Monday, October 27, 2008

Sans Ovechkin

Tarik broke the story, confirmed by the Caps media relations team, the Washington Capitals will be with out Alex Ovechkin has he returns to Russia to visit an ailing grandfather. He will not be in the line up against the Predators tomorrow night. He most likely will not be suited up Saturday night either against Buffalo.

I was in the middle of writing a post about the slow start. To me something looked to be bothering Ovechkin and I was surmising that maybe it was a nagging injury that keeping him from scoring through the last six games. But perhaps it may have been his family on his mind.

Whatever the case, a couple of days off may help the left winger find his scoring touch.

Bruce Boudreau's thoughts on Ovechkin's time off.

NHL Notes:

I'd thought I would repost the stats from "Super Saturday" where all 30 teams were in action Saturday:
99 goals were scored tonight out of 974 shots (including the Islanders' 60 shots on net, they still lost to Carolina). The Caps/Stars game contributed one of the two games that had 11 goals (Detroit and Chicago was the other 11 goal game but technically the 11th goal was the shoot out winner). There were 24 fighting majors tonight, 8 of them just in the Philadelphia/New Jersey game (including two fights simultaneously). Thirty power play goals were scored and only 3 shorthanded goals. There were 3 penalty shots awarded, but all were unsuccessful. 5 games went into overtime, three went to the shootout. Nine home teams won their games tonight, 6 teams were able to win on the road.

The 99 goals did include the the shootout winners one goal count for winning the tiebreaker. The NHL resumes tonight after taking a day off Sunday.

Blame Versus for the hockey black out Tuesday night that will keep Capitals' fans in the dark for the Nashville game. They have an exclusivity clause for Tuesday night hockey. Since this is the first year I have ordered the Center Ice package, I am unsure if the game will be available there. So if anyone knows, drop me a line. Other wise get cozy to the radio and listen to a very capable Steve Kolbe with the call.

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford has finally spoken up about the league's attitude to protecting their players in McKenzie's editorial on
"The league should at least stop saying it's concerned with hits to the head, because it's not," Rutherford told "I've had four players - Erik Cole, Trevor Letowski, Matt Cullen and now Brandon Sutter - get badly injured on hits to the head and only one of the guys who hit them was suspended. So don't tell me the league is concerned about hits to the head because it's not."

It's a point that Caps fans should agree after a hard hit that took Brian Potheir out of the line up indefinitely. Sometimes a clean hit can be a bad hit.

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