokinen's momentum not been slowed by the US defensemen's initial check, as Brown would have leveled the Finn with a perfectly clean check.

And as for the ensuing "brawl" (IIHF term for shoving match), the Finns have nobody to blame but themselves. They grabbed and pulled on the US players, as players in the European game like to do. But this time, Anssi Salmela took it a step too far and starting throwing punches, which he would immediately regret. He probably expected David Backes to throw a couple punches with his gloves on and back away. How very wrong he was.

Backes kept from throwing any big bombs and kept his gloves on until the moment Salmela dropped his gloves. Salmela didn't know it, but he was now in very big, very real trouble. Three Backes punches and a bloodied nose later, Salmela was holding on for dear life.

So just to clear it up, it was the Finns that turned a two minute minor into a rinkwide shoving match, and Anssi Salmela has no one to blame for the black and blue marks surrounding his eyesocket but himself.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Huet's agent to the Caps: "We're interested."
Caps to Huet "We're interested too."

Of course I totally made the second quote up, but I imagine it's pretty accurate.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Russian Machine... two sport star?

Evidently it's not just hockey coaches who recognize Alex Ovechkin's physical play! Fresh off being named a finalist for the Lester Pearson award (given to best player in the NHL as judged by the players), it looks like other professional leagues are taking notice!

Sadly, this isn't far off from how most mainstream media outlets cover hockey.

NHL Star Called Up To Big Leagues To Play For NFL Team