Capitals coach fires back at the media

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The Washington Capitals are fascinating.

This is a team that dominated the NHL all season long, has the most
exciting and perhaps the most talented player in hockey, and yet has
maintained a sense all season long that they are being disrespected at
every turn. Their “us against the world” mentality starts at the very
top with owner Ted Leonsis, who speaks of disrespect and have the team
constantly having to prove themselves to earn it.

He’s partially right of course. Any team that has yet to win the
Stanley Cup will always have questions to answer (see: San Jose Sharks).
Once you’ve reached the holy land, then teams get a bit of a pass. The
Red Wings, Devils and Penguins all escape completely scrutiny…at
times. The Capitals just aren’t there yet.

But with the Capitals becoming a vortex of media attention this past
season, the “us against them” attitude has grown. The players play like
they have something to prove every night, and the coach maintains that
stance in front of the media horde. The past two days, that tension has
begun to overflow a bit.

Yesterday, it was reported that Jose Theodore had left practice after
being struck in the the arm with a shot by Alex Ovechkin. Apparently,
the shot wasn’t by Ovechkin and it was just another instance of the
media misreporting what’s happening in Washington.

Bruce Boudreau does not like misreporting, stating as much during his
press conference today.

“Before I go further, I don’t have a problem answering any questions,
but get it right – that’s all I ask of you,” Boudreau said. “Yesterday,
it wasn’t Ovechkin that hit Theodore like it was publicized everywhere –
it was Dave Steckel. So don’t guess and make it sound like out best
player is getting it.

“Then when we were talking about what I was talking about
Brodeur and Miller’s record that Theo was better than in the last 20
games. Don’t try to create the controversy if it’s not there. If we say the controversy it is there, but don’t
try to
create it by making [crap] up, or stuff up OK? That’s all I
ask.”

What’s even crazier is that immediately after his presser, there
were murmurs that Boudreau had slammed the Canadian media for their
inaccuracies, so as Capr PR director Nate
Ewell puts it:
“So, people misreport on Bruce’s rant about being
misreported. This could be a long series.”

And an extremely fun one to watch.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)