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Morning Reading List

russia_ovechkin_392.jpg

*Greg Wyshynski over at Yahoo shares an interview from SovSport with Alex Ovechkin where the Caps star talks about what it would mean to win Olympic gold and how it would be a "tragedy" to him if the NHL doesn't participate in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

*Dan Steinberg talks to Rod Langway about what its like to be a fan of these Capitals and how their rise to relevance in Washington perhaps mirrors the one his teams made in the 1980s.

*The Associated Press takes a look at the D.C. area's relatively newfound interest the Capitals.

*Colleague Leonard Shapiro, who writes a regular column on sports and the media, focuses in on the season-long project by NPR producers Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson as they document the year through Karl Alzner's and Brooks Laich's eyes.

*The Caps 365 crew brings you the third installment of their "first NHL goal" series.

*Keeping with the earlier Olympic theme, the beginning of the 2010 Olympic speculation/prediction season is officially upon us, complete with several ESPNers early picks for Team USA and Team Canada rosters, along with Allan Muir's selections for Team Canada and Pierre LeBrun's update on Team Sweden. Also a look at what these Vancouver games could mean for Canada (ESPN) and if they could ever rival the 2002 games (Globe and Mail). And what Executive Director Steve Yzerman has in mind for the Canadians (NHL.com).

*During his chat this week Barry Melrose predicts a Washington/Detroit Stanley Cup Final. (Search on the page for Washington.

*Caps Owner Ted Leonsis was featured on Comcast SportsNet's My Life 365. The following video is part of the broadcast and you can watch an additional clip here.

In the system:
*The Bears look to reignite their offense tonight against Binghamton and Saturday when they host Norfolk. Hershey will be without Jay Beagle who made the trip to Florida with the Caps.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 13, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
 
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Comments

1st

Posted by: WhyGo | February 13, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Barry needs to clam up.

Posted by: Section117 | February 13, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

^ I agree, don't want him jinxing us !

Posted by: jogabonito | February 13, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff this morning. Team Canada is shaping up to be a great team. I wonder when Poti will get some mentions for Team USA?

Posted by: tomdchancar | February 13, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@atybat

I would've responded earlier to your comments but I lost my internet connection for almost a day.

There will never be another Paul Coffey, or for that matter Wayne Gretzky skating around and knocking in 92 goals in a season with 148 assists, or whatever gaudy numbers that alot of players put up in the 80's. The 80's for hockey were the steroid era in baseball. In 1982 the average goals per game were 8.03, last season the average was 5.24. That is a huge disparity. I'll break down the numbers for you since you gave me Paul Coffeys stats.

Paul Coffey
1980 - 9G 23A
1981 - 29G 60A
1982 - 29G 67A

Mike Green
2007 - 2G 10A (under Hanlon)
2008 - 18G 38A
2009 - 21G 28A

Looking at those numbers, you'd think Green doesn't even compare to Coffey, but factor in the goals per game and these numbers change rather quickly. Number of goals and assists X 1.53.

Mike Green
2007 - 3G 15A
2008 - 28G 58A
2009 - 47G 64A (based on projected finished stats of 31G and 42A)

Paul Coffey 1st 3 year totals
67G 150A

Mike Green 1st 3 year totals
78G 137A

I even gave you his Hanlon year (what a joke).

Not only does Green match up, statistically speaking and from a logical sense, Mike Green's numbers are more impressive than Coffey's.

Now, what I really meant by comparing Coffey and Green was not really the numbers but the similarities in the way the play(ed) and their impact on the game. There is no other blueliner in todays game like M.Green, sorry Bouwmeester, Boyle, Weber and whoever you want to add to the list. Green is the most dominant offensive defensemen in the game today just like Coffey was in the 80's.

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

OV's passion for Olympic Gold is undeniable & Ted looks like he's finally losing weight.
Maybe the comparison to a certain Borat character will finally go away.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 13, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Considering the Old vs New NHL, I'd say what was accomplished in the eighties is remarkable.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 13, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Why does it matter who's "better". We should just enjoy the players, past and present, for the skill, excitement, and entertainment they provide(d). At least the Caps finally have some of these impact players together on one team.

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 13, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The NHL should really do something to get the goals up. Difference between 8.03 goals/game and 5.24 goals/game is a 53% increase. That's like saying if Green gets 80 pts this year it's equal in relative terms to 126 pts in the 80s. To be fair, you also have to take all the 2.00 goals per game and bump it up to 3.06 to compare.

I would never suggest making the net bigger. However, one only need watch old clips to see the goalie pads were smaller.

1) Reduce the size of goalie equipment.
2) Restrict goalies from freezing the puck unless the puck is caught in the air or in the crease (in what other sport when you're getting beat can you just stop the action?).
3) Allow scoring and excitement to increase proportionally.

Is it more exciting to watch an Ovechkin goal or one more Brodeur save?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 13, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

This thing with the Olympics is a negotiating ploy by the league. They know many players (Russian) want to play in 2014 and would probably negotiate away other benefits (money) in exchange for the right to play.

It's no different than holding the keys to the car in your hand until your kid cleans her room.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

@ds_kelly

It doesn't matter. I made the comparison between a young Paul Coffey and a young Mike Green yesterday and got some flack for it. I'm only responding now because I havent been able to until now.

I just think the 2 players are very similar based on their first 3 years in the league.

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Besides I love a good debate.

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I think they should reduce the size of the goalies. Put Brodeur on a diet so Avery can't call him fatso.

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

tominfl1, JS Giguere would like to have a word with you.

Posted by: _jordan | February 13, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Impressive win by Florida last night. They play again today, and Sunday will be the third in 4 days. We have back-2-backs, but I dont think it should be a huge disadvantage being that Florida has been busy as well.

Impressive loss by the Flyers..Their goalies are All-Stars vs us...everyone else..not so much.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind OVI playing in the Olympics. One thing I don't understand: aren't the Olympics supposed to be for young/ non-professional only?

Posted by: mauree | February 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Might I also add that Sunday is Florida's 4th game in 6 days, and our 3rd in 7.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon:

Have you seen Brodeur lately? He's trimmed down and worked out significantly and he's really a hunk! This injury time has probably put him in the best physical condition in his career!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 13, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I can't overstate the joy I feel when I see Pittsburgh sandwiched between Toronto and Carolina in the Eastern Conference standings.

Posted by: _jordan | February 13, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

mauree, that ship sailed long ago. What I don't understand is why the IOC insists on MLB players in the Olympics but yet allows Olympic soccer competition to be restricted to under-23 squads.

Posted by: koalatek | February 13, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I would never call Brodeur fatso, maybe festive, but never fatso. Avery on the otherhand....

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@SA Town

Don't we play Tampa on Sat before we play FLA on Sun?

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I would love to be a fly on the wall in GMGM's office. Hear who he is talking to and what is in the works. Trade deadline less than three weeks away and I have butterflies already.

And JSchon, wasn't trying to give you flack yesterday, but like you, I enjoy a good debate!

Posted by: PhilR | February 13, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of large goalies, I recall film clips of the 18-year-old Kolzig, all arms and legs like Schultz.

Then the late-career Kolzig, looking like Mt. Everest in goal with the larger equipment and his increase in girth.

It's amazing he gave up so many goals, considering he covered so much space.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 13, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why the IOC insists on MLB players in the Olympics but yet allows Olympic soccer competition to be restricted to under-23 squads.

Posted by: koalatek | February 13, 2009 9:29 AM

I think it might be less their insistence and more of a co-op deal. The soccer one is more complicated because no deal is in place with all of these countries (as far as I know). As a result, the club team has more pull in what players they let go and how many times that occurs. The NHL has it built into the CBA, and since all of the players are in one area, it makes it easier.

For what it's worth.

Posted by: Section117 | February 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Todays players are pretty good, and the scouting report on Kolzig is 5 hole and high glove side.

If Mike Green played against Kolzig his entire career... High glove side?

Posted by: JSchon | February 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@Jschon

Yea, we have back-2-backs.

My point is that Florida has been busier then us, and if we come out flat on Sunday, Im not buying the schedule as an excuse.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 13, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

He'd have a thousand, no, a million goals!

Posted by: _jordan | February 13, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

JSchon

Ovechkin already scored more than Grezky considering GOAL DIFFERENCE between THEN and TODAY (today one goal = 1.5 THEN!) cuz today defense and goalies play 0.5 TIMES BETTER than in 80s so did Green can be compared to Coffey! Do not live with PAST, live TODAY :)

Posted by: Hazz | February 13, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Update Fixed III: Just want to thank everyone for their input making this info better each time.

Is everyone prepared for the 21-game salute?

Picture perfect heading into the stretch. Picasso couldn't have painted a more beautiful picture. Is anyone more excited than I about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead:

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against Carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabres (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run! All we need is a veteran puck moving defensman.

cool

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 13, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hazz: I don't have the stats, but it's possible that last year with 65 goals that Ovechkin scored more goals as a percentage of goals per game than Gretzkey ever did.

It's still very likely that Rocket Richard with 50 goals in 50 games, back in the dead puck era, scored more as a percentage of goals per game than anyone ever. It's almost certain that, with only 6 teams back then, Richard's 50 would be the most goals by one player as a percent of the total league-wide goals scored that year.

Gretzky still holds the record for most goals by a player in a silly Jofa helmet.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 13, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Selanne came close to challenging that silly Jofa helmet record, though.

Posted by: _jordan | February 13, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah? Well, if you're half as glad to meet me, as I am to meet you, then I'm twice as glad to meet you.

Posted by: saintex | February 13, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Gretzky may hold the largest amount of goals by someone wearing an ugly Jofa helmet but my all-time favorite, Butch Goring, has won the Conn Smythe trophy wearing the ugliest helmet of all-time. That was in 1982 and I was...

Posted by: atybat | February 13, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Butch Goring, has won the Conn Smythe trophy wearing the ugliest helmet of all-time.

For non-trophy winners, I'll throw the sabres-era Mike Foligno out there for consideration.

Posted by: Section117 | February 13, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

In the netminder category, Arturs Irbe runs away and hides with the award.

Posted by: _jordan | February 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully not with his dog.

Posted by: Section117 | February 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

If placing a minor, surmountable roadblock for NHL players to play in the Sochi Olympics is a ploy, fine. It better not cost the NHL and its fans some of our favorite Russian players. Otherwise, I'd recommend that season ticket holders ask for a refund. =/ I agree, national pride is a big deal. While the Olympics may have been for amateurs, there're occasions where timing may have prevented our favorite players from participating. The NHL would be extremely stupid if they prevent Ovi and Company from participating.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 13, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone...

Did my name become Windjammer? Why are my posts seemingly ignored? Granted, they can be lengthy at times, or even silly, but seldom--if ever--repetitive (and then only if I have to repost because I was late in a thread). Moreover, they are generally not off-topic.

Agree with me/disagree with me/say I'm spot-on/say my arguments don't hold water...

SOMETHING? PLEASE?

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 13, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

How is Craig McTavish not considered in the ugly helmet discussion...oh yeah, that was just his huge head.

Also, I would like to submit Mark Messier's name as a consideration for the "Helmet Fused To The Head" award. I think he was born with that helmet on and it just grew with his dome.

Posted by: Moose33 | February 13, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a big fan of expanding Points per Game to rate a player for the simple reason that if a player is out injured a lot, then his value to the team is greatly diminished over a season. Points/game seems more about potential and what-ifs.

Take Semin for example - I'd say he's had a great season statistically when he's played, but since he's missed so many games, I'd only rate him as having a good season overall.

Posted by: stormblue | February 13, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If we are talking about the helmetless heads, McTavish doesn't even come close... Harold Snepts is the winner... My God, he should have put on a helmet to hide that fugly head... or even a paperbag would have worked...

Ugliest player of all time... mmm perhaps Tim Hunter.. His nose was twice the size of the rest of his face... although Ovie is getting close... Brind'Amour also comes to mind... with a shudder...

Posted by: atybat | February 13, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Bobby Holik, Olli Jokinen for ugliest player.

Olli Jokinen looks like a 6-foot infant.

Posted by: _jordan | February 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Ricci for ugliest

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I vote for Rod Brind'Amor for the ugliest player - no one else is close (nor wants to be)!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 13, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Don't be busting on Olli Jokinen. Dude is busy between playing hockey and fronting Midnight Oil. That's a talented dude.

Posted by: saintex | February 13, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

HAHA

I like that Jokinen as a 6 foot infant.

Posted by: MaineCapsFan | February 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Here are the links to the NPR stories:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95522396

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98645807


Apparently no one at the website thinks anyone actually wanted to listen to these.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | February 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

scott hartnell = ugliest player ever

Posted by: _stevo | February 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why the IOC insists on MLB players in the Olympics but yet allows Olympic soccer competition to be restricted to under-23 squads.

Posted by: koalatek | February 13, 2009 9:29 AM

I think it might be less their insistence and more of a co-op deal. The soccer one is more complicated because no deal is in place with all of these countries (as far as I know). As a result, the club team has more pull in what players they let go and how many times that occurs. The NHL has it built into the CBA, and since all of the players are in one area, it makes it easier.

For what it's worth.

Posted by: Section117 | February 13, 2009 9:44 AM

Not quite. Soccer is different because FIFA is the governing body over all of soccer from the club teams to the national teams. And FIFA has come out and said "Country over Club" so a team can never hold a player from competting with the national team if the player wants to. Some owners try and bully their players into not playing for their country but for the most part it is not a problem.

FIFA also helps when it comes to players being traded between leagues (a player being traded from an Italian club team to an English club team.) It helps keep everything pretty fair.

Posted by: NFeKPo | February 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

How about Johannsen, Konowalchuk, Dahlen & Tinordi? All great players, but none of them what one might call an Adonis (to put it mildly)

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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