Ovechkin House

Caps owner: Ovechkin doesn’t live in a gated community

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A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post published a lengthy story called “Alex Ovechkin: What’s wrong with the Washington Capitals superstar?”

The story, among other things, contained a paragraph that suggested Ovechkin had insulated himself from an increasingly critical public:

Ovechkin is behind a fence now. He’d lived in the same Arlington home since his rookie season, right off the street, visible to any fan who drove by. In January, he purchased a $4.2 million, 11,000-square foot home in McLean. It’s situated in a gated community, a barrier between himself — the guy who was the life of the party — and the rest of the world. Those who know him well say mounting criticism, mostly from hockey observers outside Washington, has affected him.

Today, however, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis admonished the Post’s reporting. Writing on his personal blog, Leonsis said he went to see Ovechkin’s house and it was nothing like the newspaper described.

Alex’s new home is in a normal neighborhood; you can drive by it – and park right in front of his home – like we did. There are no walls; no gates and no guards. It isn’t a gated community. He doesn’t even have a fence – there is a child’s out door playground located right next door that you see as you drive up to the home, in a neighbor’s home. Each neighboring home is quite close to Alex’s home. In fact – I hope he does get a fence and I told Alex last night – as Mark Twain once said – “Good fences make good neighbors”. That is great Americana.

Actually it was Robert Frost, not Twain. And Frost was describing the stubbornness of a neighbor who insisted on mending a fence between two properties even though a fence wasn’t necessary.

/smokes pipe
//makes it seem like I didn’t have to Google it

Anyway, I looked it up on Google Maps and it doesn’t look like it’s behind any gates.

(Note: Even though it’s all over the internet, we decided to kill the address, along with the map. He lives in Virginia though. In the United States.)

Fight video: Someone other than Evander Kane beats up Alex Petrovic

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Bummed out on this holiday? Look on the bright side: at least you’re not as sore as Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic likely is right now.

Not long after suffering three defeats at the hands/fists of Evander Kane, Petrovic likely lost another bout to Nashville Predators tough guy Anthony Bitetto.

(Note: some might consider this more of a draw, for what it’s worth. You can watch that latest fight in the video above.)

Hey, at least Bitetto didn’t taunt Petrovic after their fight …

It was a rough night for the Panthers overall, as they suffered a gruesome injury or two and fell to the Predators by a score of 5-0.

Outdoor game rumors: Jets host Oilers, Red Wings at Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings face off during the first period of the Winter Classic outdoor NHL hockey game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day, and so are rumors about hockey fans bundling up for outdoor games next season.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went over two possible outdoor matchups coming for 2016-17 during Saturday’s Headlines segment.

A smart move for a potential game in Winnipeg: Imagine the Jets hosting a game in Winnipeg in February? Ilya Bryzgalov almost turned off his TV in protest.

Instead, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the Jets are likely to host the Edmonton Oilers in October. That would be a smart logistical move, as long as it isn’t too hot.

(Also, playing it then would hopefully increase the odds of the mainstream sporting public seeing Connor McDavid in an outdoor game.)

Toronto’s turn: Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to host the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Winter Classic (or at least an outdoor game), almost certainly on New Year’s Day 2017.

The two teams combined for a great Winter Classic at Ann Arbor in 2014, so that could be a fun time.

***

Keep in mind these are reports (and well-placed ones at that) rather than official announcements for the NHL. These things could always change.

Related: Could the Penguins host the Flyers outdoors next season, too?

Ducks likely to recall Khudobin after Gibson injury

Chicago Blackhawks' Richard Panik (14), of Slovakia, collides with Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Chicago. Anaheim won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.

The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.

Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:

The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”

Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.