Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Igor Larionov on Russia's loss, Canada's strength

Here's another hockey update from Sport-Express' Slava Malamud, who will be blogging for us throughout the Games:

There aren't many people in Russian hockey as respected and as well-versed in both the NHL and the KHL as Igor "The Professor" Larionov, a Hall of Famer and the pivot of the famed Soviet KLM line.

Even before the Olympics started, Larionov had warned against praising the Russian star-studded team too much and underestimating the Canadians' approach, both emotional and systematic.

After the Quarterfinal Catastrophe, I ran into Igor at the Russia House, where he was doing a TV interview, and we chatted a bit on the reasons behind the loss.

"The trouble is, we have stopped to appraise the situation realistically," Larionov said. "We have stopped to time ourselves by the NHL clock. We are trying to prove to ourselves that hockey [in North America] is bad and primitive, that we don't need what they are doing here. But look what the Canadians did to us. In almost every game situation, there was tremendous support for each other throughout the ice. In every zone there were people who were ready to fight and help out a teammate. They had superstars who play 20-25 minutes in their [NHL] teams but were ready to accept a small role for the common good and to do some unpleasant work for it, too.

"What Russia lacked was the heart. And you can't even blame [Ovechkin] or any particular players. One person has a bad day - so what? There are 20 on the team. In the Stanley Cup playoffs it often happens that in the beginning, the stars step back in the shadows and it's up to [players like the Detroit Red Wings'] [Kirk] Maltby and [Kris] Draper and [Darren] McCarty to carry the team. And then, when their energy is running out, the skill and experience take over. The mistake of our coaches was their poor familiarity with North American hockey. The Canadians had Sidney Crosby, who toiled everywhere, in all three zones, which is why he is the pride of Canada. We have Ovechkin, but not much beyond him."

By Slava Malamud  |  February 25, 2010; 7:22 PM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Detroit Red Wings, Olympics  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Cam Janssen gets five games (updated)
Next: Boudreau puts Caps through grueling practice

Comments

stop pouting...the Russian's are great players...just not as deep as Canada.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 25, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Larionov should have been the coach of the Russian team this time. Maybe he will be in Sochi.

Posted by: zmega | February 25, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow. We need more Larionov interviews.

Posted by: ThisGuy | February 25, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

A very wise man indeed.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 25, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

The next time the Caps are home and on NBC we (Caps Fans) need to make some "Milbury is Trash" signs and get them on TV!

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 25, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Larionov thinks Ovi plays North American-style hockey too. I'll be interested to see how many other Russian players have adopted that style by Sochi. Thanks, Slava, for sharing that interview with us.

Posted by: wocoliz | February 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I just hope Canada doesn't win.

I am glad they are all done. I was freaking out when Ovechkin hurt his hand. Come home, and get ready for the stretch run. This is the trophy we want, over here.

Trade deadline, 6 days away. Welcome home boys. We missed Caps hockey.


Posted by: underpants2 | February 25, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

About the only good thing about Russia, the Czech Republic, and Sweden being eliminated the same day is that the amount of Olympic trash talk in the locker room will be much less and the players can prepare once again for the rest of the season and the playoff run.

Sorry guys that it didn't go well this year. Better luck in the playoffs. And at least no NHL team is as good as Team Canada. Essentially, Canada was the San Jose Sharks, Sid Crosby, Mike Richards, Nash, and various other people.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 25, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he's pouting at all. He makes a lot of valid points and I'm sure he has a lot more to offer if he wanted to go into more detail.

While the Canadians are certainly deeper, I think the bigger difference between the two teams is how the coaches and players were able to fuse all that talent together. The Russians were chaotic, disorganized and irresponsible defensively while the Canadians were the exact opposite.

Any difference in talent was small in comparison to the difference in quality of team play. The Russian coaches got schooled by the Canadian coaches in terms of making all their respective talent work together cohesively and putting together a solid gameplan.

It was amazing how finely tuned the Canadians looked. Everything they did had purpose and all the players worked together and bought into the gameplan. The Russians, on the other hand, were all over the place trying to make irresponsbile, individual plays. Their coaches were underprepared and seemed to have no ability to make in-game decisions. Looking back, this game was lost before the players even stepped foot on the ice and the reason, in my opinion, has little to do with the relatively minor talent disparity.

You need great minds to organize that much great talent and that many big egos and to get it all to work together effectively. It's in a lot of ways harder than having a team mixed with various levels of talent like a typical NHL team. Credit the Canadian players for buying but I'd first praise the coaches for putting together an effective plan and implementing it in short order. They did that with precision while the Russian coaches seem to have failed miserably.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 25, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Time is running out on the US Women's Hockey Team - with about 10 minutes left down 2-0 to Canada.

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 25, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

all those guys were around 30 when they were allowed to come over here and play in the NHL and I think Larionov and Fetisov were about the only ones outta that group who had a pretty nice career.

one of his line-mates Krutov basically ate himself right outta the league and Makarov had a decent career with the flames

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Larionov should coach the next Russian national team.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 25, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

I don't think Bykov was an effective coach for the Russians. It makes us appreciate Boudreau even more than we already do.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 25, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker & zmega

As you guys have suggested, Larionov would probably be an improvement as coach over Bykov.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 25, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

in the name of fairness, it NEEDS to be mentioned that one of larionov's daughters works for/is connected to the pittsburgh penguins through their media (i believe she works for pens tv). him saying nice things about crosby might be an effort to sweeten her situation for her.

so papa larionov's opinion on the olympic russian players IS to be respected, because he DOES know what he's talking about when it comes to hockey, but his praising of sidney crosby as the savior of canada, maybe it's not so unbiased, if he knows it helps his daughter's position with the pens media team.

Posted by: 33spinner | February 25, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

sure just like what Semin said, there's nothing special about Crosby... the fact that at the age of 22, he seems to be on the winning side of just about everything there is to win in hockey is just an coincidence, I'm sure

he's gotta be the luckiest SOB in hockey history

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

@33spinner

I believe Larionov's daughter left her position with Pens TV. I thought I read that somewhere.

Either way, she's hot.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 25, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

joek, on the winning side, but not contributing a whole lot to the actual winning. Crosby is a great player, but not as great as the media hypes him to be.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 25, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Crosby's a great player of course but stop acting like he's the sole reason why his teams win. It's not like he's singlehandily carrying Team Canada. He's got a ton of great players playing with him. If Sidney switched places with Ovechkin, the same thing would've happened. And what did he do last night? 7 goals scored and not a single point for Crosby. Of course it's not a coincidence that Crosby is part of winning teams but don't act like he's the only person on his team... don't use this Olympic hockey tournament to judge the two players, because you can't. And for all the people saying "once again, Crosby gets the best of Ovechkin in a head to head matchup" are just trying to find reasons how Crosby is better. Team Canada beat Team Russia. Crosby did not beat Ovechkin.

But whatever. I'm sick of this Ovechkin/Crosby thing actually because I think Ovechkin does a million things better than Crosby. But I won't talk about it anymore because some here will say I'm being totally homerish... we will see what happens this year.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 25, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree with a lot of the comments here. Canada was the deeper, more talented and more prepared team, with a much better coach. The fact that Bykov didn't try to match OVs line against another forward line was insane, especially being the home team and getting the last change.
Being a die hard caps fan it is easy to bash Crosby, and believe me no one does it more than me. But realistically we all know this kid can flat out play, and is a top 3 player on the world. It just sucks he plays for Pittsburgh. OV is OV and he is hands down the best player in the world. I don't think the loss to Canada will affect him negatively. He'll probably be more pumped than ever. GO CAPS

Posted by: thenice8 | February 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I was relieved that the US won't play Russia in that Brooks Orprick won't be on the ice at the same time with OV. I really wouldn't have put it past him to take a run at OV if they were to play.

As to OV missing out on a medal...maybe that will fire him up all the more for a run at Lord Stanley's cup.

Posted by: TimDz | February 25, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

thenice8: I dislike Crosby for many obvious reasons but I've always said he's a fantastic player because he is. As much as I hate saying it, it's true. But people give him too much credit when his team wins, that's just my opinion. That's not taking anything away from Crosby.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 25, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

If you look at his quote again he states "the canadians had crosby....we have Ovechkin, but not much beyond."

I took the quote to mean something along the lines of the two stars cross each other out but the problem was that Canada had many good players after Crosby who play in all three zones while Russia doesn't.

So I took that as a backwards way of comparing the teams minus Crosby and Ovechkin.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 25, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

OV needs to make the most out of what he has and forget this medal/Olympic nonsense. He has a team that is #1 in the NHL and is the favorite to win it all. Maybe now the Caps can concentrate on winning something that has never happened been won by their franchise before. Plenty of Russians, Soviets, Unified Teams, have won gold medals, no Caps have ever won a cup.

As for Semin, who knows. He's such an enigma, I'm glad he isn't our franchise player. He'll never play in the NHL the way he did yesterday.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 25, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@ LloydChristmas: you're talking about the only NHLer whose mother is a two-time gold medal Olympian, about a man who is proud of his heritage and his nation. Asking him to skip the Olympics is like asking him to piss on his brother's grave. Not gonna happen. Let's hope this has made him just mad enough to tear up the league for the rest of the season so that the Cup can visit his dacha next summer.

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | February 25, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

if Ovie really wants to be the best and be like MJ and Kobe rather than the Charles Barkleys of the world, he will have to continue to improve the defensive part of his game.

Jordan wasn't a great defensive player at first but he made himself to be a perennial all NBA defensive player. And in the last olympics Kobe was asked to play the role of a defensive stopper for Team USA.

he has become more responsible in his own zone ever since he became the captain and he will have to continue to improve. wearing the C means doing all the little things that often don't get noticed by casual fans but help you win... it's not about putting up huge stats that win you MVPs, it's about winning games and championships

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Lloyd, you don't understand how things work in the hockey world. The NHL is only a league - the most prestigious league, but still just one league. The world championships and Olympics are much more important in the grand scheme. They are competing against all the best players in the world. I would much prefer a Caps Stanley Cup than any world/Olympics win, but you have to see it from the players' point of view, especially the foreign ones.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 25, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse


sure just like what Semin said, there's nothing special about Crosby... the fact that at the age of 22, he seems to be on the winning side of just about everything there is to win in hockey is just an coincidence, I'm sure

he's gotta be the luckiest SOB in hockey history

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 8:31 PM
----------------------------------

I guess that would make Getzlaf, E. Staal and Fleury #2-4 greatest hockey players in the world.

Hockey is a TEAM sport. Winning has more to do with having a good GM and coach than an individual player.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 25, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

winning the Stanley Cup is a hundred times harder than winning any of those other championships or Gold medals... if this team has another early exit in the playoffs this year, maybe it's time to get rid of some of the "foreign" players who don't have the priorities in order

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Larionov's comments remind me of the old adage, and how I hope it pertains ultimately to Ovechkin:

"A man who loses first, and then wins, feels he has won everything; whereas a man who wins first, never having lost, has no concept what he has gained."

You say you've never heard that adage?

Of course you haven't.

I just made it up, and thought it sounded nice.

nostrathomasinfl1

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 25, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443

Are you serious? Winning an Olympic gold medal is much harder than winning a Stanley Cup. The Olympics only occur once every four years, the playoff games are single elimination games and there are no Tyler Sloans on competitive Olympic squads. I love the Caps as much as anyone else but there is no way I believe that playing against the best of the best in the Olympics is easier than playing against

Posted by: ablake70 | February 25, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I hit submit too soon on the last post, but Olympic play against the best of the best is much harder than playing against NHL teams that have guys that wouldn't even make the German squad on their roster.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 25, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

the Stanley Cup playoffs is a two month ordeal, the toughest playoffs in all of sports

ONE hot goalie can win you the Gold medal by himself... you only play a half dozen games in the Olympics

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Jurcina is in the olmpics and Mike Green is sitting at home watching

the best of the best? I think NOT

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

winning the Stanley Cup is a hundred times harder than winning any of those other championships or Gold medals... if this team has another early exit in the playoffs this year, maybe it's time to get rid of some of the "foreign" players who don't have the priorities in order

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:33 PM

Don't know who you could be talking about, but it surely can't be any of the players who went to Vancouver. They played their hearts out. If the Caps come up short this spring, it's either goaltending, depth on defense or the lack of a true checking line. None of that has to do with "foreign" players (whatever that means) or lack of heart by anyone on the roster. It just means the GM will have failed to provide the coach an adequate roster. Again, don't know what you're trying to insinuate there joek. I can put odds and probabilities as well as anyone and the Caps are not (REPEAT: ARE NOT) the current Cup favorite. This just in: take Pitt, Caps, Sharks, Hawks, Devils and maybe Kings, but them in a hat, and pick out a name. Every one of those teams has a deficiency or two or three. Any team with no true #1 goalie, Tom Poti (bless his heart) as the #2 defenseman and no checking line to speak of can't EVER BLAME THE PLAYERS.

Did I forget to mention the Sabres and Canucks are good teams too?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 25, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

ESPN Insider is reporting that the Caps and Blues are talking trade. It could be tough D-man, veteran forward or goalie.

Now unless it is Oshie, I don't think I would touch anything on the Blues with a 100 ft. pole. Least of all Kariya or Tkchuk or whatever washed up forward they got. Nor any D-man that would be better than what we already got in Hershey. Certainly not Ty Conklin or Chris Mason.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 25, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Larionov's comments are spot on. Russia is packed with talented forwards but lacks that gritty defensive style of play that is needed to beat Canada. That said, I hope the US has just what he's referring to. Canada has grown way too arrogant when it comes to hockey. Time to bring them down.

BTW, Semin's hit on Boyle looked totally clean to me...If anything, Boyle's retaliation after being laid out was trashy. Mike Milbury is a tool. Apparently, he works for cheap which is why NBC gave him a 2 week contract.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | February 25, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Your adage on winning and losing sounds great.

Now how would Crosby handle losing? In order to win, a good supporting cast is needed. Team Canada has that in spades this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 25, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443

A hot goalie can win the Stanley Cup playoffs the same as the Olympics. Teams still have to score. When you are playing best 4-7 you can take nights off. In a single elimination game, players have to be on their games and coaches have to make adjustments quick. You don't get 3 more games to decide to put Varly in and switch up the lines. It's win now or go home. To me it doesn't compare.

I agree with your point about Jurcina vs. Green. Of course, Juice wouldn't have made Team Canada either.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 25, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

It's odd that the Russian coach and style of hockey are under fire when the Russians just won the last two World Championships, the last one with mostly a KHL team. I know Canada was missing a few stars, but so were the Russians. Also, it was noted on the Japers site that a lot of the Russian stars ice time was limited to accommodate KHL players. I wonder if the Russian implosion had more to do with a political statement backfiring than an incompetent coach.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 25, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

@ ablake70

a hot goalie cannot win you the Cup by himself, he can steal a game or two in a series thus help you advance but in the end it has to be a team effort. all you have to look at is Game 3 vs. the Pens last year, that was Varly's best game in the series but the team lost.

the olympic teams are just a bunch of allstar squads that hardly play together as a team before the tournament... luck has more to do with winning the olympics than anything else and the best team doesn't always win the olympics.. remember 1980?

that's not the case with the Stanley Cup playoffs... whoever drinks outta the Cup in the end is the BEST team in hockey

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Being an American hockey player who has played with everyone from Canadian farm boys to Czech city kids and Swedish nice guys, Ive seen it all. The truth of the matter is Canadians know how to put selfish tendicies aside for the better good of the team. Igor realizes it from the many years he spent winning cups in Detroit with the guys he named. This is why you cant just throw together a bunch of snipers and expect them to win every game 8-5. The Canadians are the better TEAM, not necessarily the most talented.... even though i would take that talent every day of the week. Point is the Canucks will prob win gold unless Ryan Miller can steal another one. GO USA. P.S. U are Smart coach TMac

Posted by: EsMyDee | February 25, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans are so lame. can never give Crosby his due, even when objective third party RUSSIANS like Larionov see fit to praise him.

I am not the biggest Ovechkin fan, but i ALWAYS respect his talent and what he brings to the table.

Caps fans are so delusional as to what happens in reality, no wonder you keep suffering year after year

Posted by: puckheaded1 | February 25, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443

A hot goalie cannot win the Olympics by himself either. Someone on his team still has to score. In the Czech/Fin game Kipersoff and Vokun had shut outs with 6 minutes left in the 3rd. Then someone from Finland scores and Finland ends up winning the game. It didn't matter how hot Vokun was. No one on his team could score so the Czechs lost. Same as game 3 against Pitt. The difference is, if the SC playoff format was the same as the Olympics, the Caps would have been eliminated after the first Rangers game. Teams have to bring their A games every night in the Olympics.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 25, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

joek, please tell me you're joking. Look at any of the top Olympic teams, and name 1 NHL team that can field that much depth. Winning an Olympic gold or world championship is MUCH harder than winning a Stanley Cup - especially so with the Olympics, which only come once every 4 years. You are the one who doesn't have your priorities straight. The Olympics and world championships are the WORLD'S top two hockey tournaments; the Stanley Cup is ONE LEAGUE'S championship. There's not even a comparison as to which one is more important. It's not like the NFL or MLB, where all the best players of the world are in one league. Quite a few of the best players in hockey are overseas, in their native countries - and the Olympics use those players.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 25, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

And joek, as for those "foreign players" you want to get rid of - they include players like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Varlamov, Fleischmann, and Green. You really want to get rid of them?

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 25, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst

You would not touch any of the Blues players?

jackman and McClement would be great additions to our team.

Posted by: samb99 | February 26, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Spearking of Jurcina (I know he has been mentioned on these blog posts at some point today), who else had a little chuckle when I believe it was Sweden's second goal last night deflected off Juice's skae and into the net? I've seen that play before :)

But all the luck to Juice and his squad. Though I was cheering for Sweden (and USA), to me, the Slovak seem to have a pretty good team, they just seem to be having fun out there (even though they were vastly outplayed by Sweden last night, most of the game anyway, besides where it mattered most).

If Swedes had to lose to anyone, glad it was Bondra's team :) But, wow, I wish I could just watch the Swedish team play all the time...I just really like their game (And over the years have been fans of many of the Swedish NHLers). Even though they didn't make it on the score sheet much (by my recollection), the Sedin twins are just so fun to watch! And Backstrom-- wow!-- its amazing how quietly he is becoming one of the best!

Happy to have Caps hockey back in less than a week though, that is my favorite team of all!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 26, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

While I agree that Ovie needs to improve his defensive game, the comparison to basketball is misguided.

In basketball every player needs to play defense since all opposing players are threats to score if left open. Especially in the NBA when it is man to man(no zones at all were allowed in the Jordan era).

Hockey is different. Different positions have different defensive responsibilities. Most teams play some sort of zone where the wingers are near the blue line watching the D and helping along the boards occassionaly.

Ovie will never be known as a great defender because of his position because he will not get the opportunity to.

Evidence of this is the Selke award. There are 3 forward positions. In the past 27 years, if equal the Selke award should have gone to about 18 wingers (9 LWs and 9 RWs) and 9 centers. But it has been given to 22 Centers, 4 RWs and only 1 LW.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 26, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Most of you are obviously unaware of the history of hockey, let alone international hockey. You are ignorant of the fact that this is an age old story in Canada/Russia hockey. 90% of the time that Canada's best has ever played Russia's best its the same story. Canada's mix of skill, heart and determination beats Russia with regularity. Thats why Canadians stereotypically consider Russian players as soft and lacking heart.
OV is an exception to Russian hockey players ... his father taught him that he needed to play the 'Canadian style'. Tretiak, the most legendary Russian player of all time calls OV 'half Canadian - half Russian'. Canadians are cocky to some extent but THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF. Best on best with the Russians they have rarely lost. In the last two world championships there were maybe 2 or 3 players from this Canadian Olympic team on those teams ... while the Russians had the core of their best players at their disposal.

Posted by: Rpal | February 26, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Team Canada is THE favorite in every best on best tournament they play in for a reason. and for all you Crosby haters, i guarantee you if he was on your team you would LOVE HIM! he is a tireless and selfless worker, like most Canadian hockey players.

Posted by: Rpal | February 26, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Jurcina is in the olmpics and Mike Green is sitting at home watching

the best of the best? I think NOT

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:46 PM |

sigh....

I won't even bother.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Now unless it is Oshie, I don't think I would touch anything on the Blues with a 100 ft. pole. Least of all Kariya or Tkchuk or whatever washed up forward they got. Nor any D-man that would be better than what we already got in Hershey. Certainly not Ty Conklin or Chris Mason.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 25, 2010 10:50 PM |

Um..Tkachuk would be an amazing addition. And Barrett Jackman on the back-end.

Dude..you wanted to trade for Carey Price....

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

The Canadians are the better TEAM, not necessarily the most talented.... even though i would take that talent every day of the week. Point is the Canucks will prob win gold unless Ryan Miller can steal another one. GO USA. P.S. U are Smart coach TMac

Posted by: EsMyDee | February 25, 2010 11:15 PM |

People can say this, but I don't buy it.

Canada has just as much skill as the Russian team, if not more.

Think about it...Russia has Afinogenov, and 2 KHL'rs as their 3 worst forwards. Canada has Toews, Richards, and Morrow as their three "worst" forwards."

Guys like Nash, Crosby, Staal, etc...can dangle just as good as a Semin or Malkin.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

joe, just come out of the Crosby closet already, than promptly pack your bags and move on over to the pensblog.

Err oops... Crosby isnt a homeowner, I meant the Mario closet that you and Crosby currently occupy together.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 26, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

Someone posted the other day that the NHL is about 50% Canadian players and 2.8% Russian players. That should tell you why Canada should win most of the time. I am guessing that a much higher percentage of Canadian kids have the opportunity and money to play at a young age than Russian kids. What happens apparently is the superstar talents get the training because their skill is so apparent. The guys though like Steckel (OK, so he's USA) who take longer and go the college route and all, those players might not exist in Russia. No money. So Canada and US have a much bigger pool. As pointed out, Afinogenov would never make Canada or USA (nor Kozzie or Feds or any KHLers). Russia as a country has many problems and I can't see it changing.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

lol, give him credit for what? Being on a team with a bunch of awesome players?

... tell me where we've disrespected Sidney Crosby? Nowhere. You obviously can't read. Crosby is making you delusional, you think he's the only player on Team Canada. I give credit to the entire Team Canada. Not just Crosby.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 26, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

BTW, the five games on Janssen, as someone said, is a slap on the wrist. He loses $14K in salary, 5 days pay out of the 193-day NHL season (the CBA should be 5 divided by 82, but it isn't written that way). Will the Blues miss him on the ice? Will you folks in DC miss the snow come spring? Will Janssen miss $14K out of $550K? That's still a couple thousand, as a percentage, to all of us, but I really doubt anyone making that much could miss that little.

If the league really wants to stop the goons from being goons, they need to invent (and get into CBA) a better way to do the punishment. Making a goon miss a few games does nothing.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Larionov failed to mention the North American rinks (the IIHF has agreed that all their events held in North America through 2014 will be played on NHL sized rinks) which I'm sure didn't help their defencemen.

They will use the larger ice surface in Sochi 2014 which will undoubtedly help the European teams.

Wise comments though- anyone blaming Ovechkin for that loss...he certainly gave his usual solid effort, but that was a team loss. Just hope that nobody was injured during the Olympic tournament and that all the teams are healthy and ready to go when the season starts back up next week.

Posted by: jcurrin | February 26, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Is joek443 even a Caps fan? Get rid of some of our "foreign" players? Who would you suggest we get O wise one....maybe Cam Jannsen would be the type of addition you would like....and I'm with an earlier poster, why don't you just come out of the closet and admit what a huge Crosby fan you are....you spend half your time bringing up Semin's comments from last year in a berating manner.....just go over to the Pens blog, don't think you will be missed much here.

Posted by: PhilR | February 26, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Really interesting, how Olympics will affect the team. I hope BB allready had some trainings on group psychotherapy methods.
Flash, Ovi, Semin and Backs all out in QF at the same time, Green missing his Olympic gold chance - there is a lot of bad mood to work with.

- Ovechkin is in the worst mood i've ever seen. He actually made one more hit after the game, this time on paparazzi filming him on camera. Looked weird.

P.S. What a twist of fate - SJS guys destroyed their own goalie. How can Nabokov be a playoff goalie now?

Posted by: Michael01a | February 26, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Go Slovaks!

Posted by: lornemyoung | February 26, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

"- Ovechkin is in the worst mood i've ever seen. He actually made one more hit after the game, this time on paparazzi filming him on camera. Looked weird."

Fox news this morning said it wasn't a paparazzi. Just a female fan taking some home video. If that is the case I am sure Don Cherry and Mike Milbury are licking their chops right now.

Posted by: eorr53 | February 26, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216: You are RIGHT ON THE MONEY with comments on Crosby. Thank you.

@tominfl1: You made me laugh so hard this morning with you adage that I choked on my coffee. Worth it, though.

Good to see the Caps coming home and the bloggers back to business. Even the back and forth between blog "frenemies" is refreshing after the Olympics crap.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 26, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

i give Crosby full credit, for choosing not to plague the last NHL spring with his Sidney Sanchez playoff mustache from two years ago.

Sadly something worse has sprouted on Jokinen's face.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 26, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

That's why Larionov is known as "The Professor". So, instead of bashing him because of his age when he came to the NHL or questioning his motives with regards to Crosby, perhaps you should pay attention to what he is saying. You might learn something.

There have been games in this tournament (the Olympics) where Crosby was Canada's best forward on the ice. I'm a Caps fan. Do you think I like Crosby? No, but, he can flat out play hockey, end of story.

If the Caps get rid of their "foreign" players who's left? I can only come up with Steckel, Pothier, and Poti. Some of these posts are beyond me. I just don't get 'em.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | February 26, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

If that is the case I am sure Don Cherry and Mike Milbury are licking their chops right now.

Posted by: eorr53 | February 26, 2010 8:21 AM |

You're probably right. But at this point, who really gives a f##k what either of them think?

Cherry is a has-been
And Millbury's credibility really never was.

I don't even get bothered by the 2 anymore. Which kinda sucks, because they were fun to hate.

I'm sure I'll find someone new to hate though, like the vendor on 14th street who gave me 2 hotdogs yesterday instead of 2 half-smokes. Some things are unforgivable.

Posted by: Fro_ | February 26, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@Fro_: True, but we will still have to listen to that drivel.

I just heard another report that says the girl Ovie pushed was none other than Sidney Crosby.

Posted by: eorr53 | February 26, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Well if it was a fan filming why was it posted so quickly online? Ovi should have ignored the person but I question the motives of the person doing the video taping in the first place. There really is no privacy anymore.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 26, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Also this like everything else "newsworthy" will blow over.

Time for Ovi to come home and get a little home-coaching love from BB and get back with his fellow Caps and other disappointed Olympians.

I do feel bad for all the guys.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 26, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

There were times when a single Russian player tried to take the puck from coast to coast. That style of play might work against Russian defenses, but not against NHL players or any defense that is even the least bit prepared.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | February 26, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

winning the Stanley Cup is a hundred times harder than winning any of those other championships or Gold medals... if this team has another early exit in the playoffs this year, maybe it's time to get rid of some of the "foreign" players who don't have the priorities in order

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:33 PM
------------------------------------------

So Joke443 - Are you saying we should get rid of some of our Canadian players then? They are just as foreign as anyone else not an American. I need a passport to get to Canada just as I do to get to Sweden or the Czech Republic. Some of them even speak a foreign (to someone raised in the USA) launguage. Jak se máte?

Posted by: Varly | February 26, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

For the players, I would argue that there's probably no greater thrill than winning the Olympic Gold. These past two weeks, Ovechkin, Crosby and the other NHLers were playing for purely for national pride. What they do for their NHL teams, while there's certainly also a lot of pride involved , it's also a paycheck. Big difference. Go USA!

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 26, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I think Russian players have gotten lest skilled and more North Americanized overall.

Bure could routinely take the puck coast to coast and pop it in the net. Mogilny too.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 26, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow...I think we need a CAPS game for some therapy.

The debate on which is more difficult Olympic Gold or Stanly Cup is a good debate.

The fact the the Olympics are only every four years and is single elimination makes for an even greater debate.

First a player would have to be good enough to make a Olympic team, so average run of the mill non-superstars would have NO chance at a Gold medal because they would never get that chance to play.

Wayne Gretzky never won a gold medal (as a player) , but won 5 Stanley Cups.

Being that you have to be good enough to make a "Olympic Team", you only get a chance every four years, and its a single elimanation ( a opposing goalie can steal a single game), I beleive makes its more difficult to bring home the gold.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Obviously not much to say about the Russia - Canada game. The Russians didn't show up. People are piling on Nabokov, but he had absolutely zero chance on the first 3 goals and actually made a bunch of great saves or it would have been worse in the first. Having said that, Bykov's decision not to pull him after the first was mind boggling. Even though I don't blame Nabby for Russia being down 4-1 at that point he was clearly rattled and Russia needed a spark. Also, what's lost in the whole thing is that Bryzgalov allowed only 1 goal after he came in.

My one question is how come Dan Boyle was not suspended for an incredibly dirty and dangerous play on Semin at the end of the game? What he did was exactly the same thing Bertuzzi did to Kelly, but Semin was lucky enough to not land on the back of his head. I'm a fan of Dan Boyle, but that play was as dirty as they come. I was also disgusted to see both NBC and ESPN analysts actually praise Boyle for what he did and blame Semin, when in fact Semin's hit was clean which Boyle himself admitted in his post game interview. I'd love to see what they'd say if Boyle retaliated this way against an American player for a clean hit.

Posted by: ranndino | February 26, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yup, therapy sounds like a good idea! I'm going up to Hershey for some AHL therapy tomorrow night - it's even "Washington Capitals Night" where the Bears are supposed to wear Caps jerseys, so rocking the red will be in style!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | February 26, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The roster freeze ends in a little over 2 days and it wouldn't suprise me if teams make many trades on March 1. It doesn't matter for the Caps if they trade on March 1 or March 3 since they have no games until after the deadline. But it would make sense to acquire a guy and give him a day or two of practice.

Either way, March 1 should be interesting for many teams around the league.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 26, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to Tarik and Lindsay for drawing on Slava Malamud as a resource for CI. This is a step in the direction that Washington needs to take as a hockey town. We are getting good factual information from WaPo about the team, but the next step we must take as a hockey town is to add media analysis and inside information about activity within the league, such as personnel moves. Maybe hard to do at a time when traditional media are shrinking, but that's what we need to get somehow. Drawing from resources outside the Caps organization, such as within the Russian hockey community (e.g., Slava) or from people associated with other teams, will likely be necessary since GMGM is not exactly a chatty guy.

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

everyone is over analyzing the game the mentality and the entire national coaching system, of course i have no concrete answers as to what happened -- at least nothing i want to post here, but the reason its such a shock in the first place is it probably wouldn't happen again. Canada is delusional if they think that was a true measure of how good they are, even with KHL players Russia could win or lose this by a goal.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@ rachel216

do you ever read this blog? this is practically Sidney Crosby bashing central. which is why it's so hilarious to read. because no one can give ever credit to Crosby for what he has accomplished, even when a RUSSIAN like Larionov calls him the "pride of Canada" and praises his efforts. it's always the team around him that's better, as if he contributes nothing to the puzzle, or doesn't elevate his teammates' play with his hard work and presence.

all it shows is Caps fans PENS envy, jealousy and inferiority complex, and you all are a pretty sad example of hockey fans. I mean, I'm a huge hockey fan and totally respect Ovie for his phenomenal talents and his flair that he brings to each and every shift. but apparently you are all either too immature, bitter or stupid to do the same for Crosby.

yeah i guess i should just expect a lot less of Capitals fans, apparently they're not capable of any more

Posted by: puckheaded1 | February 26, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

ya! you damned Caps fans!

Accomplishments! thats what this is about!

Like the accomplishment of being a grade-a stand-up passenger on team Canada as they blaze their way into the semi finals.

Or being a fine sport and giving 110% -- of mental support to Malkin and cheering him on as he runs through the regular season as the scoring champ, the wins the cup and the playoff mvp.

or speed bagging a man from behind, in a way only another man would know how.

accomplishments damnit! why are you all so blind!?

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 26, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

If this team has another early exit in the playoffs this year, maybe it's time to get rid of some of the "foreign" players who don't have the priorities in order

Posted by: joek443 | February 25, 2010 10:33 PM

In other words the only untouchables are Steckel, Poti and Pothier.

mmm. ok.

Posted by: nimes1 | February 26, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

puckheaded: I don't think you understand, or you refuse to. Let me name some other Canadian players:

Gretzky - only the greatest respect
Messier - couldn't stand him but gruding admiration
Gordie Howe - greatest ever
Bobby Orr - can't say enough good
Lemieux - great but couldn't stand him
Crosby - see Lemieux

Crosby puts up a bad image. He whines about fans throwing hats for hat tricks. He flops to draw penalties. Tell him to act like a nicer person and we;ll respect him. Respect must be earned, not just for accomplishments but HOW you do it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

puckheaded1 - this is a Caps blog. Do you think Caps fans are going to be constantly posting how great Cindy is on here? You want to suck Cindys *&%# - head over to a pens blog.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 26, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@puckheaded1

You make your assumptions based off of a few posts in a long list of posts and then somehow apply that to all Caps fans. You stereotyping a group of people because of the actions of a few. In my mind that is wrong.

Stating that there is "envy" is ridiculous too. We are rooting for hockey teams here. We root for the Caps to win and their rivals to lose just like all other fans do. How can you be envious of a team a person roots for when anyone could simply start rooting for that team. If we were envious we would all be Pens fans then, but we're not Pens fans.

Most people here, including me, respect Crosby's talents. He is clearly a great player. He helps the Pens win many games and is often the main reason they are winning. But the media goes overboard giving him credit in games in which he didn't do much. (they do the same for Ovie too)

Canada won the game over Russia because their team played significantly better. If you rated how each Canadian player played that game, Crosby would've been low on the list(he wasn't on the ice for any of the 7 goals scored). That is fine, he didn't play bad or anything, but everyone else on the team played great.

It's not a rip on Crosby to praise someone else on the team for playing well in a game. It's a team sport and different people are the star in different games. Often it will be Crosby but in the game against Russia the star belonged to many others on team Canada.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 26, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, so it's the fact that Cindy is a girly- whiner that bothers us. Kinda like the unemployed Pens fans who troll here.

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ puck,

I've seen plenty of respect and admission of Crosby's skill from people on this board so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Do people call him names and go to task on him? Of course, the same way Pens fans respect Ovie and make fun of him too.

If I were you, I wouldn't make the mistake of lumping all Caps fans into "a sad example of hockey fans".

As for which is harder to win Stanley Cup or an international competition, it depends on the team you're talking about. If we only look at Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden and maybe the Czechs, it's not nearly as hard as winning a cup because all of these teams can field all-star teams and be competitive against anyone. All of the teams mentioned have won an international competition in recent years.

Now if you look at Slovakia, the Swiss, Germany, etc., yeah, then it's much harder (almost impossible) for the them to win gold.

Posted by: Moose33 | February 26, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@Puck

Dude, this is a Caps board. What do you expect to read about? Our praise for Caps rivals? I'm sure Penguin messageboards have nothing but high praise and well wishes to Ovie and the boys (I wouldn't know). Go to a Penguins board if you want to read a bunch of positive things about Crosby.

Sgm3 is right, it's just a hockey team. We all have the right to dislike other players for whatever reasons we want, just like you have the right to not come here and post your idiotic absolute viewpoints. Go away.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 26, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

We always here how Crosby is a big game player since he has the Stanley Cup ring.

However, if you look at Crosby's last four big games (Games 5,6, and 7 of last years SC Finals and the game against Russia) he has:

0 Goals 0 Assists and is a -3.

That is over four games, all very important games. His team did win three of those too but how are those stats proof of a "big game" player.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 26, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Aside from Cindy's unfortunate personality characteristics, the part I find most offensive isn't even his fault. It's the media and NHL forcing him upon us. He is one of the best current players, no doubt. He's not in the Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Howe class, he's not in Ovi's class. But the continued efforts to try to force us to believe that he is in the super elite class is just plain grating.

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

As the Captain said to Cool Hand Luke: What we have here is a failure to communicate.

LOL. This blog is not a hockey fan blog, it is a Caps fan blog. Two different monsters, you might want to think of it as two hillbilly distant cousins, nothing more.

Here is a simple test:

OV is a : a) great player b)(insert the worst adjective you can think here)

Crosby is a : a) great player b)(insert the worst adjective you can think here)

If you answer "a" to both questions you are most likely a hockey fan

If you answer "a" and "b" you are most likely a Caps fan

If you answer "b" and "a" you are most likely a Penguins fan

If you are either a Caps or a Penguin fan calling each other names then you are idiots.

Posted by: nimes1 | February 26, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Wow, if we were to stereotype pens fans we would say that are all friggin' nuts. Last year during the playoffs there was a death threat towards Ovi. Does that make all pens fans crazy?

My advice to puckhead is to go to a Pens board if you want to read notes from admirers. Here, we will admit he's a great player but we won't go much further than that. We are Caps fans. Like it or lump it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 26, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@ puckheaded1: We'll give Crosby his credit. He punches nuts pretty well. Looks good with his shirt off. And is a very pretty girl. There? See? Those were all compliments. No Crosby bashing. =X

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@uckheaded1

"do you ever read this blog? this is practically Sidney Crosby bashing central. "

Well you have never read any of my posts! I've NEVER spoken badly of Crosby. In fact I have often written quite good things about him on this very blog. I think Caps/Pens games are the best because BOTH Ovi and Crosby raise the level of their game when they play each other. They are both quite remarkable in their competitive spirit and drive, in addition to their individual skill sets that already set them apart from their NHL peers.

I have however read many of YOUR posts in which your regularly bash Ovi and other Caps players, as well as we Caps fans.

So perhaps you should practice what you preach and stop posting negative diatribes here against our Ovi.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 26, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

There we go, feeding trolls again.

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

can't say i disagree with the analysis of the Russian team

Posted by: doughless | February 26, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

In hockey matters, is anyone besides me rooting for Slovakia? The great Peter Bondra is the GM of that team. Small country with a population equal to Washington DC against giants like Canada and the USA - oh, won't that be sweet.

Posted by: nimes1 | February 26, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think any objective person would have to conclude that Crosby is a fabulous skater and has great stickwork. My main complaint with his game is that he never shoots beyond 10', or is it 5'?

He is really a different player than Ovi. I think it is clear that most people would prefer to have Ovi on their team than Crosby.

I also suspect that the Hart will be a Crosy/Ovechkin race this year. I'd be willing to give up the Hart if they can beat the Pens in the playoffs. In fact I'd rather beat the Pens than win the SC...well maybe not...but it's close.

Posted by: rjma1 | February 26, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@ nimes1: Don't you have some multi-faceted dice to roll or something? Maybe a girl or guy to stalk? Honestly, I can't imagine where you people come from, going onto a Caps message board and then judging us for voicing our disdain for a player and/or team? In horror movies, you're the a$$hat that tells everyone they're worrying about nothing and gets an ax lodged up their front side. Oh, if only...

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 26, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I've really enjoyed the reporting from Slava Malamud. It's very interesting to get the Russian perspective on these games. Kudos to WaPo for this. Larianov was extremely thoughtful. He sort of reminds me of Ken Dryden. The links to Sports Express were also great.

Posted by: Ottawaguy | February 26, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Crosby's not in the Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Howe class, he's not in Ovi's class. Posted by: zmega
___________________________________________

I didn't see Orr or Howe play, but I did see quite a bit of Lemieux and Gretzky. I would say NEITHER Crosby nor Ovechkin are as great as Lemieux or Gretzky. If you look at the league leaders, Ovechkin is on top of the points and goals categories, but it's not unfeasable that he can be caught (and in fact Crosby and Malkin have recently won scoring titles too). When Gretzky and Lemieux were in their primes, they dominated the games much the way Babe Ruth dominated HR stats in his day. Nobody came close.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 26, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Is it a bad thing that I would rather read a post from puckheaded1 than one posted by joek443??

Posted by: PhilR | February 26, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Jumpy66: I agree Ovechkin has never distanced himself from the rest of the league like Gretzky or Lemieux, although both put up bigger numbers during the high scoring era. But, you can't just say distancing by points, it has to be by percentage. Just like scoring 60 now is a much bigger accomplishment than scoring 60 in 1992. Now, with Gretzky, was it 8 straight Harts? Lemieux I think one two straight, maybe three overall? Can't remember. He was injury prone.

Give Ovi 2-3 more years and we might see Lemieux-like dominance, but we'll never see Gretzky like dominance. Due to salary cap, you'll never see another mid-80s Oiler team again. Go through that roster and try to give them salaries like they'd make today. Gretz would be $10M. Messier 9.5, Kurri 7 or 8, Coffey the same, Kevin Lowe 6 or 7, Grant Fuhr AND Moog I think on the same team - there's $10-11M for goalies. Anderson was a 40-goal scorer, no?
There's $4M. Add it up and you are CAPPED OUT with 4 forwards, 2 d-men and 2 goalies. Nobody could ever dominate again like Gretzky because even if another with that talent came along, he'd never get the sup[porting cast.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Cindy is a great player....he makes players around him better. He has won the biggest prize a Canadian can ever want and is probably going to add a Gold medal to his list of accomplisments.

All that being said, he is still a whinny cry baby that opposing teams and fans don't like. Take that as a compliment. Has he moved out from Mario's basement yet??

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 26, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@puckhead: I see that you have misspelled your name. So, from now on, whenever I read a post by you, I will silently substitute an "f" for the "p".

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 26, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard whether NBC will suspend Milbury?

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@Jumpy66

If Ovechkin had played those 7 games he has in hand to Sedin and Crysby, he could be about 20 points ahead and 4 or 5 goals ahead in those scoring races. Ovie is having his best season yet and he is starting to distance himself from there other top-flight guys. Oh and +43 is not too shabby either...

Not comparing him to Gretzky or Lemieux just yet but we're able to look back at their entire careers. He is only 24 and perhaps the best is still yet to come and that is a scary thought, unless you're a Caps fan of course. :)

Posted by: JDintheSD | February 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Bure could routinely take the puck coast to coast and pop it in the net. Mogilny too.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 26, 2010 10:12 AM |

Yeah, but can you even name ONE current player who had the combination of skill and speed possessed by Mogilny, and especially Bure?

Maybe Gaborik...but that's it.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Everytime you see Crosby, it seems he is turning to face the ref with that pouty look and the glove extended like, "Why aren't you calling that?" If he'd just play normally like Joe Thornton or Rick Nash I'd be lauding him just like I laud them. Is there ever any Staal hate here? No, the Staals are fine players. (Maybe not worth money, but another issue.) I was actually a big fan of dan Boyle until the slew foot. Couldn't believe Tampa gave him away. Favorite non-Cap in the 90s? Scott Stevens. Why can't Crosby conduct himself like that?

Crosby is hated in many towns for the way he behaves, not for anything else.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

nimes1

Before you go spouting off at the mouth about things you don't know, why don't you spend some time to read the blog and the comments first.

Then you would have realized there are posters here, my self included, who defend Crosby pretty fervently from the misguided comments. However, they/I are Caps fans, and I don't really see the problem in it either way. If a fan of a team wants to make fun of the best player on the rival team, what the hell is the problem? Does that somehow make them "Caps fans" and not "hockey fans"? Why the hell does it matter anyway?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Actually tom, Nash has a bit of a reputation of a whiner.

I love Nash, but he does carry that bit of stigma. Same for Shane Doan...I love Shane Doan, but he's also known a bit for being a whiner.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I loved watching Gretzky play as well as HATED Lemieux even though he was a superstar. Comparing points is apple to oranges though. By the mid 90's the NHL goaltenders actually starting dominating games. The biggest difference between the equipment the skaters use now and in the scoring era is the stick. Goaltenders on the other hand not only became better athletes and more specialized, their equipment is now HUGE. I remember when Patrick Roy was getting ragged on because he was wearing an XXXL jersey to assist with stopping pucks.

Now, relative to their competition Gretzky and Lemieux were untouchable. Put Gretzky and Lemiuex in their prime with the new equipment against the goaltenders of today, they don't touch their own records either.

Comparing Ovi and Crosby is impossible too. As players they play completely different games. The have one thing in common, they make other players around them better. If Crosby wasn't a Penguin I probably would not dislike him as much as I do, I'll admit that. Most of my hatred towards team in every sport is fueled by fan bases and they way they act, talk smack, etc. Pittsburgh fans both Steelers and Pens are obnoxious, as are Philly fans with their Flyers and Eagles. If I never stepped foot in a stadium and watched all the games from home I probably wouldn't dislike any athletes.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 26, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

do you ever read this blog? this is practically Sidney Crosby bashing central. which is why it's so hilarious to read. because no one can give ever credit to Crosby for what he has accomplished, even when a RUSSIAN like Larionov calls him the "pride of Canada" and praises his efforts.

_______________________

The bigger question would be do YOU ever read this blog?

Oh yeah, you come back every few months to troll the Caps a bit, and then leave.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The funniest thing about this whole "Caps fans bash Crosby" thing is that if you go to any blog/forum about a different team, I bet you find the same amount of Crosby bashing as here. Fans of other teams simply just don't like the guy. Simple as that. Has nothing to do with his ability on the ice.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah..not to mention the endless amount of s***-talk on the Caps you find at Pens blogs, forums, etc....

I found this website the other day created by Pens fans...it was 100% dedicated to making fun of the Caps. Backstrom is apparently a girl and Semin is the most "feminine" player.

Like it or lump it...sh** talk is about of sports.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

is apart of sports.*


Sheesh...I better get off this thing.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 26, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

So true Tominfl1 about Crosby's behavior as opposed to his play. He has gotten better at the whinier aspects but he still hates to give other players their due. He is bad at showing respect. And he needs to develop a sense of humor.

His playmaking abilities however are incredible as are his determination with the puck. I see Backstrom developing a very similar kind of ruthlessness with the puck this season and he has been a joy to watch.

As for comparing Ovi with Crosby I always viewed it as different skill sets with some overlap. When critics love to talk about what Ovi lacks in his game they don't highlight what Crosby lacks. Aside from the fact that his best goals are from up close Crosby simply doesn't have that master howzer from the perimeter. But primarily Crosby doesn't have the physicality of Ovi. To be so gifted as a finesse player with the ability to shoot anywhere combined with his ability to hit and create new and unpredictable plays with so little time and space on the ice is what makes Ovi so unique. This IMHO is where his greatness resides. It is hard to relate him one on one to past great players because his game has bits and pieces of their individual styles. We have to create a new category for Ovi. He is a joy to watch and as a Caps fan I feel priviledged to be able to watch him play and call him our own.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 26, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

You guys are missing the point, especially with this Canadian team.

Despite TSN and co. wanting to drape Crosby in the Canadian flag, he's simply being asked to be another cog in the wheel here, not the main one.

Every line on the Canadian team can be a number one line on any team in the league. Crosby and co. are getting about 15-18 minutes of ice time, far less than what he's used to. Babcock can afford to do this because the rest of the team is so good.

By contrast, the KHL line and any line featuring Afineganov in a top six role lacks depth. In this tournament, Ovechkin, unlike Crosby, WAS being asked to be the main man, and he failed, not because he was a bad player, but because he got "Babcocked"

Crosby didn't show up on the scoreboard, but his line did spend the entire night in the Russian zone, and he set up Iginla point blank three times (hitting the post once) He also drew a penalty that led to the second goal when he blew around one of the Russian d-men. People need to stop being boxscore fans.

As far as playoff performances go, they don't get by Philly, least of all Washington were it not for Crosby. In the Final, Babcock was obsessed with stopping Crosby and was willing to sacrafice his best offensive player in order to do so in Zetterberg. He also had perennial Norris trophy winner Lidstrom out at the same time. Again, he didn't show up on the scoreboard much, but he still opened things up for Malkin. Crosby still managed to set up the game winner in game three, and scored the game winner himself in game 4.

Posted by: CanadasBest | February 26, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

There was an article on Crosby in SI a couple of months ago. What I found interesting is that as a kid he was so hated by the parents of opposing teams that they routinely rooted for him to get injured. Who roots for a kid to get injured? His personality was apparently evident from the beginning.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 26, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

ccCapsfan,

It wasn't just the parents rooting for him to get injured, but threatening injuries themselves. Hockey parents are THE WORST, especially the jealous ones.

For that reason, the sent him to Shattuck St. Mary's in MINNESOTA, just to get him away.

Posted by: CanadasBest | February 26, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

CanadasBest: You are absolutely 100% correct. However, that doesn't change the fact that he was probably an insufferable brat as a kid, and unbearable jock as a teenager and is known as a player just as much for his bellyaching as his prowess.

Do think fans on any blog rag on Joe Thonrton like this? What about the Sedin brothers? Even Malkin, I'm almost halfway liking him. But Crosby? Without hockey skill, he'd be just another punk on the street corner.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Talking about a players behavior as opposed to his play.

The captain of an NHL team and one of the world's best players gets upset at a fan who is video taping him.
He blows off the media once again....

What a player.


Posted by: akus2 | February 26, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps mgmt does something to ackowledge the Olympians the first game back. OK, so they didn't win. Technically, in the Olympics, it's the competing that counts. I hope they bring the five Caps to center ice before the game for an ovation. Give em some love. Make em feel better.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Anything new at Kettler today? No updates?...
What are the chances of getting Steve Ott from Dallas? Comments anyone?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 26, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Sukus2 - I mean akus2,

What does camera bashing have to do with hockey skills...and you're right WHAT A PLAYA!

Posted by: jeets | February 26, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@akus2

Was that action by Ovie right? No.

Was that action by Ovie a big deal? No.

He was grumpy and pushed a camera, oh well. The world goes on.

On the topic of media coverage at the Olympics. An Olympic player does NOT have the same media responsibilities as an NHL players. An NHL player is paid and in that contract the player has duties to the media. An Olympic player is not paid and is performing for free and thus has no duties to the media.

Could he have given more interviews? Sure. But he had no duty to sit there and answer the same question over and over. He interviewed with an ESPN guy and Jeremy Roenick along with the Russian media. So people need to stop stating he only gave interviews to the Russian media. He also gave some to the U.S. media too, just in limited numbers.

Were those people going to ask him any different questions than Roenick or ESPN asked him? No, so they already got the answers to the questions they were going to ask but they didn't get the tape of them asking the player. So it wasn't the lack of information the media was complaining about it was the inability to self promote by showing a video of themselves asking the questions.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 26, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

anus2: If you watched the interview Ovechkin gave Roenick you'd know that Ovi was surrounded every time he left the confines of the dorms. Roenick was in awe of the media that hounded him. Ovi is very approchable but he shouldn't be expected to cater to everyone all the time. He had just lost the biggest game all year he didn't want to be bothered. When you go home from a bad day you probably treat your family in a manner they shouldn't be treated, most people do. Does that make him a bad person? Fans should understand when it is a bad time to bother an athlete.

I remember Joe B stated that when the Caps were in Canada (Toronto or Montreal, can't remember which city) that people were standing in the street outside the Caps hotel calling for Ovi. He likened it to the Beatles crowds outside of hotels in their glory days. Maybe Canada needs to shield hockey stars better. It's terrible that even at the Olympics Ovi couldn't get some peace in Canada.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 26, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

tom, really dude? Were you his neighbor growing up and knew him as a tantrum throwing brat?

The reason there's no Sedin threads is because they haven't done anything...ever. Neither has Joe Thornton. They're also in a different conference.

The reason you hate Crosby is because of all the success he's had early in his career, sometimes at your favorite team's expense.

They've eliminated 7 teams dreams in the past two seasons, and he's been largely responsible for it. It's easier to breed hate that why.

As for defending Ovechkin for the camera shove? I partly agree with you, but you and I both know that the Post's servers would be melting down if Crosby did the exact same thing.

Posted by: CanadasBest | February 26, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

What is with all the trolls today? The unemployment situation in steel town must be really bad.

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Why assume everyone's from Pittsburgh?

Your post came in at 2:06. Lemme guess, you're on your lunch break

Posted by: CanadasBest | February 26, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually seems to be a civil discussion here. Beyond that, it's a million times more civil than most of the other Comment threads at WashingtonPost.com.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 26, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

CanadasBest: I dislike Crosby purely for his behavior.

What has Thornton done? A Hart? Great player and you don't hear him whine when fans throw hats.

I'm old enough to know an immature person when I see one, and Sid acts like someone who always got his way and always wants to get his way. Like it or lump it, some people like him and some people don't. Me, I don't like him.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

CB: I haven't commented on the Ovechkin camera incident and have no desire to. I think you're combining all of us together.

We all respect crosby for his skills, but most dislike him for his on-ice behavior and for the few comments he puts in the media. He's a dour person.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Canadabest: Your statement regarding hockey parents being the worst in an understatement. If I remember correctly betteroffwithfederov is an on ice official so he can attest to that. I have been in coaching for 10 years now and my biggest headaches have been with parents. My older son, who is 20 now, is coaching mites while attending college. He loves coaching the little players but really dislikes dealing with the over-bearing parents.

For example, my son came home after one of his games, a good close game (which doesn't happen in mites all that often) and one of his players said, hey, coach, I have a loose tooth. Then he said the other 6 forwards said yeah, so do I (of course they do, they're mites :)). Then they starting asking my son if any of his teeth were loose. This was all while the game went on. After the game, which they won, a parent came over screaming about something even though all the players were happy as heck. Too bad parents try to live their sports lives through their kids.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Actually seems to be a civil discussion here. Beyond that, it's a million times more civil than most of the other Comment threads at WashingtonPost.com.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 26, 2010 2:16 PM

It's actually very civil here compared to almost any blog you can read (OK, maybe needlepoint has less disagreement). Many of us here pride ourselves on being civil. That doesn't mean though that we can't make fun of a public figure on another team. From his ruby red lips to his whining, it's just easy to get on his case. I am liking Malkin more, but I still hate Orpik.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 26, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

So CanadasBest, how do you defend your idols actions of punching someone in their goodies, not once but twice from behind while the player was engaged with another Pen....WOW...that little tantrum showed a hell of a lotta class and respect for the game there....and the amount of overwhleming maturity that action showed as well, you must be so proud! Go back and guard the bridge you left troll.

Posted by: PhilR | February 26, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

As for defending Ovechkin for the camera shove? I partly agree with you, but you and I both know that the Post's servers would be melting down if Crosby did the exact same thing.

Posted by: CanadasBest | February 26, 2010 2:01 PM

That's because Crosby has a history of crying to the refs, sucker punching unsuspecting players, diving and generally behaving like a toolbox. Having said that, I agree with pretty much everything you said about the Canadian team and Crosby in general, but one player has a reputation of being a spoiled brat and the other doesn't. Definitely doesn't take away from his skill set. Yes, we as Caps fans will jump on him anytime he pulls something that is not to our liking as any fan would do toward a "hated" rival, it's part of sports. Noone said it has to be rational.

Posted by: Moose33 | February 26, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Please, please lets just get this olympic hockey crap overwith!!

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | February 26, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1,

You are certainly entitled to your opinions. I've tried to limit my discussion today to the comparative on-ice talents of different players. I gave up talking trash on hockey players for Lent.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 26, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@CanadasBest(?) - Lemme guess, your lunch break lasts all day.

Posted by: zmega | February 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@tom, you don't back anything up other than your personal feelings. I suppose you're going to send me the same 2 or 3 youtube videos from 5 years ago that "prove" your point.

@fanohock1, when the kids turn 13-14, the parents almost become evil with their intentions. That's around the age parents start to see how the kids are developing. The worst ones are the parents whos kids are CRAP, because God forbid you see the truth when it comes to your own children

Posted by: CanadasBest | February 26, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

ABOUT JOEK. For those who want to know, NO he is NOT a caps fan. He is a Pens fan. And a dumb one at that. A while ago somebody labeled him "Joke" and it's more than appropriate with his idiotic comment about getting rid of foreign players. His comments are always very complimentary of Pens especially Mario and his son (daughter) Cindy. He thinks Boston and Montreal were never really rivals. Mario was the best PKer ever, bench OV blah blah blah. And OV needs to work on his defensive play? That's like saying Erskine needs to work on his offensive play. Why is OV on this team? Oh yeah to score goals. And now his latest is to trade the "foreign players" if we have an early exit from the playoffs this yr. So I'll be the 1st to nominate "Joke" not to the dufus brigade, no not "Joke", he's so good he gets promoted to "troll" of the day!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 26, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Malone again!

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

CanadasBest, you talk about how Babcock was obsessed with stopping Crosby and that's why he wasn't as dominant in the finals. But what you forgot to add was that Bruce was obsessed with stopping Malkin, therefore, Crosby was able to have more success against us. I actually think that was a huge mistake by Bruce because Malkin was still in a "slump" whereas Crosby wasn't.

Posted by: dfe1 | February 26, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Aabout the Ovi video:

First, did Fox news really air it? another reason to not watch them.

Second, it was definitely NOT just a fan. The video was first published in a Russian tabloid paper. Second, funny how "just a fan" would keep filming immediately after Ovi took his hand off of the camera. Third, Ovi didn't PUSH anyone. He covered up the camera lens, a lens that was being shoved in his face--would "just a fan" shove a camera in someone's face? I don't think so.

Anyway, could he have walked by and done nothing, yes. But apparently this tabloid makes a habit of sending out girls with cameras to get just such pictures--Ovi's probably seen her before.

Posted by: dfe1 | February 26, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If anyone speaks Russian I'd highly recommend watching the Feb 24 episode of "Ledovy Kontinent" on khl.ru/tv. Excellent, very detailed analysis of the Russia - Canada game among other things.

As for camera incidents with Ovie the same show discusses it on today's episode. Aside from the video that's all over Youtube apparently Ovie also broke RIA News reporter's camera. However, the details are unknown. He's obviously very upset and has been hounded to death. Guess he snapped. As the show guests said though while his behavior is understandable it's regrettable. Just gives a lot more fodder for his haters.

Posted by: ranndino | February 27, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"all it shows is Caps fans PENS envy, jealousy and inferiority complex, and you all are a pretty sad example of hockey fans."

LOL, have you checked out your Pens blogs lately? Both fanbases must have the same malady.

Posted by: ouvan59 | March 1, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company