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Morning Reading List: Ovechkin's 50th

Mike Carlson--The Associated Press

Mike Green notched two goals and Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th, making him the first Capital to have three 50-goal seasons and just the second active player to accomplish the feat along with Teemu Selanne, as the Capitals defeated Tampa, 5-2, last night at St. Pete Times Forum.

Ovechkin acknowledged afterward that his celebration will likely fan the flames of his critics. This goal celebration wasn't like his usual ones. So we asked for your opinion last night, and if you haven't already, go vote: Did this one cross the line?

Check out the Washington Times recap along with the Lightning perspective from the St. Petersburg Times.

If you missed last night's game or just want to see Ovechkin's goal again, here are the highlights.

TSN's Bob McKenzie chimes in on the MVP debate, Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin, that has gained a considerable amount of steam this week.

In case you missed it, Green said he is fine after a brief run-in with Lightning rookie Steven Stamkos.

In the System
With Boyd Gordon out with a broken finger, the Capitals chose to summon penalty-killing specialist Quintin Laing just as he was ready to return to the ice after being sidelined since mid-January with a knee injury. Tim Leone has the Hershey perspective as the Bears embark on a three-game road trip to Lowell, Portland and Manchester.

Despite the economy, the Bears are poised to break their season attendance record of 350,815 (8,770 average) that was set last year.

Here's the fifth installment of The Globe and Mail series on junior hockey that was in an earlier MRL this week. (If you missed the previous links, the stories are all accessible from this one.)

One more video for the weekend, as the Caps 365 crew talks to the players about their favorite cities to visit on the road.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 20, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More on Ovechkin's Celebration
Next: Laing Hospitalized With Torn Spleen


I suspect BB will make sure that there are no more staged celebrations.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 20, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Good goal, bad celebration.

Posted by: Krazijoe | March 20, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow, there's so many people that are critical of Ovie (Jose's) celebration... why? The tampa coach was just bitter and couldn't find anything good to say about his team so he says he didn't like Ovie's celebration

Posted by: rachel216 | March 20, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I loved the celebration.That should be part of the game.Let the players express themselves.That's a passion.That's entertainment.I love it.

Posted by: Tondi | March 20, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

With what we've come to know as OV's typical goal celebration he brings energy, exuberance, and an obvious love for the game and his teammates; especially given that he celebrates their goals just as boisterously as his own when he's on the ice.

Last night's felt odd, out of place, and inappropriate particularly on another team's ice. Imagine our outrage if Richards, Crybaby, or Malkin had done that at VC.

Had he been at home perhaps it would have been OK. But I think it's telling that his own line-mates wouldn't participate as he previously thought they would. I think he found himself out on a limb once he started and realized he was by himself.

Please stick to crashing the boards. That feels real not staged and awkward like the hot, hot, hot junk last night. Besides... do you really want to be in anyway associated with this nonsense:

Posted by: RicketyCricket | March 20, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Awesome goal, awesome "eat that, Cherry" celebration.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 20, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

For heaven's sake, his "big" celebration lasted what...10 seconds? If Rick Toccet or Tampa Bay have a problem with that well you know what, there's a simple solution. Next time don't let him score. Friggin little cry babies.

Posted by: DaleDUI | March 20, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

This vid is even better. It starts with a clip of Cherry boasting about how he has straightened out Ovechkin. It ends with... well, you know how it ends.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 20, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

@ MikeL-Caps911 (from Update on Green)

It's ok to hate Verbeek... he hates you too, hates everyone. His nickname was "The Little Ball of Hate"

Verbeek hates nuns
Verbeek hates orphans
Verbeek hates that AIG executives got bailout money for bonuses (Hey, if he hates everything, he'd hate that too)

Damn, I forgot about that nickname. That is one of the great nicknames of all time. Much better than Ray Ferraro's nickname, IMHO.

Got to admit that I really hated that whole Devils team, from Schoenfeld (eat another donut, you fat pig) down to all the players. Miss the old Patrick division.

Posted by: crooks_c | March 20, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

No doubt Cherry was fuming last night. His response to this should be hilarious. Ovechkin owned him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 20, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin cleary wants to leave his mark on the game as an entertainer.

This is no different then Selanne when he was doing the rifle shots with his stick.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 20, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Despite not being a fan of the celebration last night that video was hysterical. Don Cherry got pwned!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | March 20, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else get the impression at points that Ovie was looking to set up others in situations where he would normally fire away at the goal? I saw at least two times when he passed when he would normally shoot. Maybe he is trying to pull some others into the scoring a bit more.

Posted by: crooks_c | March 20, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Ovi. I don't think we'll see a staged celebration again. Coach B's words were enough. I'm fine with that.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Anybody who's not critical of OV's celebration must have no problem with what T.O. does every game.

You do that in practice. Not in a game showing up other professionals, their fans, and those who care about the game.

OV is gonna get the "stuff" knocked out of him in the playoffs if he even thinks about these things. Newsflash, it was the first goal you've had in three games. Your not that hot.

Time to start acting like it's business. Not like it was the first time he's scored 50.

Posted by: blanknerc | March 20, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

This is the first time I watched OV and thought "what in the world are you doing?" Too staged... too contrived... just be yourself. Personally, I hope he doesn’t go there again and if Bruce feels the need to talk with him that’s just swell.

But if BB really wants to have an influence he needs to speak out about his old buddy Don Cherry. When that crotchety old fart criticized OV's flamboyance Bruce praised Cherry and then said something along the lines of “but this time he’s wrong”... OK, we are all entitled to our opinions, stick up for your old friend if you’d like.

But the following week when Cherry went after Mr. Leonsis and made fun of his heritage he went way too far... Ron MacLean was clearly uncomfortable and did his best to steer Cherry elsewhere but got the typical Grapes’ bullying routine. This was BB’s chance to call out that xenophobic old fool and say enough’s enough. Ted Leonsis is a good, decent man who gave BB his shot at the big leagues (to Bruce’s credit he made the most of it but it would have been easy for Caps’ management to go with someone more established). BB should express his loyalty and appreciation to the boss and not that self-promoting egomaniac whose day has come and gone – long gone. It’s a big world out there Don and everyone’s a little different... embrace it, don’t hate it.

Posted by: Dave_in_Alexandria | March 20, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Even Tampa goalie acknowledged this celebration to be good for the game. Cherry is BBs friend, but Cherry is not going to help BB and his team - so forget about his (Cherry) opinion.
Now try to imagine if Caps will win a SC with Ovie in the future... than Ovie would show something really special.
P.S. Thats why Ovechkin is MVP. Alex didnt want to let down his #1 Goalie (Jose) and did exactly what he said him to do. It was fun...

Posted by: Hazz | March 20, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

If Cherry doesn't shut his mouth, Ovechkin will definitely do something like this again...

and we'll get to see Cherry get owned again.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 20, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

"Ovechkin, 23, who joined Teemu Selanne as the only active players with three 50-goal seasons"
Thats actually is PRETTY HOT :)

Posted by: Hazz | March 20, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin, 23, joined Gretzky and Bossy as the only players in NHL history to have scored 50 or more goals 3 times in their first 4 seasons.

That's even HOTTER!

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 20, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I gotta admit the celebration perplexed me. Jumping into the glass or pointing up or hugging = all cool. Taunting the other team = not cool. OV was right on the line between exerburence and taunting.

Semin is getting back to some bad habits: taking dumb penalties, skating through too much traffic, passing too much, and unnecessary toe drags. I think he'll get back on track soon, but I think that Frazier's bs call had a lot more to do with reputation than what actually happened. Semin did a textbook stick lift and was called for a hook. Another player probably doesn't get that call (and the ref being Frazier doesn't help).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 20, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

on another note, I've called two Caps victories in a row, now for my next fearless prediction: THE CAPS WILL WIN BIG TIME IN CAROLINA ON SATURDAY!!!

Please keep in mind that my past predictions are no garuntee of future results. The value of my predictions are worth less than the monetary value of a McDonald's coupon.

I would like to make a prediction about the Caps seeding in the east, but that'd jinx what little magic I have in my Kreskin impersonation.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 20, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Will be at the game in Raleigh on Saturday. GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: rockinravenmaniac | March 20, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Tocchet should just shut up....I mean that had to be the first time the Lightning made national sports highlights all season down here in the states on ESPN.....

Tocchet should thank Ovy for the free exposure....take that back...this is the 2nd time since Green broke his D man Goal streak record in Tampa as well.

Thanks Tampa!

Posted by: rdiehljr | March 20, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

IMO, there are two types of sports celebrations...spontaneous outburts of enthusiasm, such as Ovi is known for, that demonstrate a love for the game and the competition; and pre-planned gimmicks, such at TO is known for, that are, quite simply, taunting. Not to mention sophmoric and tasteless.

50th Goal? Awesome
Celebration? Epic Fail.

Posted by: Baildog | March 20, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Who cares if it was preplanned I thought it was funny and surprised me. I dont see how you can say he was taunting the other team though, he didnt direct anything toward them.
I say its fine to do celebrations like that once in a while but not all the time. It might even make people interested and show that hockey is more than just fighting

Posted by: musicburgler | March 20, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

@blanknerc: News flash!!! Players go after Ovechkin and try to "knock the stuffing" out of him every game. There are cheap shots taken at him all the time. He gets hacked on the wrists right in front of the officials without calls being made, he gets hooked in the crotch (as he did last night) and can't draw a penalty, so you and all the other OV haters can stop putting your warnings out there. I do fear he will eventually get caught with a cheap shot that will result in an injury. He's a good skater that is disciplined at keeping his head up which is why he can normally avoid the freight train hits.

I get tired of the OV showboat accusations and how he shows up his opponent and it is unprofessional. The NHL Icon, Sid the Kid, has always had his crouching down fist pumping, right leg dragging celebration that no one cares about. I distinctly remember a goal being scored in the last 20 seconds in the Caps/Pens game late last season in which Backstrom put it in our own net. When the replay went to ice level, with sound, Crosby was laughing and yelling that "he" (Backstrom) put it in the net. Little unprofessional, wouldn't you say?

OV's celebration, yeah, a little overboard for me, but I believe Don Cherry is fueling this. The goal celebrations have become more animated league wide, probably because so many young players are making impacts very very early in their careers so there really are kids playing in the NHL. But man can these kids play!

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 20, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The people comparing this to Terrel Owens need to buy a clue. The absurdity of the analogy is embarrassing for you.

Posted by: jpbryant | March 20, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Save it for your own building. I'm sort of with Tocchet on this. In the good old days, that got everyone on your team beat up. Respect for your opponents is more important than silly theatrics. Frankly, I like the idea of beat downs, and it's one of the reasons I've always liked hockey, and because of that I have to note when it's cause. I love him, but Ovie is now walking a line. Don't make Don Cherry right, please. Disrespect your opponents on the score board, not in a goal celebration. 50 or not, its Tampa Bay, anyway. Save the celebrations for scoring on Brodeur.

Varlamov has amazing reflexes. He really is fantastic in that dept. His rebounds looked like he wanted to give each shooter a second chance.

Laing around for the next 2-3 weeks is ok by me!

That was a goal. The refs really really suck this year. its getting old.

Semin legally lifted that guys stick and scored a goal. To then call him for hooking is ridiculous. I think coaches and players should be able to say what ever they want about refs, especially if they are going to suck this bad.

Dale Hunter would have caved in Ovie's skull during that celebration. Keep that in mind.

Posted by: oo7 | March 20, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

By the way, another beloved son of Canada had a rediculous cheap shot as the 1st or 2nd ended, can't remember because I had to watch it on my DVR. He cross-checked Backstrom, from behind as the period ended, with absolutely no call. OV or Semin pull that crap, two minutes, guaranteed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 20, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The celebration was not good. Maybe the biggest problem with it is that it distracts from the team effort to win the Cup. He does that knowing it's going to cause a media firestorm. Why? How does that benefit the team?

I love Ovie, and I've never thought his celebrations were anything but spontaneous exuberance. But that was not good.

Posted by: Kirg | March 20, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the beloved Canada's son I speak of Vinny Lecavalier.

I know I am in the minority because I never liked Dale Hunter. To use his cheap shot on Turgeon as an example of what can happen to OV is rediculous. The league got it right when they suspended his hacking butt the start of the following season.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 20, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"Waaaah, waaaah, waaaah, I'm from Philly and I have no sense of humor or any idea of how to have fun at all. I can drink and fight and eat sausages and boo my home teams during good times and bad, but I don't understand the word "fun" unless I'm watching my friends beat the crap out of some geek wearing a Cowboys jersey."

Posted by: soloman5000 | March 20, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Ovi didn't mean that to taunt TB, or as answer to Cherry. It was just a small celebration for his 50th. I didn't mind it (could have done w/o it though lol) and I didn't appreciate Tocchet trying to ignite fire.

Posted by: mauree | March 20, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I didn't care for the pre-planned celebration because I'm not a celebration guy in any sport. But, that doesn't mean it's wrong - it's a personality thing and it's different strokes for different folks. What I find more interesting about the debate is the idea that it's some type of heinous behavior that deserves retaliation or anything else. If someone does that in your house, get you head up and fight on in the game - the best way to shut it down is to either win or not let him score. The fact that people find it problematic, yet are willing to publicize it, is counterintuitive.

It was Ovi's 50th goal, which is a big deal...let it go.

Posted by: saintex | March 20, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

What does Tocchet think about Tampa's owner giving a guarantee that they will win the division?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 20, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Tocchet was probably holding book on the length or type of celebration & was angry he had to pay out.

Posted by: uncatim | March 20, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m somewhat of a bandwagon fan. So what, it’s good for the NHL. For all you “old school” hockey heads, Ovechkin is single-handily making hockey “watchable” in the states. The NFL and NBA is full of showboating, and even the MLB to an extent. All this crap about “no-showboating” in hockey is one of the reasons why hockey is miles behind the other three “major” sports as far as fans and revenue (in America). Ovi is becoming a household name. Traditions are meant to be changed eventually, and this guy is single handily is doing this. I guarantee you people who never watched hockey will start following hockey because of Ovi. He is marking the dawn of a new generation of hockey. Mark my words 10 years down the road we will be seeing a lot more of this in hockey, and Ovi will be the pioneer. To hell all that “old-school” crap from guys like Rick Tocchet and Don Cherry, and if Bodreau doesn’t like it, he can shove it too. I am sure Gary Bettman LOVES it! And the great thing Ovi is BEING HIMSELF. Personally, I find it wonderful. Look at guys like Manny Ramirez, T.O, Lebron James, etc. (And yes, LeBron showboats with the best of them). They are all icons in their respective leagues, and produce big numbers. This is wonderful for the game of hockey, and don’t be surprised to see a Caps-Pens Eastern Conference finals this year. Gary Bettman’s dream come true, and he is the “man”, so chances are it’ll happen. Think about the story line, all the showboating of Ovi, Crosby saying how much he hates it, the Geno-Ovi MVP debate, and Semin-Crosby. It’s like all these events are just pre-cursors to the ECF.

Posted by: cj658 | March 20, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

To quote the movie Spinal Tap, "It's a fine line between clever and stupid," and Ovie last night was not clever, it was NFL-Terrell Owens-Barry Bonds admiring his home run-stupid.
Those of you who defend him, saying "50 goals, stick it Cherry, Tocchet" dont seem to understand that this has nothing to do with his previous spontaneous celebrations, but something that is unprofessional and not classy. In the end, THAT is why so many of us Ovie fans are disappointed, and it has nothing to do with what is being said by "outsiders."
Boudreau hated it also, and you better believe if it was Lecavalier doing that he wouldve been livid.

Posted by: peabody2 | March 20, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

please, people need to relax on these celebrations. Was it a bit excessive, yes, was he intentionally taunting anyone, absolutely not. If you don't want to see his celebrations then stop him from scoring goals. People take this so seriously.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 20, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

By the way Nylander scored today and thats good news with his points recently.

Pens fans protect Crosby from any dumb moves he makes and back it up with hes young age and talent. I can imagine if Ovie made something really dumb like pointing a finger to a goalie...

Ovie celebrated not because of Cherry criticism, he just likes to have fun and isnt afraid of anyone. Hes a big guy (easy to hit) and Tampa had 2 periods to take a run on Ovie and they didn't, because they dont have a problem with him.

Posted by: Hazz | March 20, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: I guess my opinion is no good. Boudreau echoed the same thing I said. I guess the coach's opinion is no good.

First: I'm not an OV hater and I love this team more than any team in this area. But I'm not gonna sit here and prove that to you.

I hate the celebration, because,
a: It was staged, planned, whatever
b: It was unprofessional
c: Reminded me of what I hate about the NFL

I like the players who get emotional, when you can see it in their faces and body language. Green broke an old record this year by scoring in 10 straight games. Didn't see him once do something like that.

I don't have any problem with doing that in practice but not in a game and certainly not on somebody else's ice. I agree with others, it says alot that other players (INCLUDING GREEN) wouldn't get involved with that stuff last night.

And by me saying OV is gonna get a run taken at him in the playoffs, I meant somebody is gonna take a run at him like Hunter took a run at LaFontaine after he scored that game winner against us. That stuff happens even worse come playoff time.

Second: Huh? "I do fear he will eventually get caught with a cheap shot that will result in an injury."

"OV's celebration, yeah, a little overboard for me..."

Nice job. In one post you managed to discredit me and my fair opinion then follow up and agree with me.

Posted by: blanknerc | March 20, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse


Green broke an old record this year by scoring in 10 straight games. Didn't see him once do something like that.

All team-mates rushed on ice (usually against the rule) to congratulate him.

I don't particularly like NFL-like celebration either but lighten up, Ovi did this ONCE and for a milestone.

Posted by: mauree | March 20, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Everyone probably needs to remember that Ovechkin (and even Crosby, much as I hate to defend him) are VERY young. How many things did you do in your early 20s that you might not have done with the benefit of hindsight?

And the difference between TO and Ovechkin - well there are a many - but the big one is that Ovechkin is loved in the locker room, his celebrations and antics rally his teammates, and he would never do anything to jeopardize the team and serve his own purposes.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | March 20, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Since I mentioned Crosby, the one thing I will add (so I can get in a dig at him today) is that his age doesn't give him a pass on his incesant whining. I don't care how old you are - be a man!

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | March 20, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think that what bothers me the most about obviously pre-planned celebrations like Ovi's last night is that they are celebrations of "me" in what is a team game. It is almost as if the celebrant is saying "Never mind that my teammates may have busted their humps getting me the puck (or passing me the ball or blocking for me), and never mind that I'm only doing what I should be doing and what I'm being paid millions of dollars to do, LOOK AT ME!!! AREN'T I THE GREATEST!!!"

Spontaneous expressions of joy are fine, and no one wants to see a bunch of robots out there on the ice or on the field, but I also don't want to see guys celebrating ordinary accomplishments during stoppages of play, as happens now in the NFL.

Posted by: rbpalmer | March 20, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't living here during the Dale Hunter years - in fact, just moved here two years ago - but if Hunter was taking shots (charp?) at LaFontaine because he scored a game winner, and that is even part of this disuccsion, then I'm horribly embarrassed to have his number in the rafters. Maybe I'll get run for that but if these are my options then I know which I'd choose:

1. Ovi with a pre-planned celebration for this 50th goal (which I wasn't a fan of...) or,

2. Some thug who takes cheap shots because his team lost or he felt "upstaged".

I'll take Ovi every time but I'd prefer he stick to spontaneous celebrations.

Seriously, no one can justify a cheap shot on someone because of anything in hockey,e ever - it's shows weakness and the fact that you're noting but a simpleton. I'm amazed at this discussion.

Posted by: saintex | March 20, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse


Actually, it was more Chad Johnson-esque than T.O.-ish, and no, one lone occurrence does not make Ovi into T.O. or Chad Johson, but it is still tasteless, in my opinion, and I really don't want to see it again. I like Ovi's irrational exuberance; I am definitely not a fan of players who make choreographed fools of themselves.

Posted by: Baildog | March 20, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@crooks_c Verbeek's nickname is one of the best ever in hockey. It's too bad he was such a *bleep*, but then it wouldn't apply to a Lady Byng winner.

As for Ovie's celebration, I think the only reason he did something that ridiculous was for Don Cherry's benefit. I doubt we'll see anything like that again from him for awhile. That said, it's no different than Selanne's rifle shots, Tiger Williams' riding the stick like a witch riding a broom (and kissing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats logo on the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens, which is how he got his "Tiger" nickname), or even Jagr's kisses to the sky.

Finally someone showing some personality and having some fun out there, and when he hits a milestone he adds a little something. Big deal.

I bet Verbeek hated the celebration too...he hates everything.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | March 20, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse


You're right. I should lighten up. I just didn't like the celebration much like you. That's all.

By the way, as I'm sure you know, the coach and the organization got permission from the refs to go out and celebrate. I found that a bit different.

Nonetheless, I see your point.

Posted by: blanknerc | March 20, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

does anyone know if tochett is taking bets on if Ovie will do this celebration again? odds? i know janet gretzky half a cool 500k on it

Posted by: _stevo | March 20, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

and for the Hunter lovers, feel free to hit on my typos as a response.

Posted by: saintex | March 20, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm not suggesting that Ovi's accomplishment was ordinary, I'm just saying that what starts out as being scoring celebrations can spill over, and become celebrations after lesser accomplishments.

Posted by: rbpalmer | March 20, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@ saintex

it wasnt pat lafontaine, it was pierre turgeone that hunter did the cheap shot on

Posted by: _stevo | March 20, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

ESPN is all over Ovie right now.


With all the money that Tiger Woods, Lebron, Michal Jordan have made in sports...Ovie has every right to make himself a marketing gold mine.

Step off....ESPN might get back into hockey, and guess who will be on ESPN for the game of the week half the time?? Your Washington Capitals.

Sidney Crosby will be on "Inside the Actors Studio..Sports edition."

Posted by: SA-Town | March 20, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

blanknerc: Don't turn my words around. Like I said, I his celebration was overboard. But I TOTALLY disagree with your statement that he will get the stuffing knocked out of him in the playoffs. Players take runs and cheap shots at him now...all the time. Yesterday's celebration didn't increase or lesson his chances of having a cheap player like Hunter take a shot at him. The cheap shot in the playoffs that lead to Hunter's long suspension the following season was when he hit Turgeon. Should have hit him before he put the puck in the net, not after, as usual, thanks Dale you goon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 20, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse


I was taking that from the earlier comment. I did some wikipedia and saw it wasn't LaFontaine. Thanks.

Posted by: saintex | March 20, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

As for Rick Tocchet:

Tampa's point percentage under Melrose: .438

Tampa's point percentage under Tocchet: .427

Bruce Boudreau's point percentage over Tampa: 1.000

I think nothing else needs to be said.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | March 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I will defend Ovie's spontaneous celebrations until the last dog dies, but the pre-planned ones need to end with that one, particularly since this team hasn't won anything yet.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I definitely think Ovy's accomplishment is amazing and I'm a Capitals faithful. But the NHL has such a high opinion of him and I'd hate to see that go because on antics like last night. He definitely had a right to celebrate, but just think for a second if someone had pulled that stunt in our building... One of our players would take a run at him later in the game. I doubt Bossy or Gretzky pulled that.

I love Ovie, but definitely couldn't done without that. I don't think he meant to taunt anyone, but whether he meant to or not, he showed-up the other team.. And it's Tampa for god sakes.. no need to do that. They already feel bad enough :).

But Congrats Ovie. Keep it up and fuel the playoff run!

As for Semin, I thought the second penalty was trash and that goal should've stood. Refs got a little loose with the whistles. I can't fault him for playing hard, but the announcers were right last night when they said that he tends to take penalties right after he loses the puck..

Posted by: ovys8 | March 20, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I highly doubt we would take runs at anyone celebrating in our building. We might get even with good clean hits...but Ovie knows he takes that risk as well.

If you want Ovie, go get him....just make it clean.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 20, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

blanknerc: You are without a doubt entitled to your opinion. If OV is hit the way Turgeon was I believe we would see the first bench clearing in years, regardless of what OV did prior to being hit. It was a staged celebration but I think OV was punked by all his boys. It sounds like they said they would all do it, which would have made it a team celebration, and then left him hanging. Green and Backs may have pre-planned leaving him hanging as a joke too. I am sure BB had an educational meeting with him today.

I bet ESPN is ticked they let OLN outbid them after the lockout.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 20, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

ESPN is all over Ovie right now.
With all the money that Tiger Woods, Lebron, Michal Jordan have made in sports...Ovie has every right to make himself a marketing gold mine.
Step off....ESPN might get back into hockey, and guess who will be on ESPN for the game of the week half the time?? Your Washington Capitals.

Exactly. The only Caps fan who is making sense right now. You people talk as if Ovi is just some regular 25 goal scorer acting like this. Come on. In this economy, this league needs marketing and people like Ovi. And the controversy around it is even better. Controversy Sells. Period.

Posted by: cj658 | March 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I think if Erskine ever scores another goal, he should start taking heafty lumber jack wacks at the goal posts.

You think that one will fly?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 20, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

As long as he doesn't legally change his name to Ocho!

Posted by: Baildog | March 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I guess the NHL should suspend Ovi for unsportsman like conduct. Maybe everyone here will be pleased.

I've said in a previous that with all this complaining about Ovi's celebrations which started with Don Cherry. I think Ovi will be stiffled so much because of his celebrations that this team will not get the best of him, because he will be too concerned about what he can and cannot do to celebrate.
I really hope it doesn't happen, but if it does the Caps will have to find a leading scorer and one who bring out the best in the ream when needed.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 20, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Not that I have keep defending the fact that the "celebration" is not a big deal, if you read the comments after the article in the St. Pete Time, it seems that the general concensus is what most people here are saying, instead of wasting your time talking about what Ovie should or shouldn't be doing after this goals and start worrying about playing defense and winning games. This is coming from the Tampa Bay fans.

Having said that, I'd rather not see stunts like that again from Ovie either, I think he's bigger than that and his natural celebrations are alot more exciting anyway.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 20, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

What's up with the NHL giving the Pens back to back games, with days off, against teams that have to come to their stadium after they just played the night before? Atlanta went to Pittsburgh Tuesday after playing us. LA is going to Pittsburgh to play tonight after beating Boston in OT last night.
Yeah, we are playing Carolina tomorrow after having the day off today and Carolina playing tonight, but we are going to their stadium, and by the time tomorrow night rolls around our boys with have played 5 games in 8 days, 4 on the road. Tired of seeing the ice tilted Pittsburgh's way.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 20, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

McKenna should have done a spin move. It would have been hilarious and all over SportsCenter. Stuff like that is entertaining and helps grow the game. Hockey needs more entertainers, and less thugs.

That’s coming from a Lightning fan. Seriously folks, Ovi is the leader of a new generation. And come on, it’s not like he does it after EVERY goal. He became the first player in Caps history with three 50-goal seasons. What’s wrong with a little fun? Geesh, some folks need to lignten up. It’s not like he spit in the goalies face and did the riverdance. Get a grip.

Anyways, what Rick Tocchet should be mad about is that is was 1 on 3 when he scored. They deserved to get embarrassed.

Posted by: cj658 | March 20, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse


There was a long entry on that "scheduling" over at cheap seats at the start of the season. She thought it was mostly some weird conspiracy theory until she took a long look at the games.

Here's the link tot the November entry:

Posted by: saintex | March 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to calm down. It's not like Ovie took a cheap shot at someone or went in front of the Tampa Bay bench and taunted the players. With the way many are whining, you'd think Ovie danced around for 10 minutes or something. It's not that big of a deal.

That said, I'm not a fan of that particular celebration, but it did make me laugh. Ovie is so great, it's beneath him to have a staged celebration. Just keep it spontaneous and natural, Alex. But when we're young, we all do silly things. I did more than my share, for sure. For all Ovie has done for this franchise and the long-suffering Caps fans, if he gets carried away now and then, that's fine.

Remember when Riggo took those dramatic bows after he ran over the Minnesota Vikings on the way to Super Bowl XVII? I still get wound up thinking about that. Pad up, men, let's pad up!! I didn't hear any grumbling then. Granted, that was a second-round playoff game. But you could say he was showing up the Vikings in much bigger way than Ovie showed up the Lightning.

I get tired of this old-school NHL philosophy. The game is changing, especially with all the young stars. Change is good. My favorite change is that the Caps are on the doorstep of greatness. Enjoy it, people.

Here we go, Caps, here we go!!!!!!!

Posted by: gaspeny | March 20, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

After reading St.Pete Times and their blog, it appears that most of the posters are calling out Tocchet and the teams for not stopping Ovi from scoring, but complain about his celebration in their house.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 20, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse


LOL. It was a staged celebration but I think OV was punked by all his boys. It sounds like they said they would all do it, which would have made it a team celebration, and then left him hanging. Green and Backs may have pre-planned leaving him hanging as a joke too. I am sure BB had an educational meeting with him today.

Ovi isn't even my favorite player, Nicky and Semin (as crazy as he may seem at times) are. But what if Ovi decided to turn the tables on them, probably leave them hanging on the ice too.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 20, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

When Green broke the D scoring streak record that too was a pre-planned event btw. In fact the League and BB were involved in the pre-planning.

I think Ovi could have done something else that would've come off better, but I'm okay with the 3x 50 special celebration concept.

Posted by: austinsteve | March 20, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@saintex - since you weren't here during the Hunter years it is easy to get the wrong impression of his play by reading these boards. These people must be politicos since they take one incident and define the man's long career by it. Hunter did take some liberties (the Turgeon one was the worst) but he also played hard EVERY game, was the kind of pest that everyone hates until he is on their team, was a real leader on and off the ice (we could use someone like that right now), and oh yeah, scored some big time goals in the clutch too. Hunter deserves the retired number and today on this post is the first time I have heard anyone suggest otherwise (I am happy to welcome the bandwagon fans to the family, but please do not speak of the history of the team if you do not know it).

PS - male bandwagoners on the 400 level, when you go to the pisser filter in and form lines behind each urinal instead of making one line that snakes out the door and gets in the way of me getting my beers.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 20, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

There are a lot of people idolizing OV to the point of absurdity. OV is a great player there is not question about it, but his misguided celebration was over the top. Do people want that type of celebration on hockey games? I can almost tell you with certainty that real hockey lovers would not want it, unfortunately, there is also a great number of fans who gets a kick out of it - too bad those people don't get in their bandwagon and go to circus to satisfy their clown fetish.

Posted by: opita1 | March 20, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

And how many times has OV celebrated in this fashion??? Once.

Cool off a second people. It's a one-time thing. He's even said it's a one-time thing. Let it go already. Stop blowing this up to the point that his career is going to be defined by this.

Remember, The Goal, The Goal 2? Remember the winner in the first game of the playoffs last year? Did anyone complain about those celebrations? Nope. Why? Because Rick Tocchet didn't lose money on the game? Is this what we've come down to? We have a winner and we still want to whine?

Oh wait, only those whining are the ones who said last year that hockey wasn't a real sport and that it would never succeed here. Bandwagoners, do everyone a favor and learn for yourselves rather than following the spouting of an over-the-hill coach who still dresses from Salvation Army. True hockey fans know that Don Cherry is full of hot air 99% of the time.

Posted by: dj1123 | March 20, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Tempest in a teapot people. A little perspective. Ovie a big kid having a good time. He's a goober, but a Goob with the skills and good humor to back up his dorky sartorial habits and poor grooming. This guy clearly doesn't take too much seriously except hockey and making money. (Just watch the Eastern's video)

For anyone in the know, 50 goals in a single season is a big deal. To do it 3 times in 4 seasons is also a big deal.

Ovie is a big boy who gives as good as he gets. If someone wants retribution because they think he's celebrations are disrespectful, they need to get it through their thick heads that Ovie is NOT a prima donna. He's been accused of hitting Malkin too hard. Anyone interested in taking them out will likely be facing assault charges because they'll have to charge him right into the boards.

I'm an old Patrick Division girl and I remember Rick Tocchet on the ice for the Flyers. I know the Spectrum is a tough place with tough players and a tough crowd. But I think those tough days are over. Mr. Cherry and Mr. Tocchet have to realize the game is evolving and moving on without them. Ovie's enthusiasm for this sport is filling the seats, increasing the ratings and making the sport interesting again post-lockout.

While showboating is not encouraged and I thought Ovie looked supremely foolish last night, it could have died a slow death if everyone just ignored it and kept focusing on the game.

FWIW, last night's win put the Caps back in 2nd place over the Devils, which I think is cool. It's now within a stone's throw of the Bruins and I'd love to see the Caps place first at the end of the season. Love, love, love it.

Posted by: brcmapgirl | March 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and while I am not the biggest fan of 'NFL' style celebrations, I did not mind Ovechkin's because as others have said, it was marking a milestone.

Another thing I noticed was that in the 10 years that I have been going to Capitals games in Tampa, this was the largest amount of Capitals fans I have ever seen. I don't know how many were from the DC area and came down or are locals like me, but with the cheap airfares, why not take a trip to Tampa to see another Capital score at will against the Lightning.

If it was not for all of the Capitals fans in the building, you would have thought it was a library. It was the quietest I have ever seen that building and I was there when they were drawing 7,000 and finishing last in the division (the prior time it happened to them). I saw attendance listed at 16,000, and unless they are counting employees, people staying at the nearby hotels, and photos of people in the ads in the arena, they didn't break 10,000.

Posted by: rtrionfo | March 20, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Interesting view on Ovechkin and his 50th goal! I just posted a blog article on Tocchet and how his goal scoring chances was based on a market scheme for pizza during his playing days in 1994. I guess you can't criticize further than that. No doubt, Ovechkin is the new face of hockey.

Posted by: chicshockey | March 21, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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