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Capitals’ Ovechkin notches fifth career 50-goal season with goal vs. St. Louis

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By Darian Somers

For the fifth time in his career, Alex Ovechkin has scored 50 goals in a season.

His 50th this time came on the power play during the first period against St. Louis as he beat Ryan Miller with a trademark one-timer. The goal was Ovechkin’s 23rd with the man advantage, which is a new franchise record for the Capitals.

It took Ovechkin 75 games to reach the 50 mark — the first time he’s done it since 2009-10, when he scored 50 in 72.

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  • Published On Apr 08, 2014
  • Calvin de Haan of Islanders hurt after collision, Ovechkin’s shot off chest

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    By Mike McMahon

    The New York Islanders have high hopes for defenseman Calvin de Haan, who they chose 12th in 2009 NHL Draft, but his progress has been slowed by injuries, particularly to his shoulder. His misfortune continued on Saturday after he fell while tussling with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin along the sideboards. Hobbled, de Haan tried to get to the front of the net to help goalie Evgeni Nabokov. For his troubles, the defenseman was the recipient of Ovechkin’s tipped shot directly into his shoulder. Read More…


  • Published On Apr 05, 2014
  • Jamming The Crease: Alex Ovechkin’s excuse; Calder Trophy race is on; more

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    Coach Adam Oates and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals

    Clearly Adam Oates and Alex Ovechkin don’t see eye to eye on an important matter. (Bruce Bennett/Getty images)

    By Allan Muir

    It should have been a lay-up.

    Meeting with the Washington media today for the first time since being called out for quitting on a play by his coach, Adam Oates, all Alex Ovechkin had to do was offer a note of remorse. Just the slightest hint that he grasped his culpability on a goal that snowballed into a crushing 5-0 loss to Dallas on Tuesday night.

    Something simple, like this:

    “You know what? Oatesy was right. My lack of hustle on that play was inexcusable and it cost us a goal. As the captain of this team, I have to hold myself to a higher standard. I owe that much to my teammates, my fans and the organization. I’ll never be a defensive wizard, but I can be better than I’ve shown. And I will be.”

    Instead, Ovechkin offered this as an excuse:

    “He’s the head coach and I get the blame from it, but in that moment I think everybody quit on the play.”

    Ho. Lee. Sheet.

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  • Published On Apr 04, 2014
  • It’s time to strip the C off Alex Ovechkin

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    Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals

    Alex Ovechkin can lead the NHL in goals, but can he lead a struggling team? (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The faithful will say it’s too soon to put the Washington Capitals in mothballs because hey, anything can happen when a team sits just two points out of a wild card spot and has six regular season games left to play.

    The reality is a bit more cruel.

    With two clubs — Toronto and Columbus — ahead of them and a stretch of lousy hockey in their rearview mirror, the Caps have left themselves with only a 6.6 percent chance of securing a postseason berth, according to the folks at Sportsclubstats.com That’s not promising.

    But it’s not just the next two weeks that should be a concern. These Caps are a mess and one bad season will surely roll into another unless this organization is willing to make some significant changes.

    Those are likely to start with the dismissal of coach Adam Oates, who has made a series of curious decisions while the 2013-14 campaign slipped out of his grasp. They should continue with the turfing of general manager George McPhee, the man responsible for, among other failures, handing Oates this sack of mismatched parts and expecting him to create something more than a fringe contender out of them.

    But new faces or even a new direction won’t be enough to cure what ails this organization.

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  • Published On Apr 03, 2014
  • Alex Ovechkin talks Sochi Olympics on NBC’s Today Show

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    By Allan Muir

    The timing of Alex Ovechkin’s long-hyped appearance on NBC’s Today Show could have been better. Like, for instance, not on a day when the lead story centered around a credible terrorist threat to attack the Sochi Games. Or maybe not when Ovechkin’s Capitals are mired in a five-game losing streak. But Ovi made the best of it, staying in New York after a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Rangers on Sunday to get up way too early, wait around the green room forever and spend three minutes with B-host Carson Daly (instead of Matt Lauer, as promised) chatting about the Olympics.

    Washington’s star sniper wasn’t at his ebullient best, but he handled himself well in the brief exchange. “I think everybody wants to win gold medals, especially playing [in our] home country,” he said of the pressure on Team Russia to win the tournament. “I’m sure every hockey player, every man, every fan in Russia wants to win. But, you know, it’s going to be hard because every [country has] a strong team.”

    Ovechkin also addressed the security concerns that athletes are facing. “I don’t think it’s going to be dangerous,” he said. “I think as President Putin said, we have security, but I’m sure everything’s going to be fine and everybody’s going to have a good time.”

    All told, it wasn’t much air time, but any opportunity to get one of the NHL’s stars in front of a new audience — probably one that normally has only a casual interested in the game — justifies the league’s participation in the Olympics.


  • Published On Jan 20, 2014
  • The NHL’s 13 biggest hits of 2013

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    Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings Kronwalls Cory Conacher of the Ottawa Senators.

    The NHL still packed plenty of crunch despite growing concerns about player safety. (Icon SMI)

    By Michael Blinn

    Many fans worry that the NHL is slowly but steadily legislating physicality out of the game, and this year delivered plenty of fuel for debate about player safety in the form of  big, thundering checks that sent players end-over-end, tumbling into benches, and, on rare occasions, through the glass. Most of the hits were well within the rules, while others were cause for supplemental discipline as the NHL continued to place added emphasis on preventing head injuries. After sorting through nine-plus months of game highlights, we present  the 13 most bone-rattling hits of 2013:

    MORE: 13 best players | Goals | Games | Memes | Tweets | Weird moments | Most painful | Front office moves

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  • Published On Dec 24, 2013
  • Bauer’s OD1N “concept car” equipment to be showcased at Sochi Olympics

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    By Michael Blinn

    Hockey equipment is already at its apex. Everything is lighter, faster and as protective as possible.

    Or so we thought.

    On Thursday, Bauer announced a new line of player and goalie equipment, dubbed the OD1N. It’s safe to say that we’ve made it to the future–and it’s pretty sweet.

    First, some background:

    In early December, an image made its way around the hockey internet of some pretty crazy-looking skates in action. Other than a blurry Bauer logo, it was anyone’s guess as to what they could be. More and more teaser photos came out, and Bauer dropped some tidbits:

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  • Published On Dec 20, 2013
  • Alex Ovechkin goes for 50-in-50 tonight

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    By Allan Muir

    Alex Ovechkin scored four goals in the Capitals’ 6-5 win over the Lightning on Tuesday night, giving him a league-leading 26 goals and putting him on pace to score a career-high 72 this season.

    It also put him on target to reach another eye-popping milestone.

    And he can do it tonight.

    Ovechkin comes into the game against the Panthers needing a hat trick to reach the remarkable plateau of 50 goals in 50 games, dating back to March 19 of last season, when he scored against the Penguins. (He now has 48 in his last 50 since March 17.)

    A hat trick is a tall order given that Ovechkin has never scored more than five goals in successive games, but he’s also never had much trouble against Florida, having scored 30 goals in 47 career games against the Panthers. And it doesn’t hurt his chances that Tim Thomas, Florida’s No. 1 stopper, is injured, forcing Scott Clemmensen (3.89 GAA, .857 save percentage) to step between the pipes.

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  • Published On Dec 13, 2013
  • Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin pots 20th goal, continues to score at record pace

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    By Michael Blinn

    Alex Ovechkin is one of the NHL’s elite goal scorers, but this season he’s taking things to another level, one just a handful of players have been to before him.

    On Saturday night, the Russian winger potted his 20th goal in the Capitals’ 22nd game of the season, increasing his League-leading total in a 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

    At his current clip of 0.91 goals per game, Ovechkin is on pace for over 74 on the season – the highest since countryman Alexander Mogilny scored 76 with Buffalo in 1992-93. The total would shatter Ovi’s personal best of 65, set in 2007-08, and displace Wayne Gretzky’s 1984-85 season as the eight-best ever. Some have suggested that he could be the first players to hit the vaunted 50-goals-in-50-games mark since Brett Hull did it in back-to-back seasons in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

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  • Published On Nov 23, 2013
  • Will Alex Ovechkin leave Capitals to run in Olympic torch relay?

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    Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals

    Ambassador Ovechkin is keen on helping to promote the upcoming Games in his homeland. (Alex Brandon/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Alexander Ovechkin has never made a secret of how important the 2014 Sochi Olympics are to him as a player and as a proud Russian.

    Shortly after Sochi was announced as the host city, he accepted a position as an international ambassador to help promote the Games. And well before the NHL committed to allowing its players to attend, Ovechkin announced that he would be there to play for Russia . . . no matter what. “I don’t care,” Ovechkin told ESPN.com. “I’ll go play in the Olympic Games for my country. If somebody says to me you can’t play, see ya.”

    Fortunately, Ovi will head to Sochi in February with the full blessing of the NHL and the Capitals because all parties reached an agreement to send the world’s best players to the Games.

    But will he have the same blessing if he heads overseas on the eve of the season opener to take part in the Olympic torch relay?

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  • Published On Sep 09, 2013


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