Archive for the ‘Washington Capitals’ Category

Alex Ovechkin: How Far Has His Star Fallen?

December 20th, 2010 1 Comment

The moment he hit the ice for the first time, there was no denying that Alex Ovechkin was a star. Few players make their way to the NHL to emerge as an instant all-star— something Ovechkin did as a rookie in 2005-06 when he scored 52 goals and netted 106 points. Since his rookie season Ovechkin has continually posted all-star-calibre numbers, accumulating point totals of 92 (2006-07), 112 (2007-08), 110 (2008-09) and 109 (2009-10). Over that time span Ovechkin registered goal totals of 46 (2006-07), 65 (2007-08), 56 (2008-09), 50 (2010-11). While Ovechkin’s career totals are impressive, many NHL pundits have been debating whether or not Ovechkin has been evolving as a player—a debate that took off last season as a result of Sidney Crosby’s strong play in 2009-10. Try as he might to avoid such comparisons, Ovechkin has long

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Phil Kessel: How Long Will The “Experiment” Last?

December 8th, 2010 No Comments

Over the summer, Toronto Maple Leaf fans debated the merits of general manager Brain Burke bringing in another top six forward. Some felt a winger was of the utmost importance, others (including myself) felt a centre was a bigger need, everyone agreed more depth was needed. Those that felt a centre was not necessary felt sophomore forward Tyler Bozak would be able to handle the load on the top line while others pointed to the emerging Nazem Kadri as being the answer. Through 24 games the Maple Leafs had “earned” a record of 8-12-4. The power play was mediocre at best, the penalty kill was a shambles, the offense was anemic and the overall forward group was being criticized for a lack of results. Throughout the first 24 games head coach Ron Wilson tweaked his top-six forwards a number of

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Ritter’s Rant: News And Notes From Around The NHL

November 5th, 2010 No Comments

Net Gains: With about a dozen games in the book in the 2010-11 NHL season there are a ton of surprises out there, none more prevalent than the number of goaltenders that are succeeding early on. Boston Bruins netminder Tim Thomas (one season after losing his starter’s role) is putting up some pretty unbelievable numbers, going an incredible 7-0-0 to start the season to go along with his mind blowing .977 save percentage and minuscule 0.72 goals against average. As good as Thomas has been, there are a number of goalies out there that have been lights out. St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak is putting to rest any debate over which goaltender (Carey Price or Halak) is the better goalie, posting a 7-1-1 record, 1.53 GAA, .940 save percentage and three shutouts. The biggest surprise would be the play

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NHL Division-By-Division Power Rankings: Southeast Division Weak No More

November 2nd, 2010 No Comments

Three weeks and one calender month into the 2010-2011 NHL season, we’ve already begun to be able to pick out the surprises and disappointments of the year. Teams like Buffalo and New Jersey, two top-ranked teams from the Eastern Conference last season, have both struggled to get going and posted a combined 0-8-2 home record, while franchises such as Montreal, Boston, and Tampa Bay have burst onto the stage with a combined 20-7-2 record. Meanwhile, in the West, Nashville, Edmonton, and Dallas started out strongly but have faltered lately, while, on the other hand, youthful squads such as St. Louis, Colorado, and Los Angeles have already begun to prove their legitimacy. But how does the NHL look from a divisional standpoint? Which five-team groups have been the toughest to play in so far, while which divisions have struggled despite their

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2010-11 NHL Power Rankings: The Quintessential Report

October 10th, 2010 No Comments

With the NHL pre-season behind us it’s almost time to start the regular season where all 30 NHL teams will drop the puck in anger for the first time. There was plenty of movement this summer, which should help change the landscape of the NHL standings in a big way from where the teams finished in 2009-10. Sure, the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils are bound to be amongst the NHL’s elite teams, it’s in the bottom ranks that we will see the most change. Off-season improvements from teams such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins should equate to big changes in the Eastern Conference, while Western Conference teams such as the Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes should help determine the playoff

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NHL: 2010-11 Eastern Conference Playoff Picks

September 30th, 2010 2 Comments

With the regular season just a few days away from commencing there are still a lot of roster decisions to be made. That said, for the most part, the top three lines on most NHL rosters are all but set, which makes it all the easier to make some solid predictions for the upcoming 2010-11 season. The following is a look at the Eastern Conference teams and where I see these teams finishing. Washington Capitals: Prediction- 1st In the Eastern Conference. After an excellent regular season which saw the Capitals earn the Presidents Trophy and set all kinds of franchise records along the way, the Caps fell victim to Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s superb goaltending in the first round of the playoffs. Consdering just how poorly the Capitals season ended,  you just got to believe that the Capitals will come back with a

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