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Mike Knuble discusses Ovechkin's empty-netter


(By Gene J. Puskar - AP)


Shortly after Alex Ovechkin scored an empty-netter with less than a second left against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, filling D.C. fans with euphoria, putting the Caps up by three and tying him with Sidney Crosby for the NHL goal-scoring lead, I suggested on Twitter that some Pens fans would be a bit salty. I guess I thought that padding a two-goal lead with less than a second left might be frowned upon.

But no one seems to have objected, and when I asked master-of-all-hockey-wisdom Mike Knuble whether anyone would have issues with such a move, he said no way.

"Not in a two-goal game," he said. "I don't know, guys are gonna do it. if you were right in front of the goal and stopped and watched the clock come down to a half second and then took it in, that might look bad. But you're beating the clock. You're over center ice, it's a legit chance, you're gonna take it. It's a free one for everybody. I don't think a lot of guys would turn down that one, turn sideways and skate sideways with it. No. You're gonna finish."

Knuble was also asked about Ovechkin's quest for the Ross and Richard trophies in the season's final days; both the goal-scoring and points race seem likely to go down to the final days of the season.

"I mean, there's a pressure there," Knuble said. "You know, Bruce probably feels a bit of pressure, and the guys playing with him, especially even the other night with the empty net, you're feeling like you've got to get him the puck, because we're in Pittsburgh, and the race is coming down to it. You know, if he does what he does, those things will happen. He doesn't have to do anything different. He's not going to be squeezing his stick any tighter or anything. He's a confident guy and a confident scorer....

"We don't talk about it. I mean, you're there, might as well win it. You're right there, a goal out."

I pointed out that Ovechkin did seem particularly anxious to come up with a goal in the final moments against Pittsburgh, and Knuble didn't dispute that point.

"I would agree with that," he said with a smile. "He picks up the pace a little bit, huh? He was fighting hard for the puck. I didn't realize there was .2 left. I was like Yeesh, cutting it close."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 8, 2010; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

There is not a player in the world that would pass up an opportunity to get the individual accolades, even if it is by netting a freebie every once in awhile. How many of Crosby's goals this year were an empty netter?

Posted by: RuskiSi | April 8, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Rule: 77.1 Game Timing – The time allowed for a game shall be three (3) twenty-minute periods of actual play with a rest intermission between periods.

----
Notice: Twenty (20) minutes of actual play. Not 19'50", nor 19'59.9999" or any other time. Any valid goal within those 20 minutes are part of the game scoring.

Case closed.

Posted by: hock1 | April 8, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It's times like these we must ask ourselves: What would Andray Blatche do?

Posted by: Barno1 | April 8, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Blatche would have passed the puck to himself off the boards hoping to pick up both a goal and an assist.

It's times like these we must ask ourselves: What would Andray Blatche do?

Posted by: Barno1 | April 8, 2010 4:53 PM

Posted by: bucky_katt | April 8, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

From what I have read, Pittsburgh fans are upset with Dan Balsma, the coach, for pulling the goaltender. The move allowed Ovechkin to catch up with Crosby in the goal scoring race. There was no point in pulling the goaltender when they were down by two goals.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | April 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Crosby might have more Empty net goals if the goal looked more like a Drier in Marios basement.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 9, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

OMG I can't believe we're even having this discussion Tarik! Ovie has made it clear on numerous occasions that there's nothing he likes better than scoring goals. You media guys need to give him a break and quit being so critical of his every move! First he gets hammered for not scoring, then when he does, and has a little fun, the implication is that he's a show-off. That was a most excellent play and who in the NHL wouldn't have relished the opportunity? At the very least, he made several thousand Caps fans' day with the empty-netter on enemy ice.

@RuskiSi: One might also wonder how many of Sid's goals were off of one of his own teammates? At least three in the last several games that I can think of, although they ended up giving the last one to Guerin.

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 9, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

OMG I can't believe we're even having this discussion Tarik! Ovie has made it clear on numerous occasions that there's nothing he likes better than scoring goals. You media guys need to give him a break and quit being so critical of his every move! First he gets hammered for not scoring, then when he does, and has a little fun, the implication is that he's a show-off. That was a most excellent play and who in the NHL wouldn't have relished the opportunity? At the very least, he made several thousand Caps fans' day with the empty-netter on enemy ice.

@RuskiSi: One might also wonder how many of Sid's so-called goals were off of one of his own teammates? At least three in the last several games that I can think of, although they ended up giving the last one to Guerin.

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 9, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Ugh! Double-post AND wrong author. Sorry :/

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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