Ovechkin hit

Alzner: We’ve got some tough guys, too


“You ain’t so bad, you ain’t so bad, you ain’t nothin’.” – Rocky, to Clubber Lang

“I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can throw the body around, too. We’re not a team like them where we come out and always do that, but we do that when we need to — and we’re going to need to in this series.” – Karl Alzner, on how the Capitals match up against the big, bad Bruins (via the Washington Post)

OK, so the two quotes aren’t exact parallels. Washington definitely won’t want to get into a street fight with the B’s, but you can’t blame Alzner for rejecting the notion the Caps are about to get bullied into surrender. They’re still hockey players.

“For us we’ve got some guys, they can hold their own,” added Troy Brouwer. “We’ll push back. Don’t think we’re going to lay down by any means.”

A big key for the Caps will be the power play. Last year’s Stanley Cup finals might’ve ended differently if the Canucks had been able to score with the man advantage. Instead Vancouver went 2-for-33 and lost its best way to neutralize Boston’s intimidation tactics.

Washington’s power play finished the season 18th (16.7%) in the NHL, but there’s plenty of firepower on the Capitals to improve on that success rate.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.