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

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.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: